INSIGHTS_ Line & Ben

When a mutual friend introduced me to Line, she said “If you’re looking for interiors to blog about, you should definitely have a look at hers!” A quick glance at Line’s Instagram profile proved she was right: every corner of Line and her boyfriend Ben’s apartment is styled to perfection. What else did you expect when a visual merchandiser and a product designer move in together? I invited myself over for a photoshoot, a talk and a healthy dose of “couple’s interior therapy”, as Ben described it at one point during our talk.

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INSIGHTS_ Jana Rymen

insights_ jana rymen of studio kroes

After regularly seeing her work pop up on social media here and there, Jana Rymen’s sense of style and eye for detail sparked my curiosity for her own interior.  When she launched her own studio, I figured it was the perfect time for a chat about her home and work.  “An aesthete who tries to see the beauty in everything”, that’s how she describes herself on her website.  That’s the least you can say about this girl who combines art direction, interior styling, table dressing and food styling under the name of Studio Kroes.  Where she got the inspiration for her studio’s name, isn’t too hard to figure out once you meet the curly haired Jana in person.  Yes, it’s all about the hair.

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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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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

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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_ 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

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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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