Design Notes Archive

Belgian Minimalism

Belgian Minimalism

Summer is a time when simplicity beckons. Crisp white sheets draped casually on the bed, natural linen curtains billowing in the breeze, baskets and earthenware for dining alfresco. It’s all about getting a little R&R and there’s something about the Belgian aesthetic that perfectly captures the mood. It’s minimalist without being cold, refreshing rather than austere, and materials take precedence. Pale wooden floorboards are sanded and oiled for a natural finish. Muted color palettes emphasize texture over pattern. Handmade ceramics, hand-woven textiles, things that are tactile, you get the idea.

And thankfully, so does architectural duo Daphné Daskal and Stéphane Laperre. Based in Belgium (in Kortrijk and Brussels respectively), they have their fingers on the pulse of simplistic luxury and we love them for it!  In their bathrooms, it’s all about the tub – usually carved of solid carrara marble and floating center stage in a sparsely decorated room. And with a connection to renowned architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen (Laperre used to work for him), it’s no wonder.

Van Duysen's influence is immediately apparent in their work and that’s a good thing - he's one of Belgium’s most visionary designers. Having set up his studio in Antwerp in 1990, Van Duysen has spent the last 20 years honing his eye and mastering the art of cozy minimalism. Best of all, he’s finally released a book, Vincent Van Duysen: The Complete Works.  Featuring over 30 projects, all photographed by the extraordinary Alberto Piovano, it’s inspiration central.  So snatch up a copy, pour yourself a glass of rosé, and relax! 

Photographs © Jan Verlinde, Ditte Isager

PS - for more Belgian eye-candy, we are loving the blog Belg’Chic