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THE DESIGN CHASER

Project KWIK: The Restoration of House De Belder by JOE Design Studio

2.21.2024

JOE Design Studio was founded by Antwerp-based interior architect Jody Eeckhout in 2020. Working with private clients on high-end residential projects, the studio creates bespoke spaces in collaboration with skilled craftsmen, to seamlessly blend natural materials, personalised touches and innovative design elements. For Project KWIK, this involved an extensive renovation of House De Belder, located in Kwikstaartlaan, in the Elsdonk residential villa district of Wilrijk, Antwerp. Designed by renowned architect Renaat Braem for the photographer Alfons De Belder, with whom he collaborated, this incredible home was created with a spacious photography studio and darkroom and features a striking asymmetrical roofline that gives the house a distinctive, church-like aesthetic.


Completed towards the lated 1970s, the rest of the design leaned more towards that of a bungalow, comprising a compact two-story brick volume, and a unique staggered gable on two external walls. Further architectural details include an impressive free-standing brick fireplace, a circular wall opening, and remarkable stained-glass windows designed by Braem at the client's request.

In 2021, the property was acquired by a client well-versed in the flooring industry, who enlisted JOE Design Studio to oversee a comprehensive renovation. This involved expanding the original layout, which had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, to accommodate five bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as incorporating the addition of a swimming pool. All of which needed to seamlessly integrate modern updates while preserving the home's distinctive '70s aesthetic. Alongside the client installing as much of his own parquet flooring as possible, the studio replaced old flooring in the entrance hall with natural stone. The bright white brick was then softened with a chalk clay finish.


Herringbone parquet has been installed in the formal living area, while original details including stucco walls, wooden ceilings, fireplace and the elliptical stained glass window, have been retained. The woven rug is custom-made, and the sofa and coffee table are by the Japanese furniture manufacturer Karimoku Case.



The dining area features a beautiful round, bespoke table which echoes the stone of the raised terrace and wenge veneer of the interior doors. The kitchen underwent a complete custom redesign, with an expansion of the space and the introduction of luxurious new finishes crafted from stainless steel and natural stone. This homage to the prevalent material aesthetic of the 1970s extends beyond the kitchen space, manifesting in elements such as the pendant lighting above the dining area, as well as in the meticulously selected tapware, switches, and various accessories throughout the home.



The large studio space on the first floor has been converted into an informal living room with original ceilings, plastered walls with the circular opening to the staircase, and a stunning mix of furniture, old and new. These include vintage armchairs and coffee table by Tobia Scarpa, and rich velvet sofas by German brand COR. A hand-tufted rug grounds the space.




Natural stone carries through to the bathroom, and the new master bedroom features a bed custom designed in the same veneer as the doors. The skylight and original staircases, including a spiral one, have been preserved, with new landings providing access to the children’s rooms and bathrooms.








Standing as a reflection of meticulous restoration and thoughtful redesign to accommodate a family, Project KWIK harmoniously merges a timeless materiality with character, modern comfort and functionality.


Image credits

Photography: Piet-Albert Goethals


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The House in Drammen by Ask og Eng

2.13.2024

The Ask og Eng House in Drammen, Norway, is a testament to timeless design and meticulous craftsmanship. Dating back to 1868, this historic residence has undergone an extensive renovation led by Ask og Eng founders Kine Ask Sternersen and Kristoffer Eng whose clear mission was to preserve as much of the house’s original heritage while updating the layout to become a living showroom where they can share stories of their evolving brand. The result? A beautifully inviting home to inspire, imbued with history and warmth.



From the outset, sustainability and longevity were at the forefront of Kine and Kristoffer’s vision—the same ethos behind their architecture and design studio Ask og Eng. Specialising in the creation of interiors, kitchens and furniture all handmade in bamboo at their workshop in Norway, their journey began modestly, with the creation of their first kitchen in a humble garage. Little did they know this endeavor would evolve into a commitment to crafting sustainable, enduring interiors for a wide range of projects, some of which have been featured on TDC previously. 




Muted colors and natural materials feature throughout the home’s interior, with bamboo taking centre stage, creating a serene and calming feel. It's a place where every detail has been carefully considered, from the bespoke furniture to the handcrafted stoneware cups and saucers that grace the kitchen shelves. 


One of my favourite areas is the multifunctional office-dining room, a space that seamlessly transitions from work to play. When they are not in Mallorca, where they are currently residing with their children, Kine and Kristoffer gather for client meetings, design sessions, and intimate dinners with friends and family. Anchoring the room are the striking A9 bench and A10 dining table, beautifully crafted in Ask og Eng's Drammen workshop. 





In addition to branching out from kitchens to include furniture collections, Ask og Eng have created the Object Collection, a curated selection of handmade treasures from around the globe. Each piece tells a story, reflecting the unique vision and values of the brand. From the rustic charm of the Pebble Wall Vase by ceramic artist Viki Weiland to the timeless elegance of the Teotihuacán-inspired wall lamps by NYC-based L'Aviva, every item showcases unique artistry. 




Beyond its role as a showroom, the house embodies the essence of Ask og Eng's ethos in a real, lived experience. It's a place where design and craftsmanship converge, where inspiration flows freely, and where every corner tells a story. It is not just a place to browse, here you can also seek guidance on your kitchen planning and interior design, or just stop by to be inspired.







Open Houses are held on the first Saturday of every month, and you can even book a stay at the house, to fully experience the beautiful world of Ask og Eng.  




Interested in exploring more from? Take a look at these beautiful projects by the Norwegian brand:
Tranquility in Ibiza
Masion Jackie in Antwerp
New Build in Norway

Images courtesy of Ask og Eng

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Vipp Introduces the V3 Kitchen in Aluminium

1.13.2024

Following a hectic end to the year with back-to-back shoots, the soft launch of our new furniture brand (more on that soon) and a spell of illness, I've returned from holiday feeling refreshed and excited for the year ahead. Officially back at work next week, I'm stopping by before things ramp up again to share some news from one of my favourite Danish brands, Vipp.

Launched this week, V3 is a uniquely crafted kitchen that pays homage to the brand's 85-year tradition of metalwork, while providing a fresh take on the original V1 all-metal Vipp kitchen introduced in 2011. Sharing the same overall principles of V1, V3 deviates from the industrial look of black powder-coated steel and ventures in a new direction with its light aluminium-first appearance.



Inspired by the material’s use in Vipp’s Chimney House, and Shelter guesthouses, the elegant aluminium siding and rounded edges offer a unique aesthetic, while the underlying design language and stainless-steel countertop draw clear lines to the brand's heritage.




Featuring freestanding modules available in island, wall and tall options, resting effortlessly on four legs, the kitchen cabinets come with discreetly integrated handles, while fridge and freezer cabinets feature long handles with rounded, rubber inner edges that can manage the weight and pressure of the heavier, air-sealed doors. The kitchen is completed with a 4-millimetre stainless-steel countertop that gracefully floats above the cabinets, allowing for either gas hobs or induction integration. A beautifully considered design, Vipp engineers have again blended the everyday functionality of a kitchen with the minimalist aesthetic of Vipp furniture.

“I think we have managed to create a unique kitchen that feels like a sculptural piece on its own.” — Kasper Egelund, CEO, and 3rd generation Vipp-owner.




Learn more about the new V3 kitchen at Vipp.com

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Place Iena: A Parisian Art Collector's Apartment by Atelier MKD

10.30.2023

Nestled in the heart of Paris's 16th arrondissement, on Place Iena, Atelier MKD has recently completed a spacious 300m2 apartment for a contemporary art collector. A true aesthete, the owner's vision was to create a refined space with clean, straight lines that would provide ample room for the display of their art collection.




In an effort to accentuate the art collection, Atelier MKD founder Marika Dru opted for an architectural design characterised by its understated, refined style, featuring materials in contrasting grey tones. This monochromatic approach harmoniously complements the apartment's Parisian decor.

Favouring contrasting materials such as marble and wood, Marika Dru enriches simple materials through graphic and modern ornament. A desire for stylistic coherence means that she is sometimes guided by a single striking object when considering the layout of an interior. With Place Iena, Michel Boyer's stainless steel X stool led her to use a selection of striking pieces in metal.






The project at its core focuses on modularity, emphasising flexibility in spatial arrangement, volumes and lighting, transforming the apartment into a gallery-like space tailored to the art collector's unique needs.





Photography by Thomas De Bruyne

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