A Dreamy Paris Rental Apartment Is the Chic Embodiment of ‘Cluttercore’
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We moved here three years ago, after a trip in Provence to get a ceramic oven my mom’s friend Isabelle offered me. And surprise, once we got to my previous flat, the oven did not fit in the — already pretty full — apartment. Because and thanks to this oven (that I now use to kiln my gold decoration on secondhand porcelain and tiles) we began visiting flats just before the summer holidays. This one was the first and only one we visited. They were just done with the painting and floors, and we fell in love with the space and the light.
Our neighborhood is called Porte-Saint-Martin, and our apartment is in the heart of Paris’ 10th arrondissement. We love this area because it’s in constant evolution. The food scene is young and very dynamic. This neighborhood is still all you would imagine from Paris but in an authentic way, maybe more casual.
This building used to be an office building, and every floor is built the same way. There were two doors leading to what already were apartments in the 1950s, and the third door led to the machinery room, which is now this apartment we live and work in. While Bruno makes beautiful websites enjoying the sun in his rocking lounge chair, I paint gold decoration on demand and host intimate workshops during which you can decorate porcelain yourself. This is most of all a place of hospitality. We love to host our friends as much as our clients for never-ending lunches and dinners.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I learned not so long ago that the mess I create with my accumulation and compulsive art and secondhand buying merges and is called “cluttercore.” The style of the apartment was not defined in advance, it’s just an accumulation of things we love. We changed furniture many times to get to this last version (I hope).
Inspiration: I don’t have a culture of interior design, so I guess this is the way I felt the apartment would please us the most.
Favorite Element: Light, plants, and art.
Biggest Challenge: There are not many walls in this apartment. It was fun to use furniture, curtains, or plants to define spaces.
Proudest DIY: I am very proud of my tile paintings; I wish I could do it in this flat, maybe next! An easy thing to do is the plant suspensions. A simple clamp on a beam and tadaaaa, a cascade of plants.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? We love our secondhand rocking lounge chair; it has the best light for napping.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I would say use the upper spaces. We generally arrange things at eyes level, but putting art, storage, or plants at upper levels will give a real sensation of height and gives your flat a more spacious look.
Does your home reflect your home country/city in any way? It reflects us more than our country I guess, but as we are French… it might be. First hand because of the amount of porcelain I stock for my activities.
What are your favorite places to shop for home décor that can only be found in your country? Mainly Leboncoin, which gives me access to house sales all over France; the streets of Paris sometimes have treasures waiting to be picked up but you got to be very quick! Also the flea market of Saint-Ouen, auction houses like Drouot, among so many others.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? If you don’t want your home to look like any other, mixing old and new is certainly the best way to avoid that, and supporting young artists by buying their original works can also be key.
- Some of the furniture was passed on to Arnold by his mother, who enriched her interiors during her stays in Africa with Arnold’s military father.
- Vintage Josef Zotti armchair — @ambroise.alliou
- Round coffee table in marble with white steel legs— from 1970s, @ambroise.alliou
- Cream and aluminum sideboard by Georges Frydman — @ambroise.alliou
- Metal and rosewood bookcase — @ambroise.alliou
- Marble and rosewood sideboard (that exhibit Arnold’s latest tiling samples)— Leboncoin
- Shelving — I love this ceiling-hung shelf made of white plastic-wrapped iron rods from Mexico City. I would have liked to bring four more but we already had a substantial excess of luggage due to my “small” compulsive purchases (potteries, typewriter, kilos of candles, vases, bronze birds and so on).
- Drawing — @alexfoxton
- Painting — @alexandrebenjaminnavet
- Photographic works — @lucileboiron
- Window quadriptych that accompanies us in the office space — @martinettexereau
- Collages — @clairetrotignon
- Plants painting and drawing — @b.d.graft
- Portrait — @francoismalingrey
- Portrait of Bruno — Commissioned from @cri_amodeo
- Paintings — @call_me_georges
- Crayon works — @rolandtoupet
- Little colorful embossed metal Mexican loteria cards that I love so much.
Thanks Arnold and Bruno!
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity. Share Your Style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form