Emmanuelle & Jean Baptiste’s Converted Taxi Garage in Paris

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Abe Martinez)

Name: Emmanuelle Messean and Jean Baptiste Mariou
Location: Saint-Denis — Paris, France
Size: 85 square meters (915 square feet)
Years lived in: 5 years

Traveling to the North of Paris is filled with architectural delights (like the first medieval basilica), and this trip to the suburban community of Saint Denis to visit Emmanuelle and Jean Baptiste’s home (that’s been converted from a former taxi garage) does not disappoint. Their home is a mix of textures, travel finds and architectural interest.

The polished concrete floors give off an industrial feel, but the softness of the furnishings and artful travel finds add a welcoming and warm feeling to the first floor.

In the dining area, you can feast at the large modern table while gazing at the global photographs taken by Jean Baptiste. The kitchen is comfortably within reach and equipped to cook delicious international recipes picked up from Emmanuelle and Jean Baptiste’s extensive list of exotic travel locations.

(Image credit: Abe Martinez)

The large, textured Beni Ourain rug centers the living room that features a cozy leather sectional and two side chairs. Storied objects surround art and interesting furniture. Large paneled windows allow tons of light to blanket the entire space. Each colorful item pops to life.

(Image credit: Abe Martinez)

The stairway isn’t just a functional fixture; it’s an architectural feature, delicately raising you to a bird’s eye view of the first floor. The second floor’s unique setup consists of a split bathroom (a lavatory in one space and a shower and basin in another—which is convenient when starting the day). The loft area also houses two cozy bedrooms and an office nook where Jean Baptiste edits his photographs.

(Image credit: Submitted by Emmanuelle Messean)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern, airy and colorful

Inspiration: Home magazines (online and paper), shops, restaurants, foreign countries, etc.

Favorite Element: Our antique Beni Ouaraïn rug

Biggest Challenge: Creating a nice working space on the ground floor

What Friends Say: They like the light and the high ceiling, and the objects we have gathered.

Biggest Embarrassment: The 2nd bedroom that we have never finished.

Proudest DIY: The storage under the stairs.

Biggest Indulgence: The Beni Ouraïn rug

Best Advice: Follow your desires and inspiration, do not stick to trends

Dream Sources: Serpette and Paul Bert markets in Saint-Ouen flea markets. Any ’50s and ’60s Scandinavian antique shop.



  • Except the bathroom and master bedroom, the paint is Guittet atmosphere silky white
  • Bathroom: Chevrefeuille from Tollens
  • Bedroom: Walls Flamant vison color,
  • Ceiling : Mise en Teintes color Ombre mat
(Image credit: Abe Martinez)


  • Sectional is an Ikea
  • Coffee table is Maisons du Monde
  • Armchairs are AMPM, but re-uphosltered; they used to be raw linen
  • Cushions are hand made with Pierre Frey fabric
  • The sheepskin is from a market in Romania
  • The cloud ceiling lamp is Céline Wright
  • The reading lamp is AMPM
  • The rug is antique Beni Ouaraïn that we bought in France
  • The neon pink vases were Ikea brown, but I sprayed them neon pink
  • The credenza is the great Ikea PS
  • The sign Dupont & Dupont was bought at Kidimo, a French antique specialized in lettering
  • The cameras are Jean-Baptiste’s collection
  • All the objects are from our travels : Kerala, Mali, Burkina Fasso, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Turkey, etc.
  • The masks on the wall come from Kerala and Sri Lanka
  • The puppet from Hyderabad
(Image credit: Abe Martinez)


  • The table is Les 3 suisses
  • The chairs are Ikea
  • The rug is AMPM
  • The table lamps are Ikea, but we changed the cords for neon pink
  • The big flowery bling that acts as a cupboard door is DIYed from Ikea with Marimekko fabric
(Image credit: Abe Martinez)


  • Kitchen is Ikea, with some DIY: the small cupboards over the long ones were rebuilt to our measurements, as the Ikea ones were too high
  • The shelves are Ikea Lack, but DIYed to put ceiling lights inside.
  • All photos on the walls are Jean-Baptiste
(Image credit: Abe Martinez)


  • Bed is Ikea
  • Headboard: they are wood panels we bought in Cambodia
  • The chest is called a “Chiffonier” it is XVIII family heirloom
  • Photos are my mother and her brother, plus her wedding
  • Sheets are AMPM
  • The chair is family heirloom, but in process of rebuilding
  • The curtains are handmade
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The dining room and what you see when you enter the space. (Image credit: Abe Martinez)

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Thanks, Emmanuelle & Jean Baptiste!

And thanks to Amy Zaleta-Martinez who wrote the text that accompanies Abe’s great photos and video.