Frederiek van Pamel is a floral artist, interior designer, and garden architect, but above all, an ambience creator. That is what the 48-year-old artist and entrepreneur prefer to call himself when we ask him to describe himself in one word. “I am a creative jack-of-all-trades, and I’m easily inspired by special people and exciting objects. I am a keen collector and find it challenging to create harmony from a cacophony of objects, styles, and colours. Often, my interior style revolves around just a few objects. Monumental objects, though”.
We met Frederiek in his unique shop in the centre of Bruges a few weeks before Christmas 2021. He is busy: “I have been asked again by the town of Damme, a historic town near Bruges, to provide them with a theme decoration. An old hospital, parts of which go back to the 13th century, I transform into a special mix of style and colour. I have done the “Winter atmosphere in Damme” project several times before. The exhibition was a great success each time, and I am glad they asked me again this year to create something unique. Now we just have to hope that the COVID-19 pandemic does not spoil things; we are working with a team of 50 volunteers to realise this major project in just a few weeks”.
In his shop and adjoining garden, the world of Frederiek van Pamel comes to life. “The beauty of this building is that it breathes the style of the 18th and 19th centuries. This former doctor’s house has seven fireplaces and rooms with high ceilings”. “Ideal for me, and I can do crazy things there. For example, I painted the ceilings on the first floor, where I live, black. Unusual, but just look at the Belle Époque properties in Paris and Amsterdam. You find them there too. It creates ultimate tranquillity, and I need that to let my creative mind do its work”.
When asked whether the saying “pressure creates diamonds” also applies to him, Frederiek replies negatively. “For me, inner peace is much more important. That calmness enables me to assess a new project better. I can also better assess whether there is a ‘click’ with my clients. “That click is incredibly essential. I’ve worked for countless celebrities, but if there’s not a click, I’ll call off a project”.
Frederiek has created ambience and made decorations for famous people but feels he can better showcase his talents on projects that involve more than a “simple” flower creation. “In that respect, I am a real
sharer, a team player. Someone who likes to rise to great heights with his team of seven permanent employees. In such a situation, I see myself as a large vehicle driver. I know where I have to be and the road, but I never go alone”.
Frederiek is undoubtedly not a trend follower and goes his own way. “I just follow my feelings, and in that respect, people cannot pigeonhole my style, Carpe Diem”. “When people ask me to redesign a house, I see it as a cube. That is all. Whether it is large or small, the starting point remains the same. The result must have something mysterious; it must remain an experience. You don’t achieve that by following fleeting trends. “Of course, I do have personal preferences. Various shades of red, rust and Provençal blue are favourites. Ancient colours have stood the test of time and have proven their worth. That’s what I like about them.
This “out of the box” thinking has already brought Frederiek great success. People are queuing up to enlist his talents. Whether it concerns the complete redesign of large mansions, majestic gardens, or wedding events stylish design. The master of ambience is very busy, and the pandemic can’t change that. “People need atmosphere and security now, and I doubt that will change soon.
New and even bigger projects are in the pipeline. “If everything goes according to plan, I will set up something big with my partners this year. Think of a city tour through Bruges, where you visit well-known and less well-known monuments that have been taken in hand by my team and me. It should be an experience you won’t easily forget.
And the ongoing project “Wintersfeer in Damme”? It went ahead and sold out in no time. Like every year, it attracted people from all over Europe to Bruges.
Photo copyright Benny Proot