Tuesday, 14 January 2014

interior design + landscaping: a 17th century estate

Today I am taking you to my former adopted country, Belgium, and sharing with you a historic 17th-century estate in the countryside of the northwest part, featured in the August 2011 issue of Architectural Digest. The interior designer is the Belgian Axel Vervoordt (not new to the readers of this blog), who also handled the construction of two adjacent outbuildings. The beautiful landscaping was the work of the Belgian firm Wirtz International.

There aren't many interior photos in the feature but in the first one we have the living room and its beautiful antique oak flooring and antique Louis XIII armchairs. The club chairs, slipcovered sofa and cocktail table are a Vervoordt design.

Above you see the main entry that leads to a spacious hall that also has antique oak flooring and double stairs. Below you see a Flemish-style barn that has an earthen floor and an open fireplace. Not featured in this post is an underground gallery where one can admire the works of artists Richard Serra, Kazuo Shiraga, and Saburo Murakami.

Remember this Japanese room that I shared in my first Space post this year? It showed a slightly different angle and the room was painted darker. I told you then that it was an Axel Vervoordt design but I didn't tell you that it was part of a Belgian house. I wanted to wait with that until sharing the house tour.

The space is called a minka. It has a shallow pool and a dining area where the owners enjoy simple meals after baths and massages. The minka was transported from Japan and reconstructed on-site.

The minka has sliding doors that open to the garden

The beautiful library with its wood flooring and 18th-century English seating

The exterior of the main house. In front there are roses and boxwood

Linden trees provide shade when the owners entertain outdoors

To the left and below: an old dovecote with a studded door that served as an observation post during the Dutch Revolt
The pool and the thatched pool pavilion, with the minka (the Japanese space) seen to the right

A tranquil space in the garden where Chinese wisteria climbs the arbor

Wisteria grows over and through the pergola

The orchard's yew topiary and alleys of apple and pear trees

There is a narrow moat northwest of the main house, with a footbridge framed by hornbeam trees

photo credit:
Jean-Pierre Gabriel for Architectural Digest, August 2011


  1. I fell for the library and the outdoors are a bliss.

  2. The Belgian landscape is to die for!!!! Love this post!

    1. Tell me about it! It made me a little Belgium-homesick ... just a little.

  3. Wow, stunning landscape. Love the minka looking out to that lush garden. Our gardens are not too lush at the moment in all this heat!


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