Living in light and openness

After twenty years, Luc Callant decided to renovate and expand his villa. Increasing living comfort was paramount, but at the same time, the house had to become a model of what his company is capable of. The builder and the builder in him set each other ever higher standards of quality, with a surprisingly beautiful result.

Especially in the master bedroom on the first floor, it becomes clear why Luc Callant ever bought this villa. From the meter-high window you have a magnificent view of the meadows surrounding the garden. Grassland is interrupted here and there by ditches and stables. Arabian thoroughbreds graze and gallop in the distance. “We wanted light and views. The old house had mostly smaller windows. We replaced those with large, floor-to-ceiling windows. In addition, we needed more living space. We opted for an extension, a wing where the living room could be.”

Portuguese natural stone

From the road, the elongated shape still reveals something of its agricultural origins, which adds architectural charm. The villa cannot be categorized into a specific style. The cladding with wooden slats is a rural accent, while the concrete and glass of the wing is a modernist one. The front door, located on the side, provides access to a large storage room and garage on the right and a kitchen on the left. The first thing that catches the eye here is the natural stone in both the tabletop, countertop and kitchen island. “Together with the contractor, I looked for it for a long time in Portugal. When we found exactly what we thought was suitable, we had it come to Belgium and incorporated it into the kitchen.”

Raising the bar extra high

Luc Callant has his own business in decoration, painting and parquet. So he was both client and colleague at the same time, because some of the remodeling work, such as laying the parquet and installing the cladding, he had his own employees perform. This encourages you to give your best. “Not only do I want to be able to live here pleasantly with my family, but sometimes I also want to be able to receive customers to show them what we are capable of as a company. Then, of course, you set the bar extra high,” admits Luc Callant. As a result, each room in the house has its own accent, offers its own surprise. On the ground floor, the toilet is neatly tucked away behind a beautiful wall panel. On the first floor, two of them are not only done in their own color but the powder-coated walls are made magnetic, that is, there is no need to drill into the wall to hang anything on it.

A home this bright and open must of course be well insulated against the winter cold but also sufficiently shielded from overly bright sun in the summer. Hence, each window is equipped with blinds that can be controlled with home automation. With one push of a button they come down, with another the position of the blinds can be changed to more or less translucent. Underfloor heating provides optimal temperatures throughout the home without hot spots. A gas fireplace set between the dining room and television room for just that extra bit of warmth that adds atmosphere and coziness above all.

No hedges

The floor-to-ceiling windows are not just for the view. From the living room, residents also have direct access to the garden and pool. “We live just outside Knokke, in the middle of the polders. Then you not only want to be able to see them but also feel that you can move among them,” said Luc Callant. “I deliberately did not put hedges and trees to fence off my garden. On the contrary, to the eye it just runs into the fields full of horses and the pastures even further away. If you live in such a beautiful area you should be able to enjoy it to the full.”

Open barn

At the front, a remote-controlled gate closes the driveway from the busy street; at the rear, the house flows into a tall barn. It is now mainly used for storage but will also contain a changing room for the pool, a kind of built-in pool house. The barn is open on both sides, another clear reminder of the site’s agricultural past, a way of the architect and builder to indicate respect for the origin and spirit of the site. Here people live in harmony with the environment, of course, the architect seems to have added.

Interior design: Grain Design Office

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