Melanie Ireland, who was born and raised in the English countryside, now calls Antwerp her home. She began designing for the Belgian clothing company Anvers in the late eighties, and in 1997, motivated by her own pregnancy, launched the children's clothing line Simple Kids, the company she still runs today.
Ireland lives in the center of Antwerp with her two daughters, now in their teens, in a home designed by Vincent Van Duysen (we admit it; he's one of our favorites). The house had been in the same family for over a century, which meant that many of the original features were intact. For the renovations, Van Duysen pared back the building to its simplest form, with a mix of purity and minimalism, letting the original architectural details take center stage
Photos by Karel Balas via Milk Magazine.
Above: An original marble fireplace with gild framed mirror is the focus of the otherwise pared-down dining room.
Above: Floor-to-ceiling windows in the lofty dining room with a simply designed wood dining table surrounded by Wegner chairs.
Above: A black and white kitchen with marble counter and backsplash with an ingenious glass panel that runs the width of the wall concealing a fan.
Above: Doors removed from an arched entry opened up the living space.
Above: Stacks of magazines create a wall of white in the marble fireplace.
Above: The original staircase with wrought iron balusters.
Above: The stained wood floors were sanded and left natural.
Above: For a seamless look, the interior including all the original wooden molding was painted white.
Above; A wood paneled bedroom with built in wardrobe. A clever pull out wooden bench serves as a bedside table.
Above: The back and white color scheme of the kitchen is echoed in the bathroom with this cast iron Claw Foot Tub.
Like a black and white interior? See our post on Expert Advice: Living in Black and White. Want to own a bit of Vincent Van Duysen design? Check out his pieces for When Objects Work.
See more Van Duysen Kitchens.