Desimpel studied acting in Paris, but through antique dealers and aesthetes he ended up in interior architecture. His first passion was Venetian tile floors, but now he travels the world in search of unique tile collections from traditional workshops. It is no coincidence that his home is a sampler of his finds. The basic character of the home is early nineteenth century, but architect Stéphane Boens added a wing in eighteenth-century rural style. Craft details, such as the wooden staircase, ornamental columns, antique kitchen tiles and rough limestone walls, strongly determine the home’s atmosphere. They refer alternatively to Mariano Fortuny, the Marrakesh madrasa and the Flemish primitives. The manganese blue is another such detail, a tip of the hat to Jan van Eyck's Man with a Blue Chaperon.
Desimpel did not move here by accident: his house still breathes the atmosphere of the fifteenth century, when Damme was a thriving port town. At the same time, however, he did not want to turn this into a trip down memory lane. So he infused his home with a strong dose of orientalism, the clearest example of which is the Moroccan lamps. Pablo Piatti’s wall painting in Brighton Royal Pavilion style also exudes nineteenth-century exoticism. You can really let your imagination travel (to which century or continent doesn't really matter) without shame in this interior.
Although interior architect Brigitte Garnier typically uses a warm, rural design style, this bathroom is an exceptionally sleek sculptural statement.