Sharing glimpses of our own home is not my favorite thing to do. It’s soooo not on par with the brilliant work I spotlight regularly. But since there is as much interest in my personal projects as anything else, today, let’s look at Rustic Decor: My Belgian Style Living Room. No “fall refresh” yet. No “look at this new thing or that improved corner.” It’s just a peaceful, spare, relaxed, and un-decorated soulful-and-slightly-monastic space with lots of Belgian linen and rustic decor pieces we have collected over the years.
White Oak Hardwood Flooring
We had white oak hardwood (finished on site by an artisan) installed on the first floor of our home. We left the wood natural – no stain – just a clear, slightly matte finish on top.
Wall & Trim Paint Color
The walls, ceiling, and trim are painted Benjamin Moore “White.” We needed a bright white with minimal undertones, and this is the base white Benjamin Moore colors begin with. When we bought the place, the walls were a dreadful light yellow which made it look dated and drew attention to the white Colonial trim and doors. This white has a gallery feel and a crispness that feels modern. The painted white woodwork now recedes for a more seamless, calm overall look.
Belgian Style Upholstered Furniture
Our living room is large and has 25′ ceilings so the Belgian linen upholstered pieces from our prior home worked perfectly. A Belgian sloped arm sofa, chaise, arm chair, and swiveling Copenhagen chair are from RH (the color of the Belgian linen is “Sand.”)
These pieces with their nubby texture have stood up to years of abuse from our sons and their many friends.
Rustic Decor: Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table with Industrial Style
The industrial style coffee table is also from RH, and it’s huge. It works as an ottoman, a board game table, and where my three guys are concerned, dining table for pizza. I love the bottom shelf which makes a great perch for a laptop or video game console.
Modern and Minimal Concrete Lamps on Sideboard
I was so happy to find these contemporary concrete table lamps with their simple design and grey color.
Some of the pillows are Belgian linen (charcoal grey – vintage RH), a few are distressed canvas (also from RH, retired now), and few more are charcoal grey cotton velvet covers from Ikea (I think you can still find these).
Simple Branches in Lieu of Flowers
Since we are surrounded by mature woods, there is plentiful foliage to bring inside. A simple branch or fern fronds in a clear glass hurricane feels just right to me and is far less busy than something floral. Branches also are a better scale with the large proportions in this room.
Wall Paint Color in Prior Home Above
In our prior home, the walls were painted Benjamin Moore White Sand–a beautiful warm neutral for a tone on tone look with the Belgian linen.
Skipping Window Treatments
We love allowing natural light to flood the room, and since there are no privacy or glare issues, the windows are bare. I love the way Europeans work with natural light in their country homes and share many design sensibilities with them.
Dark Grey Accents
You might think I would be tired of the dark grey by now…nope. Every once in awhile I will change up the pillows, but I always return to this accent color. (The photo above was taken almost 10 years ago in our prior home!).
Original Abstract Paintings
I created the large ethereal painting with gold leaf above the sideboard especially for this space in 2015, and it is over 6 feet tall. I favor the drama of just a few bold and grand decor accents over a bunch of little ones.
There’s just nothing like working with the light, and whether we are designing a home for ourselves or considering an existing one for purchase, the quality of it is at the top of my list.
Sideboard from Belgium
We initially bought this old sideboard from Belgium when we began building our prior home. It was a piece designated for our large French country kitchen, and I imagined storing all of my serving pieces and oversized items which would only be called into service when we entertain. We even planned the electrical and lighting around it in that kitchen. However, once in place with the balance of kitchen fixtures, it would not quiet down. We didn’t live with it there for long, but we did not find the perfect home for it until we moved into our current home.
The very rustic oak piece is 9 feet long and only 14″ deep, with beautifully aged iron hardware. I store some of my vintage treasures, collections, and sentimental items inside the rugged sideboard. If you love Belgian style and want to introduce it to your own space, I highly recommend starting with a Belgian antique or vintage treasure as a starting point.
Rustic Decor: Turned Wood Candleholders
I love the simplicity and casual charm of rustic turned wood candleholders, and they are readily available EVERYWHERE now.
Rustic Carved Wood Cabinet Doors
Rustic Sideboards in the Same Spirit
Books on the Sideboard
French Prayer Chairs
I have collected several old prayer chairs with rush seats from France over the years and sprinkle them all over the house. I love the rusticity of them, their age, the texture, the warmth, and the reminder they bring…to pray.