Name: Laurence Guilloud & Fabrice Le Dantec, photographer and journalist for the blog L'Instant Parisien
Location: Paris, 9ème
Size: 755 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months; Rented
One minute you're in a busy shopping district, and then you turn into a quiet side street and find yourself in front of Laurence and Fabrice's building. Their apartment feels like a little retreat in the city, filled with a loving mix of vintage and modern pieces perfectly suited to their warm, welcoming personalities and to this beautiful space.
Laurence and Fabrice are the creative force behind L'Instant Parisien, a site that profiles artists and designers living in the city of light, taking readers inside their homes to see how they work and live. The goal of the website, per Laurence and Fabrice, is to capture "fragments of the soul of Paris and Parisians."
There's a little bit of the soul of Paris in this little abode: like that great city, this space feels beautiful but also generous, eclectic but warm. Laurence and Fabrice talk about the pieces in their collection almost as if they were old friends — about how things have souls and particular places where they want to be. Maybe this is why the things in Laurence and Fabrice's home have a certain happy harmony — it feels like they want to be together. And when you're sitting on the couch, sipping tea and chatting with Laurence and Fabrice about their favorite spots and what they love most about Paris, you'll feel like you're a part of the mix, too.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Vintage, totally French, eclectic, busy, sensitive.
Inspiration: Our inspirations are really very eclectic. We put a lot of weight on “feeding” ourselves visually. We have a kind of ogre-ish side when it comes to images. It could be a film’s decoration that inspires us, an object found on Pinterest or Etsy, a favorite series (Mad Men, for example, gave us a nice aesthetic shock). After years, we have refined our eye. For our blog, L’Instant Parisien, we meet Parisians in their apartments, which is a huge source of inspiration – seeing the decoration chosen by real people.
We have a weakness, as a general rule, for objects and pieces of furniture that have soul – pieces that tell a story. It can be a vintage object or a beautiful ceramic work bought from a young artisan who we love. We never buy anything without stern reflection — apart from things we find in antique boutiques or the flea market, where one is obliged to decide quickly or forever hold their peace!
Favorite Element: Our “Tomado” shelves from the 60s. This model of shelf was very popular in the Scandinavian countries during this period. Today, it is difficult to find them in a good state, as they are made of colored metal and this material shows the smallest ding or scratch. However, the ones we found seem like they came fresh out of the box, which is absolutely magical!
Biggest Challenge: Finding the right spot for each object in order for the finished whole to be in harmony, coherent if you will. And seeing how our choices are very eclectic (we are apt to pick up an Art Deco clock the same day as fifties style chairs), that can become a headache rather quickly. Bad taste can happen so fast… so we test, test again, change places, etc. Certain objects do not find their place for months, which can turn into a year like that! We leave them in our drawers for a time and all of a sudden we know!
What Friends Say: “Eh, but you guys bought all that?!” Yes, after years we have accumulated our fair share.
Biggest Embarrassment: We have a real problem with suspended lamps. We still have not found the right one. Well, for the moment, we have some IKEA lamps while we wait for THE lamp of our dreams.
Proudest DIY: A group of chairs from the 1920s, whose seats we re-upholstered with a 50s style fabric. We weren’t sure of the result but tried it any way. In the end we were happy in giving our old friends new life.
Biggest Indulgence: We bought a beautiful vintage advertising enamelled plate. And it was very, very expensive but we could not resist. We never tell the price!
Best Advice: Mix influences, go for it, experiment, mess up and have a great time doing it! Don’t close yourself in, and never dedicate everything to one “style,” it gets annoying quickly. And collect objects, make them cohabitate, it is that which gives an interior its unique spirit.
Dream Sources: These light bulbs: http://www.leebroom.com/products/clear-crystal-bu...
This shop : http://www.galerie123.com/fr/
These ceramics by a young French ceramist : http://sabineorlandini.tumblr.com
This standing lamp of the French designer Serge Mouille : http://www.sergemouilleusa.com/Serge-Mouille-Stan...
And this serigraphy by two young French artists : http://atelier-bingo.fr
Resources of Note:
• Mirror - vintage
• Artworks - Floc'h & Gotting
• Clock - Karlsson
• Nightstand - Cinna
Thanks, Laurence & Fabrice!
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Re-edited from a post originally published June 2014 - AB