Barbara and family

Put your swimming goggles on because with this client story, we’re taking a big dive into time. This early Modernist home, once designed by Jozef Meulepas, was transferred from the architect’s family to architect Barbara Arts and her family in 2020. As a protected heritage project Barbara and her brother in law, David D’Hulst from Studio Ambacht, decided to join hands and finished the renovation in 1 year time. The back façade was used to charm the spaces with extra daylight and a connection with the garden, whereas the rest of the building was well-preserved, documented and restored.


Barbara and her family used to live around the corner of this architectural gem and were surprised by the potential of this incredible house. The possibility to upgrade the spaces with extra daylight and to enlarge the bathroom convinced the whole family. ‘The flat roof gave the opportunity to create a big terrace. In the house I do not have a favorite spot in particular, but I’m in love with the connection we have to nature with our house facing towards the Nete river.’


The residency was built in 1932 as a home to Jozef himself, his wife and 9 children. The premises was being kept in the family for almost a century and thereby withstood the test of time. A handful of original built-in cabinets, parquet and terrazzo floors, a terrazzo bathtub, high ceilings and tiled walls still adorned the spaces and breath the true art-deco spirit until today.


All mobile furniture pieces which were still present were preserved; such as the dining table, the seating group in the entrance hall and the pendant lamp in the living room. Combined with some vintage pieces and contemporary additions a new home took shape, ready to be filled with new memories. ‘We’re still looking for a shelving system for our ground floor area, and will keep an eye on vintage collections in the hope of adding a library to the house soon.’


The modular Italian dressing table was bought by Barbara’s partner as a gift in our showroom. ‘I gave him a small hint when we visited NOME. Lots of friends and family think this set was already part of the house’s collection, which confirms its rightful spot in our new home.’ The 60’s teak wooden chairs with an ochre upholstery resonate with the color of the tiles of the kitchen, whereas other pieces such as the Inox kitchen by Bulthaup were introduced to blend with the authenticity of the building. ‘In the office desk of Jozef, we found a lot of archive materials from the house. It was a pleasure to see how meticulous he created this house and it gave us an extra motivation for it to be kept in honor.’

Found at NOME furniture:
– Dressing table