September 08,2023

2010 AD100: Axel Vervoordt

by David Stewart

One of the world’s most respected antiques dealers, collectors and interior designers, Axel Vervoordt embraces an aesthetic that is remarkably accessible. “A good designer is like a doctor; he consults you for what is best.” The Belgian designer’s philosophy is equally simple: “Make people happy; make them discover things in themselves; make them feel at home and love their house.” For Vervoordt, home is a 50-room castle near Antwerp called ’s-Gravenwezel. Inside, the juxtaposition of antiques and art—from contemporary to 18th century to ancient Egyptian—reinforces Vervoordt’s mindful approach to design.

“I love everything that is very real.” And if it isn’t real, Vervoordt will make it real. “I make everything I can’t find, like sofas and coffee tables. All are based on sacred proportions. They all have a timeless, universal feel and are not fashionable.” His recent home furnishings catalogue presents 90 pieces, some familiar and some entirely new, all infused with the authenticity and spirit for which he is known. The family-run firm (his wife, May, heads the textile and fabric division) of 85 employees has expanded beyond the castle to the Kanaal, a complex of restored 19th-century warehouses and grain silos in Antwerp that was created by his older son, Boris. It is a multidisciplinary art center to support, he says, “a universal vision that is above fashion, where new ideas will always rise.”

Axel Vervoordt




  • David Stewart
  • September 08,2023

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