INSIGHTS_ Joni Vandewalle

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When searching for interiors to photograph, I always look for interiors that display the inhabitant’s personality and passions, and Joni Vandewalle’s interior is the perfect example.  Just like our past two INSIGHTS interviewees, Joni has a passion for flowers, which is undeniably present in her interior.  This freelance journalist and stylist recently turned her hobby into a side project and started flower atelier Bloe Monday.  Together with a friend, she offers bouquets to order and decorates events and parties.  Flowers thus can be found in all shapes and sizes all over her apartment.  “I think every table in every room needs flowers, as they add color and match with everything.  There’s no such thing as an ugly flower, right?”

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She and her fiancé are currently renovating an old townhouse in Berchem, a district of Antwerp, while living around the corner in a small but bright apartment.  (Notice the plans of their future home above the sideboard in the picture below?)  Like many renovations, theirs got delayed, so the six months they intended to live here turned into almost a year.  The location close to their future home is perfect though, and the couple loves their neighborhood.  “I’ve always lived in Antwerp and Berchem has become one of my favorite areas.  It’s a rather quiet neighborhood, yet close to everywhere.  I love the wine at Brel and Sunday brunch at Bar Vert, which are both within walking distance from our home.”

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While she wishes this apartment would have a bigger bathroom and more daylight in the kitchen, the sunlight and mantelpieces in the living room were a big selling point.  “The hardwood floors are a big plus too, I couldn’t imagine living on laminate flooring!”

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Despite her love for color, Joni thinks hardwood floors and white walls are the perfect backdrop to her colorful interior.  “I think you can describe or interior as eclectic, as I like both vintage classics as more ethnic items.  I love color though, and I want to create a warm and cosy atmosphere, I really don’t like cold and clean interiors.”

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While she prefers white walls, a few pastel ones and even a bright pink wall can be found in her apartment.  “We didn’t do any painting when we moved in, but I actually don’t mind these pastel colored walls at all, they are very subtle. The pink wall however is a remnant from a photoshoot.  We intended to change it back, but the landlord didn’t mind, so we kept it.”

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When I ask her how she manages to keep her colorful interior from looking messy, she answers “it might seem like I just throw things together, but some color choices are really well thought out.  I try to stick within a pastel color pallet to make sure everything somewhat matches and prefer to group items that are similar instead of spreading them out all over the apartment.”

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The showstopper of her interior is the vintage Togo set by Ligne Roset.  “When I noticed a set of mint green Togo’s at Scoonwoon in Antwerp, I dragged my boyfriend down there.  Unfortunately, the €10,000 price tag quickly put us back with our feet on the ground.  That’s when I started scouring second hand websites for vintage pieces and once I collected an entire set, I searched for a craftsman who was up for the challenge to re-upholster them with a velvet fabric that mismatched our carpet perfectly.”  It’s her favorite spot in the apartment and the best place to enjoy the beautiful light, her thriving plants and extensive record collection.

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The Togo set is not her only second hand treasure, although it is her current favorite.  Joni loves getting up early to explore flea markets and enjoys the thrill of finding something for next to nothing.  Or nothing at all, like the Componibili by Kartell, which she found by the side of the road, next to a pile of trash.   “Finding a gem like that amongst other people’s trash, truly makes my day!”

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She’s also an avid bidder on second hand websites, which means she often has to convince her boyfriend to pick up one of her finds, as she doesn’t have a driver’s license herself.  By now, she has gathered a pretty impressive collection of vintage furniture, part of which is stored until the renovation is finished and the couple can move into their new house.  She’s still keeping an eye out for a marble Tulip table by Saarinen though!

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Those second hand items often need some sprucing up, but luckily her boyfriend truly enjoys sanding down and varnishing furniture.  “A win-win!” Joni explains.  Fortunately her fiancé’s  taste in interior is very similar to Joni’s.  “He even likes my white and pink sideboard, usually only women do!  It’s one of the first pieces I ever pinned on Pinterest, and one of my more expensive buys.”  The Star Wars posters are one of her fiancé’s contributions to their interior.  “A lot of people are jealous because we own these old posters, they are so much cooler than the new artwork!”insights-joni-vandewalle-hannelore-veelaert-for-au-pays-des-merveilles-7145

When I ask her what her dream house looks like, Joni answers: “the house we are currently renovating, looks a lot like my dream home, fortunately!”  It seems like I might have to make another visit once the couple has moved into that dream house…

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Joni Vandewalle - website - instagram - pinterest - instagram pony productions

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