Experience Matters: Graanmarkt 13’s Conscious Take on Lifestyle

PARIS — When it comes to selling a lifestyle, Ilse Cornelissens and Tim Van Geloven, founders of Antwerp-based concept store Graanmarkt 13, have taken a charmingly literal approach to the game. Entering their high-end store — a white townhouse in a tree-lined square within the city’s theater district that once served as the grain market — feels like entering someone’s home. “Stay as long as you want” is the store’s tagline. The serene decor boasts open spaces and huge, linear atelier windows, mixing warm oak parquet flooring, textiles, glass and metal. The ground floor offers hand-picked items from niche fashion and interior brands.
Clients can even book out the couple’s former home, the Apartment, a luxury two-story flat with hotel service on the site’s upper two floors offering four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a light-drenched, glass-walled living room with balcony.
The idea, explained Cornelissens, is that customers could live the experience of what Graanmarkt 13 stands for, from morning to night. “We always wanted to create a house gathering what we believe reflects a nice lifestyle, from the food you eat to the clothing you wear.”
When the couple acquired the building in 2007, it was an abandoned property in “a forgotten square”

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