Oostkerke House by Nathalie Deboel

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    Neatly tucked away in an old medieval village of the same name, Oostkerke House by Nathalie Deboel is the reworking of a dilapidated old farmhouse with purposeful and deliberate interior interventions.

    Nathalie describes her approach like much of her work as “Wanting to be living together with nature, instead of protecting against it” with high importance placed on the relationship between inside and outside. The resulting home opens itself up beautifully through curated apertures and engulfs its surrounds, “finding a good balance between open view and smaller windows is always very important,” she says.

    Based on a layering of muted and natural tones, the materiality and palette speak to a sense of authenticity and craft. As a farmhouse, the working of the land and the process of making and creating is celebrated through the combination of textures and the carefully chosen objects in each of the spaces.

    Imbued with a sense of warmth throughout, walls are limed to connect with the traditional plaster method and the use of warm elm timber in various stains reflects a traditional kitchen and cabinetry in this area. “The materiality is based on creating a wabi-sabi atmosphere, where the resulting imperfection of natural materials can be expressed,” Nathalie says.

    “In this house, we used all the materials that you find in this region, to give the house a very authentic and genuine atmosphere.”


    – Nathalie Deboel

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    The entrance hall features a Pierre Jeanneret Bench with a view to the custom oak joinery.

    The home is essentially a gathering space and a place of respite, and at the heart of this is a feeling of nourishment. “The owners love cooking and organising dinners with friends on a very regular and informal basis, so the kitchen was very important from the beginning,” Nathalie says. “That is why we created a home with a very open plan; the dining table in the kitchen, an open fire and an island in the middle,” she adds. The layering of lighting and other emotive elements then adds to the theatre of the home and allows a deliberate engagement with the differing functions of the spaces.

    Nathalie’s philosophy is to create comforting homes; homes that fit like a good jacket, where you feel warm, protected, calm and in balance with the people you love. “I create spaces for other people so they can grow, live and create dreams,” she says. Oostkerke House with its deep reveals and buttered softness of its interiors seems to perfectly capture her ethos. The custom tactile elements and bespoke furniture all act as well-crafted handmade extensions of the home, as an expression of its owners and their aspirations.

    This piece originally appeared in est magazine issue #37.

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