“The Belgian’s design moxie made saner spaces look bland,” says Dale Hrabi about Gert Voorjans’s decision to cover a Bavarian dining room in Tartan plaid.

In his investigation of Belgian designer Gert Voorjans’ recent renovation of a Bavarian castle, The Wall Street Journal’s Dale Hrabi initially cringed at Voorjans’s decision to cover a dining room in red tartan plaids. However, over time, he warmed up to this unusual design choice, as well as the room’s other elements. “The Belgian’s design moxie made saner spaces look bland… his warm profusion of tartans [is] so cuckoo yet so suitable for cold-weather cocooning.”

Voorjans had initially planned to use over 30 different tartans in the room, but eventually narrowed it down to three. He defends the daring in his design choice as a folly, given that the room is one of four dining rooms in the owner’s second home. “The family only uses it sometimes in the winter,” he said.

Both Voorjans and Hrabi express fondness for the painting of the “dour little boy” and his connection and contrast with the “Scottish cheer” of the room. “I first saw him on a plain wall and I thought, ‘Poor boy,’” Voorjans said. “The tartan cheers him up a bit. And he makes it seem less frivolous.”

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