In Paris, France there lies a neighborhood where 100-year-old homes slope along the side of a hill “like a necklace.” Carved into the earth and owned by many of the original builders’ descendants, the 90 pads are prized possessions, and (unsurprisingly) only a select few new families have been able to break into the area. One such lucky brood is that of artist and her cartoonist husband, Pascal. For 16 years they’ve set up shop in one of the area’s brilliant apartments with their two sons.
The couple admits that the home was fairly outdated when they first moved in. Old-fashioned furnishings and touches that just seemed a bit odd weren’t uncommon in any of the house’s nine rooms. The rooms’ layout overall, though, proved to be the worst of it. Extremely choppy, the original design made it difficult to keep a watchful eye on the pair’s little ones. As the boys learned to crawl, walk and eventually run, keeping the two safe soon took top priority and Julie and Pascal went to work on what would become the home’s largest project: converting it into an open-concept style.
To this day the new layout works well for the family of four, but up until recently the house’s decorations weren’t quite ideal in Julie’s mind. With decor chosen because it made life with two young boys easier, it was more functional than fashionable. Nowadays the kids are grown up, and Julie has been able to use the space as a showroom for her own textile and paper works. The living room’s wallpaper and throw pillows are just two of the many examples of her one-of-a-kind style; an aesthetic that mixes bright colors with intricate motifs. My favorite smattering of Julie’s work has to be the paper creations in her and Pascal’s bedroom. Never one to shy away from neons, Julie has used every color of the rainbow to dot the walls with her endless trove of creations.
Just as bold and inspiring as the home’s decorations are the tweaks Julie and Pascal have made to the kitchen. Over the course of six years they slowly chipped away at the room, molding it into a pattern-filled space full of interesting finds and handmade touches. Its island, for example, is actually a discarded church altar they came across at a flea market. Without a doubt this is a truly original idea, but the item that illuminates this piece may just be the home’s most unique touch: Julie has encased a lightbulb in a plaster cast of a head of Romanesco broccoli! While the idea is quirky, the results are very cool and fitting for a room where the family preps and cooks their nightly dinners.
Overall, Julie and Pascal’s abode is clearly one where creativity is king, a trait my absolute favorite homes share. Inside these types of hideouts there are no rules for what goes where, which hues fit with which furniture or what constitutes the “right” move. All that matters is that you feel inspired by them and at ease inside their walls. Take a look at the rest of one of the City of Light’s most interesting nests below. Enjoy! —
Photography by Nicolas Millet and styling by Caroline Clavier
Image above: Julie originally designed her family home with an open-concept layout so she could keep an eye on her two young sons. Now that they’ve grown up a bit, the home’s focus has shifted from practical to pretty, and Julie treats it as a showroom for her work as well as pieces from artists whom she admires. One such creative force is her father, , whose wood work stands on the fireplace’s mantel.