Gert Voorjans, for the Art of Interior Design

Gert Voorjans, for the Art of Interior Design

In the paved courtyard that leads us to his Parisian home, he is undeniably master of all he surveys. Gert Voorjans, a modern-day dandy, is a vision full of colour and refinement. The slippers embellished with hand-embroidered designs, the silk scarf delicately rolled around his neck – nothing about this extraordinary interior designer is left to chance. This native of Antwerp and former assistant to Axel Vervoordt is present at the AD Intérieurs exhibition for the second year running and has made Cordovan leather his own. An ancestral material, the designs for which he gives star billing via screens. The patinated, bronze embossing of his rare designs are admired in the same way as the most gorgeous robes of state, like precious relics. A conscious desire on the part of Gert Voorjans who has recreated an artiste’s dressing room for this edition. Joined by a pair of mirrored armoires inlaid with mother-of-pearl, a seating corner by Paul Follot and bright colours – including green, “one of my favourite colours” he tells us – the imagination deployed by this Belgian gentleman is true to his style. That of a man with a taste for bold blends of antiques and joyful colours. Influences inherited from his transversal career enriched by experiences in Austria, Belgium and England which have clearly left their mark on his home. Gert Voorjans relaxes on a chaise longue and talks to us of fashion, and of craftsmanship above all. A profound respect for the work of the man who guides each of his decisions. A morning interview with a man with an overriding love for art and interior design.

Discover Gert Voorjans’s creation for AD Intérieurs 2017 until the 20th of september at La Monnaie de Paris: 11 quai de Conti – 75006 Paris

Vases Verre coloré Salon Appartement Parisien Gert Voorjans Paris
Armoire bois Livres Appartement parisien Gert Voorjans Paris
Gert Voorjans, for the Art of Interior Design
Livre Gert Voorjans Appartement parisien Paris
Photographie Verre Commode Appartement parisien Gert Voorjans Paris

Gert, pouvez-vous vous présenter ?

Gert

I was born in 1962 in a family of furniture traders and carpenters and grew up in the beautiful country of the Meuse. After finishing my interior design studies at the Institute of Architecture in Hasselt in 1985, I spent one year in Sienna and Florence where I studied Art History. In 1987, I achieved my Bachelor at Sotheby’s Styles & Art. These years of training have taught to me to see sense, where others might see clutter. With hindsight, I think the architectural training was particularly useful. What it gave me was the ability to focus on the bones of a building, to work with, not against, its essential style.

What kind of education did you have with regards to decoration and design?

Gert

I try to achieve authenticity in every realization. To bring more of your personality in your interior.

Could you describe your style to us in three words?

Gert

Colour, character and craftmanship.

Portrait Gert Voorjans Entrée Appartement parisien Paris
Fauteuil Appartement parisien Décorateur Gert Voorjans Paris
Portrait Décorateur Gert Voorjans Appartement parisien Paris
Gert Voorjans, for the Art of Interior Design

Could you tell us about the creation you designed for the AD Intérieurs 2017 exhibition?

Gert

I wanted to create a room that would become completely itself whilst having a teasing, alluring quality that continually fascinates. Stepping into this space, I wanted the visitor to feel inspired. The doorway has to take him to a space where boundaries are both clear and yet blurred.

Why did you choose to revisit leather?

Gert

To highlight the proper know-how of interior design, this year AD magazine asked every designer to create a décor around a specific material. I tried collecting up the past in a vibrant, energetic way and remake it for the present and the future. That is why I chose for the precious material that is cuir de Cordoue.

Who and what inspired you in this very special project?

Gert

With the Parisian apartment of the great ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev as a source of inspiration, I imagined a dressing room-like setting reminiscent to some of Balthus’ paintings like “Japonaise au miroir noir” and “La chambre turque“, but with the grandezza of Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi’s ballroom as featured in Luchino Visconti’s “Il gattopardo” (1963).

Do you have a favorite design from this edition (apart from your own)?

Gert

La Lingerie Metal-Pop” de Rodolphe Parente. I admire his specific materials because of the interesting choices and the new variety of materials and the original chosen subject.

Terrasse Parisienne Gert Voorjans Appartement parisien Paris
Tenue Décorateur Gert Voorjans Appartement parisien Paris
Chambre Décorateur Gert Voorjans Appartement parisien
Armoire Salon Décorateur Gert Voorjans Appartement parisien Paris
Magazines AD Appartement parisien Gert Voorjans Paris

How have you laid out your Parisian pied à terre? How are you planning to develop it?

Gert

The apartment is laid out as the bureau d’artiste from last year’s edition of AD Intérieurs. The inlaid ebony Macassar daybed by Christian Krass stands central and the Italian Mahogany display cabinet links together with the terra cotta eagles, which give subtle lighting. The interior is dynamic and changes in function of the projects.

You and your image are intimately linked to fashion. Tell us a bit more about that.

Gert

Since the beginning of my own design studio, our collaboration started 25 years ago, we designed the flag ship stores of Dries Van Noten. We speak the same design language.

You’re renewing the collections of the publisher Jim Thompson, could you tell us about the ambiance of your mood boards? What are you aiming to achieve through this approach?

Gert

Jim Thompson gave me the opportunity to design my own fabric collection. There is a huge variety in fabrics, rustic checkers, sophisticated damask and very colorful passementerie and ribbons. By this approach I reach a much broader public, so that more people can enjoy part of my design universe. Keywords are: naïve, unplanned and artistic.

A book, private design schemes, prestigious collaborations: what projects do you have in the pipeline?

Gert

The sophisticated new Diamond and Silver museum, were we are designing a collectors room like the unique peacock room by James McNeill Whistler, but translated in a contemporary layout.

Tenue Décorateur Gert Voorjans Appartement parisien Paris
Armoire salon Appartement parisien Décorateur Gert Voorjans Paris
Armoire Salon Décorateur Appartement parisien Gert Voorjans Paris
Tenue Décorateur Appartement parisien Gert Voorjans Paris

Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: Textmaster @thesocialitefamily

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