Work

#roomingent

September 26, 2016 • Home DecorWork

almost one year ago, my business partner nele and i went on holiday with our little families. having started a business together earlier that year, and with daughters who were born just an hour apart, we felt we needed some time off together to regroup and think about our professional future. with the support of our husbands and lots of late night talks, we started narrowing down all of our ideas to a couple of tangible projects, and together we set goals for the year that was to come. it’s now been 51 weeks, and i could not be any prouder of what we have accomplished together in this time. we launched interior inspiration platform ROOMIN.BE, opened two offline experience homes (the first in ANTWERP this spring, and the second one in ghent just this weekend!) we also launched our own furniture company JOURNUIT, which offers high-quality and highly customisable sofas that are 100% made in belgium and kept affordable thanks to its direct-from-factory-to-consumer business model.

it’s safe to say this is the most tired i have ever felt. even with some of the little breaks we took this year, i feel like we have both been working around the clock non stop. luckily, we managed to gather an amazing team around our projects, and it goes without saying that without their help we would still have plenty of ideas in our minds, but definitely not as much to show for it. that, too, however, has been quite the journey – we both gained so much experience in working with a team and finding the difficult balance between directing them towards a set goal, and leaving enough room for their own creativity and initiative, without stiffling them with control-freak attitude. it’s been a ride, and i’m so happy to say that the end is still nowhere in sight. we have so many more ideas to expand on what we have built, to create the things we know are missing, and to connect the dots between what is already there.

we are leaving on another holiday together in less than a week, but before i’m ready to turn my mind into a blank slate and allow myself to think about the future, i need this moment to take a step back and look at what we’ve created so far. our offline experience home in ghent opened its doors last friday, and we are so, so immensely proud of it. this time we partnered up with interior designer bart degryse of flow interior, who put together the design of our temporary home in ghent with 20 different interior design companies. i think i am most proud of the fact that roomin doesn’t treat these companies as clients, but rather as partners. without their can-do attitude, there would not have been such a richly inspiring experience home to visit now. i am extremely grateful for the trust they put in our team, and the enthusiasm with which they are participating in this journey. thanks BLANCO BIKE LUXURY, BERRYALLOC, BULO, DELTA LIGHT, DESCO, falcon, grupa products, huus, KITCHENCLUB, INSIDE, JAB ANSTOETZ, KRISTINA DAM, LYSDRAP, NIKO, NILL SPRING, SAUNACO, SIGMA COATINGS, STOKKE and YKOON. their products can be admired in the photos above, but are best experienced in real life at #roomingent (until december 18, every thursday to sunday from 11am to 6pm).

we were also pretty psyched to welcome OH MY PARTY to our roomin gent team, as leen and katrien assembled the most gorgeous balloon garland to draw attention to our temporary home, and decorated our garden like a true little wonderland. they’ll be launching their company at roomin gent soon, and i suggest you keep an eye on them because everything they do and make is drop-dead-gorgeous. and a final shout-out to our wonderful team of INSIDERS, without whom roomin.be and everything else we produce – from our very own newspaper to postcards and tote bags – would not look even remotely as interesting and good (thanks for the graphic design magic JOKE GOSSE!)

if you’re not able to tell from the photos above – i had the most fun gathering inspiring quotes from around the web, assigning them to our wonderful partners based on their values and philosophy, and then integrating them into our interior in as many different and original ways as possible. there are 20 quotes in total to discover in the house, four of which are displayed on the letterboards roomin will be producing and selling starting from december! i can’t put into words how beautiful they have turned out, but they sure look picture perfect at roomin gent! if you’d like to see more, head over to ROOMIN.BE or click the hashtag #roomingent on INSTAGRAM. our journuit webshop is now LIVE, too, so you can finally discover our three different sofa designs and all the endless possibilities to customize them. i definitely plan on sharing more about everything later, but first – vacation time!

photos by stephanie duval

#roominantwerp

June 15, 2016 • Home DecorWork

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

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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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