13 July 2007

Books: Beta-Plus Publishing

Quiet and spare: A beautiful style.

Beta-Plus is a publishing house located in Belgium. Their books are simply beautiful to look at, which is a good thing because there's not much in them to read. Each book is themed like: Country Living, City Houses, Timeless Renovations, and Exceptional Gardens. Be forewarned, they are very expensive picture books. But, what exceptional pictures! Usually there is only one picture per page and since only a few houses are featured per book, you really get a sense of the house because so much of it is photographed. Very few places in Houston carry the books - I've only seen them in two places - which makes their web site all the more vital.
Note the design of the door.


The majority of houses pictured are in Belgium, it seems and that in itself is puzzling to me: I never knew so many wealthy people with exceptionally good taste lived in Belgium. After a while, the names of the architects and interior designers whose work is featured in these books become familiar. Apparently, it's a small family of professionals who work on the houses and gardens featured. The pictures are hauntingly beautiful, very quiet and spare, like the interiors themselves. Oversized furniture, huge accessories, and no clutter seems to be what goes for chic in Belgium.

Oversized elements in a foyer.


Antique versus ultra modern in a bathroom.


Large antique dining chairs. Slipcovers are everywhere in Belgium.

10 comments:

  1. I am a big fan of designers in the Netherlands. There is a lot of really good design coming from that part of the world. Their interiors are very edited. I love the top two photos of the staircases. The second one is very graceful and I love the pediment above the door.

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  3. Beautiful post! I love the bathtub in the traditional setting. Thanks for the info on the books!:)

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  4. Patricia: that word is so right "edited." I never knew until Axel Vervoordt that Belgium was so "civilized." There's a store in Houston called Brown and the owner lived in Belgium and imports all these fabulous antique and industrial type lighting fixtures from there. She's the one who told me that it's a real small design group there. She finds those books terribly boring.

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  5. sent too fast - she finds them boring, but I am fascinated by that look.

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  6. What wondeful content you have , I too love somethings gotta give, those sets they have been great inspiration for my home.
    Chris

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  7. I am in awe of your depth of knowledge on design literature. Thanks for the great suggestions! I write and illustrate books on Interior Design for Gibbs Smith Publisher ( They publish Betty Lou Phillips and Charles Faudrees books). My book, The Design Directory of Window Treatments is due to be released in Sept 07. It is 600 pages 3000 illustrations of all things windows. I'm currently deep into the second volume in the series - Bedding & Bedroom Furnishings. You can check them out at www.designdirectory4u.com if you are interested. Keep up the good work. Jackie Von Tobel

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  8. Joni- I'm so glad you posted about these books b/c you had mentioned them on my site, but I was not familiar with them. Thanks for the info! And you're right about their love of slipcovers!

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  9. Thanks Peak - I love slipcovers too because upholstery gets SO dirty and slipcovers keep everything so clean especially if clients have dogs. But, so many people are against them, it's amazing. They can only think of Shabby Chic. Thanks for your kind words.

    Joni

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