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Child’s play: why FibreGuard stain-resistant fabrics were the perfect match for Antwerp library

When Antwerp City Council decided to redesign part of the main public library, the selection of durable materials was going to be crucial to the success of the project. Catering for children and families, the ground floor of Bibliotheek Permeke needed to appeal to young visitors, while providing practical surfaces that could cope with high traffic and sticky fingers!

Pieter Bostoen, a multi-talented creative with a background in interior design, was brought in to create a new kids’ reading corner and toddler play area. By partnering with FibreGuard stain-resistant fabrics, he found the perfect way to add inviting colour and softness to his scheme, while ensuring much-needed durability.

Introducing interior designer Pieter Bostoen

Known for his bold use of colour and geometric shapes, Belgian designer Pieter Bostoen creates dynamic commercial spaces with a strong visual identity.

For Bibliotheek Permeke, Pieter was tasked with overhauling the ground floor to design a welcoming, child-friendly zone that would encourage more families to visit the library.

Bibpermeke 15
Bibpermeke 15

The challenge: how to create a welcoming, child-friendly space in an industrial building

Housed in a former barrel factory, Bibliotheek Permeke features brick and concrete surfaces as well as imposing steel girders.

The challenge faced by designer Pieter Bostoen was how to humanise this austere interior to create a welcoming reading corner for toddlers and their parents. He needed to select materials that would soften the space, both acoustically and texturally. At the same time, the new child-centred zone had to be visually appealing, as well as durable enough to withstand the onslaught of hundreds of young kids!

Bibpermeke 15
Bibpermeke 15
Bibpermeke 15
Bibpermeke 15

The solution: bold colours, inviting curves, and soft FibreGuard fabrics

Pieter’s solution was to lean into colour and comfort with the help of FibreGuard’s highly durable, stain-resistant fabrics. He created brightly coloured, curved seating areas with lots of soft textiles to encourage parents and toddlers to settle down with a good book.

“By using soft materials, we tried to make the reading corner as cosy as possible. The curtains improve the acoustics, help to divide the space into smaller cosy areas, and add more colour to the space. The soft bench and large floor pillows are especially made to keep toddlers safe and warm. There is a massive round, pink carpet in the centre of the reading corner, and loads of pillows and Fatboy pouffes dotted around.” – Interior designer Pieter Bostoen

When it comes to selecting high performance textiles for child-friendly spaces, FibreGuard fabrics have got you covered. That’s because our fabrics are…

  • Extremely durable – Even our velvets can cope with high traffic areas
  • Stain-resistant and easy to clean
  • Safe for little ones – Our fabrics are free of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals
  • Super soft and high quality – FibreGuard fabrics are luxuriously soft to the touch, making them the ideal choice for child-friendly spaces
  • Available in a wide range of vibrant colours – Find the perfect colour for your next project.
Bibpermeke 15
Bibpermeke 15
Bibpermeke 15
Bibpermeke 15

The end result: what did the families think of their new library area?

When Bibliotheek Permeke reopened its ground floor after the redesign, the new space was a resounding hit with children and parents alike. Parents spoke about how inviting and relaxing the new area was, and how the colourful refurb made them more inclined to visit the library with their kids.

“One of the nicest pieces of feedback we got was that families are spending more time together at the library. Kids and toddlers are playing with each other, and parents are reading to their kids as well as meeting other parents.” – Interior designer Pieter Bostoen

Why are FibreGuard fabrics so well suited to child-centric spaces?

“Let’s face it, kids are messy, which is why FibreGuard’s stain-resistant fabrics are the perfect choice for child-friendly projects such as the Permeke library. Not only are they easy to clean, our fabrics are also really hard wearing. They can stand up to the kind of high traffic challenges presented by public buildings. Boisterous toddlers and sticky fingers are no match for our colourful performance fabrics!” – FibreGuard Design Team

Looking forward to partnering with you

Hopefully you now have a good understanding of why FibreGuard fabrics are the ideal choice for high traffic, family-friendly spaces. Our Bibliotheek Permeke project saw the family area transformed with the use of soft, durable textiles. A colourful kids’ zone emerged, with the encouragement of play and imaginative learning built in to its design.

Could our fabrics be the perfect fit for your next project? We love building long-term relationships with our contract customers by providing outstanding service alongside our high quality, market-leading products.

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