Interiorssneak peeks

Starting from Scratch in France

by Garrett Fleming

Clean slates. They’re daunting, challenging and invigorating, but most of all, they’re opportunities. Five years ago I sold everything I owned and moved to Chicago with only three suitcases. Those first few nights I slept on the floor with only a blanket from home and a pillow made of my folded t-shirts. You would think the silence would be deafening, but it was roaring with the ideas and potential of what my new home would be. Needless to say, starting from scratch is close to my heart. My clean slate was a Chicago grey stone, but Émilie, of MilieO, and Greg hit the jackpot with their 1948 red brick house – or amiènoise – outside of Paris. This post-World-War-II tri-level in the diverse Sainte-Anne neighborhood immediately spoke to the couple as they turned the key to the front door. The narrow façade disguised wide rooms and the perfect bones for making a home in the couple’s style. It was a fixer-upper, but just the right project they had been hoping to find. They have done a marvelous job of turning their first amiènoise together into a home and I couldn’t love the final results more! Garrett

All photos by Émilie Rousseaux

Image above: The couple’s Scandinavian-inspired bedroom was originally two rooms! Every new wall was painted white to serve as a base, then an accent color was chosen to warm each space in a different way. To convince Greg that a black accent wall was a good idea, Émilie created a photo-montage in Photoshop to sell the idea. Clever, clever. Bedding and table by Fly. Lighting by Tom Dixon.

Image above: The first-floor landing and center of the home. Émilie loves the patina of the original wooden stairs. Her grandmother’s sewing box, which inspired her to start sewing, sits at the foot of the stairs, ready to go. The beautiful milk glass lamp is from IKEA.

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Click through for the full home tour after the jump!


Images above: A year and a half after moving in, the couple finally has a bright and cheery bedroom. Every morning this beautifully curated gallery wall greets them. Émilie says “I like to think that the frame in the center represents Greg and me!” Owl and shelf board by Fly. Gold sticker by MilieO. Lamp by Leroy Merlin.


Images above: Émilie and Greg each have their own side in the dressing room which features a visual tribute to Ferm Living – one of the homeowners’ favorite shops. Quirky elements make this space as unique as its creative owners.

Image above: The den’s original fireplace features artwork by Ferm Living.


Image above: The very place where the homeowners’ company was born. I love how the rich navy of the accent wall and the brilliant teal of the desk contrast one another. Gorgeous. Calendar by Rifle Paper Co. Whales by Jonathan Adler

Image above: More work space for the couple’s growing business in the den.

Image above: Movies and tea are the mainstays of the living room. I wouldn’t mind cozying up in those Thief & Bandit pillows. Print by MilieO.

19_edited Image above: What a moody yet cheerful vignette featuring a vintage lamp that got the Émilie paint treatment, hanging art by Rouge Céladon, and Émilie’s own artwork.

Image above: The couple’s entry/living room is an ever-evolving space that shifts with their tastes. One thing is for sure; they have managed to maintain the clean lines of the Scandinavian designers they admire while still achieving a comfortable and livable space full of color and detail. Lighting by George Nelson. Table by 3 Suisses.

Image above: Table and chairs by 3 Suisses. Coasters Rouge Céladon. Carpet by Fly.

Image above: The couple upcycled this vintage dresser with fabric from IKEA. Just one of the many home improvement projects that went into making this 66-year-old home new again. A modern twist on a classic shape in Sherwin Williams 2015 Color of the Year: Coral Reef. They’re ahead of the curve already.

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