It wasn’t the smell of roasted cacao beans that first attracted Liesbeth Spruyt and Dries Vinck to the old chocolate factory – a hidden gem located a stone’s throw from Belgian metropolis, Antwerp. Instead, they were enchanted by the original red brick exterior and charming wooden lattice windows that invite sunlight through the small panes, forming artful shadows on the concrete flooring.
Today, the couple has created a home for themselves in the former chocolate factory while they also use part of the space as a gallery and event location, Fabriek 61. But long before they settled in, months of restoration preceded.
Liesbeth and Dries have completely restored the house to its former glory, honoring its spirit and staying truthful to its past. “What really guided us through this project was to bring back the authentic character and look of the space. In the rear part of the building, we exposed the original structures, tore down false ceilings to open up to rough, concrete ceilings”, says Dries.
Maintaining the legacy of the building does, however, go beyond structural changes. From the beginning, the couple had a clear vision for the interior, too. More than anything else, the interior should complement the heritage rather than compete with it. Liesbeth elaborates, “All material choices and every piece of furniture have been carefully considered and selected. Nothing is left to chance. We’ve opted for natural, durable, and authentic interior choices that radiate peace and simplicity.”
This backdrop perfectly blends with Liesbeth’s contemporary painting works that are showcased throughout the house. Studio Spruyt, the name behind the creations of Liesbeth, contributes contrast and context to the space, reinforcing the ambiance and charm that levitate through each room.
As such, Fabriek61 is more than just another house. It’s a building with history, telling a story that bridges that past and the present, connecting generations. Ethnicraft’s N701 sofa, the Tabwa sideboard, Spindle bench and Osso Stool contribute to strengthening this connection, creating a lasting foundation for years to come with their timeless and refined, yet contemporary design.