I am constantly searching for new inspiration here at LGI whether through magazines, interior design books or online on Pinterest or Instagram. An essential source of inspiration for me personally is global design trends and looking outside of what we see in the stores in the UK. We have some incredible UK designers who have changed the face of interiors such as Sims Hilditch and Kit Kemp but look a little further and our industry has also been shaped by global influences. European styles hold a lot of importance in the trends we see flooding the industry today.
Today I wanted to talk to you about Belgian Interiors. You might not immediately be able to picture what this looks like, but this laid back style has most likely crept into your home or the home of someone you know. The thing I love about this style is its effortlessness and laid back approach to home interiors. It nods towards minimalism and simplicity but in no way creates a space that is cold or lifeless.
So what characteristics can we expect to see in Belgian homes? The focus is very much on a neutral colour palette complimented by raw unfinished woods, linens and natural textures. Due to the neutral tones, the emphasis falls on texture to provide depth and warmth to the room.
Spaces feel uncluttered and simple with the emphasis on minimal furniture. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, designs still feel rich and luxurious and most importantly lived in. I think that is the real fascination with this style. On paper you might assume that the focus on simplicity would create a empty, cold space but actually it is quite the opposite. Belgian style homes are beautiful and full of elegance and warmth.
The atmosphere generated is likely in some part to be due to the importance of natural light. The picture below shows how this Belgian Manor is flooded with light, creating shadows and highlights throughout the hallway. The use of light in conjunction with warm tones and natural materials ensures for a warm and homely space (if you want to learn more about why lighting your home correctly is so important check out this interview with lighting designer Toria).
One of the most famous features of this style is the linen slip cover (removable sofa cover). Linen alone is one of the most indicative materials used in Belgian designs. Linen fabrics are a great option for throws, cushions, sofa coverings and curtains as the fabric doesn’t look heavy and will soften the room.
Belgian design can sometimes be closely compared to shabby chic, yet it remains to be slightly more polished and refined with rustic elements whilst all the while maintaining a modern, luxurious feel.
We couldn’t possibly write this blog post without talking about Axel Vervoordt. As a pioneer in Belgian design taking influence from his own Belgian castle, Axel has worked with the likes of Robert De Niro, Kanye West and Calvin Klein. You must take a look at his beautiful website and also this great piece in Vogue which helped inspire and inform this blog post.
An excellent example of Axel Vervoordt’s work is in this Belgian Manor featured in Architectural Digest. He was asked by the client to create a home that could be lived in and not just for show. This really sums up what Belgian Design stands for and Vervoordt’s inclusion of more natural light, exposed beams, and wooden floor transformed this house into an authentic and welcoming home. I think the pictures speak for themselves…
We’ve rounded up a small selection of furniture and accessories to help you get the Belgian look in your home. I’ve had the sofa on my radar for a while now!
2. Sofa by Cassandra Ellis
3. Lighting available through Lauren Gilberthorpe Interiors, please contact us for more information
4. Beautiful table linen from Also Home
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s blog post and that it has given you a little insight into Belgian interiors and how this European style has influenced the interior design industry. I would love to know which elements of this style you like best and if your home is inspired by any global trends?