EXPLORED_ Giraffe 2 in Leuven

giraffe records via au pays des merveilles-6

Giraffe 2 is the bigger and younger sister of Giraffe Records and Clothing, which has been the place to be for streetwear, spraycans, lomography and of course records for many years.  Two years ago, owner Bram Wijgerde opened their second and bigger store on Leuven’s main shopping street.  Here the women’s collections get a little bit more attention, but you can also find men’s clothing, sneakers and all kinds of accessories.  It’s the place to be in Leuven if you’re tired of high street chains and looking to be dressed from head to toe in something new from brands such as Vans, Komono, Kling and Herschel.

Giraffe 2, Bondgenotenlaan 128, 3000 Leuven - facebook
Giraffe Records and Clothing, Diestsestraat 215, 3000 Leuven - facebook

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EXPLORED_ Mok in Leuven

mok by hannelore veelaert for au pays des merveilles

In the two and a half years since micro-roastery Mok opened its doors in Leuven, they surely have left their mark on the city’s coffee culture.  They started out as a roastery with an espresso machine to offer their customers a taste of their product.  Since then, owner Jens Crabbé had to move the roastery to a bigger venue.  At the original location you can now find a shop and a coffee bar, where you can try all the different varieties.  (Or you can enjoy their product in the many places that have the delicious Mok coffee on their menu, like Bar Stan.)

Mok is located close to the railway station of Leuven (although you can argue that everything is close to the station in this tiny city), which makes it the ideal spot to start or end a visit to Leuven with.  Their terrace, looking over the more quiet part of one of Leuven’s main shopping streets, is perfect for a sunny afternoon of people watching, or you can head inside for a cozy coffee break in their welcoming interior.  Or, give Mok a go for after work drinks, because these busy bees recently launched their very own Mok Ale!

UPDATE: Mok’s interior has been completely redone by none other than Wøti, whose home you’ve seen here.  Have a look at Mok’s instagram to catch a peek and make sure to visit Mok Brussels, designed by Wøti, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh and Nono & het Staal, who have all been featured on the blog before.  Au pays des merveilles approved!

Mok Micro-Roastery, Diestsestraat 175, 3000 Leuven - website - facebook
 - instagram

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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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EXPLORED_ De Werf in Leuven

de werf via au pays des merveilles-11

If you’ve ever lived or studied in Leuven, you’re bound to know De Werf.  This babbel en knabbelcafé  (“babble and nibble café”)  is every student’s favorite.  With its quirky interior, filled with construction tools (referring to their name, which translates as “the construction site”) and retro knick-knacks, combined with the huge terrace where everybody gets their own blanket, it’s hard not to love this place.  On top of that, their menu and the presentation of the dishes matches perfectly with the quirkiness of the interior.  The food at De Werf is served in lunch boxes, plastic children’s cups or paper bags and their coffee comes in a giant thermos flask, perfect to share with friends.  If you ask for freshly squeezed orange juice, you get oranges, a glass and your very own juicer: do it yourself at it’s finest!  De Werf offers the choice between “tomato soup with meat balls” and “meat balls with tomato soup”, depending on which ingredient you like the most.    Also recommended are their their delicious desserts and their tasty herb bread with feta cheese, my personal favorite.  It’s nearly impossible to leave this place unhappy, so if you’re in Leuven and in need of a little pick-me-up, you know where to go!

De Werf, Hogeschoolplein 5, 3000 Leuven  - website - facebook

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COLLECTION_ DIY

collection_ diy via au pays des merveilles

  1. DIY bedside table lamp by Emma-Jane Harbour and her husband Dylan, for Elle.
  2. Gilded marble hexagon serving boards by Sugar & Cloth.
  3. Do-it-yourself tassel garland by Chapter Friday.
  4. DIY vintage tennis racket mirrors by apartment therapy.
  5. Hand sewn clutch by Baroness O.
  6. Hanging rope shelves by a pair and a spare.
  7. Handmade mini macramé plant hangers by free people.
  8. Faux marble drawer knobs by a merry mishap.
  9. DIY hanging table by the merry thought.

View my pinterest board on diy’s here.

INSIGHTS_ my bedroom

hannelore veelaert for ikea family live-7

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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COLD MORNING

cold mornings via au pays des merveillesphotos by me

This is what I wake up to when it’s cold but sunny outside…  My new home is slowly looking more and more like a home (you already got a sneak peek at the bottom of this post), I promise I’ll give a little tour when it’s somewhat finished!  (Who am I kidding, an interior is never finished, right?)

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PRETTY THINGS: DIY

pretty things diy via au pays des merveilles

It’s been 2 months since I moved into my new home in Antwerp, but I haven’t gotten over my decorating slash DIY obsession just yet. As you can see, my current favorites can be found in the world of concrete, plaster and metal.

  1.  Copper pipe wall sconce, I already know the perfect place for this one in my room so I might give this a shot soon! (source)
  2.  Porcelain hands from etsy seller Hruskaa, unfortunately sold out (although they have similar ones here) but I think a similar result is achievable with some concrete or plaster and rubber gloves.
  3.  Easy DIY for a fancy kitchen towel rack.  (source)
  4.  Copper and plaster candle holder. (source)
  5. A much simpler candle holder, also in copper.  (source)
  6. Super cheap but super pretty stool.  I think I’m going to try this one!  (source)
  7. More copper with this pretty bud vase. (source)
  8.  Bulletin board made out of chicken wire.  (source)

diy paper globe via au pays des merveillesphoto by me

If you follow me on facebook, you already know that I’ve been a bit creative myself!  Find the tutorial for this paper globe here.

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PRETTY THINGS: DIY

diy via au pays des merveilles

As most of you know, I recently moved to Antwerp.  Obviously, a new place equals a new interior but unfortunately I’m still on a student budget.  Luckily, DIY’ing  is a lot of fun and a lot better for my wallet!  I’ve already started by making my first piece of furniture from scratch thanks to the workshop Libre Objet (expect a full photo report soon!) and my handmade Existenz lamp is still looking pretty after three years and one move.  But my room is far from finished yet (the piles of books on the floor can testify) so I can’t wait to create more pieces myself!  (If you’re looking for more inspiration, go to my pinterest or my previous blogposts.)

  1. Concrete ‘plastic cups’ for candles, reminding me of these.  (source)
  2. Wooden crate lights. (source)
  3. A merry mishap always has the best DIY’s, like this concrete diamond.  (source)
  4. Clock made from a tray. (source)
  5. Shelf – I’m so gonna make something like this. (source)
  6. Geometric paper lamp (source)
  7. Tin can pencil holders. (source)
  8. Clipboard inspiration wall. (source)

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