Belgian furniture and decor designer Michaël Verheyden is an avowed minimalist. “I prefer to stay subtle and humble when it comes to design,” he says. Many of his pieces are composed of a single, if exquisite, material – marble, brass or white oak. His shapes are simple – circles, squares – though proportioned in a way that make them pop. His succinctly titled Marble Vase, for example, is composed of two cylinders, the more massive of the two stretching incongruously up from the smaller one.
One of his early mentors was another famous minimalist, albeit in an another industry. To earn extra money as a design student in his hometown of Genk, Verheyden modelled for Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons. The two became friends and Simons encouraged him to launch a line of leather handbags and accessories. The collection was successful – Rick Owens became a customer, commissioning bags for his own collections.
But then Verheyden and his wife, design collaborator Saartje Vereecke, bought their first house. “There were few things that could please us,” he says. “And those few that did were way out of budget, so we decided to develop those products ourselves.” That was 11 years ago, yet he and Vereecke still work the same personal approach today. “We only make things we would want to own and use ourselves,” he says.