- Art & Design
It was an intuitive drive for thoughtful interiors and objects with a story that lies at the root of Rénu Design. Founder Christophe Glorieux always had a passion for the impact the right pieces can have on a space. A growing collection for private use and friends culminated in a larger project, resulting in a showroom and pop-up store in Knokke. We had the chance to ask the design enthusiast a few questions.
How did your love of design come about?
‘It grew steadily. I always liked to buy pieces for myself. After living in Brussels for a long time and exploring there, and always looking for beautiful pieces on vacation, this eventually grew into more. In addition, I have always had an interest in literature about design.’
What trends do you think are important in design?
‘Lately, you see that there is often a return to the lines from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Besides the aesthetics, the functional use has to be top notch, which those periods completely exude. With less-quality pieces, the latter is sometimes forgotten.’ Who do you look up to?
‘One of my favourites remains Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, he is a very important figure for me. On Belgian soil, I am of course a fan of everything Vincent Van Duysen does; both in terms of architecture and design I find him very strong. He certainly deserves his own place in history later on.’
How do you sense what the best choices are for clients?
‘Asking a lot of questions. I don't like to sell just to sell. I lwant to understand who my customers are, their habits, what they want and need, etc. That way, I look for the right piece for them, while always thinking with them in their best interest.’
'I don't like to sell just to sell'
Materials you prefer?
‘Leather I love, it can live so well. A chair with a beautiful patina is immensely valuable to me, because you really have to find it and can't just buy it. I also often have beautiful wood objects, which can very quickly give an interior the warmth it needs. Glass and chrome steel are also always rewarding products, for example in combination with leather.’
Main desires when selecting your pieces?
‘Above all, my pieces must have a soul. You will therefore find fewer new items with me. Objects that have a previous life, that's what I love. Each piece passes through my hands and I purchase each item very consciously.’ Can you tell us something about future projects?
‘The pop-up in Knokke will be extended, at least for a year. As a permanent store, the popery will be open during weekends and vacations. In addition, we are now building a central warehouse in Ghent, where all the stock will be. Furthermore, it will function as a photo studio and a showroom aimed rather at professional customers. People will also occasionally be able to rent it for private dinners. This will be ready in June 2024. And in Drongen, where everything began, the renovated studio barn will serve as a venue where private viewings around certain pieces will sometimes be organised.’
What is left on your bucket list?
‘A lot. I'm happy to see that, after barely a year, the public does like Rénu. I definitely want to grow even further. The pop-up in Knokke is a start for now, but there are definitely still other places I would like to do this. Brussels, for example, because that's where my heart is, or Antwerp. Maybe in time I would also like to have a shop. I would also be very interested in a nice collaboration with a furniture designer, with young talents or with established names. Then I would love to bring my own piece to the market that integrates the values of vintage into a new design.” It is abundantly clear that Glorieux purchases and sells his collection with an incisive passion. By always looking for individuality, both in the design items and in the questions clients come to him with, he assures that he is doing everything he can to navigate the industry with personality. Needless to say, we wish him much future success.
Photography by Cafeine
Text by Cara Jacobs