Margot, Sebastiaan and Theo

In the bustling neighbourhood of De Roma theatre in Borgerhout we visited the house of Margot Bertels, a building dating from the early 1800s. Together with her husband she stumbled upon this building 3 years ago, right before their wedding, as if it was meant to be. “There were still a lot of original elements in the house. The previous owners were looking for someone who would re-inhabit the house with the utmost respect. As an interior architect active in the conservation of monuments, I immediately felt a connection, both with the owners and the building.”


The fauna and flora theme is something that clearly resonates in the property. The house includes some frescoes with animal scenes that were added to the walls and ceilings over time, which can be clearly distinguished from each other through the changing drawing styles. Only the seating area in the front lacked a themed hint. “When the previous owners moved out of the house, there was still a funny ceramic elephant standing on the mantelpiece, as a small wink. It is still proudly on display there.” The frescoes were restored by a colleague of Margot. “The colours became much softer that way. Colour is something I consider as very important. The idea of ​​’dark-light-dark-light’ creates different places. You can go from one atmosphere to another in no time. You can also see this clearly in the space transitions between the seating area in the front and the kitchen in the back.”


When looking at the furnishing of the house, it’s clear that this was done with meticulous care. A balanced combination of old and new. “As a wedding present we received the Muller Van Severen lamp that hangs in our dining room. Our kitchen cabinets and some wooden enclosures in the dining and living space were tailor made by Furniturist. The left-overs of the marble kitchen worktop were used to build a coffee table. We also had Bea Joppen taking care of the custom made benches.”


In addition to the new, we also find some vintage pieces in the house, including the wall rack in the children’s room and the dining chairs that Margot bought from Nome Furniture, at that time still for her previous apartment. “The chairs look great in the bright dining area and fit perfectly with the table I once received as a gift from a patient from my father.” There are also two Pastoe cabinets from the Japanese Series to be found, of which one is in the living room and one in the bedroom. “The set was a gift from my grandparents. I am so attached to them that I would save from a fire, as it were!”


Every now and then Margot scours some markets, of which a few in France, to find new pieces for her interior. Right before she ultimately moved into the house she even bought a few items as she was sure these were going to find the right place, in her new oasis; a place between the colourful birds and the peacefully grazing bisons.

Found at NOME furniture:
– Dining chairs, Dutch design 1960’s
– String wall unit, Swedish design 1960’s