Explained as Portugal’s greatest solution seashore place, Comporta is a compact paradise suspended concerning sea and rice fields. It is in this article wherever Jean-Philippe Demeyer, Frank Ver Elst, and Jean-Paul Dewever—partners in existence and work—craft an clever getaway.
Belgian designer Jean-Philippe Demeyer describes his function as “fearless and joyful.” It is a good two-word thumbnail, to which you could want to increase “exuberant,” “playful,” and even “anarchic” for the fuller image. He statements not to have a fashion, but this seems disingenuous coming from an individual whose creations are so distinctive. Consider Gigi, a modern bar and cafe in Ghent, Belgium. Its interior is bursting with colour, body fat stripes, punchy styles, and a lemon-scattered carpet that defies gravity to climb the walls and wander throughout the ceiling.
This is the reverse conclude of the aesthetic spectrum from the cerebral elegance of his revered countryman Axel Vervoordt. “I have excellent admiration for the function of other decorators,” Demeyer claims, “but I can only be myself. My ideas appear from intestine feelings—first about locus genii, then architectural construction. From there I can start layering and storytelling.”
Combining lifestyle and function
Like all structure specialists, Demeyer flexes his design and style to go well with his shoppers and is inevitably most himself when it arrives to decorating his possess homes. Till lately, he mixed lifetime and function in a moated medieval looking lodge, with stables and an orangery wherever he experienced places of work, a textiles workshop, and a home shared with his partners, Frank Ver Elst and Jean-Paul Dewever, that was also a showcase for his design tips.
They just lately completed restoring and decorating a residence in Bruges, but strategy to go once again when they come across a further home “with more than enough house to experiment,” says Demeyer. For him, dwelling is as substantially artistic playground as retreat. “We are all companions in the organization. Frank has a quite very good eye and reins me in when I go far too significantly. Jean-Paul is finance and corporation,” he states. The a few of them achieved on a beach 20 decades back and have been with each other ever given that.
A slice of paradise
Whilst their newest home was a do the job in development, they wrapped up the renovation of their 2nd, in close proximity to Comporta in Portugal, very last calendar year. “We drove to a marriage ceremony in Spain, and while we had been there I read a sentence in a journey journal, ‘Comporta—Europe’s ideal-saved magic formula.’ We made a detour on our way dwelling and fell in really like with the place—more than 35 miles of vacant seaside, so substantially place, clean up Atlantic Ocean, pine trees and paddy fields.” They bought a plot close to the seashore but ended up thwarted by arranging restrictions, then identified a compact farmhouse fifty percent an hour’s drive inland, surrounded by practically 45 acres of olive trees and cork oaks.
Historically produced from rammed earth and with a roof of dusky orange pantiles, the one-story whitewashed setting up sits modestly in its undulating landscape of bleached grasses and dark trees. Although it experienced been modernized in the 1950s—and there ended up plastic windows—it retained most of its primary charm. Dark metallic frames have replaced these plastic frames, and poured-concrete flooring now flows in between rooms and out throughout the new terraces utilized for living and dining all calendar year round—Demeyer and his partners shell out a few months there in the summertime, and also stop by at Easter and any other time they can snatch a 7 days absent.
Very simple sophistication – inside and out
At the front of the dwelling the more substantial terrace options a fountain intended by Demeyer. At the again a basic rectangle of swimming pool reaches into the landscape. Its only embellishment is a line drawing. This was painted by English artist and designer Luke Edward Hall of six vaguely classical male figures who pose and stride throughout the bottom.
Within, protected from the heat by thick earth partitions, the tiny rooms are shiny as jewel packing containers less than sloping lids of ceiling painted a rich burgundy. “I required the dwelling to have powerful connections with its area,” claims Demeyer. “Blue, yellow, and this burgundy with white are common colors for the exterior of properties in the Alentejo.” For the dwelling place, he commissioned lengths of heavy woolen blanket, woven below for generations to wrap shepherds from the cold evening air, specifying stripes of numerous colours, to go over the ground and line the partitions at the rear of the equipped sofa in the residing area.
In the three bedrooms, just about every crammed by a double bed, tailored wardrobes have doorways panelled with reed grass employed domestically to make bags. “I discovered an outdated woman in her 80s who agreed to make all 12 panels.” Tiles—Spanish, not Portuguese—are arranged in horizontal bands in the kitchen, but all the hand-painted pottery plates and bowls are from close by.