We don't need to tell you that there is some serious design talent in Belgium. In our collections too, there is also a strong emphasis on home-grown design labels. A look at three interior design brands that have been competing at the highest level for years and that you absolutely must know.
The largest manufacturer of couches in the Benelux? You'll find it in Dilsen-Stokkem. In 1978, Raymond Meers set up Mecam here, which in no time shot to the top of the Belgian design world. This was followed in 2006 by subsidiary Indera, which focuses specifically on creating modular couches with a sleek design and high level of seating comfort.
Flexibility and functionality are the common threads running through their collections. Every design is all about the interaction between the furniture and the user. The couches are made up of separate back, arm and/or seat modules whereby you can make your own combinations to easily put together your ideal relaxation spot. A good example is the Sintese couch, a beautiful sofa that you can perfectly adjust according to how you want to use it.
Another nice thing about Indera is that design and manufacturing take place almost entirely in our country. Indera collaborates with various established Belgian designers including Fabiaan Van Severen, Stefan Steenkist, Wim Segers and Xavier Lust. Only for the finishing of the leather is Swiss expertise called upon, while for the upholstery the company collaborates with the Danish quality brand Kvadrat.
1978 was a good year for Belgian design, as evidenced by Heerenhuis Manufactuur. Back then, founders Geert Legein and Louis van Haesebrouck set up a small antiques business. Over the years, the company has grown into an internationally renowned furniture studio, known for its handcrafted design furniture.
Heerenhuis mainly focuses on designing handmade wooden tables for both indoor and outdoor use. They also develop chairs and interior objects. Sleek lines, natural forms and raw, noble materials such as solid oak, walnut, marble, metal and leather play a key role in this regard. In addition, Heerenhuis often applies circular principles to its work: many of the woods used come from nineteenth- and twentieth-century buildings, which are then given a new lease of life.
If you love authenticity, you have to check out Heerenhuis. One of their purest designs is the Altar, an elongated indoor table in oak, or Oregon, with its strong, sleek lines. Slightly more playful is the Mesa collection, which is striking primarily on account of the minimalist graphic shape of the steel base. Metal is also the material used for the base of the Tube, a dining table in teak or oak, which feels a little heavier than its little brother Mesa, and therefore looks great in both modern and country interiors.
Vincent Sheppard doesn't sound very Belgian. Yet this relatively young design brand was set up in our country in 1992, with the primary objective of putting Lloyd Loom furniture on the map in Western Europe. Thirty years later, the company is now the global leader in this field.
Lloyd Loom is a technique that originated in the United States in the early 20th century, and that Vincent Sheppard has further refined and updated. It involves twisting kraft paper around a metal wire and then weaving it into unique pieces of furniture. The effect is comparable to rattan, which gives the furniture a very pure artisan look-and-feel.
Craftsmanship is one of the strong aspects of the Vincent Sheppard story. Their furniture is made by hand with traditional and sustainable materials. In addition to rattan, the interior design brand uses industrial steel and woods such as oak, beech and bamboo. Well-known designs include the Achille Dining Table and the Titus Lounge Chair. The latter in particular has become a veritable icon. The elegant combination of the oak frame and backrest in woven rattan make the chair an almost sensual piece of furniture. Definitely check out the collections on their website and feel free to ask for more information if necessary. For lovers of finely crafted furniture with a slightly rustic touch, Vincent Sheppard is an absolute top brand.