Jules Wabbes founded General Decoration in 1969 in Brussels. GEDE has since then, for more than 45 years, manufactured and retailed metal accessories exclusively designed by Jules Wabbes.
Our set of elegant and functional objects, essential to any interior, was designed by the Belgian designer throughout his career. This collection was part of his general vision for designing interiors as a refined and coherent ensemble. The only thing that mattered to Jules Wabbes was the sincere expression of quality in every details.
The level of craftsmanship and the use of the very best materials are the genuine signature of Jules Wabbes. Each GEDE accessory is handmade in metal – bronze, brass or steel – all materials favoured by Wabbes for their resistance and nobility.
We are still producing each of his objects using the exact same materials he used, crafted in small quantities by artisans in Belgium. Each GEDE metal object is then stamped to certify of its authenticity.
GEDE owns the exclusive licence to the original sketches and drawings of the celebrated Belgian designerin a catalogue of about 70 objects – ranging from bathroom accessories through coatracks to wall lamps.
Each of our original objects produced today is therefore manufactured according to the initial product development plans defined by Jules Wabbes.
GEDE only works with a selected few artisans in Belgium that meet Jules Wabbes’ attention to details and perfectionism.
After the passing of Jules Wabbes, GEDE has never ceased to exist, for Jules Wabbes’ spouse took over and had some objects produced while keeping all intellectual property.
In 2013, Vincent Colet — antiquarian, expert and editor of objects — together with the Wabbes family, and particularly with Marie Ferran-Wabbes, Jules Wabbes' daughter and art historian, decided to reinvigorate GEDE with the ideals and spirit of its beginnings.
Jules Wabbes is one of the leading Belgian furniture designers and interior architects of the postwar period. He first opened an antiques and decoration shop in Brussels before starting to create his own furnitures and objects.
In cooperation with architect André Jacqmain (until 1960), he was able to perfect his office furnitures and accessories into large-scaled interior design and architecture commissions - for banks and office spaces such as the Foncolin Building, the Glaverbel quarters or La Générale de Banque and its strongroom. He was known for his office desks, tables and cabinets crafted from precious and exotic woods on elegant frames of stainless steel. His attention to every details led him to create a collection of metal accessories to fit into these interiors.
He co-founded a first successful company, Mobilier Universel, in 1957 that also produced American designers, as Wabbes travelled extensively to the US in that period. He eventually furnished the US embassies of London, Dakar and Rabat. A few years later, he was ousted from Mobilier Universel unwilling to compromise quality for profit.
He then founded GEDE in 1969 in order to manufacture and retail exclusively his metal accessories according to his own quality principles.
Wabbes was awarded several prizes, notably in 1957 and 1960 at the Milan Triennial.
Jules Wabbes remained inspired by its first vocation as an antiquarian in his classical approach to interior and architecture details. He was fascinated by designs that would resist through time. His creations are an expression of pure quality by a use, and a mix, of excellent materials.
Today GEDE is committed to the same standards of excellence his founder expected. GEDE produces his objects, genuine pieces of timeless design, that are meant to last and be passed from one generation to the next.
Jules Wabbes designed the Strongroom of the former Générale de Banque (BNP Paribas Fortis) in Brussels between 1971-73. From Floor & walls of dark granite to ceiling of golden aluminium, Safe boxes, bronze handles, signage... everything was designed by Jules Wabbes. Saved from destruction, the room was filmed by GEDE in 2014.