Monday, November 23, 2009

Axel Vervoordt - Designer of the Year

According the Belgian on-line magazine Knack Weekend, British design house Andrew Martin has named Belgian art and antiques dealer Axel Vervoordt 'Designer of the Year'. I translated the Dutch from the article  using Babelfish followed with some light editing/translation of my own. The original article appears here.


The internationally renowned antiquarian/decorator Axel Vervoordt is exclaimed by the already just as famous British decorating house Andrew Martin to stylist of the Year 2009. This London house not only creates fabrics and furniture for decorators around the world, but also developed its own line of furnishings and lighting. In the past years numerous famous decorators to receive the award include Kelly Hoppen and Michael Reeves. Vervoordt is not the first belgian to receive this recognition, which went to the late Jean de Meulder in 2000. The award will be presented on 26 November to the Vervoordt family. The emphasis lies on family, because the company of Axel and May Vervoordt is continued by their son Boris Vervoordt. The date for this presentation is designed to take place on the occasion of the annual open house days, next weekend, in the castle of s-Gravenwezel and the shop Kanaal, both on the outskirts of Antwerp.

This international award is considered 'the Oscar of the Interior Design world', according to the Andrew Martin site, which contains photographs of past winners, including:

  • Kelly Hoppen
  • Thomas Pheasant
  • Michael Reeves
  • Stephen Falke
  • Jean de Meuidier
  • Amanda Rosa
  • Jamie Drake
  • Tera Bernerd
  • Taylor Howes
  • Helene Hennie
  • Kit Kemp
The Vervoordt family (Axel, May, Boris, Dick) appear in a two part televsion interview (also in Dutch), courtesy of YouTube. Taped in the Oriental Salon on the second floor of the castle (for U.S. readers, first floor overseas), I enjoyed watching this even though I can understand only a few words here and there... words like 'Sting' and 'Madonna', two among a new generation of the exclusive and usually private AV clientele. The story began when Mr. Vervoordt made a handsome profit from his first sale of a painting,  purchased as a teenager while traveling to London with his father. Over the years he built his reputation and his business grew, eventually becoming the premier dealer and decorator among European aristocrats and global moguls, types who generally shy away from publicity. It is well known that Bill Gates has visited the Kasteel s-Gravenwezel to shop for antiques and art, and the Vervoordts' are rumoured to maintain an office in Seattle for the sole purpose of keeping the Gates' residence just right. You can see photographs of his work on one of the Royal residences of Belgium in the book Timeless Interiors.

Here is part one of the video interview. I will post part two on Friday, along with some notes on my recollection of visiting the castle's open house, and meeting Axel Vervoordt, in December 2007.


  1. Wishing you good luck on the table.
    You have a most interesting blog here! Happy to have found you.

  2. Wonderful post! Vervoordt is a great designer! He is my daily inspiration in my business work!
    Next weekend I go to the open house doors!

    Thank you for this post and I am looking forward to Friday for the 2nd part!


  3. hi ;)
    Thanks for passing by again I love to have found a follower Mick Rock fan, bot so many bloggers know him I noticed.

    Music and iterior design what else would I want ;) You might like to see I combined both in this post ;)

    All the best!

  4. What an accomplishment! Love to learn about new people...

  5. James, I'm so glad that you directed me to your blog! I can't wait to go back through and read the documentation of your renovation on the old farmhouse.