One of the best things about global design is that there are so many different ways to imagine, decorate and create a room. From the classic to the modern, from patterns to colors, there's just so much to see, learn, and love about global style. One the best global styles for striking a balance between the traditional and the contemporary is Belgian Style. More polished than Shabby Chic and a little more masculine than Swedish Style, Belgian-inspired rooms are a little more rustic, but every inch as beautiful.
The defining characteristics of Belgian style include:
- A neutral color palette
- Raw, unfinished woods
- Lots of texture
- Antique furniture
- Slipcovers and loose fabrics
- Burnished metals
How to Create a Belgian Style Room
Belgian style decorating is all about restrained elegance. It combines rustic elements with a modern aesthetic to create a simple and spare yet cozy and comfortable space.
Color – Keep the color palette soft and neutral. Soft browns, chalky taupes and all manner of grays are perfect. This isn't the place to include bold and bright hues, but don't worry. Interest and depth is created with texture. In Belgian style decorating color is used to set the mood, not to call attention to individual items.
Texture – Natural fibers such as linen, sisal, and weathered woods add dimension to this style of room. When mixed with burnished metals the result is a room full of depth.
Furniture – Think clean and simple lines without a lot of decorative excess.
That said, it shouldn't be boring. Look for antique armoires, chairs and benches in raw woods with strong lines and mix them with modern items (pieces that mix wood and metal are excellent). Despite the strong lines, upholstered pieces should be cozy and soft. This is achieved by using loose slipcovers and comfy pillows.
Accessories - Play up nature whenever possible. Wicker baskets, piles of logs by the fireplace, wooden bowls, and faux moss are all great decorative accents. When it comes to artwork keep it simple. Remember to avoid strong colors and stick with neutrals. Don't over-clutter and resist the urge to fill empty spaces with stuff. Belgian style is simple and spare so a few well-chosen accessories will look a lot better than an overload of items.
Belgian Style for the Seasons
The spare look of Belgian style décor is lovely and cool in the summer, but with a few simple transitions it can be made very cozy and winter appropriate. Simply layer furniture with extra throws and pillows in warm neutrals when the cold weather hits. Soft cashmeres and textured cable-knits are the types of fabric accessories that will work nicely. Add some ivory candles to table surfaces and mantels to add a warm glow. You can also add extra area rugs for added warmth.