Inside the soulful loft of Kim and Kanye’s designer
Vincent Van Duysen might be known for his starry clientele, but his own home is all about comfort and quiet contemplation
The designers whose homes feature in Inside aren’t exactly household names. This new book, subtitled At Home with Great Designers, features sixty dwellings created and owned by sixty celebrated contemporary global designers and decorators. Those with a keen interest in decor will recognise quite a few of the featured home owners, such as Faye Toogood, John Pawson, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch; many more will better know the names on these designers' client lists.
Consider the Belgian practitioner Vincent Van Duysen; over the past three decades he has gained a reputation for his simple and often quite minimalist interiors. “My work is pretty quiet and calm and serene and contemplative,” he says in Inside. “For me, an interior is all about calming down the senses and bringing in a great sense of comfort and well-being.”
However, Van Duysen's public standing rose when he worked on the California home of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Unveiled in the pages of Architectural Digest in 2020, and created in collaboration with fellow Belgian Axel Vervoordt, the place was described as “an otherworldly oasis of purity and light” – terms that could describe Van Duysen’s own home.
Van Duysen’s place wasn’t always so clutter free. The designer bought a former notary’s office in Antwerp, his hometown, and transformed its warren of rooms into a simplified, open-plan living space. “While the building’s nineteenth-century neoclassical style was respected with the restoration of period features, including an original staircase that was scoured, sanded, and stripped down to its barest essence, natural light was amplified with the introduction of three oversized windows with industrial steel frames,” explains the text in Inside.
“Throughout the property, Van Duysen focused on warm, natural materials,” the book goes on to explain. “Wide poplar floorboards were laid down on the first and second floors, while walls were plastered in a bone-colored finish that was enhanced by hand woven Belgian linen furnishings in the same shade. In the attic, which was not renovated until more than a decade after the rest of the house had been completed, seventeenth-century reclaimed oak planks were placed across the floor and along one wall to complement the heavy oak-beam ceiling.” It’s a beautifully finished, perfectly judged home, that would suit a rap superstar and a reality-TV icon alike. However, Van Duysen feels this place is very much his own. “It’s all very soulful,” he says. “It’s very personal, and it really reflects me, whether it’s the choice of materials, the vast interior, or the furniture and art pieces. All of them are in balance and in dialogue with each other.”
To see more of that back and forth, and to view many other places, order a copy of Inside here.