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Sabine Marcelis is an expert when it comes to design and lighting. The designer recently collaborated with Ikea for the VARMBLIXT collection, which is filled with lighting fixtures that graciously brighten a room with soft, indirect lighting — a personal hack from Marcelis to set the mood and elevate any room. In her own space, you won’t only find pieces like the VARMBLIXT Champagne glasses from the collaboration with the Swedish retailer but also DIY furniture — like the bed frame she made with her husband, art pieces made by her friends, and the custom tiles in her bathroom created by her friend Jonas Lutz.
Inspiration for both her work and her wardrobe comes from unexpected places. Wherever you find pops of colors and plays with shapes, you’ll find her keen eye. “If everyone is looking at the same thing, then you inherently get the same output,” she says over Zoom. “I love really good materials, very simple silhouettes,” she says. “I create work like that myself. It’s really all about the material and the form.” Some of her favorite brands? The minimalist label Jil Sander, where her friends Luke and Lucie Meier are creative directors, and Loewe, with its luxurious but unexpected pieces. Checks out.
Where did you get the inanimate object that brings you the most joy?
One of the biggest pieces we have at home is a canvas by Marria Pratts. I asked her to create something for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday. This artwork brings me so much joy and she’s such a unique character. She lives in her atelier in Barcelona, which is essentially a cardboard house that has a bathtub inside it. I love that when I see her work I really think of her as a person, as well.
Where did you get your favorite piece of clothing?
My dusty-pink trench coat from a secondhand store in Antwerp. I bought it 13 years ago. It’s a very iconic jacket that I really identified with. When you wear it, it doesn’t matter what else you’re wearing. I went through a phase where I would also trade clothes with friends. One of my best friends who lives in Vancouver had the trench coat, and then it came back again. It then feels as if it’s a new item in your wardrobe again, but now with a nostalgic feeling.
Where did you get what’s on your nightstand?
I don’t really have a nightstand. Our bed is like a big block that our mattress sits in, so the only nightstand I have is the top of the bed. That’s where my Bloc Studios vase by Valentina Cameranesi Sgroi lives with just a single dried flower in it. She created these really awesome boob vases, like a pair of boobs sideways carved out of this beautiful Carrara marble.
Where did you get your favorite pair of shoes?
From Luke and Lucie Meier of Jil Sander. They are these very voluminous heels that look a bit like you’re walking on blown-up balloons. I never get as excited about a pair of pants, a tank, or anything, but when it comes to sunglasses and shoes, those are categories I can get really, really excited about. The shoes look great with so many things and they make a boring pair of jeans super exciting.
Where did you get the item you wear the most?
My Prada sunglasses are from an airport in Amsterdam. I was running really late for a flight to somewhere very warm and I forgot my sunglasses. I love sunglasses, and they had the perfect Prada sunglasses. I lost them within a year of having them. So I’ve actually owned, in total, three of that same pair of sunglasses, and I only have one pair left.
Where did you get your signature scent?
Skins in Rotterdam. For a long time, I wore the same perfume and I wanted to switch it up, so I went to a different store and got a bunch of samples. I found one of the samples in my coat pocket later on and I wore it and loved it, but I didn’t know what it was because it didn’t have a label on it. I went to Skins and asked the guy who worked there and he smelled it and found the exact perfume.
Where did you get your favorite item to layer?
My coat from Kassl Editions. It’s a really interesting brand. It’s from the Netherlands, and the idea was that you have this one iconic, good shape of a coat and they make it in many different materials. My favorite is the tawny rubber one. It has a really interesting materiality.
Where did you get the item you splurged on the most?
Oldcelinemarket on Instagram. It’s this really amazing sweater with different panels of leather, blue, white, and blood orange. It’s beautiful and wildly expensive. One day I saw it and said, I’m just gonna splurge and get this. I also have a lot of memories of working for the brand when it was still under Phoebe Philo. So it’s nice to still be able to find some of the pieces from those times.
Where did you get the item that gets complimented the most?
Milko Boyarov. They’re really extravagant but also subtle because they’re transparent. Whenever I wear them, it’s 100 percent guaranteed that at least two or three people will say, “Wow, great earrings.” He makes really fantastic earrings and he’s a very talented guy.