One of our favourite interiors shopping secrets is Leuven’s Design District, which appeared on the scene in May last year. The brainchild of couple Marijke Janssens and Guido de Smedt, the shop quickly rose to design prominence thanks to its spirit of simplicity and beauty and an extraordinary selection of Scandinavian design furniture.
The two graphic designers behind the concept are no debutantes on the furniture and design scene: for seven years they’ve worked as wholesalers for Scandinavian design in Belgium. “The business grew and grew, we opened up a showroom, and one day we decided to turn it into a shop”, Guido tells us. Take a quick stroll through the place and their love for Nordic style design is plainly obvious, but there’s enough space for shoutouts to a number of upcoming Belgian names, such as the innovative Objekten collective. “Everything we offer follows the same philosophy, the same spirit”, Guido explains – and it’s a spirit that’s defined by simplicity, beauty and functionality. Featured brands include Muuto, Iittala, Hay or By lassen, more than amply providing for fans of Scandinavian design. And each brand sold at Design District is represented by quite a number of pieces (Muuto‘s whole current collection is even up for grabs – something that’s rather hard to come by). Here’s our coveted shopping list: