Discover Benelux | Belgian Design | (Hand)Made in Belgium
Bringing heart and soul to gardens TEXT: MICHIEL STOL | PHOTOS: HORTUM HOUT
Our garden is the one place close by, where we can wonder at nature’s beauty and forget all about the hectic world around us. The wooden garden furniture Lukas de Loore of Hortum-hout designs and builds by hand, brings the heart and soul into that special place. “It’s not about the product, it’s about upgrading your garden”. Hortum-Hout is located near Ghent in Sint-Amandsberg, where De Loore designs and creates all the wooden furniture in his workshop. “I come from an artistic family. My youngest brother is training to become an ebony joiner, whilst the oldest lives in an oak stilt house. Our mother taught us our love for native plants and trees and the way they liven up a garden,” he explains. During his studies, De Loore worked in the gardens of the Succa Castle in Destelbergen, a medieval castle with over 42 acres of gardens, parks and woods. “As an intern, I was often confronted with 42 | Issue 53 | May 2018
sterile, mundane gardens, but the Succa gardens really inspired me to start my own business of landscaping and creating furniture.” At age 19, De Loore started Hortum-hout and it took off immediately. De Loore initially set out to create a new kind of garden furniture, made out of indigenous wood. “One day I saw my father, who is a visual artist, building a beautiful, big and firm pinewood hennery. An unpretentious object, but with perfect proportions,” continues De Loore. “I knew I wanted to do that also, so I started to focus more on henneries.” He now designs them himself, and they can be altered to the clients’ wishes – for instance, combined with a rabbit hutch. “I go to a lot of garden fairs, to showcase the henneries as well as different kinds of spice boxes, wooden tables and fences. But the coops are often what customers marvel at. They get a lot of appreciation.” And not just in Belgium. “We ship our products all over Europe.”
“People tend to spend a lot of time in their gardens and want to be creative,” says De Loore. “They want handcrafted, honest products, not mass produced furniture. For us at Hortum-hout, the challenge is to create something that is true and honest, whilst also building something beautiful and unique. And my henneries are just that,” he smiles.