Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen—the creative duo behind Ghent-based design studio Muller Van Severen—are no strangers to having unknown visitors explore their carefully curated home. For the 2017 edition of Design Miami, the couple created an exact replica of their living room as an installation, collaborating with global room-for-rent service Airbnb. Earlier this year, filmmaker Emile Rafael travelled to the Belgian city to meet the designers in the space they call home, bringing our usual In Residence treatment to a space that we would become softly obsessed by.
The home itself, a large 19th century building accompanied by an adjacent studio, was originally an orangery that has later been renovated into a modern workspace. Prototypes and samples sit alongside materials and references, hinting at the thoroughly-researched process by which their highly refined furniture and objects come into existence.
The objects conceived and produced by Muller Van Severen tend always toward the deceptively simple, favoring geometric lines and subtle silhouettes over complicated fussiness. Their home also plays host to many collected objects, as well as a small wooden chair designed and built by their daughter. Bloc colours, supported on legs and frames of black, copper, and gold, mean that the objects remain light and uncomplicated, while also revealing—on closer inspection—their finely balanced engineering. Soft leather seats are suspended in frames of sharp metalwork; while plastic shelves rise confidently and sparsely against the wooden floors. Honest, solid materials prevail over fussy and complicated resources. The resulting furniture speaks confidently for itself.