Warm minimalism with a touch of Wabi Sabi. This is how Bieke Gaelens describes the style of The Creative Company, the interior design and architecture firm she founded in 2000 with her husband Eric Guldemont.
Even after twenty years and many successful projects, The Creative Company remains a 'two-man company'. Bieke and Eric have no other employees and do everything with just the two of them. "It's hard and a lot of work," Bieke admits. But at the same time, the small scale of the agency and the personal approach that goes with it are greatly appreciated by their clients. "It is one of our greatest assets, and this together with the combination of architecture and interior design that seamlessly merge into one another.”
A characteristic project for The Creative Company, but also special and unique
After all these years, the couple is also fully attuned to each other on a professional level. They now know very well how to strengthen and complement one another. "We both know what this work means, we don't need many words to know who has to do what," we hear. Starting up a new project, is something they always do together and their preference goes to total projects. This often begins with architecture and possibly supervising the garden design and the integration of the project into its surroundings. Then comes the interior and decoration and if desired, Bieke and Eric will think of and design things with you down to the smallest details. However, everything is possible and the client determines the route we take, says Bieke. Even so, it is possible that they will only realise the interior of a bathroom, for example, but at The Creative Company it is important that the 'click' with the customer is there and that all parties involved are aligned in terms of style and architectural experience. "What we do, we want to do well. For ourselves, but also for our customers," explains Eric. That click and the trust that is created ensures that they continue to see a lot of customers even after the assignment. Elements that recur in many projects are a high degree of detailing, clean lines, the search for honest volumes and ideal proportions, natural materials and sufficient attention to the right lighting. The duo themselves describe their style as "warm minimalism with a touch of Wabi Sabi". This term of course immediately reminds us of Axel Vervoordt, who also likes to let himself be inspired by this Japanese philosophy that revolves around austerity, authenticity and the beauty of imperfection. By the way, Bieke and Eric look up to this top Belgian designer, just like Peter Zumthor, Ingo Maurer, Vincent Van Duysen and Charles and Ray Eames are their examples. Each in their own way – with architecture, lighting, interior design, furniture – they go "far in their vision and detailing and they radiate passion", Bieke tells us.
“We strengthen each other and are a sounding board for each other”
To give you an example of how this translates into reality, we here present the recent project, House K.
The Creative Company was commissioned to renovate and partly redecorate this house. The client wanted more openness in what were previously fragmented and unloaded spaces and also asked for a larger connection to the garden. To achieve the latter, new minimalist windows were installed with as few window divisions as possible. In their interventions, Bieke and Eric had to take into account the existing style of the home, a stylish house from the 60s. And so, they opted for a serene interior, but with great attention to lighting, the use of rich materials and the right decorative elements. By using, for example, the same natural stone - the strongly veined marble Verde Innocente supplied by Hullebusch - in both the kitchen and the sitting area, unity and tranquility was created.
You can read the full interview with The Creative Company and discover other projects in the March edition of our magazine, Imagicasa Spring 2020. You can still order this issue again via our webshop, which currently comes with an interesting promotion!
Images © Cafeine