In the fall, I was lucky enough to visit the home of Raphaëlle Raymond and Stephane Hourcq in the Montparnasse area of Paris. I’ve become far too familiar with super small spaces in this city, so this felt like an actual home, and two stories at that. As Raphaëlle pointed out, where they live feels like a village thanks to their great windows that bring in lots of light and mostly overlook a courtyard, distant roofs and trees — you hardly know you’re in Paris until you step out the front door. The “remote village” feeling is enhanced by the irregular walls and beams and the fireplace in the wintertime. Silence is only interrupted by the nearby church bells striking every hour. In renovating, Raphaëlle and Stephane wanted the decorating style to be minimalist and clear to enhance the apartment’s lofty volume and highlight its unique features, while vivid bursts of color bring a touch of happiness. After 15 years working for big names like Kenzo and Jean Paul Gaultier, Raphaëlle decided it was time to start her own venture in making everyday life more beautiful while working with French artisans. She dubbed it Bureau des Objets Émotifs (available in the U.S. here). Many of the objets d’art from Raphaëlle’s line are sprinkled throughout their home, so keep your eyes peeled. Merci beaucoup to Raphaëlle and Stephane, as well as Clément Pinçon for the photos and Catherine Taret for the tip! — Anne
Image above: We painted the pillars in flashy pink for the love of the color but also because they became “poteaux roses,” which translates as “pink pillars,” a French expression meaning there is a surprise or something to discover (le pot-aux-roses). I love to set a nice table in the dining area for family dinners for guests, often using Bureau des Objets Émotifs porcelain plates, as they are dishwasher safe (they also match the boxes on the shelves). A less obvious choice was the glass black table — “Rio” from Habitat “Rio” — which is a daily task to keep shining, but it really makes tableware and food stand out! The wood chairs are from Ikea, the water is jug from Villeroy & Boch, the placemats are “Black dots” from Chilewich and the ottoman in the background is “Fjord” from Moroso. The pink paint is “Fuchsia Suprême” from Tollens.
Image above: As a true French family, we love to share breakfast with croissants at our vintage bistro marble table. The kettle, toaster and teapots are right at hand! The pendant lamp is “Trinitas” in black and orange from Cinna, the bowl is Luneville, the plate is Japanese, the teapots are Chinese and the chairs and bistro table are all vintage. The food storage jars with lids are from Ikea.
See more of Raphaëlle and Stephane’s Parisian home after the jump . . .
Image above: Getting the ingredients ready for one of my improvised recipes. Quite pragmatically, I make up meals according to what the fridge and cupboards have to offer. My only fancy is to have specialised tools at hand, such as these soft-boiled egg holders, and I add lots of spices, stored right above the stove, that I choose for their color most of the time. Yet the result manages to be quite yummy! The pan is from Cristel, the potholder is from Ikea and the orange tiles are from Castorama.
Image above: I have kept the Stockman mannequin that was shaped after the curves of my great aunt. She used it to custom make her clothes, and I think of her tenderly when I dress it up with my creations, such as this Bureau des Objets Émotifs’ silk scarf, “Simple Chaud X.”
Image above: I love our wide, inviting sofa in contrast with the dye-cut metal coffee table. I placed a lamp underneath, which highlights its graphic style. The coffee table is “Cubical” by Coco & Co, a French designer duo; the sofa is from Cinna; and the boxes are “Pelouse Or” from Bureau des Objets Émotifs.
Image above: This sconce lamp — “Moonwalk” from Thomas de Lussac – creates graphic rays of light on the wall while adding a sense of humour and lightness that I particularly enjoy. Several other lamps by the same designer can be found throughout the apartment.
Image above: We managed to fit both a bathtub and an Italian shower with a giant showerhead in our tiny bathroom. Per square meter, it was probably the most expensive room to furnish! We love the enveloping-cocoon feel you get from the anthracite tiles.
Image above: A quiet feel for the bedroom, with our beloved blue and pink color assemblage from the bed linens and some vintage items I brought back from China: calligraphy wash brushes and a jewel box. The bed linen is from PIP Studio, and the headboard with hidden storage is from Ikea.
Image above: The open mezzanine office links the upper private bedrooms/bathroom space to the downstairs living room space. The desk is built from an old salvaged door! The “Tallow” red chairs and side table lamp “Ribbon” are from Habitat, and the desk lamp is from Ikea.
Image above: Preparing my next colorful coup. I’m wearing the “Gris Limite” watch from Bureau des Objets Émotifs’ current collection. I am also dressed with memories from my years spent in China: a Cha Gang top and a necklace from Shanghai Trio, for whom I used to work.