When knowing which nooks and crannies to scout out, Brussels emerges as a floor lover’s paradise. From flowing Art Nouveau mosaics to retro tiles and some of the lushest marbles imaginable, the Belgian capital seems made for the #ihavethisthingwithfloors crowd.
Nothing like an Art Nouveau townhouse to fill your needs of mosaic-y goodness – not in the least Victor Horta’s family home.
Usually, it’s the cast-iron turret of its striking Art Nouveau façade and its heavenly rooftop to catch the Musical Instruments Museum guest’s eye. Yet, like with Horta’s Home & Atelier, neglecting to look down would be missing out on the style’s signature mosaic flourish.
Besides its lyrical name, the Palais de la Folle Chanson in Ixelles has a star-shaped delight up its sleeves. Getting a glimpse at this checkered marvel inside the protected monument might prove difficult, though. The lux residential complex in the Art Deco style is only open to the public on special occasions such as the BANAD Festival.
Known as one of the best veggie places in town, Chana (Pakistani for “chickpea”), on the Parvis de Saint-Gilles, also boasts a snug interior, covered in intricate eastern tiling.
“Salve,” spells a gorgeous mosaic at the steps of Mike & Becky. The Latin welcome almost feels religious and has lured many a curious passerby into the couple’s chocolate haven-cum-coffee bar in Uccle. To top the floor porn off, the tiles of their little café are no less lovely.
At a later Horta creation, designed to be a grand supermarket but abandoned in the ‘70s and turned into the country’s Comic Book Center in the late ‘80s, we find a hypnotic mosaic tapestry. The entrance hall floor with its subtle, smooth concentric circles in fluctuating gray tones is an understated thing of beauty, often overshadowed by the man who shoots faster than his shadow and Belgian-born heroes born on paper.
Not all things have to be perfect to be aesthetically pleasing, as proven by the cracks in WABI néo-cantine’s floor collage. From tile to concrete to wood, this healthy eatery’s texture play is spot-on.
The squares and speckles completing the retro look of small corner bistro Chez Franz almost want to make you want to ignore their sunlit terrace at brunch time.
All cool marble and fishbone parquet, Villa Empain radiates opulence from the ground up. In the 1930s, Swiss architect Michel Polak designed the mansion at the request of Louis Empain, son of industrialist tycoon Édouard Empain. In keeping with the Art Deco style popular at the time, Polak used nothing but the purest, most expensive materials in the world.
Lastly, there’s no denying the Fôret de Soignes’ autumnal splendor.