Aurélie Coene and Thomas Van Den Driessche have chosen to live their family life to the pace set by Achille, their son. Working in...
In recent years, Nantes has become the dream destination for Parisians in search of space and quality of life. Annabel Gueret is a perfect example. Preferring to abandon Paris and enjoy a spacious interior not far from the sea, she set off with her husband and children on a life changing adventure and at the same time, embarked upon a new career in interior design, starting with the make-over of her own house. The result is astounding. There is a serene atmosphere in which furniture from every period comes together perfectly. An amazing place that reflects Annabel’s spirit and personality: cool, fresh and charming!
How long have you been living in this house Annabel ?
We moved here two years ago after nine months of work. It is an old tannery located in the centre of Nantes at the bottom of a dead end. We have virtually no noise except perhaps some clucking hens that live in our neighbour’s garden.
What was the reason for your choice ? What immediately attracted you ?
On our first visit we needed a lot of imagination because everything had to be re-done inside. The extremely well restored exterior, the location near water, the large open spaces immediately impressed us, and the light too.
How did you conceive the site in terms of decorations?
I have a decided preference for white; white and rustic unfinished materials that can accommodate vintage furniture and unusual items.
Which artist influences you the most ?
I love the 50s designers Charlotte Perriand, Joe Colombo, Eero Saarinen, Jean Prouvé, and others. It was a very rich and inspiring period. I also like contemporary artist photographers such as the Japanese Hideaki Hamada or the Austrian Joseph Hoflehner and I’m a fan of the work of my friend, the designer Caroline Gomez.
The cheapest piece of which you are the most proud ?
It is the object that I love most in the house and also the least expensive: a bench made from one of the old beams found on site during the renovation.
Is your education related to your taste for decoration ?
I started hunting around for antiques with my grandfather Edmond when I was very young and I never stopped. I studied art history and drawing. There were always art and deco magazines at home.
Is it easy to balance family life and pretty decor ?
There is nothing fragile in our house and I don’t bother with the decor of my daughters’ rooms as they’re grown and have their own tastes.
Do your daughters agree with your tastes?
They both have a strong personality with well-affirmed tastes and an obvious artistic sensibility. They are not big fans of vintage but I’m sure that will change.
What decorating tip would you give?
Don’t be afraid of combining eras, blending styles and sobriety.
Where do you spend the most time at home ?
In the main room where you can find the kitchen, living room and dining room table in the same space.
The most recent restaurant you would recommend in Nantes or elsewhere?
Lulu Rouget in Nantes, 1 rue du Cheval Blanc, tel: 02 40 47 47 98. It is the best address without hesitation.
Credits Photos : Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily.com
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