Located in a small leafy neighbourhood on the outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium, this home belonging to fashion designers Aline Walther and Keith Hioco – the brains behind denim labels Eat Dust and Girls of Dust – is anything but suburban.
The couple are certainly not the sort to conform to trends. Their mix of vintage furniture, artworks, intricate fabrics, ceramics, travel memorabilia and plants makes this house, which Aline describes as ‘a concrete box’, feel deeply personal.
‘It was built in the 1960s, with a shop on the ground floor and an apartment upstairs,’ explains Aline. ‘When we first saw it, there was a lot of work that needed to be done, but we immediately saw its potential.’
She and Keith didn’t jump straight into a renovation, deciding to take a more gradual approach instead. ‘We rented the property for a couple of years, so we had time to clean it up and get a nice fresh coat of white paint on the walls,’ she says. ‘Then, after we bought it, we went deeper. We thought it was time to give it a modernist twist.’
The couple transformed the old shop space downstairs into a creative hub and studio, but it is in the apartment’s main living areas where the most radical changes have been made. A huge custom-designed wooden unit covers one entire wall of this open-plan space, providing storage for Keith’s vast vinyl collection and framing the entrances to the kitchen and hallway. It’s an innovative spatial intervention that looks totally contemporary alongside classic furniture by Marcel Breuer and Paolo Piva.
Inspiration for the scheme, say the creative duo, comes mainly from two places: Scandinavia and Japan. ‘We made the kitchen very Japanese in feel, with a minimal, white, almost spaceship-like vibe,’ says Aline, ‘while the bedroom has a warm Scandinavian look.’
Exposed wood is everywhere, but the other constant is an affinity with mid-century design. ‘There are so many vintage furniture stores in Antwerp and every time we visit, we find a new treasure from the 1940s, 50s or 60s,’ says Aline.
‘As we are both designers, we love to mix the influences in our house,’ she adds. ‘Actually, it’s exactly the same process we follow when working on our brands’ collections: form and function meet playfulness.’ eatdustclothing.com
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