Why not look closer to home for your next holiday?
Homes for Nomads: Interiors of the Well-Traveled, published by Lannoo, zeroes in on 19 travel enthusiasts in Belgium whose interiors are an ‘adventurous road trip marked by exotic objects and personal souvenirs’.
Photographer Jan Verlinde brings these vivid and vibrant spaces to life through his camera, while author Thijs Demeulemeester outlines the expeditions and experiences that informed each design.
The introduction to the book says of the properties featured: ‘Their homes tell stories about the trip of a lifetime.
‘If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s this: why spend weeks scouring websites for fun holiday destinations when you can just as easily find inspiration at home? Be an indoor nomad. Make your home your favourite travel destination.’
Scroll down for a glimpse inside some of the beautiful spaces that appear in the tome…
Pictured is the Brussels home of Derek Van Heurck, the creative director of the fashion label Bellerose. Demeulemeester describes him as a ‘contemporary nomad’, adding that he turned a 1925 Art Deco residence into a ‘sexy apartment with a 1970s vibe’. The author adds: ‘This moody flat feels like a hotel room, where he comes and goes as he pleases.’ Van Heurck covered the building’s parquet flooring with ‘black wall-to-wall carpet’ and painted the walls a ‘deep dark green’. Describing his lounge, which is pictured above, the author says: ‘His living room looks like a hotel lobby with Camaleonda sofas placed back-to-back: one for watching TV and one for entertaining friends.’ As for where he sources his furnishings, Van Heurk tells Demeulemeester: ‘I like Scandinavian vintage the least, because it’s fairly refined and sophisticated. I would much rather have bolder pieces from America and Brazil’
At this penthouse in Ghent, Belgium, you’ll see what Demeulemeester describes as a ‘festive lasagne of textures, colours and prints’. Interior designer Jean-Philippe Demeyer curated the space for a young globetrotting couple ‘who enjoy exciting interiors’. The book reveals that the home is ‘a flamboyant ode to chutzpah, playfulness and imagination’
LEFT: Another image of the striking Jean-Philippe Demeyer-designed Penthouse in Ghent. Demeulemeester says of the property: ‘The burnt wood ceiling and terracotta floor tiles are the only constants in this amusement park of ideas. Tiger-print carpet and mirrored doors in the hallway, cork in the bathroom, reclaimed ceramic tiles in the kitchen, an orange pantry, an “Arcadia” tapestry in the lounge: there’s a surprise around every corner.’ RIGHT: Pictured is architect Bart Len’s holiday home, a renovated farmhouse in Nieuwpoort. Demeulemeester reveals that the decor adheres to a ‘nautical theme featuring fish and boats’, which was ‘tons of fun’ to execute in the renovation. The author reveals: ‘From a coffee table that takes inspiration from a fish skeleton and a two-metre-long stuffed shark to a decanter shaped like a fish head: Bart Lens is not averse to a dose of flea-market kitsch in his country home. Even the custom details in his house follow the theme.’ The author adds that the wooden fixtures in the home, which are finished with boat varnish, conjure up the ‘atmosphere of a luxurious cabin’. Demeulemeester notes: ‘The house itself has a less light-hearted history, however: a lady who once lived here was just a baby when both her parents were killed in a bombing during WWI’
Demeulemeester proclaims this sophisticated property is ‘a dash of Palm Springs in Belgium’. It belongs to the architect Dirk Engelen, who co-founded B-architects and B-bis architects. The author reveals that Engelen, a lover of travel, ‘always plans his trips around architectural highlights’. Engelen was ‘surprised and delighted’ to discover this elevated circular house in the Belgian town of Herentals. It was designed by Jackie Cuylen, ‘a local and relatively unknown architect’. The book explains that he furnished the ‘James Bond-style home with contemporary artworks and vintage design’. Engelen tells Demeulemeester: ‘I sometimes have the bizarre feeling that this house has been waiting for me’
Behold, decorator Geoffroy Van Hulle’s studio flat in Maldegem, Belgium. Demeulemeester says that Van Hulle ‘crafts interiors for intuitive houses that invite you to go on a mental journey’, with his inspiration coming ‘from the four corners of the world’. The book explains: ‘His home brings you to a winter salon conceived as a Moroccan tent, a Jean Michel Frank-inspired dining room, an apartment in Yves Saint Laurent style, a 1970s winter garden and a Chinese dining room with murals by Pablo Piatti’
Another artful room in Van Hulle’s home. ‘I love it when every room has a different atmosphere. You have to be able to travel in your own home,’ he tells the author. The book notes: ‘Purely by intuition, he composes his interiors as landscapes where colours, textures, volumes and objects are in balance’
‘Brussels-born Christophe Remy is a jack-of-all-trades – something his eclectic flat clearly reflects.’ So writes Demeulemeester of the owner of this stylish home in Brussels. Remy originally studied film, the author reveals, but went on to work with the interior decorator Thierry Thenaers. ‘During that time, he learned to compose interiors in the tradition of the grand decorateurs,’ the author explains. Demeulemeester writes that Remy’s apartment, which dates back to 1928, ‘is a joyride through the history of applied arts in the 20th century’, blending ‘Art Deco with Scandinavian vintage’. He notes that the original terrazzo floor in the building gave Remy ‘free rein to go wild with prints and patterns of all kinds’ in the space, adding: ‘Formal or playful, classic or modern: why choose when you can throw it all together in one big “melting spot”?’
LEFT: The wonderful Bruges home – formerly an 18th-century physician’s residence – of Frederiek Van Pamel, who is a floral artist, interior designer, and landscape architect. Demeulemeester describes the property as ‘a unique universe somewhere between a palazzo, a Johannes Vermeer and Paul Smith’. The author writes that Van Pamel is a ‘collector of well-worn art objects’. ‘Like nomads, they travel around in his tasteful home slash B&B,’ he writes. The stunning property is furnished with the likes of Italian breche marble, Moroccan textiles, Indonesian doors, African statues, and French antiques. The book says: ‘The palette of materials is a world tour in and of itself.’ RIGHT: According to Demeulemeester, ‘the house where Aline Walther and Keith Hioco live [in Antwerp] tells a story of distant travels, vintage finds and a rock and roll life’. Pictured is the couple’s living room, which is set inside a converted 1960s newsagent and barbershop. ‘We stripped away the ugly renovations until we got down to the brutalist shell,’ Walther, who runs the denim labels Eat Dust and Girls of Dust with Hioco, tells the author. The book reveals: ‘Over time, vintage furniture, flea-market finds, plants and souvenirs from their many travels found a way into their home.’ The book notes the property is ‘still in transformation’, with Walter adding: ‘Our interior was collected over the years rather than bought all at once. The house pretty much tells the story of our lives’
This colourful bedroom in Antwerp, Belgium, belongs to Paulette Van Hacht, who runs the interior shop ‘Paulette in ‘t Stad’. Demeulemeester reveals: ‘After a trip around the world, Paulette opened the bohemian deco shop in Antwerp filled with exotic “coup de coeurs” [blows to the heart] and sexy vintage styles.’ This vibrant design edge is reflected in her penthouse apartment, which Demeulemeester says ‘is a colouring book filled with glorious treasures’. The author adds: ‘With a hallway in oxblood red, an olive-green ceiling, a corridor with pink stripes and a living room in Majorelle blue, she proves colours can take you on a journey without leaving your own flat.’ Van Hacht incorporates a blend of furnishings into her decor, from Indian textiles to antiques and contemporary artwork
Pictured is the statement living room that belongs to textile artist Christoph Hefti, who has filled his Brussels flat with ‘trendy flea-market finds’ and ‘his own carpet designs’. Demeulemeester writes: ‘It’s a highly personal universe that offers a dazzling reflection of his love of colours and textures.’ He notes that Hefti’s career has informed his unique approach to interior design. He describes him as a ‘fashion nomad’ who ‘has already spent half a lifetime in the international fashion world’. The book reveals: ‘He now makes contemporary carpets, hand-knotted in Nepal, with the finishing touches added by the Brussels design label Maniera. There’s something animistic about Hefti’s textile art: his colourful carpets are patchworks of fantastical creatures, myths and stories. And that is exactly how this Swiss man lives’
Homes for Nomads: Interiors of the Well-Traveled, by Thijs Demeulemeester Jan Verlinde, is published by Lannoo and is £34 (€39.99)