All posts tagged: Function + Form

Belgian design: the furniture of Ethnicraft

Belgian design: solid wood furniture from Ethnicraft

I don’t often feature Belgian design – those Scandinavians are always stealing the limelight in these parts – but there’s one furniture brand that I think should be on your radar. Introduced to me while on the Function & Form bloggers tour in Antwerp, Ethnicraft produces simple, functional furniture with a focus on timeless, contemporary design.  Established more than 20 years ago, Ethnicraft is based in the Belgian town of Boom, with workshops in Indonesia, Vietnam and Serbia. Popular across the world, their sustainable designs, from extendable oak tables through versatile walnut benches to vintage-looking teak sideboards, are sold in more than 50 countries. They like to call their furniture ‘Emorational’ – a word combining both the ’emotional’ and the ‘rational’. Made predominantly of ethically sourced wood, their simple designs aim to evoke a sense of emotion, through the warmth and tactility of solid wood. As they say: ‘We always work from what we firmly believe is the essence of good design: authenticity, simplicity and impeccable craftsmanship to create sustainable pieces full of character, made from …

Travel guide, a design packed weekend in Antwerp

Travel Guide: a design-packed bloggers tour of Antwerp

When you think of the design capitals of Europe, cities such as London, Paris, Milan and Stockholm might spring to mind. But, there’s another city out there that should be on that list, the slightly more under the radar Belgian city of Antwerp – a Flemish jewel with an emerging design scene that’s giving others a run for their money. With a strong artisanal heritage and cultural legacy, from the 17th century paintings of Rubens and Van Dyck, through the thriving, polished world of the diamond industry, to its cult status in the fashion world with Belgian fashion royalty Dries van Noten, the merchant city Antwerp has developed into a super stylish cosmopolitan centre. Today, young, emerging Belgian designers are putting their stamp on the city, while contemporary concept stores and gastronomical delights are attracting visitors from across the world. There’s certainly more to the city than frites and beer, there’s culture galore, art and architecture, and design by the bucket load, untapped and waiting to be discovered. In October I visited the city as part of a …

St Vincents concept store, Antwerp

Travel: st. vincents concept store, Antwerp

So earlier in the month I shared the first instalment on the bloggers tour I attended with Function & Form in Antwerp (you can see it here if you missed it). Masterminded by fellow bloggers – interior stylist Tiffany Grant-Riley and graphic designer Annie Kruse – we spent a lovely weekend in October exploring all things design in the Belgian city. A slightly under-the-radar European city in terms of design, Antwerp has a bounty of boutique concept stores, beautifully curated design shops and independent coffee shops waiting to be discovered. One such gem is the concept store st. vincents, which we were all cooing over. And if it hadn’t been for the fact it was our last day and we all had trains and planes to catch I think we would have moved in. It has something for everyone, whether you’re an interior and antiques magpie, a fashion lover, or whether you simply want to while away an hour or two over a good coffee or tea in this beautiful, raw but contemporary setting. Visitors are actively encouraged to linger and enjoy …

Muller van Severen lamps - Galerie Valerie Traan

valerie_objects / Gallery Valerie Traan, Antwerp

If you’ve been following me on social media at all you might have seen that I went on a Bloggers Tour of Antwerp with Function & Form and eight lovely blogger pals. Set up by fellow bloggers – interior stylist Tiffany Grant-Riley and graphic designer Annie Kruse – Function & Form is a community of like-minded individuals who all share a love for interiors and handcrafted design. This was the first outing abroad to explore all things design, meeting designers and delving deeper into their process, touring furniture factories and getting a peek behind the scenes, and visiting design-led concept stores and galleries. One of the highlights of the tour was Gallery Valerie Traan, an art gallery founded by Veerle Wenes. The modern, white interior, designed by Belgian practice LENS°ASS architecten, is split onto different levels and connected by a wide, black staircase. The light space looks onto two courtyards and connects fluidly to Wenes own home, housed in an adjacent old convent. In fact, you don’t know where art gallery stops and home begins, both …

Sneak peek inside a Georgian townhouse in Spitalfields

Sneak peek inside a Georgian townhouse in Spitalfields

I’ve often walked past the imposing historic townhouses of Spitalfields in east London, snapping the exteriors for Instagram and wandering what they were like inside. Last week I got a chance to see for myself, joining a bloggers tour with the lovely ladies of Function + Form and home design website Houzz. Function + Form, set up by bloggers Tiff of Curate + Display and Annie of Stylejuicer, is a new unique gathering of like minds, combining relaxed, informal dining with handcrafted design (just what I like), as they explain: ‘As so much of our lives today are spent online, we seek to bring the enjoyment of interior and lifestyle design into a tangible being whilst enjoying the company of like-minded friends. A chance to make new connections, a chance for real conversation. Each gathering focuses on the work of a designer who we admire for their ethos, their aesthetic, sharing with us their inspiration and inviting us to delve deeper into their process.’ For their latest gathering, we nosed our way into architect Chris Dyson’s home on Princelet Street, originally built in …