A Harmonious Blend of Elegance and Functionality
Belgian interior design has gained international recognition for its unique blend of natural elegance, subdued materiality, functionality and it’s attention to detail. Rooted in a rich cultural heritage, Belgium has a long-standing tradition of craftsmanship and design excellence. From the majestic historical architecture of Brussels to the minimalistic modern designs of Antwerp, Belgian interior design showcases a harmonious fusion of past and present in a captivating blend of elegance, functionality, and craftsmanship. Its simplicity, use of natural materials, and timeless appeal make it a style that transcends passing trends. With a rich historical and architectural heritage as its foundation, Belgian design seamlessly integrates the past with the present.
Simplicity and Minimalism
Belgian interior design embraces simplicity and minimalism as core pillars of it’s identity. It emphasizes clean lines, uncluttered spaces, and a focus on functionality that is pure and natural. The minimalist approach allows each element within a room to stand out, creating an atmosphere of understated elegance.
Belgian designers have a deep appreciation for natural materials. Wood, stone, and other natural elements are often incorporated to add warmth and texture to the interiors without overloading them with bright colours. These materials are skillfully crafted and mixed to showcase their inherent beauty and organic characteristics. This creates a [[harmony-by-contrast]] of materiality. Sleek and rough. Wood and Concrete. Plaster and Paint.
Natural Materials have the advantage of only getting better with age. This is one of the foundational elements of [[wabisabi]] but also, when interpreted in another way, of Belgian interior design. The famous antique dealer and art collector Axel Veervordt masterfully combines those two worlds in his book “Wabi Inspirations”.
Natural Materials and their beautiful ageing with accumulating patina create a timeless elegance that will remain visible for a long period of time and will not easily succumb to changing fashions of style, thus transcending passing trends. By combining classic elements with contemporary touches, a lot of the resulting projects are both sophisticated and enduring. The focus is on creating spaces that age gracefully and withstand the test of time.
Bacause of that Belgian interiors often feature a subdued, neutral colour palette, with shades of white, beige, gray, and earthy tones prevailing. This restrained use of colour allows the focus to be on textures, materials, and architectural details.
Historical and Architectural Heritage
Belgium has been a hub of artistic and cultural movements, such as the Flemish Renaissance and the Art Nouveau period. These movements have left an indelible mark on Belgian interior design and a profound influence on its modern interpretations. The [[aesthetic-sensibility]] of these periods continue to shape the design language of contemporary Belgian interiors with a meticulous attention to detail and [[craftsmanship]].
From intricate woodwork to custom-made furniture, every element is carefully crafted to ensure a high level of quality and refinement. This dedication to craftsmanship adds a sense of luxury and exclusivity to Belgian interiors.
From the ornate grandeur of medieval castles to the clean lines of Art Nouveau, Belgian designers draw inspiration from the country’s diverse architectural styles, integrating them into modern interpretations. A strong history in craftsmanship helps to ground those project in a traditional reality that avoids being an ecclectic pastiche of incoherent ideas.
It is not uncommon to find modern furniture juxtaposed with vintage or antique pieces, creating a harmonious balance between the old and the new. This juxtaposition creates a sense of depth and layers within the space.
Abundance of Natural Overcast Light
Belgium’s climate has influenced a strong emphasis on natural light. Because of the proximity to the sea and the mountainous regions in the southeast the climate brings a lot of cloudy overcast days and rain. To compensate for that key features are often large windows, skylights, and open floor plans, allowing ample daylight to flood the spaces. This creates a sense of openness and enhances the connection with the outdoors, uplifting the mood within the interiors.
Because Belgium is a small country a lot of interior projects have to work with smaller spaces demanding for different approaches in creating usable space for the inhabitants. This restraint leads to creative ideas which focus much more on combining different uses into symbiotic living and working spaces that are far greater than the sum of their parts.
Axel Vervoordt A beautiful collector of art, antiques and interior Design, his project Kanaal in Antwerp is a beautiful case study in modern Belgian interior design. https://www.axel-vervoordt.com/
Axel Vervoordt Wabi Inspirations: https://www.axel-vervoordt.com/books/wabi-inspirations
Vincent van Duysen A Belgian Architect with impeccable aesthetics and a focus on interior design. His hospitality project August Antwerp from 2019 is a prime example of modern Belgian interior design. https://vincentvanduysen.com/ https://www.august-antwerp.com/
Jun’ichiro Tanizaki In his essay “In Praise of Shadows” Jun’ichiro Tanizaki explores central themes of Japanese aesthetics, large part of which are also relevant to Belgian interior design. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34473.In_Praise_of_Shadows