Interior designer Victoria-Maria Geyer’s beautiful 19th-century Brussels townhouse – full tour

Interior designer Victoria-Maria Geyer moved into her 19th-century Brussels townhouse a mere seven years ago, but in her imagination, she’s inhabited it forever. In fact, she tells us: “I’d spent so much time thinking about how my home would look, I decorated it in five minutes.” The result is a bold mix of contemporary and classic – the ideal setting for her and husband Louis Martin’s family life with their three lively children.

Victoria-Maria Geyer posing with whole family in Brussels townhouse© CESAR VILLORIA

German-born but brought up in Belgium, Victoria-Maria has been transforming her surroundings ever since she was little. “I remember how, when I was five or six, I used to push the desk, the bed and even the wardrobe around my room. I don’t know how I managed to do it. My mother let me because she liked the results.” However, when it cae to choosing a career, her parents steered the budding designer towards the safer options of economics and law.

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels living room with wood pannelling© CESAR VILLORIA

“Now that I have children of my own, I understand their concern,” she says. “In the end, we reached a compromise and I studied journalism.” Once she had a degree under her belt, Victoria-Maria decided she could finally focus on her true passion. “I quickly got a job with interior designers here in Brussels and just a year later, in 2007, I launched my own company.”

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels living room with glass doors and pendant light© CESAR VILLORIA

“I was the only employee and had no clients, but what I did have was a great deal of self-confidence,” she says with a laugh. By trusting her instincts and working hard, the designer soon gained a steady stream of commissions. Meanwhile, she was also pushing ahead with her other great project: motherhood. Her and Louis’s firstborn, Gustave, now 15, was swiftly followed by Alphonse, 13, and ten-year-old Eugenia-Maria.

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels wearing orange and green two piece hugging daughter© CESAR VILLORIA

“I had three children before I turned 30,” she says, adding: “I’m glad I did it that way because my kids and my business grew together. Back then, I didn’t have the volume of projects I do now, when they’re more independent. If I’d waited, I wouldn’t have been able to manage it all and would have been forced to stop working.”

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels sitting room with cream sofa and fireplace© CESAR VILLORIA

Does she find it stressful combining an intense career with being a hands-on mum? “It’s complicated,” she says. For the past two years, she’s been involved in a big project that means travelling to Paris at least once a week. “I manage. I leave here at half past seven in the morning, take the train – my favourite mode of transport – and work throughout the journey,” she says. “I don’t take a break during the day and ataround 6.30pm, I’m back in Brussels for the children’s dinner.”

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels living room with two giant owl paintings© CESAR VILLORIA


Organisation is the key. “As I’m very visual, I don’t keep my agenda on my mobile phone, but put everything on paper,” she says. And like the good designer she is, she even colour-codes her family. “Each of us has our own shade, making it easier for me to co-ordinate our activities. And, of course, Louis helps me.”

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels townhouse with family posing outside and on balcony© CESAR VILLORIA

Her husband, a descendant of Arthur Martin, founder of the eponymous French household appliance company, has been part of her life since 2002. They started out as acquaintances moving in the same social circles in Brussels, then became friends before falling in love and marrying. The latest chapter in their relationship has seen them become business partners.

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels home with cream pannelled wall and large window© CESAR VILLORIA

“Louis has always been a great help, especially in financial matters, where he has a lot of professional experience,” Victoria-Maria says. “We talked about it for a long time before he officially joined me a year ago. As the company is growing and growing, it makes sense and I’m very happy we took the decision.”

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels kitchen with floral tablescape© CESAR VILLORIA

Prominent European families value Victoria-Maria’s discretion and good taste and trust her self-named firm to handle everything, from laying the foundations of a house to designing dishes for its dining table. Her signature style combines antiques with modern urniture and art, for a look that’s on-trend but original.

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels townhouse's colourful dining room© CESAR VILLORIA


“I undertake very large projects but also smaller ones, and what I love now, almost to the point of obsession, is what the French call art de la table,” she says. “I’ve always relished spending a month planning table decorations for Easter or Christmas, so it was a natural step to start creating plates, glasses and linens for Meillart.

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels bedoom with green bed and yellow curtains© CESAR VILLORIA

“I also collaborate on carpets, fabrics and wallpaper with Maison Pierre Frey and even door handles with La Maison Vervloet. This house is like a test laboratory, with my creations scattered throughout.”

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels spare bedroom painted blue with green built in bookshelf© CESAR VILLORIA

The six-storey mansion looks very different today from when she and Louis found it. In 2016, it was divided into offices. There was plenty of space – seven bedrooms, six bathrooms and an interior elevator, not to mention a garden and garage – but it was in a deplorable state.

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels' child bedoom with animal print wallpaper© CESAR VILLORIA


However, to the designer, its potential was obvious. “I took a year to restore it, to bring it back to its former elegance,” she says. And after the time she had spent thinking about how it would look, then came the fast bit. “Wham! I just popped this here and that there. No doubts,” she says, laughing. 

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels home with modern art © CESAR VILLORIA

Gifted with self-assurance as well as talent, it may seem Victoria-Maria has had it easy. In fact, it’s taken a lot of dedication to get to where she is now. “To begin with, you have to believe in yourself. Then, whatever it is you do, you have to give it your absolute best. Only then can you achieve, maybe not 100 per cent of what you want, but at least 90 per cent,” she says. 

Victoria-Maria Geyer's Brussels townhouse exterior view© CESAR VILLORIA

“Follow your instinct and if, like me, you’re a spiritual person, listen to your ‘guide’– that voice inside you. I am a clear example of how, by doing that, you can fulfil your dreams. You have to believe in yourself, then give it your absolute best.”




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