Reader Rehab: An Art Nouveau Apartment in Antwerp by

Issue 65 · Belgium and Beyond · September 18, 2012

Reader Rehab: An Art Nouveau Apartment in Antwerp

Issue 65 · Belgium and Beyond · September 18, 2012

When graphic designer (and Remodelista reader) Davy Dooms purchased an 850-square-foot apartment located in an Art Nouveau house in Antwerp, his goal was to create a blank canvas. “In all my work projects, I start by defining a working color palette,” he says. “I did the same thing in the decorating and furnishing of my own apartment."

Dooms took his color cues from a favorite exhibition poster; using a palette of "white, black, brown, gray, and orange; this is the color combination that makes it all seem whole,” he says. The rooms have a spacious feel, due to the high ceilings; Dooms' main intervention was to update the bedroom suite: He replaced the bathtub with a walk-in shower, installed a new sink, and painted the walls white to match the rest of the apartment. With his new blank canvas, he began layering in the only way he knows how.

Photography by Niko Caignie.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: Dooms' styling inspiration is a mix of Scandinavian and American midcentury. The low shelving to the right is integral to the kitchen island.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: A poster from Danish midcentury designer Poul Kjaerholm's retrospective in 2006 was the starting point for Dooms' color palette for the apartment.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: The kitchen cabinets and island, designed by architect Sofie De Clercq, were a minimalist insertion into the Art Nouveau shell and were installed by the previous owner. (For another look at a minimalist kitchen insertion into a 19th century building, see Minimalist Moves in a Chelsea Townhouse.)

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: The wood in the midcentury tableware brings color into the otherwise black and white dining room.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: Dooms' color palette—white, black, brown, gray, and orange—comes together in the living room.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: In the dining room, Dooms' interventions were minimal. He rebuffed the existing floor and changed the window treatment.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: In the bedroom suite, Dooms installed a wood floor to match the existing ones in the dining room and living room.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: An Eames chair anchors a corner in the bedroom.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: A view from the bedroom to the living room.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: Dooms replaced the original sink and installed a new sink mirror and black countertop.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: The new walk-in shower replaced a bathtub; Dooms built a cabinet around the boiler.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above L: The bedroom unit was originally painted green. Above R: A view into the bathroom reveals a corner of the bathtub which Dooms removed.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above L: The original sink. Above R. The location of the bathtub, which Dooms replaced with a walk-in shower.

Remodelista-Reader-Rehab-Davy-Dooms-Antwerp-Scandinavian-Mid-Century

Above: The sole reminder of the apartment's green past: a cactus.

The legacy of midcentury design remains stronger than ever. See 725 images of Midcentury Furniture in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.



Contributions
Have an opinion? Care to comment? We'd love to hear what you have to say.