Professional

#roominantwerp

June 15, 2016 • InteriorProfessional

so i’m guessing it’s unnecessary to state that things have been ‘busy’ lately? i admit i definitely was one of those people who didn’t get bloggers who kept neglecting their blog, sporadically and intermittently posting little notes saying they were sorry but real life was catching up with them. as it turns out, i just didn’t know what it was to be truly, truly, truly busy? or i just didn’t have a kids yet, that might be a factor, too.

in any case, i’m not gonna bore you with the details, but the past few months have been so challenging business-wise, so creatively enriching and so damn busy, i didn’t get around to blogging at all. and it’s true what they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder. i started to miss this place as the one platform where i could really share my stories in depth. i’ve learned so much in the past year and have so many cool things i’d like to tell you about – i needed to come back.

long story short – i met my business-soulmate in NELE PIETERS, we brainstormed for two years about things we could do and change in the world, ended up creating three different businesses, one of which we launched on april 1st. so here i am, twelve weeks after the launch of something that has been such a big part of my life. late is better than never though, and so i’d like to introduce you to ROOMIN.

both nele and i are passionate about interior design, and we spend multiple hours a week browsing our favorite blogs and pinterest boards, looking for inspiration. but we both grew frustrated with the fleetingness and superficiality of the platform. we’ve all been there – pinning dream bathrooms like a madman, only to realize that we are not able to identify any of the sources, let alone products, and even if we were able to find them, we’d never be able to afford them or ship them to where we live. there’s only so much aspiration a person can take (that’s why i’ve never been a big fan of magazines like vogue), and so we set out to create a platform that would be informative, and inspiring rather than aspirational. and so ROOMIN.BE was born – an online inspiration platform that links through to interior designers, photographers, interior brands and products, so that you can not only assemble your own moodboard, but actually do something with it as well.

but because we both believe that life is not just online, we created an offline experience as well. with #ROOMINANTWERP we took over an inspiring location to create a warm and cozy apartment with the help of interior designer SOFIE VERTONGEN, who dreamt up a beautiful decor combining several interior design brands in an unusual setting. the apartment above antwerp concept store ST. VINCENTS opened on april 1st and will forever close its doors this sunday, june 19.

the temporary location allowed visitors to truly experience an interior, rather than just admire it from a bit of a distance. we organized cooking workshops, flower arrangement workshops, inspiration sessions, yoga sessions and breakfasts… everything that could help our visitors imagine themselves leading a fun, beautiful life within the walls of our interior. for twelve weeks, every thursday to sunday, people could swing by and get a dose of inspiration. this weekend will be our very last in antwerp (so please do come and say hi, i’ll be there all weekend!) but we’re already planning our next offline experience this fall… in ghent!

it has been such a ride to be able to create this dream project from a to z – gathering a wonderful and supremely dedicated team around us, earning the trust of our partner brands and learning so, so much along the way. i can’t even put into words how proud i am of what we’ve accomplished, but mostly i am so excited for what is still to come.

i am planning on sharing lots, lots more on this blog about this crazy journey i am on, the talented people i meet and work with, and the exciting projects i keep hinting at on INSTAGRAM but never got around to actually explaining… i hope you’ll enjoy following along – and i am curious to hear your ideas, feedback, thoughts and questions! thanks for hanging in there the past couple of months – i promise i won’t go m.i.a. again.

photos of roomin antwerp by ILJA SMETS

Wanderlust 2.0

January 11, 2015 • CultureProfessionalTravel

TRAVEL-Remote-Places-Conde-Nast-Traveler-7 TRAVEL-Remote-Places-Conde-Nast-Traveler-1 TRAVEL-Remote-Places-Conde-Nast-Traveler-2 TRAVEL-Remote-Places-Conde-Nast-Traveler-6 TRAVEL-Remote-Places-Conde-Nast-Traveler-3 TRAVEL-Remote-Places-Conde-Nast-Traveler-4

i’m not gonna lie – i do sometimes worry about how a baby is going to affect my wanderlust and travel-obsessed life. i’m sure i won’t mind staying a little closer to home the first few weeks, but then what? as if the universe somehow felt my panic, it responded by reassuring me – travel is always going to be a part of who i am and what i do. in december of last year i had a couple of meetings that ensured my enduring professional interest in countries and cities far far away. my collaboration with belgian travel company CONNECTIONS was renewed and is taking on increasingly exciting dimensions which i’m absolutely thrilled about. and secondly, as i already alluded to ON INSTAGRAM, i started a new and very cool collaboration with american travel platform CNTRAVELER.COM. from now on i’ll be one of their regular travel contributors – you can check out the articles i already wrote for them right HERE.

and when professional activities aren’t enough to satisfy my hunger for foreign inspiration, i’ll always have REMOTE, the wonderful book written by my colleague bloggers, writers, photographers and journalists debbie pappyn and david de vleesschauwer of CLASSE TOURISTE. they published their first travel-inspired tome with the same publishing company of my own firstborn book, LANNOO. and ladies and gentlemen, it’s a beauty. heavily inspired by the class and style of my favorite magazine monocle, it is both an object and a book. i love it just as much when it’s lying on the couch or kitchen table, as when i’m flipping through it, admiring the high-quality photos and reading the duo’s personal stories about visiting the most remote places in the world.

photos by stephanie duval

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.

 

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