Kitchen of the Week: A Mix of Salvaged Materials and Brass in a Belgian Design Firm’s Glam New Office Kitchen

Joris Van Apers grew up amid rescued marble mantels, parquet flooring, and stacks of old tiles: his parents ran a busy Belgian salvage business. Joris went on to study engineering, but when he set out to build a house for himself and his wife and kids, he put the family materials to use—and discovered a new career along the way.

Joris ended up taking over the reclamation firm in 2008 while also establishing himself  as an interior designer specializing in “applying noble materials to distinctive, playful ends.” His joint venture, Joris Van Apers, supplies Axel Vervoodt among others, with rescued materials, and has a staff of five working on design projects, which now account for the majority of the business.

Located in the town of Reet, just south of Antwerp, the studio occupies the 17th-century French farmhouse that Joris’s father, Andreas, relocated, piece by piece, from Normandy 40 years ago. The impressive setup has long served as an office and showroom—except for the tiny, after-thought-of-a kitchen, which dated from the 1980s and was accessible only by walking through someone’s office. To remedy that, Juris just-unveiled his glam reinvention of the space, which is now both old and new, and even shiny and blue.

Photography by Jan Verlinde courtesy of Joris Van Apers (@jorisvanapersstudio).

the design melds centuries old elements with contemporary sensibilities: that&a 14
Above: The design melds centuries-old elements with contemporary sensibilities: that’s brass fronting the new bar and the curtained partition offers direct access to the kitchen (which occupies the old kitchen’s footprint). The floor is lined with 17th century French terracotta tiles and reclaimed Italian nut wood was used for the bar countertop and open shelves. The oak stool is a 1960s Belgian Brutalist design.

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Above: Joris describes the design as an exploration of “materials with various textures, and of shadow and light.” The walls are painted with limewash in an atmospheric brown, shown here, and gray-blue on the back wall. Caroline De Wolf, CFO of the company and Joris’s wife, explains, “our painter mixes pigments on site to achieve the colors we want.”  The narrow wood door fronts the utility closet.