An impressive 1800s home in the historic centre of Antwerp became the perfect blank canvas for Nicolas Schuybroek and his team. An architect skilled in creating minimal, open and elegant spaces Schuybroek was presented with the privileged opportunity of reimagining this 12-room home for a fashion creative who works in Paris but returns to Antwerp for weekends.
Being an architect first and foremost, Brussels-based Schuybroek focused a great deal of energy on the architectural part of the house. He proposed circulations, volumes and connections between spaces but more importantly he introduced much needed natural light. Only then did he move on to the interior aesthetics.
MK House has undergone a truly theatrical transformation of craftsmanship and clean lines. Monastic whitewashed walls form the backdrop to a restrained but rich materials palette. Exposed wooden beams, distressed chevron oak floors and plenty of honed white marble all help to form as an understated sense of opulence. Add to all this a dramatically reworked black and white staircase. The staircase not only mimics the façade of this grandiose building but connects each floor, all the while honouring the history this home has lived through.
Each space has been beautifully balanced with a collection of mid-century furniture pieces. In the living room, an oversized curved sofa by American furniture designer Vladimir Kagan (upholstered in a Kvadrat fabric by fellow Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons) envelopes guests. The dark webbed lounge chair by prolific woodworker, architect and furniture maker George Nakashima is a stand out item. Other iconic pieces include the Gio Ponti dining chairs and striking Serge Mouille lamps.
“Our goal was to create a timeless, warm-minimalist and elegant house in tune with its past and the client’s needs.”
– Architect and Designer Nicolas Schuybroek
The feeling of simplicity was an integral design element in this project. It almost appears as though Schuybroek has reinvented minimalism and elegance where the volume, light and play on proportions are just as significant as his attention to detail. This home is yet another perfect example of how Schuybroek continues to explore form and function using space and materials that maintain a feeling of calming warmth. His lasting impression on us is one of an elegantly functional space – which, if we’re honest is no easy feat to create.
Are we surprised that Schuybroek has twice been named one of the world’s top 100 interior designers by French Architectural Digest? Not in the slightest. MK House is a true testament to Schuybroek’s distinct and considered minimalist approach. Bravo.