Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Si of French by Design

by Amy Azzarito

Nearly four years ago, Si Mazouz and her husband relocated from Provence in the south of France to Charlotte, North Carolina (with a year stint in Morocco in between). As a result of the move, Si quit her communications/marketing job in France, and when they arrived in North Carolina, she decided to channel her energies a little closer to home, partially to help the couple’s two daughters, Ines and Maya, settle into an American school when they didn’t know a word of English. But it was also a great opportunity for Si to pursue her design passion by opening an Etsy shop that specializes in vintage finds. Of course, she ended up working many more hours than she would have at a standard 9 to 5; with two daughters, three dogs and a thriving business, she stays very busy! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: I have a passion for vintage items but like to mix and match pieces to avoid the “museum” effect that an all-vintage interior can sometimes have. Also, we acquired many of our furniture and décor pieces through travels, life abroad and flea market hunts, so sticking to a specific style was nearly impossible. By mixing and matching pieces from different eras and styles, from vintage to modern to ethnic, we were able to achieve a style that is truly ours. The “Flower Lamp” is by Panton. The metal console was handmade in Morocco. “Tid Ceramic Clock” is by Design House Stockholm. The rug is vintage and was bought in a souk in Morocco. The eye doctor chart poster is a reproduction print by All Posters. The living room white is Ivory by Benjamin Moore. The corridor is painted Gunmetal by Benjamin Moore.

Image above: We did not want a formal dining-area setting, so we deliberately mixed and matched the chairs around a farm-style table. The table is by Habitat France. Mixed and matched chairs include crossed-back chairs bought in a small shop in Provence, France; Tolix metal chairs; and Eiffel metal white Eames chairs. The end-of-table metal chair was designed and handmade by an artist in Marrakech, Morocco. Both the metal lamp pendant shade and sheepskin are by Ikea.

See more of Si’s Charlotte home after the jump . . . 

Image above: The flower print armchair and window curtains are by Anthropologie, and the white space-age floor lamp was acquired in a flea market. Paint color is Toffee Crunch by Olympic.

Image above: The reading/TV area. The chaise lounge chairs with removable slipcovers are by Ikea and are ideal with kids and dogs, as the white fabric can be bleached. The Beni Ouarain vintage rug was acquired in Marrackech, Morocco. The metal and rattan floor lamp was handmade by a local artisan in Rabat, Morocco. Pillows are Fred Shand bought at Anthropologie (left chaise) and Pottery Barn (right chaise). The window roller shades are Ikea. Wall color is Onyx by Benjamin Moore — I never thought black would work quite so well on all four walls of a room. The previous homeowner just had this room painted in that color before selling and was using the room as a man cave. There is so much natural light in this room and so much white in surrounding rooms — the living and kitchen areas — that this black room stands out. So I played with the monochromatic feature and added mainly black and white furniture and accessories in the room.

Image above: The fireplace mantel in the living room where I display vintage pieces that I collect for myself or vintage treasures that are for sale on the shop, waiting to find their adoptive home. The vintage space-age lamp was bought on eBay. The “Grow Up” poster is by Mini and Maximus. It puts a smile on my face every time I pass by this print. A great reminder not to take things too seriously!

Image above: A view of the living room — a very high-volume room. I love the light here and decided not to over-furnish it. I like the minimalist look this space has. The sofa was one of our first purchases as a couple, more than 15 years ago. It means so much to us that we had it reupholstered in a brown velvet fabric instead of getting a new one. Vintage arc lamp bought in a flea market. Our storage by Ikea — three Expedit bookcases are aligned and hold all books and display décor pieces. The vintage fruit-picking ladder was bought in a French flea market — it gets decorated around Christmas time with string lights and other holiday décor accessories and serves as a “book pile” display the rest of the year. Curtains by Anthropologie. Chair is Eames rocker by Herman Miller.

Image above: This is my proudest DIY project. In France, after entirely remodeling our house, the budget was very limited, and we still needed a coffee table. I took a few pieces of wood planks left over in the yard and created this table. [I added] some casters to give it an industrial look, a few coats of wood stain, and a bit of French wax, and voila! I would not change this table for anything! So versatile, we can eat pizza, play games, and move it away if needed.

Image above: A view from the open kitchen/family/TV area space. The kitchen cabinets were “cherry wood” color, and I hated that — too dark and too conservative for me. I had them repainted by a professional painter in this light gray color to “glamorize” the kitchen while keeping a vintage feel to it. We’re very happy with the result. It was a lot cheaper than changing the cabinets all together. It complements all the stainless-steel appliances that were already there when we moved in. This room is literally the heart of our home: we cook, talk — and argue — do homework, blog, drink wine, and entertain guests. We do it all in this room.

Image above: This beautiful tile backsplash and the black soapstone countertops were already in place when we moved in. I chose the gray for the kitchen cabinets to match these elements and give it a finished look.
Red and white containers are originally plant pots from French pottery maker Ravel that I repurposed to store my wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils.

Image above: My kitchen wall recipe sticker! Oh, this one holds a special place in my heart. First, I love to cook crepes. Also, having a recipe in French in my kitchen when I moved to America made me feel a little less home sick, as if my house spoke my native language. The sticker was ordered from a French website that shipped it to me from France. The vintage brass boxing bell was acquired in a flea market — handy and loud enough to call everyone for dinner! In the background is a Jielde industrial lamp and vintage gray-painted wooden desk acquired in a French flea market. Wall flowers by Umbra.

Image above: My office — this was a dark, gloomy, dark blue and gray striped bonus room over the garage. When I painted it white and removed the heavy and dusty wooden shutters to let the natural light in, I immediately decided it would be my workspace. It’s the perfect creative spot, like a white canvas for an artist. All the furniture is from Ikea — 2 trestle desks face each other for fluidity of movement and communication, and the storage cabinets against the wall hold all files away from dust. The chair is Eames by Herman Miller. Sheep skin by Ikea. Trash can by Alinea France. Vintage perpetual wall calendar bought on Etsy.

Image above: My desktop. The desktop calendar was bought at the Container Store. The lamp is by Pottery Barn. I just repainted its wooden arms in white. On the back, two white stretched canvases lying backwards against the wall are used as mood boards. I pin everything and anything that inspires me. The wall lamp is a vintage khaki color Jielde lamp.

Image above: Ah, this is my favorite accessory in the workspace: Uten-Silo wall organizer by Vitra. I’ve been eyeing this one for a long time and was delighted to get it as a birthday gift this year. It keeps my desktop all neat and clear while stylishly storing desktop accessories, business cards, masking tape rolls, etc. “Hello Dala horse” card designed by the lovely Kerry at Seventy Tree.

Image above: My bed. The wall color is Toffee Crunch. The headboard is a vintage Moroccan door put sideways, acquired in a Moroccan souk. Bourgie Lamp by Kartell.

Image above: This is Maya’s room, our 11-year-old daughter. She wanted a room that was “girly,” yet not pink. We agreed on a plum color on one wall and an off-white color on the three other walls — also great when kids change their mind, as you have only one wall to repaint. (The color is Ripe Fig from Behr.) As a headboard, I used an off-white branch and birds sticker, again shipped from France by IdZif, to keep the romantic feel of the room and added a Pigeon Lamp by Ed Carpenter, bought online at Theo. The Pigeon seems to be sitting on the sticker branch, and the effect when the lamp is on is really striking and magical.

Image above: Pigeon lamp by Ed Carpenter seen closer. On the side, an oversized bean bag by Fatboy on the floor for cozy story-reading time.

Image above: After living in Provence, where you pretty much live outside all year long, a private and “green” yard was a top priority on our list. Our backyard faces a wood area, and thanks to dense vegetation, we have total privacy from our neighbors. This is our patio, with some terracotta potted Mediterranean plants, such as lavender and sage. Hanging chair by Ikea. Handmade cushions. Coffee cups by Pantone. We spend a lot of time outside.

Image above: We built this pool a year and a half ago. Our wish was to have a pool that was as natural as possible and that would fit with the environment without upgrading to expensive materials. Ideally, we wanted a swimming corridor but were limited budget wise. We went for natural raw stone, turquoise blue and a rectangular shaped pool with minimal concrete decking around it. We planted many Mediterranean plants right by the pool area. It’s a very relaxing spot in the yard, and it looks like it’s always been there, like it belongs to the yard. The basic raw construction stone we used gives it a “grand” effect, but in the end, it was a cheaper material than most tiles. Teak lounge chaises by Crate and Barrel.

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  • I love this home especially her office. I’m a huge fan of homes with personality. This home has tons of personality. Thanks for sharing!

  • You have a beautiful home. I especially love the accent wall and the tree branch wall accessory you’ve placed in the kiddie room :) the arched entry ways is my absolute favourite look, mixed with the modern space. I love LOVE your home! The Design Sponge website is so inspiring for beautiful and unique décor ideas for any space. I look forward to the Monday new additional sneak peeks!

  • Amazing american house with a such deep french accent… I love every corner and details !!!
    L A U

  • Such a beautiful home! I love the contrasting black and white walls from room to room! Thank you for sharing!

  • I absolutely love how you made this new home look like a beautifully renovated older home. I usually hate new houses with the two-story family rooms, but you have made me want yours!

  • what color is the trim? it looks so lovely and warm next to the ivory. very nice home.

  • … my most favouritist sneak peak yet! minimalist, funky, innovative, ingenious.
    thanks for sharing

  • All beautiful- the DIY table is really wonderful along with the brass boxing bell- so unique.

  • I love it all! Bird in the tree…fabulous! Especially like the fig color on the wall. Flower print chair and curtains…want! Enjoy your beautiful home.

    • kelsey

      we’ll ask the home owner, but most people like to keep the fronts of their homes private as they often have address numbers on them. but thanks for your request and i’m so glad you liked the home so much :)


  • Does Ikea sell the hanging chair in black (i’ve only seen blue or white in the bay area) or did you spray it black? If sprayed I’ll take on the challenge I love it. Love your house!!

  • I just LOVE it ! It is just the place you want to live in. So…well… Si charming ! ;)

  • @Nelson, unfortunately I never saw this hanging chair again at any Ikea. I got 6 years ago on sale for $50 euros, in a French Ikea in Marseille, France. It is 1.5 times bigger than the ones we see now in stores that are white or blue – in the kids section. This one is an adult size chair. Such a deal and such a cool spot to sit on, on the patio… it’s a favorite among adults and children visiting too.

  • This is brilliant, I love the concept, american with a touch of french in the details. The versatile table is fun, you can move it anywhere you want. Every part of the house are perfectly beautiful.

  • Si, you know I love your style! That coffee table is perfection. I love this sneak peek into your latest projects. The pool is stunning.

  • I love this home and the cute decal on the wall in Maya’s room, but I PARTICULARLY love the font used for the “my favorite thing do do at home…” text. Can you please tell me what it is?

  • Your home is lovely. We live in Pinehurst, just a stones throw away, and can’t figure out why you left France! The plum in your daughter’s room is the perfect color for an 11 year old. One humble suggestion for your family though- line the wire on your daughter’s pigeon lamp with an “e-shield plastic”, for example, since shielding electric fields from the little developing brains in our homes is important.

  • Que j’en suis contente! One of my favourite bloggers (Si a love your succinct and beautiful posts – et en plus c’est en français – parfait!) combined with Design Spong-iness… I must be in online heaven! Merci à tous!

  • This is one of my favorite sneak peaks ever – I can’t get over how beautiful the two levels of windows in the living room are.

  • The pool is perfect. I never come across pools that I like and am always wishing people would go for a more natural, or vintage look. This one is gorgeous. Thanks!

  • I can totally tell this is my hometown…all the trees and the way the light looks. LOVELY home. Love all the Moroccan beautification and the simple palette layered over the underwhelming architecture (par for course in a young town like Charlotte). Hope you feel at home here Si and family!