May 31, 2024

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Look inside a cozy ’90s home with room for imperfections

Look inside a cozy ’90s home with room for imperfections

Interior designer Géraldine Van Heuverswyn brought warmth and home comfort to a utilitarian home in the 1990s through practice. She did this using a lot of wood and a mix of self-designed furniture. With some wrinkles here and there. “That little bit of imperfection makes it fun.”

The 90s have been around for a while. We see it in clothing store collections and hear it in music revivals. But appreciation for the new architecture of the time? It could still be called a bit tepid. The constructive elements, use of industrial materials such as steel and glass, and emphasis on transparency and light are not for everyone. The judgment is often too cold.

Interior Geraldine van Hoversoen
Thanks to low kitchen cabinets, the space appears larger. In the foreground is a side table by André Verroken and an FK 87 Grasshopper by Preben Fabricius & Jørgen Kastholm for Lange Production. © Jan Verlinde

Not for Geraldine van Hooverswoyen and her husband, star chef Benoit Dewitt. Their final assessment falls into the coup category. We had no plans to move at all. Our previous house was really nice and very well located. Only five minutes from the restaurant (Benoit Dewitt’s restaurant of the same name, which her husband runs with his brother Bernard, editor.)“, says Geraldine van Hoeverswoyen.

We didn’t even ask for each other’s opinions after the home visit, it was so obvious. The purchase was completed on the same day.

Interior designer With a taste for refined and timeless interiors, in addition to her projects, she also runs two gallery shops. One in Knokke and the other in Crozem. But we couldn’t get past this. We didn’t even ask for each other’s opinions after the visit, it was so obvious. We made an offer and it was completed the same day. And also: “Our children are at boarding school. When we called them to tell us the news, they thought it was a bad joke.”

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Interior Geraldine van HoversoenInterior Geraldine van Hoversoen
The planters on the roof terrace made way for concrete benches, a butterfly chair and benches, including a bench from Atelier Serruys. © Jan Verlinde

That feeling faded as the teens and their parents visited the open space on the ground floor, once the practices of a landscape architect and radiologist, and the spacious house above. “More than the light, it may have been what reached the surface that caused the click,” she continues. “It’s hard to capture that feeling in pictures.” As an expert by experience, she led me up the black metal stairs. Upstairs, the living room appears in all its glory. With its brick roof, views of the green treetops around the rooftop terrace, and the wind that makes the curtains flutter a little. It’s a textbook example of how space captures the imagination.

Interior Geraldine van HoversoenInterior Geraldine van Hoversoen
An external staircase connects the roof terrace to the courtyard. The outdoor sofa is a composition from Unopiu. © Jan Verlinde

Controlled stimuli

Geraldine knew immediately what kind of furniture she wanted here. Like a Maarten Van Severen-style metal dining table that I combined with two series of antique chairs. On the right she sits in a Pierre Chapo chair, and on the left in chairs inspired by George Nakashima.

Interior Geraldine van HoversoenInterior Geraldine van Hoversoen
Around the metal dining table are wooden chairs designed by Pierre Chapeau. In the background is a C wire cabinet designed by Muller Van Severen. © Jan Verlinde

Among the so-called group Fishing chairs Of German origin and a wire cabinet from Muller Van Severen, she installed a classic sofa. Ha All time Favorite, according to Geraldine. “I love a sofa with a skirt like that.” It all falls a little crooked and wrinkled, just like the curtains I hung everywhere on steel wire. This little indifference, this lack? They actually make it fun.

Everything down to the smallest detail, I can’t handle that well. Hence the wrinkles in textiles and ivory on furniture.

It is also reflected in her projects. “I’ve known for a few years that I have ADHD. Everything down to the last detail and tight, I can’t handle that well,” she explains. “I need a little chaos, five percent apathy. Hence the wrinkles in the textiles, the ivory on the furniture, and the cupboard whose contents you can see through the steel wires. They are all stimulants, but in a controlled way. Otherwise I’ll get a little bored.

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Interior Geraldine van HoversoenInterior Geraldine van Hoverswijn
This chair – Geraldine’s first vintage purchase – was given a special place in the couple’s bedroom. © Jan Verlinde

Geraldine did not make any structural interventions. The bathroom was equipped with a luxury hotel sink, support columns were covered here and there, and the wall at eye level behind which the kitchen was located was demolished. Instead, she created a spacious, open kitchen with an island, which now serves as a buffet, now that Benoit no longer works on weekends. The living space is connected to the bedrooms and bathrooms via a small entrance hall. “This was already in place when we bought the house,” she explains. “It’s not really noticeable, but it’s a huge added value in the home.” It ensures that even though we’re spread across the entire floor, we still stay connected.’

Interior Geraldine van HoversoenInterior Geraldine van Hoversoen
When guests stay, the mirrors disappear behind the linen curtains and the daybed becomes a guest bed. © Jan Verlinde

Teenagers in the gallery

Downstairs, Geraldine explains how the ground floor has different functions. The space can be completely closed off from the family home and can be rented out in principle. Currently it mainly serves as a kind of kangaroo home scale down Reception room. Teens love to hang out around the ping pong table or in the fitness room, where a guest bed and PlayStation corner are also set up. A dream for many teenagers. But Geraldine and her husband also receive their friends or professional contacts there.

Interior ground floor Geraldine van HoverswijnInterior ground floor by Geraldine van Hoverswijn
The ground floor serves as a reception and relaxation area for both the parents and their two teenage children. © Jan Verlinde

All week, Benoit and I were very interested in people. “So we like to keep our real home upstairs private.” It’s also a showcase for her skills as an interior decorator and furniture designer. There’s a beautiful, eye-catching sofa next to Hadge’s coffee table, its cushions completely enveloping you, its back acting as a low bar.

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Interior Geraldine van HoversoenInterior Geraldine van Hoversoen
The metal coffee table is by Hadge, and the sofa is by Géraldine Van Heuverswyn. © Jan Verlinde

It’s not the only piece of her hand. With a bit of modesty – she finds selling herself a challenge – she also points out the gym’s daybed, the wall and floor lamps, or the sofa she designed, all made by local artisans. minimum She named her group. “I love wood and natural stone. Again for the imperfections, that’s the patina. Don’t ask me to paint anything, it’s so perfect,” she laughs. “You see, the Five Percenters follow me everywhere.”

Interior Geraldine van HoversoenInterior Geraldine van Hoversoen
The table is custom made and the chairs are Nakashima style. The lamps on the floor come from the Geraldine Collection. © Jan Verlinde