Keerbergen House

I know I talk a lot about balancing function and aesthetic, but it truly is the biggest challenge facing a designer. No matter how large or small the project, the tension between the use of the design and its visual aspects is always present. Thus I have a true appreciation for those designers who can not only navigate this tension, but make it disappear completely. Belgian interior design firm Minus is one such designer. Named according to a philosophy favoured by minimalists, Minus believes great design is achieved through subtraction, not addition. Furthermore, Minus aims to design interiors that correspond perfectly with living style. Among their portfolio is Keerbergen House, a designer home that values lifestyle as much as visual style.

Simple colours and basic geometries define Keerbergen House. White is favoured, as is a single-story rectangular floor plan. The ground floor is spilt in two parts: a kitchen on one half of the space and a sitting room on the other. Rather than separated to two different rooms, a divider wall spans partially between them. Floor to ceiling windows stretch the full length of the house, highlighting the home’s wooded surroundings.

The kitchen follows the all white colour scheme with tucked-in storage and low profile workspaces. Rather than looking utilitarian like many kitchens, the kitchen in this home reads more like an art gallery. Combined with the gorgeous views behind the island, this kitchen is easily one of the best minimalist kitchens I’ve seen in a while. In the living room, an oversized white couch is a statement choice. This piece of lounge furniture provides an inviting warmth to the room. A long centre console, in a dark colour matching the couch, defines the sitting area and provides an unobtrusive home for a sleek fireplace and TV. Minimal doesn’t have to be stark—this living room is as comfortable as any.

I will never underestimate the role of a good terrace in a modern home. Paired with the right furnishings, a terrace can easily function as the living and dining rooms for everyday life, as well as additional entertainment spaces for special occasions. The terrace as an extra room is especially important in a smaller home like Keerbergen House. Here, the soft sitting area and perfectly-sized pool calls to mind resort-style relaxation. Jealous doesn’t begin to cover my longing for a space like this.

With Keerbergen House, Minus has achieved a kind of accessible design that can be tricky to master in minimalist interiors. I can imagine how each space is used, and the functional qualities of the design don’t hurt the overall aesthetic. It is not hard to envision a family stretched across the sofa watching TV, eating and cooking in the kitchen, or playing in the backyard. Often designs balance use and style, but Keerbergen House is more of a combination. Every detail has a purpose fully integrated with its aesthetic value. This interior design is truly admirable.