Ever try to move your leg in a clockwise circle while simultaneously drawing a “6” or try to eat just a single French fry? Those tasks are impossible, oui? So too is measuring the influence of Axel Vervoordt upon the interior architecture and design worlds.
It also seems impossible Axel Vervoordt’s popularity in mainstream America (and Pinterest!) would be catapulted as a direct result of celebrity clients on a reality television series (“Keeping Up With the Kardashians”)! Yet this has happened since Kim Kardashian and Kanye West became famous clients and cheerleaders of Vervoordt in the ongoing renovations of their $20 million Hidden Hills estate (no images here yet…let me know if you discover any!). Kanye even collaborated on the design of his own sofa with Vervoordt.
As for Axel Vervoordt’s soulfulness, divine eye, and uncompromising process? Mmmmm. It was love at first sight when I discovered them, and if granted the wish to dine with any creative alive on the planet…well, AV is at the top of this admirer’s list.
Today I’m sharing 5 ways Axel Vervoordt’s mission and philosophy continue to personally inspire and resonate with me, along with a breathtaking collection of beautiful interior architecture and design work for you to study and pin. The work reflects commitment, creative genius, and careful expression of deeply held values.
“Art elevates life. We have a passion for uncovering beauty and sharing it. We embrace authenticity in the interiors we create, the exhibitions we curate and the buildings we elaborate. It can even be felt in the details of the furniture we make.” is how Axel Vervoordt connects the role of art with authenticity and helping people and spaces. It seems only natural Kim and Kanye would be drawn to such design purity and level of authenticity since there is no shortage of faux, machine-made everything in Hollywoodland. Vervoordt and his team (of 100) are passionate about celebrating all that is truly authentic and inspiring others to see the purity within the real. While we may not have such access to craftsmen, fine art, and valuable objects, we can also embrace authenticity and grow more intentional about designing our environments.
2. Creative Vision.
To behold his work with the arts, design, objects, or architecture, is to enter a world of heartfully rendered creation. In fact, Axel Vervoordt’s favorite adage is “Etre heureux en rendant heureux” which gets translated roughly in English as finding happiness through creating happiness. I’m not sure what this idea stirs up for you, but for me it speaks to how I conceptualize JOURNEY, PROCESS, and the BEAUTY OF THE DANCE involved in the creative process. The creation of: art, experiences, objects, structures, ideas, poetry, and music births into existence a lighter realm of richness on earth. It is indeed the realm in which I long to live, breathe and have my being. It is sanctuary to my soul.
3. Deep Calling Deep.
Some of you may remember I attended a Wisdom School in 2016, and in our first introductory session, some 25 of us were seated in a circle and asked to articulate in a few words why we chose to attend. Almost every voice echoed, “I am led to go deeper” or “The deep is calling me” or “Something is drawing me to the depths.” So much of Vervoordt’s work seems to express a similar longing. His interior design work is never a superficial venture or mere decorative treat for the eyes. It is wise. The work embraces depth and celebrates the soulfulness and history in objects and art of interest to him. Vervoordt seems never interested in the surface of things as much as the life-giving stories and fullness beneath them. As one develops an eye to SEE the history and beauty within things, the depths enfold. Meditation, centering prayer, spiritual teachers and divine therapy have been richly important to my own journey to transform and to SEE. Vervoordt writes, “Everything needs a deep human reason” and his work surely satisfies such longing in lovely, deeply-rooted, reverently wise ways.
4. Reflective Soul.
It has taken me many years to relearn my belovedness, to move beyond my monkey mind’s grip and circumstances which alter the shape of my heart, and to begin to discover my true self–my shining soul–in the spaciousness of quiet stillness where ego and earthly identities are stripped away. It is no wonder Vervoordt’s spare aesthetic sensibilities and commitment to that which is soulful, are so attractive to me. Here is what he writes about his creative expression and mission in Story of a Style: “My task, as I have seen it from a very young age, has been to rediscover beautiful works of art, to save them for the future, to reveal them for what they are, to show them at their best, to give them a better place in the world – and, perhaps, by doing this, to create inner harmony and find new ways of expressing the inner life.”
When Axel Vervoordt describes his philosophy and guiding principles, he mentions “the art of living,” “the fullness of emptiness,” and “eliminating all but the essentials.” Such an approach to living varies from mere minimalism since one can identify as a minimalist without possessing the same reverence for objects and art Vervoodt posesses. His spiritual milieu, nondual awareness, and relationship to space and emptiness (emptiness is not nothinginess, BTW!) all contribute to an artfully integrative approach to living. In Story of a Style, he writes: “For 30 years I have been interested in developing an art of living which can transform the ordinary object into an objet d’art and the everyday gesture into perfection – the fullness of emptiness.”
A bit more background about the internationally famous company (and family business!) which specializes in interior architecture, archaeology, art history, craftsmanship, product design, and restoration (from Axel Vervoordt):
“We have five areas of focus and contribute actively to the arts. Five distinctive, highly compatible business activities are headed by Axel Vervoordt’s two sons: Boris Vervoordt leads the Art & Antiques, Gallery, Interior Design and Home Collection activities and Dick Vervoordt is at the helm of the Company’s Real Estate operations.
Axel Vervoordt himself and his wife May continue to inspire and mentor the company, artists, broader audiences and friends alike with the non-profit activities of the Vervoordt Foundation and by fostering musical and artistic patronage through Inspiratum.
We employ traditional craftsmanship and use quality, durable materials. Our business is based on creating added value, through enhancing objects and their contexts. True to these principles, the Axel Vervoordt Company has grown since 1968 from a small family business, specialized in collecting objects of art and creating fine interiors, into the internationally renowned, family-led company that it is today.”
I hope you’ll enjoy these timeless, tranquil, authentically thoughtful designs by a master.
WHAT 3 WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE THIS APPROACH TO INTERIORS?
Peace to you right where you are.
p.s. Do these images usher you into a peaceful, meditative space?