Collecting vintage furniture and art

With a shared love of hospitality and heritage, Karin and Xavier Donck collect vintage furniture and art.

We collect a lot of things. When we visit a city, we look for special pieces and always purchase something. Sometimes we both fall in love with a work of art or a piece of furniture, a nice object or a plant. Once acquired, these pieces move and circulate, migrating through the house. We are lucky we have three sub-collectors – our children. They are happy to take whatever they like or claim for themselves.
‘Every object has its own story. The more objects you have from all over the world, the more stories you bring into your home.’
I have no doubt that the objects will survive me, which is a nice feeling. As a couple, we share the same attitude toward aesthetics. The evolution of our common taste is the product of an ongoing discussion between the two of us. We fell in love with Prouvé and Perriand for different reasons. Prouvé for his technicality, his engineering, Perriand for her materiality, her use of dark wood. When you learn about their careers and how they went through life, it gives you a better understanding of their creations.

We rearrange a lot. Doubt and intuition go hand in hand. Doubt cultivates creativity. The house is a very nice example of this process because we can decide to switch around the dining room and living room over the course of a single day, and then put it all back the next morning if we’re unhappy with the results.
Opening our home to friends and family has been a guiding motto in our lives. All our children have a key to the house. We have no sense of ownership. We like them to use it as if it were still their home. The most important item in the house is the dining table, where we come together and enjoy social gatherings and entertaining, with good food and wine. For this you need comfortable furnishings and loving family and friends. Maybe that’s the essence of everything. Good conversations.

Karin and Xavier Donck, an interior designer and architect, live in Ghent, Belgium.
Product overview