Magali & Bart's Soulful Belgium Retreat

Magali & Bart's Soulful Belgium Retreat

Jul 24, 2014
(Image credit: Bart Kiggen)
(Image credit: Patrick Cline)

Today's tour is the first in a collaborative series curated by Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of Aphrochic for Apartment Therapy. They handpicked homes from around the world to share that capture the culture and style that they celebrate in their book, Remix: Decorating with Culture, Objects, and Soul.

Name: Magali Elali & Bart Kiggen of Coffeeklatch
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Size: 360 square meters
Years lived in: 2

Halfway across the world, in Antwerp, Belgium, sits the home of two creatives - Magali Elali and Bart Kiggen, the founders of Coffeeklatch. Fans of the slow journalism movement, the two have created an innovative online magazine dedicated to exploring the lives of kindred artistic spirits.

(Image credit: Bart Kiggen)

With interviews conducted by Magali and photos taken by Bart, each month they take us inside the amazing homes of fascinating people, all within their beloved Antwerp. The monthly line up calls on designers, decorators, musicians and the like for insightful “creative chit chat”, as they call it. The duo has a knack for sharing stories that highlight creativity in all its forms.

The couple’s exceptional story-telling ability shines through as strongly in the rooms of their Belgium home as it does on the pages of their web- site. Magali and Bart have designed a modern home filled with vintage pieces, cultural collections and original art that speaks to their own back- ground and global adventures. “Informal”, “friendly” and and “human” are the words they have used to describe their interviews on Coffeeklatch, and those words are also the best way to describe their home. White walls are warmed with wood furnishings, fresh plant life and snippets of their visual work.

A home fit for both work and entertaining, this bright Belgium townhome holds within it all of the components that make a modern home soulful - heirloom furnishings, cultural objects, original art, and personal pieces that help tell the unique story of two people with a love for unique stories.

- Introduction written by Jeanine Hays & Bryan Mason

(Image credit: Bart Kiggen)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our home is a place where we like to come to rest. That’s the reason why we tried to keep it bright and light using natural materials mixed with vintage objects. All walls are bare, counterbalancing the overload of visual impulses we experience in our jobs.

Inspiration: Through our online magazine Coffeeklatch we meet so many interesting creatives, whose home is a reflection of what they do and how they feel. It’s truly inspiring and has definitely broadened our own aesthetics.

Favorite Element: Our home dates from 1930 and it’s a typical classical townhouse. We love its old original features such as high ceilings, old wooden doors and marble mantle pieces.

Biggest Challenge: This dwelling has a lot of potential, but it was poorly renovated by its previous owners. We’d like to restore it to its original state, but we don’t have the budget. That why we renovate it one step at a time.

What Friends Say: First thing people say when they walk in is “It’s so spacious. Are you the only ones living here?”

Biggest Embarrassment: Cleaning skills, or better: the lack of them. The moments previous to this photo shoot, we performed a major clean-up

Proudest DIY: We aren’t handy, but recently we painted our wooden out- door furniture glossy black. Now it totally seems to disappear in the green lushness of the garden.

Biggest Indulgence: Plants and flowers. Every week we pay a visit to the flower market and whenever we have guests over, they bring a plant or a cutting. Swapping cuttings is a very personal thing. It’s like receiving a gift; instead of a bottle of wine or a nice book, you get a living, breathing souvenir that has a story attached to it.

Best Advice: There’s no such thing as too many plants. They clean the air, make our lives prettier and the space cozier. If you’re good to them, they grow. They give an instant gratification that people like: they’re like mini- projects in a way.

Dream Sources: Brazilian Modernism meets European functionalism, which is timeless and usually a combination of wood, concrete, creamy color hues and many tropical plants. We’re huge fans of Oscar Niemeyer, Joaquim Tenreiro, Sergio Rodrigues, Dieter Rams, Dietrich Lubs and Cees Braakman.

How Do You Bring Culture Home: Wherever we go, we bring something home. We love collecting memories and stories. And besides that, we ship a lot of books from abroad.

Heirloom Pieces: There are plenty. My dad is from the DRC and there are lots of wooden furniture pieces reminding me of him and my roots.

Original Art: Portrait by Hamidou Maiga, who creates beautifully composed photographs of villagers, musicians, artists and sportsmen in Malian society, from the 1950s to the present day.

(Image credit: Bart Kiggen)

Resources of Note:


  • Walls in the workspace and bedroom are plastered, not painted. We like this chalky feeling.


  • Custom-made cabinet: Helder
  • Radio and record player: Dieter Rams
  • Toys: Malfi by Friends with you, Dove by Kidrobot
  • Vintage lamps
  • Patchwork carpet: Istanbul
  • Blanket: Piet Hein Eek
  • Coffee table: Thrift shop
  • Vase: Norman Copenhagen
  • Magazine racks: Atelier Solarshop
  • Photo frame: Habitat


  • Table and chairs: thrift shop
  • Potence lamp by Jean Prouvé
  • Ceramic bowl: Bosch
  • Brass cutlery, vase, glassware: Atelier Solarshop
  • Ceramic pots: Ikea


  • Kitchen: Ikea
  • Metal round Mirror: Atelier Solarshop • Ceramics: Ivonne
  • Vase: Habitat
  • Enamel teapot: Labour and Wait
  • Vintage trolley: Ivonne
  • Black fruit bowl: Zara Home


  • Wooden chair: thrift shop
  • Mirror: thrift shop
  • Vintage glassware: thrift shop


  • Porcelain sconce: ’t Glashuys
  • Orange coffee table: Habitat
  • White laminate table tops: Ikea
  • Metal Trestles: Habitat
  • Vintage chairs: De Huiszwaluw: //
  • Flamingo chair: Cees Braakman
  • Vase: Habitat
  • Wooden Bench: Ivonne


  • Black chairs and table: Ikea
  • White outdoor chair: Ikea
  • Vintage garden set: De Huiszwaluw
  • Ladder: Ivonne
  • Outdoor carpets: Bazar Bizar
  • Garden design by Bart & Pieter garden architects: //
(Image credit: Bart Kiggen)

Thanks, Magali & Bart!

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.

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