After seeing their dream come true in Ibiza by buying an apartment, Antwerp residents Sophie and Sofie decided to live smaller. Nine months of renovation later, they can call their new place in ‘t Zuid a home. One where Ibiza is never far away.
- Residents: marketing manager Sophie (37) and team leader Sofie (38)
- Place of residence: Antwerp South
- Property type: renovated duplex apartment in a mansion from 1905
- Living area: 115 m²
- Terrace surface: 24 m²
- Style: Japandi with a bohemian touch
Jump with eyes closed
‘In life you have to dare to jump. With your eyes closed if necessary (laughs). We had been dreaming of an apartment on Ibiza for some time, the island that stole our hearts and where we tied the knot in 2019, but we didn’t think we would have the money for it until fifteen years from now. When we stayed in an apartment with a roof terrace in Cala Vadella (a small bay and seaside resort on the west coast of Ibiza, ed.) collided, we didn’t hesitate for a second.’
Ibiza has stolen our hearts. So when we came across an apartment there, we didn’t hesitate for a second.
‘We decided to sell our former place and move to a smaller place, so that we could finance our pied-à-terre in Ibiza. The South of Antwerp has been our home for years and we didn’t want to leave. Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary. We bought the duplex apartment on the top floor of the same townhouse where we previously lived on the ground floor. Ideal!’
It’s the little things
’We both love a minimalist, timeless interior style. Although it should not be too clean, because then it will quickly feel cold. In our former apartment, everything, from the walls to the built-in cupboards to even the crockery, was white. We missed warmth. Although the basics – neutral tones and natural materials – remained unchanged, our style has evolved. For example, we opted for cream-colored lime paint instead of classic white paint, we now have a beige sofa instead of a gray one and we exchanged white wood for dark wood. These are small changes, but the difference is huge. Our interior now not only feels much warmer, but also softer.’
Two in one
‘Apart from the dining table, the sofa, our bed and the garden set, we have no separate furniture. Because we don’t have a basement or attic, we had a carpenter put together built-in cupboards. We can also store things in the drawers under our bed and in the storage space under the garden bench. In the kitchen and dressing room we opted for wall shelves with built-in LED strings. Indirect light that you can dim has a huge impact on the atmosphere of a home. Our most beautiful tableware was placed on the open wall shelves in the kitchen, because in this way it also functions as decoration material. When it comes to accessories, we also limit ourselves to a neutral and natural color palette. This way everything forms one harmonious whole.’
More expensive is not always better
‘Although the apartment was completely gutted and rebuilt, we never exceeded our budget. We kept costs within limits by doing as much as possible ourselves, including drawing the plans. Just by painting the entire apartment ourselves, we saved at least € 15,000. Another budget tip is to work with what you have. For example, we simply gave the original floor on the top floor a lick of paint instead of replacing it and we hid the old-fashioned radiators in the living room under a wooden casing instead of investing in new appliances. Finally, we really need to get rid of the idea that more expensive is always better. We found our kitchen appliances at Elektro Loeters, opted for taps from Sawiday instead of their expensive Scandinavian counterparts and ordered the linen curtains from Kwantum. No cat can tell the difference.’
Sophie and Sofie’s interior tips
Keep it pure nature
Choose as much as possible natural materials. Wood, plasterwork, lime paint… provides so much more warmth than, say, a ceramic tile.
Create a common thread throughout your interior
Keep track two to three colors so that everything forms one beautiful, harmonious whole. And let that color palette return to the entire home. Such a common thread creates peace.
Go all out for (natural) decoration
Decoration makes a huge difference. Take the time to choose the right pieces and go for this as much as possible natural materials. For example, we opted for handmade ceramic tableware and linen curtains.
Photos: Nouchka De Maeyer (by NOUCHKA)