Who we are
Who we are has been cristal clear for decades: we are your welcoming furniture store in Ternat, near Brussels. We aim at providing you with the most suiting, stunning, Instagram-worthy interior that you have ever had. We want to give you that interior that truly fits your character. Does that sound ambitious? Perhaps. But that doesn’t stop us from succeeding!
Our approach to home interiors
Our approach is easy but effective: we take all the time necessary to get to know your taste and budget. At our shops we do not have any salesmen; only home interior specialists. We can guarantee one thing when it comes to them:
Our home interior specialists are there to help you. They are trained to assist anyone perfectly – no matter wat their budget, style preference or living situation is.
Do you not require any guidance? No problem! Our home stylists will step aside and let you peruse our showroom at your own pace.
However, if you haven’t figured out yet what your wishes are, our people will help you. With picture books and examples from our showroom they will succeed in making your home the ideal haven you always wanted it to be.
The past, present and future of our furniture store
If we were to look back in time (and let’s just do that for a minute), it can be seen that many entrepreneurs with a passion for furniture are at the foundation of Meubelen De Keizer:
Selling homemade furniture by handcart
Already before 1910 our great-grandfather Henri De Greef and great-grandmother Jeannine moved from rural Meise en Wemmel to the big city of Brussels. In 1919 they bought a townhouse (a former inn) for 18.000 Belgian francs, or € 450. That was a large sum of money at the time, so that had to be recouped! Henri therefore started doing what he did best: making furniture. He started his own furniture workshop and produced high-quality furniture for the city folks. Additionally, fully assembled furniture from Mechelen was being bought and resold by Henri; these goods were transported to Brussels by freight tram. In those years, the furniture was brought to the customers by Henri by handcart.
From a workshop to importing and reselling
After World War II, the way in which shops did business changed throughout Belgium. Before the war, almost every furniture seller made his own furniture. After the war, everything revolved around scaling up, and making furniture yourself did not fit in that picture. However, a family drama happened unexpectedly: it was precisely on the wedding day of Henri’s only daughter Maria that his wife suddenly died, which had a major impact on the then flourishing company. In those early years after the Second World War, expansion was no longer on Henri’s mind. Everything went on at a slower pace. Since 1962, Henri’s son-in-law Pierre and daughter Maria have only focused on reselling furniture under the name Pessemier-De Greef. The machines had since been sold and the former workshop was converted into a showroom in 1967.
The limitations of a shop in the city
A new Henri Pessemier (Pierre and Maria’s son) started working at his parents’ shop in 1973, after his studies as a furniture maker and interior decorator. From 1980 his wife Nina Van Genechten also joined the ranks, and the young couple took over the business under the new name Galerie Fransman, named after the Fransmanstraat in Laken. Over the next 30 years, they steadily expanded the total floor area from barely 360 m² to 1800 m², which was no easy task in the big city. More and more restrictions were imposed by the government and further expansion proved impossible. And a fourth generation was already there, willing to further expand the business; their son Wim Pessemier announced in 2009 that he wanted to take over. Because the building of Galerie Fransman became too small in Brussels, the search for a new location started.
The rise of De Keizer
For another family, the Kiesekoms family from Ternat, their furniture store in the Keizerstraat had also become impossible to expand by their three children due to a lack of surrounding space. From their beginning, furniture De Keizer was a business that focused on service and quality. In that respect, De Keizer had a great deal in common with Meubelen Pessemier and the later Galerie Fransman. In 1992, father Gustaaf Kiesekoms saw the opportunity to build a new showroom in nearby Wambeek. The business would flourish for ten years until they sold it to Eycken Meubelen from Limburg in 2002, who transformed the store into a furniture discount, Tilt.
The return of De Keizer
In 2010, the owners of Tilt furniture discount decided to sell the business, which would turn out to be the ideal opportunity to expand for Galerie Fransman from Laken. They left Brussels without hestitation to settle in Ternat with renewed courage. The name ‘Meubelen De Keizer’ had by then already been out of use for eight years, but that would change: the discount concept Tilt was slowly pushed aside after the takeover by the Pessemier family, because they prefer quality and service over quantity. In 2014 the name ‘Meubelen De Keizer’ returned. After all, this name still evoked pleasant feelings among many people from the area.
Tilt was phased out, De Keizer (which translates as ‘The Emperor’) was back on his throne. And that’s where he’s been proudly sitting ever since! The passionate spirits of the people behind Meubelen De Greef, Pessemier, Galerie Fransman and Tilt live on in our family business until today. We have furniture in our genes! We have been serving thousands of customers for over one hundred years and we are proud of that.
By occasionally looking back at our past with feeling of appreciation, the current fourth generation, Wim and Sophie Pessemier-Van Der Schrick, can fully commit to the future of the company.