At Home With Betty Kafouni — Having a Crush On Your Furniture & Other Design Tips

Two years ago, Brussels-based Betty Kafouni quit her job in marketing and opened up an online vintage furniture store - La Kasbah. Today, she is a professional furniture hunter, curating an informed selection of unique pieces in a variety of styles. Her apartment - featured frequently on social media - has become a showroom in itself, representing Betty’s impeccable taste, which is as elegant as it is playful. Below, she tells us more about her interior inspirations, the universal appeal of skateboard art and gives advice to anyone in search of their own style. At Home With Betty Kafouni in design home with the skateroom art edition

What interior design style is your favorite at the moment?

I’m a huge fan of the 70s and space age pieces. I also love Scandinavian and Italian design, and I really like to mix these styles. I think it’s a good match to have something more futuristic from Italy with more clean, minimalist Nordic design. I really like wood to bring some warmth into the home, but on the other hand I also like color. My place is built mostly with color. I’m really looking for 60s, 70s, 80s pieces at the moment. I’m also starting with the 90s but it’s difficult for me - I’m not a big fan of this era.

How do you find the furniture pieces which are in your store?

I started like a lot of people - going to flea markets. Then, I was joining a friend who is an antique dealer. I started buying for him and he was selling my pieces, and then, when I decided to quit my job, he introduced me to a lot of professional dealers. Now I go to them instead of the flea markets.

What inspires you to discover those new styles?

I collect a lot of old magazines that I find at flea markets. They’re really like a piece of art for me and they contain a lot of items by unknown brands and designers, so it’s easier to find them online and bet on them at auction houses. I have a lot of vintage magazines that I bought in Italy. I also go to Denmark a few times a year and find them there. What I love about my job is that I’m always learning and discovering new things and finding out that all of those names and styles over the years are actually connected.

Do you collect art?

I’ve got pieces that I got from an auction house but I also invest in work from up-and-coming artists. The most expensive artwork that I own is from Bieke Buckinx who paints hot dogs. It’s very funny. One day she was doing a show in Brussels, a limited edition of 10 hot dogs from 10 local restaurants. I found one from a cafe which is just next to my place and which I’ve been going to for 10 years, and so I bought it as a birthday present to myself for my 30th birthday. Now I’m 34 and I still love it and I will keep it for the rest of my life. I like mixing vintage pieces with fun, pop-art pieces. When I buy something, I really need to have a crush on it.

Are you a fan of skateboard art?

I used to work for a skateboard brand so I learned a lot about the culture. I was a big fan of the work of Ed Templeton and Larry Clark… It was really interesting for me, I learned a lot about history, photography and music. I was always more into the creative side of skateboarding, rather than the professional side. It’s something that spoke to me.

What interior design style goes best with this type of art?

When you’re in a city apartment like in Brussels or Amsterdam, the editions fit in everywhere. When I look at THE SKATEROOM’s collections, there are a lot of artists like Basquiat or Andy Warhol who can go into every interior. Then you have smaller artists and - yes, you really need to know them or have a crush on their work, but at the end of the day, it’s a skateboard deck - it can go anywhere, with every type of furniture. It can look really beautiful over a bed, or in the living room, or in the bedroom of your child because it’s really playful. It’s cool because it can speak to everybody. You have such a range of collaborations that you can easily find something that you like.

What if someone is decorating an interior and isn’t sure yet what they like? Do you have any advice for people who are trying to find their style?

I like to: Start with three colors, three fabrics and make them work all together And then add some cool stuff with objects and furniture. I really like colors, so if you want to have a total blue apartment with wood and just one carpet on the floor then do it. And then you can have more fun with a colorful lamp, a piece of art, two sofas... And Don’t copy A lot of people don’t trust their own taste and they want to make something like the others. As a result, you end up going to three different apartments that all look the same and you can’t feel the personality of the people who live there. Three different people and they basically live in the same flat. Because of social media, I have the impression that people don’t use their creativity anymore. They go to an architect or an interior designer and they don’t make their own choices. Also - take the time. If you can, Take your time to make the perfect choices Trust yourself and your creativity and don’t ask too many questions about your own taste to other people. There will always be someone who says they don’t like it. Then you feel disappointed and you’re not sure anymore. But if you really want a pink kitchen - Do it.