The Flemish couple Sophie and Frank De Jonghe bought the place next door as a refuge for houseguests coming to visit them in the leafy village of Oud-Heverlee, outside Leuven. But their plans evolved after they took possession and saw the potential of the otherwise tired 1960s cottage.
They hired Antwerp-based designer Andy Kerstens to overhaul the interior into a boutique inn, incorporating two en suite guest rooms and a bright meeting room for business retreats. Kerstens reorganised the layout to free up space, adding a steel and glass extension outside the lounge that connects it to the garden, landscaped by local gardener Filip Butaye.
Inside he laid indoor-outdoor flagstone floors and designed built-in storage from weathered wood and concrete. The couple carried through the subdued palette to the clean-lined furnishings and plump upholstered seating.
The De Jonghe’s have positioned the property, which can be rented directly, as a creative residence called MUD, for brainstorming, designing, even recording in the on-site studio.
Guests can walk to the Heverlee woods for outings at the arboretum, go bird-watching on the Dyle river or cycle into Leuven on the house e-bikes.