Dear readers, not sure if it’s just the timing that is closer to Christmas, or simply a coincident, there are so many beautiful books released recently, and chief among them, is the new book by one of my beloved Belgian Interior Designer, Antiquarian and Collector, Mr. Axel Vervoordt, titled ‘Portraits of Interiors’, published by Flammarion, which I was exhilarated to have a first-hand preview of the new book, during one of their exhibition opening reception at Axel Vervoordt Gallery Hong Kong about weeks ago.
An English oak Arts and Crafts folding table (c. 1920) and a nineteenth-century Swedish poplar and pine chair with traces of original paint in a sunroom/study area. “The home has period pieces,” says Boris, “and we also wanted to make interesting combinations that represent purity and authenticity.” © Laziz Hamani- Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019
An open floor plan blends the living room, dining room, and kitchen with a central fireplace. A Belgian slate bench provides storage for wood. Axel’s Artempo cupboard combines a split plank of old wood with a black burnt wooden panel in between. “It’s the beauty of imperfection. Connecting old and new like a river.” © Laziz Hamani- Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019
Just released in October 2019 with photography by Ms. Laziz Hamani and text by Mr. Michael James Gardner, this new book offers another visual pleasure and tranquility through the new projects by the Designer himself, with the quintessential Axel Vervoordt aesthetic that not only soothes one’s mind by taking one away from the hustling and chaotic reality, but also as a gentle inspiration of reshuffling around an interior space with the artistic and tasteful eyes, to ignite one’s sense of awareness; it’s a beautiful coffee table book that symbolizes the unity of style, harmony and art.
The tones of the living room express light and materiality. Natural, pale walls are made with lime and insulated with hemp. Sofa with linen in various shades of white and Axel’s beechwood coffee table with colored oak drawers were made in the company’s workshop. Korean porcelain vase (c. 1900). “It’s about quietness; expressing monochromes like a still life.” © Laziz Hamani- Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019
Featuring seventeen recently-designed residences, which many of them were previously unseen, from an urban New York Penthouse or Moscow apartment to a waterfront estate in New England, and from Tokyo dwelling to a Mediterranean villa or a Wabi-Sabi barn in Flanders (also, the Designer’s own homes in Venice and Belgium too!), each interior projects are mesmerizing and utterly inspirational, the sumptuously taken photographs which brings out the beauty and precision about the Designer’s taste and attention to details, have a closer look with the materials used, and the artful way to place each piece of well-chosen object and art pieces, which expresses the message about the significance of well-being, the balance of work and living, and the passion of l’art de vivre.
The festive dining room is a grand space for entertaining both large and small groups. The wooden dining table in the foreground is made in the company’s workshop. Although the Venetian glass chandelier looks made for the space, Axel brought it from Belgium. On the table in the background are antique silver plates, an eighteenth-century French metal and glass centerpiece, and tulips from the castle’s garden; they grew from historic bulbs cultivated by Ronald van der Hilst. © Laziz Hamani- Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019
This dining room view includes a sublime still life by Clara Peeters, a Flemish and Dutch Golden Age painter from Antwerp. The furniture concepts integrate simplicity, honesty, and sober period pieces. The pale green and indigo blue tones come from natural pigments. To evoke warmth, depth, and texture, the color schemes were created in collaboration with Eddy Dankers, a specialist in artisanal pigments, paints, and painting techniques. © Laziz Hamani- Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019
When I flipped over pages of the new book, something that evokes me is the warmth that offers through these new residential projects, along with the fascinating mix of antique and art, it seems that this particular copy is relatively suitable for a festive present given the warm palette from the cover to the photos inside, it’s a cozy visual touch to one’s mind when looking at these calming, effortless-looking (but of course in reality it takes a lots of work to complete) and tastefully decorated interior spaces.
After have a sneak peak in here, do share with me which residence project(s) inspires you the most.
Axel’s composition of beloved objects (left to right): a stone found during a walk in Utrecht, Holland; an Indian lingam fertility stone; a vase by Japanese potter Shiro Tsujimura; a smiling eighth-century Dvaravati head from Thailand; a found object from the Montauk coast; a terracotta sculpture by Dominique Stroobant. © Laziz Hamani- Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019
“The pool house was built as a tea pavilion in the eighteenth century,” Axel says. “I love the purity of its architectural proportions. We placed a blue sofa here to enjoy the day’s last moments of sun. The pool is hidden behind a large green hedge. Each time you walk there it’s like a discovery.” © Laziz Hamani- Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019
Image courtesy of Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Kanaal.
© Axel Vervoordt: Portraits of Interiors, Flammarion, 2019. Images © Laziz Hamani