Belgian Pearls 4th Anniversary



Dear friends and readers,  today I ceIebrate the 4th anniversary of Belgian Pearls. I can’t believe that I am blogging for 4 years now !

Four years ago today I started this new adventure and I had no idea that this virtual world would bring me so much joy, inspiration and so many friends from around the world! The past 4 years I have had a great time in sharing with you the things I love and that inspire me and the things I wanted you to know about Belgium.

With every post I write, I do hope to bring you something new, something that inspires you and that makes your day!

I would love to thank all of you for reading and commenting my posts, for being there, following Belgian Pearls from behind your screen.

I do receive so many emails with questions about interior design issues, about antiques dealers and places to visit in Belgium…Please forgive me I can’t find time to reply them all (wish I could) !!! I do hope you will understand.

A huge thank you to all my blogcolleagues who were so sweet to support me in several blogging issues the past 4 years!

And thank you to all my friends who invited me to come over for a visit to meet each other in person. I hope I will be able to visit some of you in one of the next years!



I really do hope to keep on inspiring you with my future blogposts.


Thank you


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Slowing down….


Hello my friends and readers! I do hope you all enjoy these Summer Days as much as I do!

I am not that much behind my pc these days! Forgive me! I need to slow down a bit.

Enjoying Summertime …


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Enjoy these Summer Days!

Talk to you soon!



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Belgium welcomes new King Philippe



Yesterday, on July 21, National Day, Belgium celebrated the inauguration of the new King Philippe.

Philippe has become the seventh King of the Belgians, following the abdication of his father King Albert II after 20 years on the throne.

King Philippe

King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Brussels.

Picture source here




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Living room update


The last weeks before our annual holidays we were occupied finalizing clients’ projects. I hadn’t found time to complete the decoration of our living room!  I do hope to furnish the room in one of the following weeks.

I am very happy to tell that one of the previous days, we finally were able to hang the curtains, which completely changed the look of our living room.


If you missed my earlier posts about our living room redo, please click HERE and HERE.



One of the employees of manufacturer of custom-made window treatments Patrick Ponseele Raamdecoratie at work.



My choice of fabrics.

C&C MilCPaneling & home made patina Lefèvre Interiors

Curtain fabric C&C Milano – Lining fabric Vano



And here is a sneak peek of the living room as it looks today.




French bouillonné


Next time I hope to show you chosen furniture, decorative accessories and lighting fixtures.


For more information, please contact Lefèvre Interiors at

or Patrick Ponseele Window Treatment at


To be continued…


Enjoy this July weekend !



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A historic renovation of an 18th century farm house


Nancy Fishelson is an architectural designer renowned for her renovation and design of period country houses.

I was totally smitten when I came across the pictures of her 18th century Killingworth,CT restored farm house.

Nancy Fishelson says : “I try to leave as much of the integrity of the house as possible: You can take the good bones and the good structure of the house and then find a way to bring it to the way we live now.”

In Killingworth, Nancy removed the drywall in the ceiling, and exposed original textured beams and took cramped rooms to new airy heights. 

Original floors in the house were hand scraped and waxed.

The designer loves a lot of light and sun.

Visual flow was created by opening up walls between rooms.


1Painting the walls in white brought more light in the house, as here in the wood-paneled dining room.


9Antique furniture which are mostly lighter, painted pieces from Fishelson’s antique collection. Nancy placed an 18th century sofa in the living room.


7Handcrafted special reproductions of period lighting fixtures as the pewter-finished sconces by Vermont’s Authentic Designs.


11Original beams and floors.


14The 19th-century wide board pine floors in the kitchen were sourced from Brooklyn Restoration Supply in Connecticut. Kitchen island with Restoration Hardware stools.


8A muted palette illuminates the home.


5The antique barn door opens into what is now the master bedroom.


2The master suite is one great room, with a bathroom separated from the bedroom by the glass panes of carriage doors.


12A Waterworks-outfitted bathroom. Nickel sconces from Hudson Valley Lighting.


10The antique exterior of the house barely changed.

Nancy did an incredible job by restoring her house with a lot of respect to history!


Photography by Keith Scott Morton



To know more about the designer’s work, please visit her website




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Montage of a paneled room


Only one more week to go before the start of our annual holidays!

The employees of our company Lefèvre Interiors are finishing current projects.

This week they had to install a paneled living room in a city apartment.

After the renovation of the building that took almost a year, this week the apartment was finally ready to start the interior design work.


The first image here is of an oak paneled room, that inspired me to design the cabinetry and paneling of this apartment’s living room.

Inspiring image 1Inspiring image of an oak paneled room.


This is the plan with all 4 views of the living room.

PlansLefèvre Interiors plan. All views of the paneled room.


This picture I took a few weeks ago in our workshop. Oak cabinetry and paneling in progress.

Workshop 1Lefèvre Interiors workshop. Montage of the cabinetry and paneling.


Although the room isn’t finished yet, I wanted to show you before pictures and a few pictures of this week’s installation of the paneling.

Before 001Before

After 001This week

Notice the difference of the cornice moulding before and after the renovation!

Before 005Before

After 005After


Before 002During renovation

After 002This week


Before 003During renovation

After 003This week


Before 004Start of the renovation

After 004This week’s installation


Our clients, now have to decide about the finish of the wood, hardware, lighting fixtures, window treatment,… which will all be finished after the holiday period.

To be continued…


Enjoy the weekend!



If you would like us to help designing and manufacturing your paneling, feel free to contact us at

For more Lefèvre Interiors realisations visit our website at


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Dreaming of a new life in Belgium ?



Some of you, my dear readers, do propably know the UK’s longest running relocation show, BBC’s ‘Escape to the Country’. A series which helps prospective buyers find their dream home in the country. Escape to the Country features a team of experts who assist a couple or family in obtaining their dream country home.

The series is currently running. This programme guides the spectators along the English countryside and shows us lots of properties on the market.


The English countrysideEnglish CountrysideImage 1 Cotswolds, source LocalNomad Blog - Image 2 Cotswolds, source LocalNomad Blog - Image 3 Wales, source Beautiful Britain - Image 4 Old English cottage, source Pixdaus - Image 5 English country interior, source Country Interiors by Caroline Meredith - Cotswolds interior, source The Village Pub Cirencester


At this moment I am working on a project for a client living in the Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful and most famous parts of the English countryside! This charming area really stole my heart! I posted about the Cotswolds here. As an interior designer I love all books about English country house architecture and interiors. My latest acquisition is the gorgeous book by one of my favorite English designers Nicky Haslam : ‘Folly de Grandeur : Romance and Revival in an English Country House’.

CoverHardcover of the book

Nicky Haslam in the garden of his country house.Nicky Haslam in the garden of his English country house. Photo credit Simon Upton (Source book preview here)

To see a preview of this book, click here.

For more information about the series BBC’s ‘Escape to the Country’ and for all upcoming broadcasts, click HERE and HERE.

Escape to the CountryBBC’s ‘Escape to the Country’


Why am I telling you about BBC’s ‘Escape to the Country’ today?

I heard that the property & lifestyle programme ‘Escape to the Country’ is expanding its production by creating a new spin-off series, 'Escape to the Continent'.

The producers are now looking for British people who are thinking of embarking on a continental adventure.

When I heard this, I knew I had to blog about this and had to inform my British readers about this BBC series! I had to promote our beautiful country Belgium !

Are you one of my British readers and do you dream of a new life in Continental Europe?


Please, email your name, telephone number and a little bit about your move



visit the ‘Be on a show’ page for an application form :


And why would you choose for a new life in Belgium?

Because, Belgium is a fantastic country to live in.

Because English is widely spoken.

Because, the Belgium countryside is gorgeous! Think about the unique hilly landscapes of the Flemish Ardennes, the extensive forests of the Belgian Ardennes, the national park of the Hoge Kempen etc.

Because of its cornucopia of culture, historic places and beautiful towns and cities.

Because of its castles and other worth seeing places and curiosities. Culture lovers will feel at home by visiting the numerous museums.

Because of its beautiful golf courses, cycling routes and the famous Tour of Flanders.

Because of its traditional and contemporary architecture.

Because of Belgian world-renowned fashion designers, interior designers and architects.

Because of the Belgian craftsmanship.

Because of the numerous restaurants where delicious Belgian food is served, because of the Belgian beer, the Belgian chocolates and so many more…


25The beautiful landscape of the Flemish Ardennes     Source Visit Gent


10 Belgian Ardennes     Source Cour Rimbaud


29National Park the Hoge Kempen     Photo credit Marc De Vos     Source Natuur en Bos


26The city of Bruges, called Venice of the North     Source Diamond Land


BrusselsBrussels,“Capital of Europe” where the headquarters of the European Union and NATO are based   

Source Holiday Lines


11Aerial view of the Castle of Nokere     Source unknown


Oudenaarde golf courseGolf & Countryclub Oudenaarde     Source Golf Oudenaarde


Tour of FlandersTour of Flanders     Source Bicycling


Lam GodsThe Ghent Altarpiece (also called Adoration of the Mystic Lamb or The Lamb of God), 1432- Jan & Hubert van Eyck - Saint Bavo Cathedral Ghent     Source Wikipedia


24 Belgian mills     Source Sint Blasiushof


23Belgium, renown flax producing country     Source Klaverke

To read more about Belgian linen, please visit the Belgian linen website at


Libeco Linen table cloth FlandersTable linen ‘Flanders’ by Libeco      Source Libeco Home Collection


19Farmhouses with their limewashed brick façades     Source Timeless Living


17Oak outbuildings    Source Rik Storms


27 Belgian farmhouse with its beautiful garden     Source Immo Dochy


28Beguinage Bruges     Source : Eigendom van & : Alle rechten voorbehouden

Since a number of years we do see evolve in Belgian architecture a new style which is inspired by the architecture of the Flemish beguinages. See my bloppost about the Belgian ‘Begijnhofstijl’ here.


13Beautiful country house     Source Architect François-Xavier Van Damme


15Characteristics of Belgian architecture and interior design : reclaimed materials as brick floor, beamed ceiling, limewashed walls and linen upholstery.     Source Lefèvre Interiors


21Use of natural materials as wooden floors, Belgian linen for window treatment and upholstery.    

Source Timeless Architecture and Living- Yearbook 2009 Beta-Plus Publishing


Belgian interior designers love to mix old and new.       Source Lefèvre Interiors 


If you are interested in Belgian architecture & interior design, I would love to recommend you these Beta-Plus Publications.

Beta Plus PublicationsCover Exclusive Country Houses  - Cover Family Houses – Cover Contemporary Living in Belgium 

 Source Beta-Plus Publishing


Lefèvre Interiors  cabinetmakersCraftsmanship of the Belgian family-owned company Lefèvre Interiors, cabinetmakers since 1890 

Photo Credit Claude Smekens     Source Lefèvre Interiors


30Fashion design NATAN by Edouard Vermeulen     Source Natan FB Page


Belgian foodBelgian foodImage 1 Belgian fries, Source Tumblr.  Image 2 Belgian beer, source Rough Guides  - Image 3 Belgian chocolate, source Chocolaterie Belfort  - Image 4 Belgian grapes, Source Streekproduct


And if you would love to see beautiful aerial views of Belgium, then I recommend you to purchase ‘Belgium The Book’.

Belguim The BookCover ‘Belgium The Book’

In more than 250 images aerial photographer Wim Robberechts takes you along for a flight over Belgium.

The best aerial photographs of Belgium.


Please, be sure to watch these videos about Belgium.

Belgium, the Movie (trailer) by Wim Robberechts


Cities of Belgium : Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp


Isn’t Belgium a fantastic country to live in?

In case you have made up your mind, and you are living in the UK, and have decided to start your new life in Belgium, please apply to the upcoming BBC programme ‘Escape to the Continent’.

Please, email your name, telephone number and a little bit about your move



visit the ‘Be on a show’ page for an application form :


Apply formBBC’s ‘Escape to the Continent’

Writing this post makes me feel as I am representing my country as an ambassador does. Well, I am a Belgian in heart and soul and I tried to convince my British readers, who are dreaming to escape to the Continent, to start their new life in Belgium.

I do hope that Belgium may be the ‘Escape to the Continent’- country of your option!

You are most welcome!

I am looking forward to hear of anyone of you, my dear readers, who has applied to be on the show of the ‘Escape to the Continent’ series.



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