Hôtel Verhaegen is an 18th century mansion turned into a beautifully restored hôtel particulier in the historical centre of Ghent.
How would you describe L’Appartement in a nutshell?
It’s a place where people can retreat from the stresses of daily life. It’s like a little heaven you walk into to relax and be inspired by the design.
What is the story behind L’Appartement, what was your inspiration to create it?
As interior designers, we always wanted a space that represented our signature style. Around 10 years ago, we bought an Art Deco house with a garage downstairs and we thought we might turn it into a B&B. In 2018, we started to rebuild the ground floor and L’Appartement was born.
I’m very interested in new retail experiences and hospitality, so I had the idea to start a hometel concept. A combination of a homely accommodation with the possibility of having several hotel services. So guests can take advantage of our pillow program and opt in or out when it comes to breakfast.
We designed a lot of the furniture ourselves and guests can purchase pieces they see in the apartment. Soon, we will launch our own collection and shop as well.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design of L’Appartement?
Like a soft pastel universe. I really love contrasting feminine and masculine textures, colours and materials, so that is always the way I work. My husband specialises in wall finishes, so we never use regular paint and wanted everything to be really tactile.
We also wanted to create something different that hasn’t already been seen in Belgium many times before. Belgium has a very typical style and colour scheme - white and beige. In contrast, we love colour — Wes Anderson and India Mahdavi are two people we are inspired by. I also liked the idea of creating a Parisian vibe in Antwerp.
Many of our guests say that L’Appartement is like a retreat. It’s relaxing and inspiring — like another universe.
To you personally, what is so special about L’Appartement?
I think the interior is the unique selling point and many people just come for the experience of staying here. It’s also very discreet but with a personal approach. Because I live upstairs, I always come and say hello but it can be as private as guests prefer.
It’s also special because of the goodie game experience we offer and the seasonal magazine we create, as well as having interactive wallpaper in the toilet. There is an app that guests can download and the image on the wallpaper starts to move. It’s something they can only discover by staying.