what I'm doing, what I'm seeing, what I'm thinking

29/07/2011

Andrew's Brussels apartment

We recently spent another brilliant weekend in Brussels (such an overlooked city - why does everyone only go to Paris??) which was made even more exciting because our friend Andrew had moved to a new apartment in the Ixelles area which I was dying to see. It turned out he'd decanted all his wonderful antique furniture, objets and art collection to the new place and instantly re-created his special look of quirky luxe.

Everyone should have a tray of glittering cut glass decanters for their whisky, brandy and port! Though I don't know anyone else who does. So 'comme il faut' and classy - especially when flanked by flowers and paintings - like a set from a 1940s movie.



There were some shots of Andrew's last apartment in a previous post about Brussels - and also some pictures of his zany up-market pet accessory store.


The apartment is in a large purpose-built block built in the 1920s. Unlike in London, many people in Brussels (and other European cities) rent apartments rather than buying which means that they have the flexibility to move when ever the fancy takes them. It also means there are lots of fantastic apartments to choose from.


Always a strong animal theme wherever Andrew lives! He is animal crazy and very knowledgeable on the subject.









All the flats and houses I've visited in Brussels have massively high ceilings - which I love. The hall is very light as there are wide glass doors from the main living area - these double doors are also a Brussels feature.





This room is classic Brussels layout - i.e. interconnecting rooms often with folding glass doors between, that's the way all the 19th century houses are built and the style has been copied in these apartments.





Every surface has an exquisite still-life of various objets with wonderful juxtapositions of form, colour, texture and scale.






I lost count of the vases of flowers - all of them dramatic and in scale with the room's proportions.










I spotted this old cornet at a junk shop we visited and Andrew agreed it was a wonderful piece of 'sculpture'.



Andrew is the only person I know with real 18th century antiques - get the Versailles look!



A huge gold mirror is totally de rigeur in a space like this - framing and reflecting space and contents, colour, pattern and shape.






The lime green horse tapestry was another of my finds in the junk shop (5 Euros!). As well as fitting with Andrew's animal passion the colour picks up on spots of green elsewhere. I propped the picture against the wall just temporarily because I couldn't resist the lime green and magenta combination - YES!

The painting of the blonde girl below is by my partner Justin Mortimer (done more than 10 years ago) - Andrew is a major collector of his work and has about 11 paintings I think.
































The most important element of Andrew's decorating style is his art collection. Real paintings and sculptures make a room live and bestow a unique personality. The number one rule in my book for creating intriguing, beautiful and one-off interior spaces - fill them with art!











Andrew had his massive sofas recovered when he changed apartments - introducing the Scottish Baronial look!






There's a small balcony area off the kitchen where Andrew's created a wonderfully verdant and almost tropical garden in pots and containers.



Even his kitchen table is a repository for a carefully arranged still-life. Andrew can't resist laying out his objets wherever a flat surface presents itself. There definitely isn't much chopping space in his kitchen!







Showing the crazily shaped lobbies- I mean why have square when you can have diagonal and triangular? Far more interesting manipulation of space.


The entrance - fantastic mosaic floors and double glass doors everywhere. Andrew will soon be on the hunt for a quirky old house in the Ardennes mountains and I'm very much looking forward to seeing that decorating project. See a few images of Andrew's previous Brussels apartment and his pet accessory shop - City Barn.

P.S. I'm off to France for my annual August trip - hurrah - so back in September with lots of snaps I imagine. However I've got what I hope is an interesting post lined up for while I'm away so watch this space.

2 comments:

  1. What fun!!!! And what an interesting friend you have in Bruxelles, I love your quote "fill them with Art", you should have one of my Sculptures in your London pad!! We have been through Brussels on the way to other places a couple of times but never stayed, did you see Jonathan Meades guide on tv.. all those nutty museums!!!

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  2. Thank you Kathy , I love the Horse tapestry , having it framed in a white box frame . I find your blog very inspiring !! Always have such a great time when you visit !!!

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