Meet Axelle Vertommen, the interior designer that’s making a name for herself at 26 and turns everything she touches to gold. Case in point: colourful, unique scratching posts made from leftover carpet and mdf. Or what about the jacket that can be turned into a tent? Axelle’s designs aren’t just eyecatching, they’re also very practical. That’s because her ideas stem from necessity. When she was tired of sleeping uncomfortably on a sofa bed for two years, she decided to design her own. The double use was maintained by making two giant cushions that functioned as headboard. Functionality is always at the base of Axelle’s designs.
That functional side to her design practice is also clear in her sense of initiative. In July she ran a temporary space called Venster (window) where she sold her own designs and those of likeminded peers. Just like with her former designs, the idea came out of necessity. Apart from showcasing work by emerging designers, Axelle also wanted to use the platform to present her personal take on (interior) design. By changing the shop window every week she would put the spotlight on another designer and create a whole new world. But she also lowered the threshold by launching this platform; you don’t need to be a design aficionado to check out what Venster is selling. Window (what’s in a name) shopping is encouraged, if only to get acquainted with young talent.
You could say that interior design is in her DNA. Growing up, Axelle was exposed to a lot of culture by visiting museums or checking out architecture and design stores with her family. It has just always been a part of her world, which might explain her original take on it. The inspiration she draws from these kind of trips is not just aesthetic, but also practical. Recently, she found a way to incorporate doors into her design by looking at an Imi Knoebel painting.
It’s clear that Axelle’s creativity truly knows no bounds and we are excited to see what she comes up with next!”
When it comes to her favourite book, she can’t just choose one. But these are the ones she keeps going back to: books on furniture designers Emiel Veranneman and Pieter De Bruyne, Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed by Frédéric Chaubin, A World Without Worlds by Jasper Morrison.
Text : Gerlin Heestermans
Photography : Evenbeeld & Stephanie De Smet