11 Dec Style Guides: Belgian Modern
When looking at interior design styles, it can sometimes be difficult to trace an origin; a style like French Country has been around, ostensibly, since centuries ago, updated over time, and a Bohemian style is by its nature untraceable and eclectic. Not so with the Belgian Modern style; it was largely pioneered by Axel Vervoordt in the 70s and 80s, while drawing from Flemish and Dutch styles from the 17th century. Belgian Modern is an incredible style, both luxurious and simplistic, spacious without feeling empty.
This style is incredibly natural looking; as a result, natural light is an absolute must. Large windows that can let the light in add a lot to Belgian decor; barring this, opting to use lighting that seems more natural (avoid bright white fluorescents) can help establish the style.
All of that natural light is needed because of the Belgian colour palette; warm neutrals are the name of the game, here. Natural woods and stones are the hallmark of this style; wood should be left almost completely untreated, and the creams, beiges and warm greys of these natural materials should be left to shine through. That’s why natural light is so important; sunlight brings out the yellows and reds in the materials, making the rooms seem cheery and welcoming without the need for bright colored paints.
Oversized furniture is another key element of Belgian design; large furniture makes the room seem full and inviting without making it look cluttered. You walk into a room, sun shining through the windows, and you see a large, cream colored couch around a beautiful oak table – there’s no question, you’re going to sit down and enjoy great hospitality.
Natural elements are another key to this style; that’s no surprise, given the natural wood, stone and light we’ve already incorporated. Greenery and flowers are absolutely essential to this style, because they add a bright accent without overwhelming the overall aesthetic; homes also seem more welcoming when there’s life growing within them.
This style is all about comfort and simplicity; it manages to be elegant and cozy at the same time. Patina on wooden and metal surfaces is one of the way the style manages to balance the two. Patina is the change you’ll see on a surface after years of wear and polishing; it makes an object look well used while also adding depth to its overall look, exactly what we’re trying to accomplish – well-worn, but subtly complex. While some items have patina added intentionally, in a process known as distressing, the best way of filling out your Belgian style home is by adding actual antique pieces.
When you’re looking for countertops in a Belgian style, there’s a variety of options that might work for you. Butcher block style wood countertops certainly suit the aesthetic well, though they can be a bit of a fuss to care for. If you’re looking for a more hassle-free countertop, Cambria quartz countertops come in a variety of styles; opt for a countertop that looks like hewn stone without too much patterning. Something in a warm grey, leaning almost to cream is going to do perfectly.