INSIGHTS_ Lies Mertens

INSIGHTS_ Lies Mertens by Hannelore Veelaert via au pays des merveilles

A few months ago, when I was escaping the renovations in my studio until I could move into my new apartment, my friend Lies Mertens welcomed me with open arms into her two bedroom flat in a quiet neighborhood in Antwerp.  The apartment, part of a 1930s art deco building that used to house a cinema, has undergone quite a renovation process before it turned into the cosy home and atelier that it is now.  With every visit to Lies’ home it became more and more clear that her home was the perfect candidate for an INSIGHTS interview, and this sleepover was the perfect time to do so.  However, sometimes life gets in the way of these interviews to get finished.  That’s why I’m sharing this shoot only now, after Lies has already redecorated her apartment about a dozen times, but more on that later.

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reset the table + giveway

reset the table

There are few things I love more than delicious food and good company, so when Iittala asked me to host a dinner for my friends to highlight their Reset the table campaign, I didn’t have to think twice.  I invited Lies, Eline and Paulien, stocked up on flowers and wine, set the table with the dotted blue plates and light blue bowsl from Iittala’s Teema collection, complemented with items from their Kastehelmi collection. Pro tip from someone who’s clumsy and living on a budget: mixing and matching is the solution when you can’t afford to buy a whole set of tableware at once or when you happen to drop a plate once in a while, plus it gives your table setting an original twist!   Iittala understood and made sure that all of their tableware goes together, allowing you to create a set that matches your taste perfectly.  Good news by the way, you can win a set of Iittala tableware for two on my instagram right now!  (Or just buy them here.)

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INSIGHTS_ Liene & William

While Liene shares mostly fashion, make-up and hair inspiration on her Instagram account, it’s her interior that truly grabbed my attention.  That’s why almost a year ago, I contacted her and her husband William for an interior shoot.  As it turned out, their home renovation was still in full force, Liene just knew which corners to frame!  We kept in touch and eventually they welcomed me into their home for a chat about their ongoing renovation process and William’s interior and furniture design business Wøti.

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INSIGHTS_ Jeroen Lemaitre

portrait of Jeroen by Eline Ros

Up until a few years ago, taxidermy was considered rather tacky and cruel.  If anyone is responsible for turning that image around, it would be Jeroen Lemaitre of Animaux Spéciaux.  He single-handedly updated taxidermy’s image by limiting himself to animals that died a natural death, combined with his impeccable taste and artistry.  Jeroen describes himself as a treasure hunter, someone who tracks down interesting collectables or makes them himself by hand, from colorful insects preserved under cloches or in frames, to taxidermy, intriguing accessories, exotic plants and even artworks.  These are all for sale in his beautiful shop Animaux Spéciaux in Leuven (which I blogged about earlier here) and his webshop.  Well… not all of them are for sale, as some of his most intriguing pieces ended up in his own home, which he was kind enough to show me.

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INSIGHTS_ Nathalie Teugels

Ever since I first laid eyes on Nathalie Teugels’ furniture in the Convoi pop-up shop hosted by the ladies behind Phyt and Sternum, I was curious to find out more about Nathalie and her clean aesthetic.  When I found out she recently moved to a new apartment, I figured it was the perfect moment to ask this furniture designer to share some INSIGHTS of her home.

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INSIGHTS_ Marijke Vissers

“Don’t expect too much!” Marijke told me before I came by for this photoshoot.  I did have high hopes for her interior, as her instagram feed and her old blog had already convinced me of her good taste and knack for decoration.  Like I expected, she didn’t have anything to worry about.  With the beautiful wooden flooring, that cosy handmade bench in front of the bay window, her collection of knick-knacks that reflects her personality so well, the cute original kitchen and her impeccable taste altogether, Marijke’s apartment fits in perfectly to the INSIGHT series.

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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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INSIGHTS_ Loes and Max

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 “I’ll come downstairs and show you the way, people tend to get lost here!” Loes tells me through the intercom.  The door buzzes, I enter the gate and walk through an impressive corridor that leads to an equally impressive courtyard.  There’s no doubt: this is not your usual apartment in Antwerp.  Loes explains to me the place is owned by an artist, who bought and renovated the whole block.  That explains the mural and the several remarkable glass additions to the building.  (Just have a look at this apartment in the same building to know what I mean.) The flat she shares with her boyfriend Max and their cat Sjakie, is probably the smallest one in the building, but that doesn’t mean a thing.  Spread over three floors with the top floor containing a tiny rooftop terrace and a glass orangery that reminds me of a miniature version of Antwerp’s station hall or the royal greenhouses, it certainly stands out.

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INSIGHTS_ Hanna Moens

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Those of you that spend some time on Instagram or Pinterest once in a while, have probably come across Hanna Moens.  Her impeccable eye for aesthetics and her bright and airy photos filled with beautiful design have gathered quite a few fans, me included.  We met when I did an internship at Baroness O., a design studio where until recently she was responsible for communication and content creating.  Nowadays she’s freelancing as a copywriter in addition to her part time job in a library and enjoying her newfound free time.  Posting pictures on Instagram is a hobby that got out of hand quite some time ago and she recently enrolled in a flower class, as she’s been arranging flowers for friends’ parties for quite a while.

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INSIGHTS_ Miguel & Lisa

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When I arrived at the front door of this Brussels based couple, Miguel en Lisa were still on their way home and I had to wait on their doorstep for a while.  Luckily the sun was shining and the duo had a good reason for being late: the plant and flowers they bought on the market turned out to be rather difficult to transport on their bikes.  The sunlit apartment they inhabit is a Walhalla for plant lovers, but these two always have room for another green friend.  With huge windows on both sides of the living room and their green fingers, it’s no surprise that plants thrive in here.

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INSIGHTS_ my home

INSIGHTS - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles and ikea-6280

After all that teasing, I’m finally sharing the last post about my ikea x au pays des merveilles collab today!   As you may remember, I was sharing a house before, which had its perks, but after sharing homes for the past 7 years, I really felt the need for a place of my own.  So once I found a job, I kept an eye on the ads and after 6 months or so I finally found that dream place.  With a limited budget (I’m still only an intern after all) it wasn’t easy, but I managed to find a charming place in my old neighborhood of Zurenborg.

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INSIGHTS_ furnishing my home

INSIGHTS furnishing my home - hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles

In this second post about my collab with Ikea, I’d like to give you a closer look into my studio.  As you can see in the image above, it’s quite a small space, where you enter straight into the living and sleeping area, with a small bathroom and narrow kitchen on the left.  Despite the limited square meters and the lack of a separate bedroom, I immediately saw the potential of this studio: there are big windows on both sides of the space where light floods in thanks to the studio being located on the 4th floor and the arches divide the space into a sleeping and living area, while adding a bit of character.

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INSIGHTS_ Paulien Herbots II

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It’s been over a year since I posted my first INSIGHTS blogpost, which featured the home my dear friend Paulien Herbots.  I’ve fallen in love with her interior more and more with every change she made, so I figured it was about time I paid her a second visit with my camera!  So, what’s changed?  A few items have been moved around, some furniture has been added while others have disappeared, even more plants have been added to the mix and let’s not forget about those stunning bedside lamps.  Handmade by her father (with a marble base!), these are surely the eye-catchers in her  bedroom.  Want to see for yourself what her interior looked like before, and read all about Paulien’s interior choices?  Head over here!

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INSIGHTS_ Adriaan Tas & Lien Peeters

INSIGHTS_ Adriaan Tas & Lien Peeters - by Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles -5727

A little while ago I paid a visit to Adriaan Tas and Lien Peeters’ stunning home in Brussels.  Just like one of the previous Insights subjects, Adriaan and I met at Interieur Kortrijk, where he was presenting his shelving system Tschichold.  It’s hard not to love his work, so combined with a few teasers of their new home on the Instagram profile of his girlfriend Lien, I had more than enough reason to kindly ask if they wanted to share their home on this blog.

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INSIGHTS_ Julie Wijckmans

INSIGHTS Julie Wijckmans - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles-4

If you’re on Pinterest, you might have come across today’s host Julie Wijckmans. This web designer is one of Belgium’s leading ladies on the inspirational platform, but she’s got many more talents than merely collecting pretty pictures on the internet. Julie is an interactive designer at Flemish newspaper De Standaard and runs her own label JW, for which she creates logos, visual identities and business cards and designs and codes websites. She lives in Antwerp with her boyfriend Thomas and on the weekend she loves to stroll over the market at the Theaterplein, to indulge in wafels van ons bomma (“Those waffles with frangipane are truly amazing!”) and bring home eucalyptus branches or a bouquet of flowers.

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INSIGHTS_ Sofie Vertongen

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Lately, everyone in our little country of Belgium has been falling for the epiphyte, and there’s only one person to blame. A few months ago, Sofie Vertongen started Phyt. a webshop for air plants, and it has been taking Belgium by storm.   After having seen a few pictures of Sofie’s beautiful apartment on instagram, I asked her if she wanted to share some thoughts on her home and let me photograph it. As it turns out, her interior was even more impressive in real life than what I had seen on instagram so far. No surprise, if you know that Sofie studied to be an interior designer.

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INSIGHTS_ Reinaart Vandersloten

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Reinaart Vandersloten and I met during our architecture studies, but we only started talking when we were both at Interieur Kortrijk. At the time, I was an intern with Baroness O., while he was there to present his Space+ design, a multifunctional wall object that I was really impressed with. His beautiful design already implied that Reinaart had good taste, but I was still surprised when I first entered his apartment, which was filled with beautiful vintage design and interesting details. “Everthing you see has a story or a meaning.” Reinaart said, “It doesn’t exactly come together easily, as I’ll never just go to Ikea to buy a few lamps, but it’s a work in progress.” It might be a work in progress, but I just had to ask him to share his home in the Insights series.

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INSIGHTS_ Paulien Herbots

insights_ paulien by hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles

For this first edition of insights (besides the one covering my own bedroom), I’m offering you a peek into my dear friend Paulien Herbots’ home in Antwerp.  Whenever I set foot in her apartment, I feel just a tiny bit jealous, and I know I’m not the only one.  She managed to find herself an affordable apartment with lots of light and space, in a quiet street in the city center and with a green view.  Paulien has a knack for interior design and turned this apartment into a lovely home.  But that’s not the only reason why we love to visit her: she always treats her guests to the most delicious food and drinks.  This girl might be working as an architect, her real passion is food.  She not only loves to cook herself, but she also enjoys watching cooking shows, strolling through food markets, going out for coffee or treating herself to a delicious egg breakfast.

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INSIGHTS_ my bedroom

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When I moved about a year and a half ago, I promised I’d show some photos of my new bedroom soon.   Somehow I never managed to do so, until I was contacted by Ikea Family Live magazine to share some pictures of my house in one of their online issues.  As I share my home with 3 other people, I’ve limited the photos to only my bedroom, but this is my favorite place in the house anyway. 

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IMPRESSIONS OF HOME

via au pays des merveilles

It’s been 5 months since I moved into my new place in Antwerp, and I still love waking up to these views every morning.  The sunlight filtering through the curtains, the waterdrops on the window lighting up as if they were gold, the shadowplay on the walls.  Here’s another sneak peek of where I live, before I take you on a proper tour.

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IMPRESSIONS OF HOME

via au pays des merveillescover of a magazine to celebrate the anniversaries of the Sint-Lukas schools of fine art, flyer for Doclisboa (documentary film festival in Lisbon) and a flyer for an exhibition by Kristof Luyckx and Tim Enthoven at the Alley gallery in Hasselt

After spending 5 months in Lisbon, I came back to the same room in Leuven.  Almost every wall in this room used to be covered with photo frames, postcards, posters and everything else that reminded me of beautiful memories.  Since I’m only living here for a few more months, I didn’t feel like spending hours putting everything back up (and taking all of it back down afterwards…), but the empty version of what had been my home for the past years, only reminded me of how much I missed Lisbon.  So I moved some furniture around and put up some different stuff, making it feel like I was living in a new place.  And it worked!

via au pays des merveilles

scratch world map I got for my birthday from friends (available at Urban Outfitters)  and a deer head from Tiger bought in Lisbon
photos of the ocean and the Tejo above my bed (I promise I will do a post about those later!)

via au pays des merveillespineapple postcard for the exhibition New York is an Island by Lucas Knipscher

via au pays des merveillesorigami bird I got from a guitar playing stranger I met at miradouro da Santa Catarina in Lisbon (a viewpoint seen before here and here)

via au pays des merveillesthrifted saucer, pretty rock from Morocco found by a friend, cd’s from bonobo, portico quartet, james blake, balthazar and the black keys (all new since I got back, oops, but I recommend all of them), graphic novel ‘Binnenskamers’ by Tim Enthoven (birthday gift from my sister), ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be‘ by Paul Arden (recommended!)

via au pays des merveillesDIY lamp, reminding me of our amazing Existenz week

photos by me

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(t)huiswerk: Jan de Muynck

For the second edition of (t)huiswerk (where we portray an architect’s own home), we visited Jan de Muynck.  You can read the article here on page 19, but I’ll give you a short explanation about the concept of his house.  Three of the facades are more or less closed, only the facade facing the neighbouring house is entirely open.  This radical decision has it’s influence on the inside of the house of course, which I hope you can see in the photos.

 

 

 

 

Hallway on the topfloor, on the left side you see the children’s rooms, which are extremely small and get their daylight  through a sky light.  The hallway is very wide and functions as an extension of the children’s rooms, they play in the hallway and find privacy in their small rooms.

 

 

all pictures taken by me

MY ROOM

So… finally the promised pictures of my redecorated room!  I’ll give a bit of explanation of what I did first.  In my room, I have one wall that’s completely filled with yellow closets (you can see it at the next picture).  My parents painted them this color when we moved here 15 years ago, so you can understand I was really sick of the color by now.  But, it would be too much work to repaint all of them, expecially since I only spend 2 days a week here, and I don’t know how long I still will be living here.  So, I decided to embrace the yellow by getting rid of the color chaos in my room and making yellow the accent color.  I painted one wall grey and kept everything else white.

My sheets and the black cushion are Ikea.  The white bear was a christmas present when I was 3 or 4 I think. (It was bigger than me back then!)  I got rid of all my other teddybears, but I just couldn’t leave this one.

 

My workspace.  Very empty since I haven’t been here for 3 weeks and I mostly work in Leuven!  The grey lamp used to be red, I’ve had it since I was six, so the color wasn’t what it used to be.  I used some left over spraypaint from my models to make it dark grey.  The desk is ikea, I bought it for my room in Leuven, but then I had to move out and I couldn’t use it anymore in my new room, so I put it here.

My parents had the chair on the right for more than 20 years I think, but somehow it ended up on the attic.  I rescued it and added some cushions (otherwise it’s far from comfy!). 

On the left you see my jewelry box, a gift from my aunt when I was twelve I think.  The little piano was a gift from my grandmother, it’s a vintage toy and she bought it for me because I play the piano.  You can actually play it!  The globe was a gift from my parents when I was little, it doubles as a lamp which is nice.

Books and magazines on my nightstand.  On the left you see Lula magazine, a birthday gift from my best friends, Influence by the Olsen sisters, and a photography book called ‘Kind Regards’ which I got from a friend.  On the right you see ‘AIT’.  It’s a german architectural magazine , I’m not really a fan (my german skills are rather limited) but I got it for free at Interieur 2010, and I adore the cover.  Underneath is an architectural book called ‘Minimalism: architecute interior design’ which I got from my parents for christmas.  I’ve had the lamp on the right since I was a baby, but it used to be pink.  Thanks to spraypaint it now matches the rest of my room!

This shelve is the only really new element in my room.  You see pictures of my best friends, a picture of my piano, a polaroid print by Lieve Blancquaert on the right, and on the left a picture of Flodder, my grandparents’ dog.

All cushions are Ikea, except for the yellow one, I don’t know where I got that one.  This is still a bit of an empty corner, but I don’t know yet what I want to do with it.  We’ll see!

My magnetic board: postcards from friends, memories from great parties, Danny Roberts’ Girls in Glasses, Erlend from the Whitest Boy Alive and the Miss Dior Chérie ad.  The little glass butterflies were found in Austria many years ago.

I hoped you liked this little tour and that it was worth the wait  since I promised these pictures september 2009, oops!