Design Board: The Belgian Farmhouse Modern Aesthetic

by Emmi Micallef January 24, 2017

Design Board: The Belgian Farmhouse Modern Aesthetic

Is it trending or just beautiful?

Mixing materials and styles is the key to achieving the Belgian Farmhouse Modern Aesthetic.  The contrast between old world and new makes both elements pop and the eye never tires of these juxtaposed surface textures.

Belgian Bluestone Pavers and Reclaimed Belgian Bricks

Where to begin?  I would begin with LIGHT.  Large windows that fill the room with light is the first essential in a Belgian interior.  After that has been established, the combination of colors for this aesthetic is blue/blacks + reds + oak.

The blue/black colors are achieved with two elements: the stone floors and the metal beams.

Begin with the floor.  Historic Decorative Materials 17th Century Antwerp Aged Belgian Bluestone Pavers are an authentic and beautiful choice to achieve the "farmhouse" part of this Belgian Farmhouse Modern aesthetic.

Belgian Bluestone PaversThese 17th Century Antwerp Aged Belgian Bluestone pavers are bar none when it comes to authentic reproduction of 17th century bluestone.  Hand-finished, the rich blue black colors, the variation of the blue tones and finally the light and dark values add historic interest and character.

And when these floors are installed along with the black metal casings and rafters - the magic begins.  Think of a mountainous horizon with the tactile textures of the stone peaks set up against the silky blue sky.  This is nature at her best and the contrast of these two elements is well...divine.

Ok - next up...the color oak.  Oak and blue/black is a match made in design heaven. Why do blues and browns partner so well?  In my opinion, it is about value which is the degree of light an element brings into a room.  The both have similar values on the light-dark scale, maybe a 5 or 6.  This means that even though they are two separate colors, they read as one element in the room because their light/dark contrast is neutralized.  And to create a brown - one mixes it's compliements.  So to achieve an oak color, one could mix blue +orange.  The brown color, holding a blue tone within it as well as an orange tone is an inherent compliment to the blue/black of the Belgian bluestone.

Aged French Oak Wide Plank Solid and Engineered Flooring

The image above is Historic Decorative Materials Kings of France Aged French Oak Wide-Plank flooring in Weathered Oak. These pre-finished oak floors could easily compare to 17th century reclaimed French oak planks.  Hand-finished with aging techniques held secret on top of that mountain I spoke about earlier, comparing these woods floors to any other on the market would be futile at best.

And finally, the last amazing element in this design blog for the Belgian Farmhouse Modern Aesthetic is reclaimed Belgian red bricks.  The soft color palette of the reclaimed Belgian red brick is not off-puttingly "too red".  Red and blue are both primary colors and it is best to install a soft red that won't compete in saturation to the blues already established in the Belgian bluestone pavers.

reclaimed Belgian red bricks

The wonderful material that is reclaimed Belgian red brick is that it can be installed as a focal wall, a ceiling, a floor or a fireplace surround.  In the image below, notice how the metal modern elements in the lamp compliment the soft, organic terra cotta textures of the reclaimed brick.

Reclaimed Belgian Red Bricks

Putting all the deconstructed elements back in place...I am affirmed once again that my eye will never tire of the Belgian Farmhouse Modern Aesthetic.

Reclaimed Belgian Red Bricks, Aged French Oak Floors. Antique Belgian Bluestone Pavers

Thank you for your time.

Emmi Micallef
Co-Founder, Historic Decorative Materials, a Division of Pavé Tile, Wood & Stone, Inc.

Emmi Micallef
Emmi Micallef

Author and Co-owner of Historical Decorative Materials, a division of Pavé Tile, Wood & Stone, Inc.



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