Yet despite the expansiveness of the
space, a personable ambiance prevails.
Small gatherings of furniture create intimacy within the grand
living area, engendering an atmosphere that is at once
elegant and yet relaxed, while deep chocolate and nutmeg
hues warm an icy palette of black and white, silver, gray, and
the occasional touch of gold. The effect, full of contradictions,
proves rich and luxuriously inviting.
Lenaerts accentuated these contrasts further with
accessories whose stark geometry of circles, squares, and
cylinders play against the biomorphic form of Italian furnishings
dating mostly from the 1950s and 1970s—his favorite eras.
“When it comes to design,” Lenaerts says, “the Italians are
definitely right there at the top. They have an undeniable
elegance and style.” Memphis designer and architect
Laviani, a particular favorite, created the conical “UFO”
table that Lenaert often uses as a desk (“I love to sit here
with my laptop on a sunny day!” he says), as well as a white
lacquer and chrome console, black polyester lacquer chair,
and the mirrored dining table.
But not everything here is from Italy: the wavy 1959 settee,
appropriately called “Serpentine,” is the work of Vladimir
Kagan, an American/Belgian designer Rudi Verhelst created
the fabulous vintage ‘70s chairs that surround the white
Laviani console. Formed with thin cylindrical bands of
silver chrome, the chairs are upholstered in bitter-orange
colored skai, a faux leather material. “I’m certainly not a
minimalist,” Lenaerts confesses. “I like things that are colorful