nature guides design in an...

East Flanders Apartment

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elegance has a serene and enveloping effect in this inner-city apartment in Oudenaarde, East Flanders. Known as Residence SVP, the property is owned by a couple who relocated here from the Belgian countryside. The two-year refurbishment, during which two flats were merged into one to form a large 250sqm area, was masterminded by Ghent-based firm Ville Design, helmed by Thais Niville, who has masterfully rewritten the codes of urban living to the tune of rural mindfulness. By broadening the architectural perspectives and opening the space to more natural light, she has created the perfect environment for a soft streamlined look that combines immaculate style with restorative and holistic energy, bringing a slice of the countryside to metropolitan living.






visual harmony are three words that best describe Ville Design’s approach to this build. The practice stuck to a strict formula, combining impeccably made products with a very selective portfolio of materials including oak hardwood floors, sleek Danish tapware by Vola and marble-like natural stone on kitchen and bathroom floors, all of which pursue a language of sleek simplicity.






proof of this smooth ‘optical flow’ is demonstrated by the firm’s extensive use of tadelakt, a watertight lime plaster originating from Morocco that is mixed with black soap for a delicately patterned and glossy patina. Traditionally, it is used in fountains, cisterns and hammams; in this case it was applied to walls, floors and cabinetry throughout the apartment bringing warmth and character to its interiors.




comes together thanks to a meeting of minds: all the furniture was selected by Angelique Segaert who runs a top Belgian design agency, and who also happens to be the client. Working closely with Ville Design on her new home, Segaert seamlessly combines icons of design with edgy contemporary pieces, as evidenced by her immaculate collection of mid-century chairs by Pierre Jeanneret and a contemporary rendition of Finn Juhl’s Pelican chair first imagined in 1940 and noted for its curved beak-like sides.










toned sculptural pieces and abstract artworks in rich inky tones add to the cocooning ambience in the living room of this private residence. Of particular note is plush L-shaped Standard Sofa by Tuscan company Edra, world famous for its sink-in ‘smart cushioning’, as well as a signature Line dining table by Belgian interior designer Nathalie Deboel coated with waxed concrete to compliment the tadelakt. On the walls, you’ll spot a graphic print by disruptive digital art collective Leroy Brothers, as well as a round canvas by Belgian multidisciplinary artist Nathalie Vanheule who is famous for her highly pigmented color studies that incorporate unusual materials, including make-up and ash. A subtle reminder, perhaps, that simplicity really is the ultimate sophistication.




Design: Ville Design

Photography: Thomas De Bruyne of Cafeine



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