Classically trained and yet famously unconventional, Belgian designer Gert Voorjans creates interiors that are exuberant, elegantly eccentric and refreshingly unexpected! Fearlessly blending antiques, bold color and exotic influences, Gert shares his love of history, art and design throughout his work. Please join Susanna and me for a visit to the colorful and creative realm that is Gert’s atelier and home in Antwerp, Belgium.
Rather like Antwerp itself, Gert Voorjans is an authentic amalgam of old and new, of heritage and avant-garde. Steeped in the knowledge of architecture, design and the decorative arts, with both academic and practical experience (multiple degrees and years in the studio of Axel Vervoordt), Gert became known as the creative force behind the design of Dries Van Noten’s boutiques worldwide. And just as he so effectively helped the fashion designer tell his story, so has he done the same for important residential and corporate clients around the world.
His own atelier and home serve as his laboratory, where he seamlessly weaves a tapestry of travel, textiles and timeless design, bringing it all forward into an utterly contemporary and chic world.
It is this imaginative and sophisticated juxtaposition that sets Gert apart. In his designs, sensuous silks and gutsy linens, ancient Silk Road artifacts and modern art live together in rustic refinement as if they were always destined to be paired.
Here, surrounded by the tools of his trade and endless inspiration he has collected, Gert gives himself free rein to experiment, to continually express his creativity and as he says, “keep reinventing myself.” Gert makes it look effortless but there are years of research, extensive travel and both formal and informal education behind every decision.
A big thank you to video sponsor Jim Thompson, with whom Gert has collaborated on a vibrant, innovative and yet entirely accessible collection of fabrics and trim. From stripes and checks to damasks, playful patterns and plains, there is a full array of choices to decorate an entire home.
Having used Jim Thompson fabrics in his projects for decades, and sharing a love of spirited color and exotic influences, Gert was a natural choice to partner with the legendary brand – the linen/cotton ivy patterned Day in Gert’s dining room below.
While revered for their totally in house Thai silk production, Jim Thompson also creates a wide array of other premium textiles including high performance contract fabrics and custom weaves. The variety of Gert’s collection reflects not only their capabilities but their shared artisanal approach to color, character and craftsmanship. Below, Gert’s signature eclectic mix showing his linen Square Dance check with his La Perle trim.
In fact I was so enchanted by the collection, I had a tablecloth made from Garden Party! It’s the essence of summer!
all photos by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence
So thank you Gert for welcoming us into your inspiring atelier and home. We love expecting the unexpected!!