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  • 08/21/15--08:30: Perfect country getaway

    If you would love to spend some time in the country side, then I found the perfect getaway for you !

    ‘FIREFLY’ is an authentic woodcutter’s cabin near Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, UK, offering a unique, rustic, self-catering experience ‘into the wild’. It is the perfect escape for those who would love to take a break in the countryside.

    The real luxury here is the organic, natural beauty of the simple life.


    The charming cabin has a warm and rustic interior.

    Who wouldn’t love to cosy up by this real open fire ?50585-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    Ideal place for travellers with a four-legged friend !50570-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    Timber-clad shack with a warm, weathered finish.50573-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    Fully equipped open-plan kitchen including Aga. 50653-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    Rough luxe self-catering.50654-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    Charming bedroom with kingsize bed dressed in crumpled French linen.50655-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    En suite bathroom with custom-built concrete bath and sink.50580-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    The rustic charm cabin with outside fire and BBQ. The natural swimming pond will be a naturalists dream, best observed by moonlight from the rocking chairs on the veranda.50576-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183

    Imagine your wintertime stay in this cabin, curling up with a book fireside, having a glass of wine, while snowflakes fall around… The perfect hideaway for a romantic getaway.


    Some of the best surf beaches in Cornwall close by.51305-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183


    Or enjoy your morning coastal walk in Cornwall.50670-highresImages © Unique Home Stays +44 (0) 1637 881183

     Already packed ??!!


    For more details and enquiries about FIREFLY cabin, please visit the Unique Home Stays website page here or call +44 (0) 1637 881183.

    Please visit UNIQUE HOME STAYS to discover your prefered getaway location.


    Enjoy the weekend !



    All images with permission of Unique Home Stays.

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  • 08/25/15--13:36: Need to inspire you

    There are still so many things I would love to blog about, I do have so many items in mind to write about, but some times I do feel the need to inspire you and to share the beautiful and inspiring interior design related images I recently came across and of which I am sure you will love them too !


    My eyes were drawn to the glow on these plates, when I came across this image ! Love to see a collection of pewter plates in a kitchen. This image reminds me of Fall season coming our way ! Good idea for a Fall decor vignette.

    7Source Pinterest


    I couldn’t get my eyes off this picture of a room designed by Juan Pablo Molyneaux. I love all of it here : paneling, decorative painted ceiling, flooring, the old painting and the flower branches lighting up this room. Awesome !

    10Source Habitually Chic


    And what about this bedroom ??  Isn’t it gorgeous ???  The decorative wall paper (Zuber, de Gournay ???), the antique bed and lovely bed linen ! Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything about the designer of this room ! If anyone of you can tell me more about this bedroom, please let me know, I would appreciate !

    3Source here


    Paneling ! Yes, I am always looking for inspiring images of paneling. Thousands of pictures in my ‘paneling file’ by now !

    I dare to bring in a black painted element in a natural wood paneled room, as Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam did here with the door and door frame.

    9Source Nicolas Haslam website


    Absolutely my style here. Love the combination of a traditional chimney and a more contemporary paneled wall. I am currently designing this kind of paneling for a client’s project. I am already curious about our client’s thoughts !!!

    5Source here


    Beautiful colors in this room at the holiday home of French fashion designer Manon Martin, that is located in Tunisia. Here is chosen for a neutral color palette with hints of green, pink, orange and brown. Love it !

    2Source here


    Just love this kitchen sink and mural shelving.

    6Source here


    One of the beautiful and traditional Belgian style decorated bedrooms at the Belgian B&B Rolleken 24. Lime painted walls and faded colors of Belgian bed linen. Notice the green painted door !

    4 Source here


    Love the placards, made of antique French doors, in a kitchen designed by French interior designer Dominique Sollier.

    1Source here


    Next time I have to design a pantry for a cabin, I definitely will opt for this idea here !

    8Source here


    I’d love to hear your thoughts about these images. Do they inspire you too ?


    For those who visit my blog for the first time, I would love to ask you to scroll down these blog pages or to jump into this blog archive, to find out more about Belgian Pearls. If you enjoy what you see and read, I would love to ask you to pop on over to the Amara Award voting page and to cast your vote for Belgian Pearls. It is very easy and won’t take much of your time! I would appreciate it.

    A sincere thank you to all of you who already casted a vote for Belgian Pearls !


    PLEASE, click on the Amara badge to vote.

    Amara Award

    Thank you so much !



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  • 09/01/15--14:01: Ready for Fall with MILIEU

    Today I snapped my husband reading MILIEU’S brand new FALL ISSUE. This was absolutely not staged!

    Who said interior design magazines are mostly read by women???!!!


    I have to admit that it is a wonderful issue! Not only the cover looks gorgeous, even inside this Fall Issue there are so many features of beautiful homes to discover.

    The cover of this brand new MILIEU’S FALL ISSUE is featuring the home of designer Darryl Carter.

    Cover Milieu Fall 2015MILIEU's Fall 2015 issue coming to newsstands mid September.


    VeniceStoryFrench art gallerist Elizabeth Royer invited MILIEU into her Venice home in a centuries-old palazzo. Eye candy here!


    DarrylStoryOne of the many pictures of Darryl Carter’s gorgeous Washington D.C. home.


    EddyStoryI am very proud to see that MILIEU featured our renowned Belgian artisan painter, Eddy Dankers. Not so long ago I wrote a blogpost about Eddy Dankers’ work here.


    Ready for fall with MILIEU MAGAZINE.

    MILIEU Fall 2015 - My Home Copy of MILIEU's Fall Issue 2015 on my coffee table !


    MilieuSubscribeWeb To subscribe to MILIEU, please click HERE




    As European contributing editor for Milieu Magazine, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this gorgeous new Fall issue !

    If you are one of my European readers and you are interested in advertising with MILIEU, I would be pleased to help you with all your inquiries.

    Please contact me at


    Enjoy this new MILIEU Fall Issue !



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  • 09/08/15--12:54: Welcoming Fall Season

    In September the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier and temperature cools considerably. The chill of winter is on the horizon. Time to bring the colors of fall into your home.

    Autumn is one of the prettiest and coziest seasons.

    10Image source unknown


    Fill your home with autumnal textures and colors.

    2Interior design by Brigitte Garnier   Image source here


    8Book ‘Living in Great Style. Sotogrande. Beautiful homes in Spain’s most exclusive coastal city.’    Image source here   Photo credit Philippe Debeerst


    Add seasonal decorating touches in every room of your house.

    1Interior design by Brigitte Garnier   Image source Brigitte Garnier


    16Image source here


    3Interior design by Brigitte Garnier   Image source Brigitte Garnier


    6Interior design by Beatrix Kleuver   Image source here


    4Interior design by Alexandra Siebelink   Image source here


    5Interior design by Alexandra Siebelink   Image source here


    13Image source here


    Set a beautiful fall table with seasonal touches plucked from nature.

    15Zara Home   Image source here


    What is more relaxing than curling up in front of a fire, coming home from a long day of work.

    9Interior design by Evelyn Moreels   Image source here



    With only a few days left to vote for Belgian Pearls in the categorie of Best European Interiors Blog of the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015, I would love to ask you to cast your vote for my blog if you do think Belgian Pearls deserves this award. Voting closes on Friday 18th September. Shortlists announced on Monday 28th September.

    I would be very grateful !

    Please, pop on over to my voting page HERE. It doesn’t take much of your time. You only have to fill in your email address.

    A huge thank you to all my readers, who already voted for Belgian Pearls!

    2015-09-08_173109Amara Interior Blog Awards - Belgian Pearls voting page



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  • 09/14/15--12:24: Traditional dining rooms

    Do you love traditional style dining rooms?

    Well then, here are some of my favorites.


    2Dining room of Hotel Verhaegen, a uniquely well preserved 18th century hotel and private mansion, located in the city center of Ghent - Belgium. This dinging room is decorated by Marc Vergauwe & Johan Rosseel of Neoo Selon Neo   Image source here


    8Dining room decorated by Belgian designer Pieter Porters.   Image source Pinterest


    4The image of this gorgeous dining room I found on the Instagram page of Fox & Chatto. Unfortunately I haven’t found yet who the designer might be.


    10Dining room at the Château du Champ de Bataille, a 17th century estate in Normandy, owned and decorated by French designer Jacques Garcia.   Image source here


    14Dining room in a private Belgian castle, decorated by me for Lefèvre Interiors.   Photo credit Koen Snauwaert


    9Dining room decorated by one of my favorite UK designers John Stefanidis.   Image source here


    11Dining room at the private residence of Belgian antiques dealer Brigitte Garnier.   Image source here


    13Dining room decorated by me for Lefèvre Interiors.   Photo credit Montse Garriga


    1Dining room decorated by Zara Home.


    16Charming dining room, designed by Dublin based interior designer Miriam Peters of Minnie Peters Interiors.   Image source here


    5Beautiful paneled dining room, featured in The World of Interiors– October 2011 issue   Photo credit Tim Beddow


    6A fabulous dining room of another of my favorite UK designers, Nicky Haslam. I love the idea of having dinner, surrounded by books.   Image source here


    15Who wouldn’t love to be invited to this gogeous table at the Chateau du Grand-Lucé of Timothy Corrigan, one of my TOP 10 favorite American designers !   Image source here


    3Image source unknown


    7Venetian inspired dining room in a Las Vegas home, decorated by Michael and Alexandra Misczynski of Atelier AM   Image source here   Photo credit Pieter Estersohn


    12Perfectly classic, terra cotta painted, dining room in a Tuscan home, decorated by one of America’s preeminent interior decorators, the late Mark Hampton.   Image source here   Photo credit Michael Mundy


    Are you ready for dinner ?



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    Castello di Thiene is located in the heart of Thiene, a city in the province of Vicenza, in northern Italy, located approximately 75 kilometres west of Venice and 200 kilometres east of Milan.

    This enchanting gothic style building dates back to the XV century. It was built as a private residence for the Porto family and combines all the characteristics of a Venetian palazzo with a medieval castle.

    Although the castle counts several beautiful spaces, today I would love to talk about the castle’s stables, the most distinctive area and worth seeing space in the monumental complex.

    The stables of the Castello di Thiene were designed by Italian architect Francesco Muttoni (1669 - 1747) and are a perfect example of the early 18th century equestrian architecture. The stables are housed in a structure that was erected next to the villa, during the 18th century.

    The Porto family, one of the richest in the province, had a passion for all things equestrian and built these stables to house the horses to be trained. They were built to impress potential horse buyers.


    Marble, stone, wood, beamed ceiling, patterned floor.

    15Image source here

    The stables are divided into quarters, with eight stalls in each section.


    Main entrance to the stables, with its rounded-arch doorway, is to see to the left of the gothic archway.

    19Image source here


    Inside, putti-topped marble columns, are framing each entrance to the stables. The sculpted putti are made of Vicenza stone by Italian Baroque sculptor Orazio Marinali. The columns are in red Asiago marble. The wrought-iron hooks on the marble columns served to hold tack and bridles.

    1Image sourceCastello di Thiene


    The indentations in the extraordinary chain patterned floor - that is made of white and pink stone - gave grip to horses and men.

    The first stable on the right has a hatch from which water was drawn at the top end of the stone duct, sloped to drain the muck into the ditch beneath.

    2Image sourceCastello di Thiene


    The beautiful carved wooden hay stalls hold rings to which horses could be tied and at the top are pegs for attaching each horse’s name.

    5Image sourceCastello di Thiene


    The opposite entrance to the stables.

    16Image source here   Photo credit Tim Beddow for The World of Interiors – issue September 2013


    The stables (together with other areas of the castle) are to hire for all your festivities. To know more about it, please click here or here.

    Georgeous festivity settings at the stables.

    17Image sourceCastello di Thiene


    14Image sourceCastello di Thiene


    Imagine a stable festivity at night! To die for!

    11Image source here


    Visiting the castle’s stables, you should absolutely go to see the horse gallery on the ‘piano nobile’ of the castle, that is housing a fascinating collection of equestrian portraits : four paintings of different breeds of horse with riders, painted in the 17th century and four paintings with horse and groom.

    13Image source here


    One of the gallery’s paintings is of a gentleman portrayed in the act of making a precise movement that shows his skill at command and the nature and firmness of his training. This painting is attributed to Francesco Balante (Thiene, c.1663-1729), pupil of Italian Baroque painter Pietro Liberi.

    4Image source here

    Photographer and writer Tim Beddow mentioned in an article he wrote about the Thiene stables, for the Magazine World of Interiors (September issue 2013) :“The stables at Thiene are a vivid reminder of the times when the noblest of creatures stood at the centre of Western culture, and their abode was the living expression of its importance.” (Article WOI)


    To see more about the Castello di Thiene and its stables, please visit the castle’s website here :

    The façade of the Castello di Thiene.Castello di ThieneImage source Castello di Thiene


    Would I have preferred to have been a horse or a groom, back in time of the 18th century Thiene stables ??

    I am wondering if my Mango’s ‘Oldenburg’ horse pedigree would have matched the impressive 18th stables’ architecture ?

    I have to find out !


    Mango Summer 2015Mango




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    I am so pleased to tell you that my blog Belgian Pearls made it to the shortlist of the Amara Interior Blog Awards, in the category of ‘Best European Interiors Blog’.

    I was thrilled and honoured to receive an email with congratulations from the Amara team, last week. It really was a surprise !  Thank you Amara !  It is an honour to receive this recognition by your prestigious brand.

    And of course, I would like to sincerely thank each of you for your support and for voting for Belgian Pearls ! Without you, I wouldn’t have had the chance to be included in the Amara Award list and wouldn’t have made it to the shortlist. I am so grateful.

    A sincere thank you to all of you my readers!


    To see the shortlisted blogs of all categories, please click here.


    Yesterday I received my personal invitation to the Amara Award Ceremony that will take place in London on Wednesday, October 28.

    InvitationMy personal invitation. I love the glamorous look of the black envelope and the gold invitation template.


    I can’t wait to meet my colleague shortlisted bloggers. I do hope they will attend the awards ceremony !


    I am pleased to introduce you to these talented bloggers :

    Gudy from Barcelona - Spain, author of the blog Eclectic Trends

    Simone from Basel - Switzerland, author of the blog Global Inspirations Design

    Alessandra from Milan - Italy, author of the blog Gucki

    Niki from Malmö - Sweden, author of the blog My Scandinavian Home


    Of course each one of us would love to be honoured with this award, but having made it to the shortlist, means that we all have won yet!


    I wish all four of them good luck !

    Amara Award Shortlisted Blogs


    To be continued…



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  • 10/10/15--09:24: Pompeian Red

    When Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were discovered in the 18th century, ‘Pompeian red’ became the favoured colour for dining rooms, even remaining today.

    It is hard to define ‘Pompeian’ red. When you google ‘Pompeian red’, you will discover a variety of reds.

    The Pompeians derived their reds from the earth, using red ochre, iron ore, hematite, madder root,…, all quite brown in its raw state. The Pompeian paint made of the mineral cinnabar, was a more brighter colour.

    According to research done in 2011, conducted by Italy's National Institute of Optics, much of the red colour that characterizes the walls of the villas of Herculaneum and Pompeii originally was in fact a yellow ochre, turned red by the gases emitted from Vesuvius as it erupted in AD 79. To read more about this research, click here.


    I love the warm atmosphere of red painted rooms, especially at this time of the year.


    Study room at Crabbenburg Castle (Ghent, Belgium), decorated by interior designer Marie-Louise van Overdijk-Reek.

    1  Photo credit Jean-Pierre Gabriel    Source AD Russia




    Ancient Roman frescoes depicting the cult of Dionysus in the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. The most famous set of red frescoes from Pompeii.
    Villa dei Misteri PompeiiSource here




    Dining room in a Tuscan home, decorated by the late Mark Hampton.

    3  Photo credit Michael Mundy   Source here




    The discovery of the house ruins in Pompeii and Herculaneum had an enormous effect on the history of taste in Britain. Gentlemen were influenced by visiting Italy on the Grand Tour, not least the architect Sir John Soane. "Pompeian red was his favourite colour", according to Tim Knox, director of Sir John Soane's Museum.

    2Pompeian red painted dining room at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.   Source here




    Nice combination of Pompeian red with the stained shelving in a Brussels’ home by architects Nicolas de Liedekerke and Daniel Culot of Volume Architecture.

    4Volume Architecture Brussels   Source here




    Warm atmosphere in an interior by Scottish stylist Rosie Brown.

    Interior by stylist and art director Rosie Brown   Source here 




      A classically styled pool house which is lined with Pompeian red walls. Bathhouse in the Cotswolds by Craig Hamilton of Craig Hamilton Architects.

    6Craig Hamilton Architects   Photo credit Paul Highnam   Source here




    ‘La stanza da letto di una donna pompeiana’, 1870 (oil on canvas)by Maldarelli Federico (1826-1893)

    Pompeian woman sitting in a bedroom

    7Photo credit Foto Scala, Firenze/Fotografica Foglia   Source here


    Wishing you all a wonderful Fall Weekend !



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  • 10/15/15--12:48: Walls ‘Undressed’

    Falling for distressed walls. ‘Undressed’ walls or walls with a look ‘déshabillé’.


    Distressed walls as backdrop for Designers Guild fabrics presentation.

    1Source Pinterest


    One of the rooms in the gorgeous French Château de Moissac.

    6Source Pinterest   Photo credit Claudio Tajoli


    The Malibu house of designer and antiques dealer Richard Shapiro.

    22Source Decor Demon


    The Malibu house bedroom decorated by Richard Shapiro.

    21Source Pinterest


    Orangerie at Axel Vervoordt’s Castle of ‘s-Gravenwezel in Belgium.

    14Photo Greet Lefèvre for Belgian Pearls


    Distressed wall at Kanaal Wijnegem - Axel Vervoordt.

    18Source Axel Vervoordt


    I wasn’t able to find the origin of this beautiful coloured, decayed wall.

    4Source Pinterest


    One of the rooms at the Axel Vervoordt-designed Rome apartment of Katia and Marielle Labècque.

    10Source Garance Doré


    Distressed wall. Project by Segreto Finishes.

    2Source Segreto Finishes


    One of my favorite images. Orangerie at the Castle of ‘s-Gravenwezel, Belgium. Axel Vervoordt

    19Source Antique Shops & Designers Magazine


    Could you live in a room with that look ‘déshabillé’ ?



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    The home owners asked me what to do to give some rooms of their house a more warm feeling. Although a lot of reclaimed materials were brought in at the building of this house, and all members of this family love hanging around in every corner of their already beautifully decorated and well-lived home, “some of the rooms do have a rather cold feeling, especially in winter”, the home owners said.

    In other words, what they tried to explain was that their ‘well-lived’ home was missing the ‘well-worn’ part.

    As walls are currently flat painted, I sugggested to give some of the rooms a new look, by using artisanal mural paintings and wall finishes, evoking a more authentic look, daring to show imperfections.

    No one is better placed than a professional and artisanal painting company as the Belgian company Dankers Decor is. A family business with a history going back for two generations. I posted earlier about Dankers Decor here.

    I asked Eddy Dankers for help in advising on the best mural techniques, in order to add the missing ‘well-worn’ part to the house.

    The owners decided to redo three rooms of their home. Today I will start to tell about the orangery, the first room that needed a redo.

    This orangery will soon have its new look.


    Current look of the orangery with its flat painted walls.

    4Photo credit Claude Smekens


    Preparing our first meeting with Eddy Dankers, I focused on mural painting techniques, collecting inspiring images and creating moodboards to discuss this project.

    But at the very first glance into the room, Eddy suggested to start with aging the exposed beam ceiling !!!!

    What ?? Really ?? Such an intensive and time absorbing job !!!

    “If you are intended to evoque that authentic and well-worn look, then you should take on that ceiling too.” , stated the master !


    Current look of the oak beamed ceiling.

    10Photo credit Claude Smekens


    Relying on the experience and expertise of Eddy Dankers, our client decided to follow his advice.

    Eddy assured us that the aged oak ceiling would look just wonderful in combination with the wall finish he had in mind.


    And they started the job !



    Halfway. What a difference yet !



    Job finished !



    The aged ceiling and the brick flooring will look so well together.

    6Photo credit Claude Smekens


    In the meantime, we were discussing about all possible mural painting techniques until we all felt happy and satisfied with the final decision.

    Here below are some inspiring images, showing gorgeous artisanal wall finishes to consider.

    34Image source here


    27Source here


    31Photo Dankers


    Dankers Decor offers a wide range of artisanal mural paintings, from lime paint to Venetian plaster, etc.


    Dankers employees at work, bringing on the mural painting technique.



    Even the white painted wooden windows, are given a black colour to match with the steel windows of the room.



    Everything is coming together…



    Finally the orangery’s oak door needed to have the same look of the aged ceiling !

    After an initial treatment the door was placed outside to dry.

    11Custom made orangery oak door, made by our company Lefèvre Interiors.


    All oak doors of the rooms to redo, have to be treated to obtain a greyed and aged look.



    This is going to be the aged look the doors will get when finished.



    This is a picture of the orangery so far (taken yesterday). I can’t wait to see the room finished and decorated and to share the final result with you.



    I am very sure that the texture of the chosen mural painting technique will refine the colour palette used in this orangery room.

    9Photo credit Claude Smekens


    In one of my next blogposts, I will tell you all about the redo of the other rooms of this house.


    If you would like us to help you with decorative paintings for your home, please feel free to contact us at We would be pleased to help you.

    If you are living in the US, and you would love to have more information about the Dankers products and painting techniques, please contact Chateau Dominque. Chateau Domingue offers all Dankers Decor paint products and will help you with all artisanal painting techniques for your home.




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  • 10/26/15--23:24: On my way to London

    Dear friends and readers, I am off to London, to the Amara Interior Blog Awards Event, taking place Wednesday evening, October 28 at the luxury Ham Yard Hotel, located in the midst of Soho, London.

    1Image source Amara Interior Blog Awards


    I might think that all shortlisted bloggers are looking forward to being seated in the Ham Yard theatre for the awards event.

    I can’t wait to meet all the shortlisted colleague bloggers !

    2Image source Amara Interior Blog Awards Instagram page


    Visiting London this week I do hope to find the time to visit 2 exhibitions currently taking place, and a museum that is on my ‘to visit’ list since years. I have already seen a few of London’s museums, but I have never visited the Sir John Soane’s museum before.


    CHANEL’s new ‘Mademoiselle Privé’ exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery.

    The exhibition explores the creativity of both Chanel's founder, Gabrielle Chanel, known as Coco, and its current creative director Karel Lagerfeld. This exhibition remembers the Chanel House's essential elements: audacity, freedom and innovation whether it is the history of Gabrielle Chanel's inspirations or Karl Lagerfeld's inimitable take on Chanel's codes, symbols and icons.

    4Image source here


    5Image source here   Picture Lauren Milligan


    The Royal Academy of Arts in London is showing a retrospective of the work of Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most influential artists.

    Ai Weiwei taking a photograph of his installation Coloured Vases, painted Han vases. Royal Academy of Arts, 2015

    6 Image source The Telegraph   Picture Dave Parry


    Straight (2008-2012), Steel reinforcing bars

    Ai Weiwei’s poignant response to the Sichuan earthquake of 2008. These are the rods of the poorly built schools which were devastated, leaving thousands of students dead. These rods (which Ai had labourers straighten by hand) make up the 90-ton floor-based sculpture.

    7Image source here


    Sir John Soane's Museum

    8Image souce Wikipedia


    Library at the Sir John Soane's Museum

    Image source Artfund




    I will update you as soon as I am back home !



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  • 10/30/15--11:36: Thank you my readers !

    Dear readers and followers, I do know you will love to hear all about the AMARA INTERIOR BLOG AWARDS event, taking place earlier this week.

    As I came back from London only a few hours ago, I needed to catch up with some urgent work, but I promise to tell you all about it in my upcoming blogpost.

    Although I did not win the award, I am so very pleased to have made it to the shortlist and I was so very honoured to be invited to this gorgeous and fabulous event !

    I really want to thank you all, for your tremendous support and vote for Belgian Pearls.

    Because of all of you I had the chance to take part at the prestigious Amara Awards competition and at this wonderful event.

    I am very grateful to all of you !

    Amara Awards

    Talk to you soon !



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  • 11/03/15--07:17: The Amara Awards Night

     A lot of you do know that Belgian Pearls was shortlisted for the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015 and that I was invited at the Amara Awards Event, that took place last Wednesday, at the spectacular Ham Yard Hotel in London.

    All shortlisted bloggers of 15 categories of interior design related blogs, judges, sponsors and the Amara Team gathered together to celebrate the best in the interior blogging industry.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Arriving at the hotel all guests were escorted down through the hotel, to the Dive Bar, where everything was prepared to perfection for a memorable evening.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


     We were greeted with champagne, cocktails and delicious canapés.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    We all had the opportunity to catch up with colleague bloggers, sponsors, judges and the Amara Team before the start of the official part of the evening, the Amara Awards Ceremony.

    23_PA280254-1024x768Image courtesy of John Nassari


    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    All along the evening, Amara Interior Blog Awards instant tweets and instagram messages from all over the world were projected on the wall.



    It was a real pleasure to meet so many people, all related to the interior design industry and to put faces to the blogs.



    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Before we knew it was time for the main event and everyone was welcomed into the Ham Yard Theatre.

    Amara’s co-founder Sam Hood introduced the awards and welcomed interior designer and judge of the ‘The Great Interior Design Challenge’ on BBC, Sophie Robinson, our compere for the ceremony.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYSophie Robinson (left) & Sam Hood    Image courtesy of John Nassari


    The Ham Yard Theatre was the perfect venue for the awards ceremony.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Palpable tension when it came for the winners to be announced !

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Applause for Anna Lysik, author of the blog Don’t Cramp My Style.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Kate Watson-Smyth, author of the blog Mad About The House, proudly showing her trophy.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Alessandra Barlassina, author of the blog Gucki, won the Amara Award in the category ‘Best European Interiors Blog’, where Belgian Pearls made it to the shortlist. Congratulations dear Alessandra !

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYAlessandra with Sophie Robinson and the representative of the sponsoring brand Missoni Home.   Image courtesy of John Nassari


    The Amara Awards 2015 Trophies

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Celebrations after the awards’ ceremony !  More champagne and dessert canapés !

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    And shortlisted bloggers complimented award winning colleague bloggers.


    Emily Quinton, author of the blog Make Light, congratulating an award winner colleague.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Gudy Herder, author of the blog Eclectic Trends, making a selfie.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    Don’t ask to whom I was talking at that moment !  I saw so many faces…and chatted with so many people !

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    All good things come to an end and before we knew it, it was time to say good bye to all these people we just met !

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYImage courtesy of John Nassari


    I am so very pleased, to have met Alessandra, the Amara Award Winner in our categorie ‘Best European Interiors Blog’. She is such a lovely person, and she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

    Please check her blog Gucki.



    Before going home, we all were handed an exclusive goody bag filled with items from the Amara Awards sponsors as Missoni Home, Mulberry Home, Anorak, Seletti, Farrow & Ball, Christian Lacroix and many many more.

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    A would like to thank the Amara Team for their dedication and hard work to bring us an unforgettable experience.

    JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHYSam Hood, creative director at Amara, and her Amara Team.   Image courtesy of John Nassari


    And a special thank you to the night’s photographer and Amara Award sponsor John Nassari for all the amazing photos he took of the event.

    John NassariPhotographer John Nassari   Image source here


    And last but not least, a huge thank you to all of you my dear readers, for your support and vote for Belgian Pearls. Because of you I had the chance to take part at this fabulous event.

    It was an amazing experience!



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  • 11/11/15--03:10: Hortense & Bernadotte

    Jacques Garcia is a French architect, interior designer and garden designer, best known for his contemporary interiors of  hotels and restaurants.

    The timeless interiors of Garcia are inspired by Napoleontic extravagance and are characterized by French elegance.

    Jacques Garcia has designed his own extensive furniture collection and I absolutely love the armchair ‘Hortense’ and lounge chair ‘Bernadotte’, produced by Italian furniture maker Interna.


    Jacques Garcia Seats by InternaArmchair ‘Hortense’ and lounge chair ‘Bernadotte’ by Jacques Garcia.   Image source Interna


    Both chairs are regularly seen in interiors of hotels and restaurants designed by Garcia.


    Selman Hotel Marrakech

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    Selman Hotel Marrakech

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    Selman Hotel Marrakech

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    Selman Hotel Marrakech

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    Hôtel Costes Paris

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    Hotel The Pearl Marrakech

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    Hôtel Costes Paris

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    Both chairs are offered in the Interna fabric range or can be ordered upholstered in your customized fabric and finish. Please visit the website of Interna here and here.

    I am planning to propose the chairs in a client’s project.

    Lefèvre Interiors 1Presentation by Lefèvre Interiors

    Lefèvre Interiors 4Presentation by Lefèvre Interiors




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  • 11/19/15--06:21: House redo part II

    Dear readers, a few weeks ago I posted about a project I started working on. In collaboration with Dankers Decor, the Belgium based artisanal painting company, we try to give a ‘well-worn’ look to some of the rooms of a client’s home.

    If you missed this post and if you might be interested in reading about the start of this project, please click HERE.

    After several weeks of intensive work, the painters have done a great job to add that missing ‘well-worn’ part to the rooms by using artisanal mural paintings and wall finishes. Not only the walls were taken on, but even the oak beamed ceilings were weathered and kitchen furniture was greyed to obtain a more authentic look.

    The orangery, the breakfast room and the kitchen are the rooms that needed a remodelling.

    However, the job is not quite done yet ! We do have to bring in all furniture and have to redecorate the rooms, which is my favorite part of the job.

    Redecoration of the rooms is planned next week, but I couldn’t resist to bring in a few decorative accessories into the kitchen already.

    1Start of the redecoration of the kitchen.   Photo by me


    One of the next days I will take more and enhanced pictures, but today I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the current situation of the rooms.

    Orangery so far. Artisanal wall finish by Dankers.OrangeryPictures by me


    Orangery before with natural oak beamed ceiling and flat painted walls.Orangery before Photo credit Montse Garriga


    Breakfast room so far. Wall finish and painted ceiling by Dankers.Breakfast roomPictures by me


    Breakfast room before with natural oak beamed ceiling and flat painted walls.Breakfast room beforePhoto credit Montse Garriga


    Kitchen redo in progress. All oak cabinetry and doors are greyed.In progress 1Pictures by me


    Kitchen walls are given a lime painted finish.In progress 2Pictures by me


    AfterAfterPictures by me


    Kitchen before with natural oak cabinetry and inner doors and flat painted walls.Kitchen beforePhoto credit Jo Pauwels


    Detail of the artisanal painting technique applied by Dankers employees.6-1Picture by me


    Kitchen hood before. Notice that the cornice is now painted too (see picture above).Detaill kitchen hoodPhoto credit Jo Pauwels


    Kitchen cabinet before.Kitchen cabinet beforePhoto credit Sophie Lloyd


    I contacted my friend Brigitte Garnier, antiques dealer and owner of Garnier Antiques, to assist me with the decoration of the rooms. Brigitte has an extremely good taste and, as no other, she knows how to decorate and how to bring in a soul in one’s house. We met at the client’s home earlier this week to discuss about the decorative items and accessories to bring in.

    Brigitte was eager to start decorating already!7Picture by me


    Cabinet shelving look, only a few moments after Brigitte put her hands on it !8Picture by me


    As the home owner was so enthusiastic, we decorated a second kitchen cabinet that day.10Picture by me


    We will continue our job next week.

    11Brigitte Garnier and I


    To read the first part of this house redo, please click here.


    To be continued…


    If you would like us to help you with your home remodelling, please feel free to contact us at We would be pleased to help you.



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  • 11/26/15--04:11: House redo part III

    Dear readers, those among you who have read my previous blogpost, do know that since a few weeks I am working on the redo of a client’s home. As all paint work is finished, last week I started redecorating. If you missed my earlier blogposts about this home redo, please click here and here.

    Yesterday, I spent the entire day working on the decoration and tried to combine new decorative items with accessories present in this home. As the home owners collected beautiful furniture over the past years, there was no need to replace furnishings, only a few seats need to be reupholstered.


    You doesn’t always need to look for expensive items to create a certain atmosphere. Sometimes bringing in a pop of colour, adding a simple touch, will do to give the room just that little bit more. 



    I absolutely love the colour of the red berries in combination with the colour shade of the wall painting in the breakfast room.



    On the existing console table in the breakfast room an alabaster grape together with a pair of terracotta Khmer objects used as tea light candle holders, found at the shop of Brigitte Garnier. The lamp is refreshed with a new green tinted shade, reflecting the colours of the painting.



    In my previous post I already mentioned that my friend Brigitte Garnier of Garnier Antiques assisted me with the decoration. We carefully sorted out some beautiful decorative items Brigitte brought from her antiques shop. I also asked her for advice concerning the new curtains to hang in the kitchen. We will definitely choose for a gorgeous Italian linen fabric.



    Brigitte is presenting ceramic plates to hang on one of the kitchen walls.



    Combination of green and blue in the orangery’s cabinet. Chinese vases, a pair of 18th century Makkum ceramic plates and a set of blue and white 18th century Tournai ceramic dinner plates.



    The orangery ready to bring in the Christmas tree.

    To be continued…


    If you would like me to help you with your home decoration, please feel free to contact me at





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    Every year I love to share with you my favorite Christmas decorations and home decor vignettes.

    Also this year, I do hope to inspire you with some festive ideas to bring Christmas into your home.

    In my next post, I will bring you some Christmas tablescape styling ideas and I will share ideas for outside the house.

    Enjoy !


    Let’s start with this year’s Christmas tree.

    Whether you prefer a more traditional, abundantly decorated tree or you like a more straight tree festooned with simple decorations, every year you have to come up with new ideas, and make it look different.

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    What do you think about these unique tree decorations ?

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    And for the horse lovers among us.9Image source Pinterest


    Ideas to decorate the chimney mantel.

    And again here, you can opt for a more traditional decoration or you can keep it simple using a few candles and some greenery or branches.

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    Inside the home, all around.

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    Candles everywhere !

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    Not to forget the stairs !49Image source Pinterest


    Be sure not to miss my next post about styling ideas for your Christmas tablescape and Christmas decorations for outside the house.




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    In addition to my previous Christmas styling post, today I would love to inspire you with Christmas table scapes, Christmas-like food decoration, Christmas wrapping ideas and finally I would love to bring you outdoor decorating inspiration.


    Christmas table scape ideas.

    I absolutely love to see touches of greenery on the Christmas table.

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    Or a combination of greenery and pine cones.28Image source Pinterest

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    Red berries could not be missed.16Image source Pinterest

    Pine cones as place name holders.32Image source here


    Food just tastes better when it looks all cute and Christmas-like.

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    Add cranberries to your winter sangria.61Image source Pinterest

    Don’t forget to dress up your serving tray with some greenery.43Image source Pinterest


    Christmas wrapping ideas.

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    Outdoor decorating ideas.

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    Scandinavian people are perfect in dressing up their home for Christmas. If you do visit Scandinavian blogs you will find the most beautiful Christmas decoration home vignettes.

    As I recently discovered the gorgeous Swedish blog, Lilla Villa Vita, I couldn’t resist to post some pictures of the Christmas decoration at the home of Maria Sandberg, author of this blog.

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    58Image source Lilla Villa Vita blog

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    To end this post, I would dare to say, ‘Let our four feet companiens celebrate with us !’

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    Now it’s your turn to inspire me !



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  • 12/09/15--12:30: Getting ready for Christmas

    Earlier this week I finished decorating our home for Christmas and as every year I like to share with you a few pictures of the Christmas vignettes around our home.



    Candles, pine branches, cones and red berries on the fireplace mantel in our living room.11


    This year I have chosen for a small Christmas tree, simply decorated with lights and cones.10


    I love to use branches with bright red berries everywhere in the home.13


    Small touches of decoration in the dining room.14


    Red berries again !17


    Candles and greenery in the dining room fire place.16


    On the kitchen table.9


    Kitchen cabinet shelving.8


    Don’t you love the colour of these pepper berries ?7


    Vase with papyrus branch and dish with Christmas ornaments, cones and antler.6


    Tea light holders grouped together on the orangery coffee table.5


    Pine tree branch hanging on the wall.4


    Front door decoration.2


    Lanterns found at Ikea.3

    All pictures by me


    I am ready for Christmas. Are you ?



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     This time of the year is the perfect time to light your chandelier.

    Crystal chandeliers were the pride of aristocratic families and hung in family residences and castles for centuries.

    Still today a crystal chandelier is evoquing a sense of richness and beauty. A beautiful crystal chandelier can literally take your breath away.

     Crystal chandeliers were usually being bought by people who prefer classic beauty and stylish interiors. But nowadays, crystal chandeliers are even used more often in modern interiors.

    There is a large selection of crystal chandeliers, antique or new made, French-English-Swedish-Belgian or Italian style pieces, I am sure you will find the right sized one for your home décor.

     Chandelier hanging in the dining room at Le Château de Deulin - Belgium   Image source here

     Dining room at Le Château de Deulin - Belgium   Image source here   Photo creditJosé-Noël Doumont

    Showroom Augustus Brandt - UK   Image source here

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     Lefèvre Interiors   Picture by me

    Chandelier at the showroom of Horsch Antiques and Interior Design - Germany  Image source here

    Chandelier found at Horsch Antiques and Interior Design - Germany Image source here

    Chandelier hanging in my living room   Image source Lefèvre Interiors   Photo credit Claude Smekens Fotografie

    Showroom Brigitte Garnier Interiors & Antiques   Picture by me

     Dining room Brigitte Garnier -  Brigitte Garnier Interiors & Antiques   Photo credit Miguel Flores-Vianna for Veranda March 2011 issue 

     Chandeliers at The Castle of ‘s Gravenwezel - Axel Vervoordt   Image source here   Photo credit Claude Smekens Fotografie

    Dining room by Axel Vervoordt   Image source here

    I would love to introduce you to the Belgian based Louis-Pierre Denil, who is an expert with international reputation and who is trained in chandelier restoration.

    Showroom Louis-Pierre Denil - Belgium   Image source here

    Atelier of Louis-Pierre Denil   Image source here

    Another passionate collector and restorer of crystal chandeliers is Pascal Mestrom, owner of Mestrom Chandeliers, based in the center of Maastricht, the Netherlands.

    Collection of chandeliers of Pascal Mestrom Chandeliers Maastricht – The Netherlands   Image source here

    Pascal Mestrom lighting one of his chandeliers’ candles.   Image source here

    Huge chandelier ‘Sac-à-perle’ at Kanaal - Axel Vervoordt (2010)   Picture by me

    To end this post, I would love to share some interesting addresses, where you definitely will find a suitable chandelier for your home décor.

    Augustus Brandt - UK

    Brigitte Garnier Antiques & Interiors – Belgium

    Horsch Antiques and Interior Design - Germany
    Louis-Pierre Denil - Belgium
    Mestrom Chandeliers - The Netherlands

    Enjoy this time of the year !



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    The 117-year-old Hotel Ritz Paris, which closed its doors three years ago, for an extensive renovation and refurbishment, including the restoration of artworks and antique furnishing, is on its way to the grand re-opening and is now taking reservations from next March.

    A lot of skilled artisans and restoration artists have been working on the renovation since August 2012.

    I followed the renovation on the Ritz Paris Facebook and Instagram page and enjoyed every picture and video of the restoration, the hotel posted.

    For most of us, the Ritz is synonym for a mythic place and inextricably linked with the legendary Coco Chanel, who lived at the hotel for years. How many times did we see the Coco Chanel Suite shared by interior design bloggers?

     Coco Chanel declared: “The Ritz is my home.”

     Coco Chanel Suite - Ritz Paris    Image source Ritz Paris Facebook page  

    Important to mention is that the hotel will now house the world’s first Chanel spa, offering guests customized treatments using Chanel products.

    Renovation in progress  - 2013   Image source here

    Renovation of the Salon César Ritz in progress.   Image source Ritz Paris Facebook page

    Painters at work.   Image source Ritz Paris Facebook page

    Restoring the woodwork in the Salon Proust.   Image source Ritz Paris Instagram page

    Salon Proust, the perfect place to take your afternoon tea.   Image source Ritz Paris Instagram page

     The scaffolding on the façade has been removed.   Image source Ritz Paris Instagram page

    Furniture has been restored and brought in.   Image source Ritz Paris Facebook page

    All rooms are given a fresh new look.   Image source Ritz Paris Facebook page

    I can't wait to revisit the Ritz and to take a closer look to all this legendary beauty.    Ritz Paris 2005    

    I would love to end this post with a picture of the hotel Ritz façade decorated for Christmas in 2011, before the renovation.   Image source Ritz Paris Facebook page

    Rendez-vous at the Ritz Paris next year !



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  • 12/24/15--03:17: Merry Christmas !

  • Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers !



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    Recently, by browsing Instagram and Pinterest, I came across some beautiful pictures of elegant interiors and gorgeous antique furniture pieces and objects, that caught my eye. I soon discovered that most of the images were initially found at the Pinterest and Instagram page of Nicolas Horsch, owner of Horsch Antiques and Interior Design.

    Horsch Antiques and Interior Design is run by husband and wife team Charlotte and Nicolas Horsch, both art historians. Their showroom is located in the beautiful rural village of Ashausen, about twenty minutes drive from Hamburg, Germany.
    They are both passionate about Gustavian, Belgian and French antiques and love to mix antique pieces with Mid-Century Modern, 20th Century Design, Asian ceramics and unusual finds.They are one of the leading specialists in Scandinavian Mora and  Bornholm clocks and have been dealing in this field since the 1990's.

    I was enchanted by the beautiful antiques pieces, visiting the website of this company I hadn’t heard about before. Today I am pleased to introduce you to Horsch Antiques and Interior Design.

     Setting at the Horsch Interiors showroom in Ashausen, Germany.  A mix of Gustavian & Belgian furniture.   Image source Horsch Interiors Facebook page

     Mora clock, Swedish Baroque chair, Belgian table and Belgian hand made pottery jar lamp.   Image source Horsch Interiors Pinterest page 

    Chinese Han style pottery lamps and earthenware pots.   Image source Horsch Interiors website

    Bleached oak, Chinese Han pottery and hand painted chinoiserie Limoges coffee cups.   Image source Horsch Interiors Instagram page

     Horsch Interiors even offers a full interior design service and creates warm and elegant interiors by using authentic materials and antiques.
    Their website page ‘Interior Design’ is currently under construction, but very soon Nicolas and Charlotte will share pictures of their recent finished projects.

    Here is a sneak peek into the hall of a recently finished project. Very chic and very promising !

    Interior design by Horsch Interiors.   Image source Horsch Interiors Instagram page

     I absolutely love this Zoffany wallpaper as backdrop for the mantelpiece still at the house of Charlotte and Nicolas.   Image source Horsch Interiors Instagram page

    Beautiful built in cabinet, made from a French 18thC LXV placard and a Louis XVI window, that Charlotte and Nicolas installed at a client’s house.   Image source Horsch Interiors Facebook page

    Exceptional and unusually decorated ca 1840 Danish Bornholm Clock.   Image source Horsch Interiors website

     Detail of a beautiful and richly carved late Gustavian Sofa, Sweden ca. 1790- 1810   Image source Horsch Interiors website

    To see more of all the gorgeous antique pieces Charlotte and Nicolas have to offer, please visit their recently renewed website at

    Or follow Horsch Antiques on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.


    Dear readers and friends, as this is my last post of this year, I wish you all a great end of the year and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year !



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  • 01/01/16--02:02: Happy New Year !

  • Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and

    Prosperous     New Year !



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  • 01/09/16--07:35: Belgian Pearls ALERT !

  • My dearest friends and readers,

    I would like to inform you that Belgian Pearlshas moved to

    After more than 6 years of blogging, I felt it was time to ‘reset’ my blog and to move Belgian Pearls to its own domain, giving the blog a refreshed look.

    The transfer shouldn’t affect anyone, who has previously subscribed to my blog, receiving future blogposts.

    If you might have any difficulties and you don’t receive any future blogposts, please re-register on Belgian Pearls here :

    Just enter your email address in the email subscription form on the right sidebar,

    or just email me at

    Hope to ’see’ you all again at are all so dear to me !

    Thank you so much for your understanding !

    ‘See’ me at BELGIANPEARLS.BE