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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COLLECTION_ blush

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While I’m a monochrome girl at heart, I’ve always had a soft spot for, well, soft pink.  That’s why today’s collection is wrapped in blush tones, displaying several ways to see life through rose-colored glasses…

  1.  Pink Stairs print by Annaleena Leino Karlsson.  Buy it here.
  2.  Pastel pink instax mini, currently on sale here.
  3.  Matching pink camera bag, available here.
  4.  Kitchen in the atelier of Belgian sculptor Thomas Lerooy, designed by OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen and photographed by Frederik Vercruysse.  See more images here.
  5.  Outtake from Leigh Merrill’s photo series This Place.  Find more photos here.
  6.  Blush colered Le Creuset, get it here.  (photo source)
  7.  Powder pink suede Vans.  Get them here.
  8.  Photo titled “Parallel systems” by Jan Vranovský, taken in Aoyama, Tokyo.  Discover more of his work here.
  9.  Pink, terrazzo and a mirror in Anne Van Assche‘s kitchen, designed by Atelier Dialect.  See more here.

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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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FRAGMENTS_ Le Point du Jour

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During our road trip through France, Lies and I indulged both in breathtaking nature and stunning architecture, and today I’m concluding my report of our trip with the latter.  Le Point du Jour is a housing project designed by Fernand Pouillon between 1957 and 1963 in Boulogne-Billancourt, a Parisian suburb.  The twenty five buildings house no less than 260 apartments, facilities and shops and yet the site never feels dense, on the contrary!  The materials, the lines of the buildings, the greenery and the colors form a perfect composition that never bores the eye.  A must-see if you’re visiting Paris and prefer magnificent architecture over tourist traps, but then again, who doesn’t?

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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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FRAGMENTS_ Les grands ensembles de paris

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Inspired by Laurent Kronental’s photo series Souvenir d’un Futur, Lies and I decided to see those Grands Ensembles in Paris for ourselves during last summer’s road trip through France.  These enormous housing projects were built between the 1970s and 1980s and were meant to be a solution to the housing crisis, urban migration and the inflow of foreign immigrants, while also meet modern needs.  The resulting buildings must have looked pretty futuristic back then, but nowadays they feel rather like the captivating movie decor of a Modernist utopian city.   We visited three of these Grands Ensembles in the outskirts of Paris during our trip (one of which I didn’t photograph because it felt inappropriate, but you might have already seen Bofill’s Les espaces d’Abraxas in the hunger games movies anyway) and today I’m sharing two, the circular Les Arénes de Picasso in Noisy-Le Grand, designed by Manuel Núñez Yanowsky and the Le Viaduc (1980) and Les Arcades du Lac (1975) in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, designed by Ricardo Bofill and dressed in rosy hues.  If you want to see more of our roadtrip, have a look here on the blog or here on instagram, and keep an eye out for my last post about our vacation if you’re enjoying these posts filled with stunning architecture!

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WORK_ Model House by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

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Last week I visited Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s exhibition “Sections” at Valerie Traan, where I came across Model House, a piece they initially made for the Atelier à Habiter exhibition at Z33 in 2013, and models of their installations Labyrinth and Reading between the lines.  I realized I never shared the photos I took of Model House on the blog, so I wanted to do so now and at the same time encourage you to go see Sections for yourself at Valerie Traan.    If you’d like to know more about Model House, which depicts a typical Flemish “fermette” that’s in the process of being demolished from the bottom up, you should have a look at Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s artist talk here.  (Only in Dutch though.) 

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COLLECTION_ gifts

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With the holidays coming up, I’m sure many of you are still stressing about what gifts to buy.  I’ve collected some of my favorite gifts, all available to order online so you won’t even have to run out the door to get them!  How’s that for relieving your holiday stress!  Once you’ve ordered these beauties, all there’s left to do is wrap them with a pretty paper… Lucky for you, I’ve got some inspiration for that here as well.  Now, get into the holiday mood with these christmas themed blogpost from my archive and go enjoy the holidays!

  1. “Micro-factories: move aside mr. Ford” by John and Masa Kleinhample from Klein agency talks about creative companies that combine traditional crafts with digital communication.  Get it here.
  2.  Rivet necklace in silver by anna + nina, buy it here.
  3.  Scented candle in spiced pumpkin by pommesfrites.  Order it here.
  4.  Handmade macrame wall hanging by Bermudadream, find it here.
  5.  The limited edition “Box of wonders” containing the “Wonders are collectible” book by Animaux Spéciaux’ Jeroen Lemaitre (who you might remember from this blogpost) and an original artwork by the man himself.  Purchase the giftbox here or the book here.
  6.  Kikkerland whiskey glasses and chaise longue whiskey stones to keep your drink cool without the watering disadvantages of normal ice cubes.  Get the glasses here and the stones here.
  7.  Soap hanger from Meraki in bamboo charcoal, sesame scrub or mangosteen, available here.
  8.  Cordon coffee roasts its coffee right here in Antwerp and delivers it at your or your loved one’s doorstep, while supporting my friends’ film project Echangeur at the same time.  Sounds like a win-win!  Get your caffeine fix here.
  9. “Wonderplants” shares the interiors of 20 plant lovers.  Find it here.

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WHERE TO GO IN HASSELT

city guide hasselt - via au pays des merveilles

As some of you might know, I didn’t always live in Antwerp (or Lisbon,  or Leuven…), but I grew up in a small town in the east of Belgium.  The nearest “big city” was Hasselt, which back then consisted mostly out of high street stores.  At the age of 16, we didn’t expect much more from our shopping trips, but times change.  And so did Hasselt!  Every time I return I’m surprised by all the new shops and bars, so I figured it was about time I shared my favorite places in this incredibly cosy city.  As usual, you’ll find a map at the bottom of this city guide for Hasselt, where you’ll find even more tips from very reliable sources, and this post will be updated as I discover new places.

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FRAGMENTS_ the french west coast

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Our road trip from last summer brought us to the french west coast after we visited the impressive villa cavrois.  We barely made any plans for this trip (we literally decided one day ahead that we’d drive through France), but Etretat was on the top of our list right from the start. With its stunning cliffs (including several natural arches) it is a however one of the most popular destinations at the french west coast for tourists.  We had no desire to spend our night among the crowd, so we headed to a camping that still had a spot for our tent in the nearby village of Yport.  Boy, was that a good choice!  The campsite (and thus our tent) turned out to have a breathtaking view over Yport and its beach.  We spent our days here reading, indulging in crêpes and baguettes and exploring the beach and the typical French village, before we headed to Paris.  However, that’s for another post.  For now, I hope you enjoy these photos of our stay.  More photos of our trip can be found here on the blog or here on instagram.  Are you inspired yet to take a trip to the french west coast yourself?

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