This week, The Socialite Family visited Lyon to introduce the decorator Anne-Claire Ruel to you. Surrounded by her young children and...
This week I stopped by Brussels to see Julie and Olivier. They are both passionate about interior design, and created their house by opening the space to let in light. The house is built across three levels, and tells a range of stories. In the living-dining room, the family begins their day around the bar in the kitchen, then move up to the bedrooms and Julie’s office. This provides three different atmospheres for a family that spends a lot of time at home juggling Léon’s naps and Olivier’s meetings. They hunt for furniture as a family, with impulse buys and compromises. The soft, colourful décor creates a deeply personal space that allows Julie to work from home while keeping a motherly eye on their newborn, Léon.
Julie, what do you do?
I’m a freelance graphic designer and interior designer.
What is the history of your building and your neighbourhood in Brussels?
The neighbourhood is going through huge changes. Lots of buildings are being renovated and a little “art” gallery just opened at the end of the street, so things are changing a lot compared with when we moved in five years ago! We didn’t really know the area before we moved here, and now we love it!
What sort of education did you receive in interior design?
None. When I was choosing what to study, I spent a long time hesitating between interior and graphic design. Ever since I was little I’ve loved magazines on décor and beautiful homes. In the end I chose graphic design, but later I found myself working alongside interior designers. That’s what made me want to go back to university, to be able to do the two things I love most.
Is it possible to have a beautiful décor, family life and work in the same place?
We’ve noticed that we love mixing these “activities” at home. We like things to live, and so family life makes everything much more “inviting”.
Which pieces, artwork or furniture do you prefer at home?
I think my favourite is the sun mirror. I wanted it for ages! My boyfriend didn’t really like it at first, but he put so much effort into finding and buying it. It was an amazing surprise!
Where do you go bargain hunting?
Everywhere! I don’t really have a fixed place. It could be in a car boot sale or in a shop, at the second-hand stores all over Brussels, or even on eBay.
What is piece of your wildest dreams?
There are so many! I love lamps, so I would definitely say a Serge Mouille lamp. They’re just magnificent.
Where do you feel best?
It really depends on the time of day. I love light-filled spaces and the sun. In the morning and during the day I feel best in my office and the living room. In the evening I love playing in Léon’s bedroom, it gets so much sunlight.
What’s missing from your home?
This apartment is “perfect” for us at the moment, I wouldn’t change a thing. But we want a bigger family, and to get started on new projects, so that will probably make us move at some point (quite soon!).
What décor advice can you give us?
I think mixing things works pretty well!
What is the cheapest piece you are proud of?
All my little armchairs I’ve found in the street. I’m quite proud when people ask me where I got them.
Which restaurant would you recommend in Brussels?
Publico, in the city centre.
What two décor sites online or in Brussels can you recommend?