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Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors Hardcover – September 18, 2007

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Editorial Reviews



Belgian antiquaire extraordinaire AXEL VERVOORDT is not only a charismatic dealer; he is also a master of the mise-en-scene. A new book by Armelle Baron and Christian Sarramon, Axel Vervoordt : Timeless Interiors (Flammarion; $75), reveals him to be a virtuoso of light and an alchemist with color - and a very good decorator, to boot. In an Antwerp house (above), Vervoordt contrasts a Ming dynasty chair with a 1955 Le Corbusier stool and a modern slate table, never failing to enchant the eye. Tycoons, rock stars and quite a few renowned decorators have visited his castle and his complex of warehouses, both outside Antwerp, to ogle objects spanning th ecenturies, not to mention the simple pieces Vervoordt designs. Yes, he makes furniture too. -- Town & Country 2007

"A new book by Armelle Baron and Christian Sarramon, Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors (Flammarion; $75), reveals him to be a virtuoso of light and an alchemist with color--and a very good decorator, to boot." -- September 07 Town & Country

Today, in addition to dealing in art and antiques, he and May, with sons Boris and Dick, operate an eighty-five-person design practice, a multidisciplinary center of decorative arts and crafts in the Kanaal, a complex of restored nineteenth-century warehouses and silos near the castle keep, all of which the writer Armelle Baron and lensman Christian Sarramon celebrate in their new book Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors.

Baron, a journalist who has had unprecedented access to Vervoordt, and Sarramon, whose camera was welcomed around the world for this book, have assembled an elegant, quite dreamy volume that includes twenty-plus projects by Vervoordt and his talented team. These are places to fantasize about, to learn about, to cultivate in memory - exceedingly fine, powerfully beautiful and well loved without being overstuffed. -- Veranda

examines the Belgian dealer-decorator's influential patrician rooms, everywhere from a medieval chateau to a Tuscan farmhouse." -- ELLE DÉCOR October 2007

About the Author

Armelle Baron, president of the European Confederation of Art Experts (CEDEA), is an expert on antique paintings. A journalist, she has contributed to numerous art-exhibition catalogs.Christian Sarramon has published his photographs in many Flammarion books, including Living in Provence (2003), Gourmet Shops of Paris (2005), Gourmet Bistros and Restaurants of Paris (2006), Provence Style (2002) and Living in Normandy (2005).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080305352
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080305350
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.2 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 137 people found the following review helpful By J. Landau on October 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Along with many other antique collectors, we first discovered Axel Vervoordt of Antwerp at the 1984 Paris Biennale des Antiquaires where he created a sensation with his display of Ming porcelain that had recently been recovered from a ship lost in 1645 in the South China Sea. His huge display of table after table of the blue and white Ming in a large booth at the center of the Grand Palais was the immediate focus of attention for everyone as they entered the fair.

Vervoordt, relatively young (37) at the time, had already been avidly collecting antiques for over twenty years, focusing principally on European pieces from the Renaissance to the present, but also including ancient arts from Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The 1984 Salon launched him into a greater orbit and allowed him to acquire a huge castle in the Belgian countryside which he very tastefully restored over the next four years, using it both as a home and as a shop, albeit one covering acres and acres. More recently, he has refurbished a huge industrial complex on a canal in Antwerp, the Kanaal, to provide a series of shops, work rooms and storage, both indoors and out, for the thousands of pieces in his inventory and to create a large decorating practice.

This new book, by Armelle Baron and published by Flammarion, shows the interiors Vervoordt has created for connoisseurs who share his sophisticated, eclectic interest in beautiful objects (and possess large pocketbooks).
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By AH on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful book with perfect interiors atmospherically lit and framed. The soft half-light does leave me trying to decipher the detail a lot of the time, but I suppose that is not the purpose of these pictures. The interiors are wonderful - sparse, minimal and perfect, with the texture of old wood and stone blending together like a gentle whisper of the passage of time. Truly gorgeous, and a visual delight.
One of the great pleasures of interior design books is the chance to see private collections in their native settings, and my only regret about this volume is that all the houses are either full of "Axel objects" rather than individually chosen works of art reflecting the taste of the owners (with one sparkling exception full of modern paintings and classical antiquities), or pieces cannot be seen because of the lighting. A small enough sacrifice.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By colorful-one on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Vervoordt's peaceful environments invade space with mood. The resulting grandeur of such tranquil beauty and gentle sophistication is most admirable and thoroughly revealed in this beautifully accessorized volume. Leafing through this book will calm your design sensitivities, as period inpressions drift from page to page. The dramatic and dimly lit photos featured here capture the essence of time. The historical significance of such a talented artist can not be denied, as Vervoordt's careful selection and discerning eye for arranging will be learned from for years to come. There is an art to assemblage, and this designer definitely defines it!

As a professional in the interior decorating field, I chose this book along with another,Your Home A Living Canvas: Create Stunning Faux Finishes & Murals with Paint, by Curtis Heuser, and was pleasantly surprised by each. As I work mainly with customers who wish to develop time worn feeling and comfortable living spaces, both of these books proved wonderful additions for helping with that thought process. "YOUR HOME..." follows the creative rebirth of the author's/decorative artist's historic 1890's home, with hundreds of beautiful full color before/after and during renovation illustrations, accompanied with full spread finished room concepts. I would love to see the two of these talents in collaboration - as both artist have a keen sense of using color, texture and light to bring a space to life. Though these books are so different in energy level (Heuser uses dramatic color and unique murals and specialty paint finishes to stage the scene), both offer immense inspiration for helping one to envision and recreate "timeless interiors"!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Walter J. Wade on October 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The text may not be what some are looking for, as it is not a "how to" per se, but the superb photos of a the work of a rare talent speak for themselves. For those who draw inspiration from visuals, this book is for you. The subject residences and projects may often be stratospheric in provenance, but the ideas and concepts illustrated are easily adapted to any budget. This is not a book of luxury residences per se, but a book which visually delineates the design philosphy of a man and his team who have broken away from hackneyed design to give the world a fresh view of what elegance, comfort and atmosphere can be; indeed, as the title states, "timeless". Even if the book sits on a table, it will always be appreciated by the casual glance through, as well as the more careful study of the projects and ideas presented therein.
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