Wild at heart

Antwerp-based florist Mark Colle has cre­ated a home that, much like his stylish bou­quets, is im­mac­u­lately cu­rated and brim­ming with vi­brant colour

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words FAYE WINDRIDGE Pho­tog­ra­phy HELENIO BARBETTA/LIV­ING IN­SIDE Styling CHIARA DAL CANTO

Im­mac­u­lately cu­rated like a bou­quet, this florist’s home in Antwerp is brim­ming with colour

This apart­ment, lo­cated on the top floor of a 1930s build­ing in Antwerp, Bel­gium, be­longs to florist Mark Colle and is char­ac­terised by flashes of colour. Colle has be­come renowned for the big flo­ral in­stal­la­tions he cre­ates at Bal­ti­more Bloe­men, his bi­jou flower shop in the city cen­tre – the walls of flow­ers he cre­ated for Raf Si­mons’ first show for Dior in 2012 re­quired al­most a mil­lion stems. He may be known for su­per-sized dis­plays, but Mark prefers hand-ty­ing more mod­est bou­quets. It’s this eye for tak­ing the small and mak­ing it spe­cial that has trans­formed his own apart­ment.

Used to go­ing with his gut and mak­ing in­stinc­tive de­ci­sions, Mark bought his home the day after spot­ting an ad­vert for it on Face­book. It had been re­cently ren­o­vated, pro­vid­ing a neu­tral can­vas for him to layer in his col­lec­tions. The up­shot is a calm yet com­fort­able home that’s big on per­son­al­ity.

The open-plan flat has a kitchen and liv­ing area on the first floor, and a bed­room, bath­room and stu­dio tucked un­der the eaves. White paint and resin floors form a sim­ple, bright back­drop, which is off­set in the liv­ing area by warm wooden cladding and an over­sized con­crete planter. ‘My in­door gar­den is made up of plants that no­body wanted,’ says Mark. ‘It’s an army of left­overs.’

Dis­prov­ing the no­tion that small spa­ces should be clut­ter free, he has used his favourite ob­jects to cre­ate dis­plays: a wall of shelv­ing for his vinyl record col­lec­tion, and ce­ram­ics grouped on the hearth. ‘I didn’t re­ally think the style of the in­te­rior through,’ he says, ‘It’s eclectic, which is just the way I like it.’ mark­colle.com; bal­ti­more­bloe­men.be

Open-plan liv­ing The stair­case leads to the bed­room and stu­dio that over­looks the kitchen be­low. A con­crete planter with lush fo­liage acts as an in­door gar­den Kitchen The cen­tral is­land houses the sink and the can­tilevered ta­ble trans­forms the space...

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