Fine Fleur is the brand-new restaurant of the renowned chefs Thomas Diepersloot and Jacob-Jan Boerma in the heart of Antwerp. A restaurant with a soul, which you can taste, feel and even see.
From the moment you enter the refined restaurant, you experience a subtle combination of a sleek and modern interior that also radiates warmth and cosiness.
What part does lighting play in this whole concept? And how do you choose the suitable lighting? How does a lighting plan come together? How do you choose the right light fixtures and how can lighting take the interior design to a higher level? We brought interior architect Dennis T’Jampens and kreon lighting consultants Carol Pareit and Daan van den Branden together.
Dennis T’Jampems: “Fine Fleur is unique to me as it was the first time I took on the design of a restaurant. My previous experiences were mostly residential properties. But it turns out that the concept, the ideas and even the materials do not differ much from a house. Here you also want to be comfortable and have a relaxed time.”
“The client’s expectations were clear: an “Instagrammable” toilet and integrate
the kitchen into the overall space” Dennis T’Jampens
“Initially I visited the property with the client. The authentic architecture of the whole location immediately attracted me. The clients’ expectations were clear: an “Instagrammable” toilet and integrate the kitchen into the overall space. Straight away I had a crystal-clear concept in mind. Next, I start to draw and let the design flow out. I think you have to be born with this type of creativity. Where do I get my inspiration? Through every aspect of my life. I love beautiful things: art, people, clothing, restaurants, you name it.”
“Straight away I had a crystal-clear concept in mind. Next, I start to draw then the
ideas just flow. I think you are born with that type of creativity” Dennis T’Jampens
“Naturally, comparing to a house there are many distinct factors involved. Techniques, the kitchen, … I did seek advice and the same goes for the lighting. I have been working with kreon for more than 15 years. I cannot recall a single project where this was not the case. I could draw up a lighting plan myself but the beauty of kreon is their unique input. Every time they present an idea which makes me think ‘cool, I wouldn’t have come up with that idea myself’. That is, in addition to the quality of their products, an exceptional asset.”
The beauty of kreon is their unique input. Every time they present an idea which
makes me think ‘cool, I wouldn’t have come up with that myself’. Dennis T’Jampens
Carol Pareit: “We usually start off with an extensive briefing from the client or architect. Together, we look at the plans and try to interpreter the desired result. In most cases, they already have rendering available or an extensive photo reportage of the building. We also find it very important to get the architect’s personal vision. That is valuable information to us.
“Initially we take a look at the plans of the building, but we also listen to the
architect’s vision of the project.” Carol Pareit
Daan van den Brande: “Carol is exceptionally good in capturing an atmosphere and a feeling. She hands me all the information I need. I prefer to let the complete concept sink in first and then I start with the conception of a lighting plan. And of course, it’s an exciting balance to merge your own taste, the vision of kreon, the taste of the architect and the uniqueness of the building into one lighting plan. But that’s what makes it so fascinating!”
“It’s an exciting balance to merge your own taste, the vision of kreon, the taste of
the architect and the uniqueness of the building into one lighting plan. But that’s
what makes it so fascinating!” Daan van den Brande
Daan van den Branden: “Light to highlight the desired atmosphere that they wanted to create. The atmosphere is key, whether it is a residential property, an office or hospitality establishment; such as a restaurant. I also look at the lack of light. Lighting advice is even advising to provide no light in selected areas. That creates a certain atmosphere. It is our task to look from a light technical perspective as people are often too visually oriented.
“Light advice is advising to emit light. There is magic in the absence of light.”
Daan van den Brande
Carol Pareit: “When the first version of a lighting design is finished, we present it to the client as adjustments can still be made at this stage. They can also count on our advisory role as our experience enables us to see clearly whether the overall concept is in balance.”
Daan van den Branden: “The original design of Fine Fleur had more light elements than the final design shows. There are also certain interior design choices made that influenced the lighting. That is when we modify the design. The lighting plan is always custom-made but, in this case, even the fixtures were custom-made. We chose to extend the use of esprits in function of the space. Even the colour is tailor-made. The pendants have a dark bronze colour. In this situation black would have been too harsh and too present in the space. We try to design together to make sure the total concept ends up being on point”
Carol Pareit: “You really get to know the architect you work with. It is a great advantage that we have been collaborating with Dennis for many years already. One message on my voicemail and I nearly have all the information I need. (laughs) We can also refer to previous projects. ‘Shall we do this in line of project X and do that like project Y’. We grow together. We have seen Dennis evolve in his professional career. It is up to us to evolve alongside him and continue to offer the right solutions.”