Two years. It has taken two consecutive years of segmented work for Chloé Hennequez – founder of the Instagram account @chloeandyou – and her husband Anthony to complete the furnishing of their cocoon to meet their expectations. A cabin-like duplex nestled up in an attic at Saint-Ouen that houses their clan. This is where their little Romy is growing up surrounded by family animals. Within the unusually large space of the two apartments that the couple decided to merge, creating an expansive interior with an unmistakable style. This is where industrial architectural details – such as the brickwork – meet the charm of vintage home interior features such as the arch that elegantly frames their kitchen. Taking a gradual approach to furnishing every corner of their family lair, the two business owners are establishing a recurring theme. This theme lies in using wood, natural fibres for the home textiles and soothing colours. Because this couple also care about what they use, which they want to come from reliable and sustainable sources, this setting quickly becomes a repository for their various vintage finds. Ranging from the furniture to decorative accessories, their home is the shrine of second-hand. As well as being a decor preference, it is also a lifestyle choice that they enjoy sharing on social media. It is therefore no surprise to find them wandering through the maze of the legendary flea market in their home town. Searching for treasures that will complement their collection of vintage crockery! Lucky finds that land on their tables every day: for meals with friends or celebratory feasts!
Chloé, Anthony: what is your background?
Having studied communication and graphic design, I worked at Grazia for five years as a graphic editor. In parallel, a little over 10 years ago, I created my blog Chloé & You, which has evolved along with my life. These days I’m mostly on Instagram (@chloeandyou), where I mainly share our veggie recipes, our life as parents, the decoration of our apartment, eco-friendly fashion and our ecological awareness. Then in 2020, one pair of hands was no longer enough, and Anthony left his job as an insurance broker to join me in this amazing adventure. And now we juggle creating ethical content and developing vegetarian recipes!
Tell us about your education in beauty?
That’s a really difficult question; it’s quite subjective. I’ve always been attracted to pretty things, ever since I was a little girl. I spent a large part of my summers with my grandmother, who has a strong feeling for beautiful things, china, old objects and crockery. She always liked things to be done perfectly, both in the kitchen and in her apartment. Each piece had its place in her house, and nothing came from this “modern world” that seemed so insipid to her. It fascinated me. I can remember every little detail! After that, I worked in a lovely magazine where they talked about beauty on a daily basis, but it was Instagram and social media that came into my life and changed everything. I spent hours on Pinterest; it’s my bible… I even fell asleep on it!
How would you define your world?
We dreamed of a country house, so we brought the dream to Paris! It’s everywhere in our apartment. The choice of materials, the colours, the antique furniture and the wrought iron staircase, the centrepiece of the living room. We have a passion for everything natural. Wood, straw, linen, stone, lime, sandstone, dried flowers…
We dreamed of a country house, so we brought the dream to Paris! It’s everywhere in our apartment.
Tell us how you came to find this duplex.
Just after we made the decision to move to Saint-Ouen, a city very close to Paris but more affordable and on the metro, we spotted this apartment located in the heart of the antiques district. Everything had to be redone, but we felt comfortable right away. It gave off good vibes, and that was very important to us as future parents! We fell in love with its “little house” atmosphere and its high ceilings. From the very first visit, we could imagine ourselves living here, and we came away with a whole host of ideas for the layout, but above all, with one objective: we had to have it. Three months later, after spending long hours planning the decoration on Pinterest, the work began. We had to demolish a load-bearing wall between the living room and the dining room, redo all the electricity, plumbing and painting, install a spiral staircase, lay a uniform wooden floor, change the windows, build in cupboards in our bedroom and completely rethink the kitchen and bathroom. We found a general contractor who took care of coordinating all the trades according to our instructions, our ideas and, above all, under our impromptu eye as site manager and interior decorator! They only did the ground floor where the main rooms are located. We lived for a few years without the first floor, which remained an attic. Then, when Anthony left his job, we freed up some time to do something nice with the roof space. Now, it’s freshly furnished and decorated, and we’ve installed our offices and a small space for friends to stay up there. We’ve been living here for four years now, and we’re happy that we designed this apartment from scratch, and it still feels great. And, as an added bonus, we love our neighbourhood!
How did you furnish it?
We hunted down the majority of our furniture second-hand. Some things were bought new, but always carefully selected. We took the time to choose each piece, which makes them feel like they fit in perfectly. We love hunting for bargains. Whether it’s furniture, crockery or decoration, and above all, we like the idea of having beautiful objects that have a story to tell to keep them alive. We like buying second hand as much for what it gives off as for the symbolic side. There’s already so much furniture and so many objects; why create new ones? We apply this logic to clothing, electronic goods, books and toys, which we also buy a lot of second-hand. This is the future and so important for the environment!
To what extent do you manage to reconcile a kid-friendly environment with your taste for interior design?
We didn’t do anything special in the apartment; everything is mostly in her room. It’s been fitted out so that she can gradually gain independence, especially thanks to her bed at floor level, which she had from the age of 10 months until she was 3 years old. Her books and toys have always been at her disposal, close to the floor. And her furniture was fixed to the walls for safety. Now that she’s older, we’ve also set up a little space for her, a little “hut” in our attic office with a curtain that she can close, a lamp, a futon and lots of cushions. But of course, it often overflows into the living room, and that’s normal! It’s part of life. On the other hand, it goes back to her room every night.
Have you a particular favourite among the rooms here?
The kitchen, definitely! This is the room I was most demanding about, and rightly so, because nowadays we spend a lot of time on it – above all, it’s part of our job! It’s only 6m², and we’ve optimised the space to the maximum so that it’s practical, pleasant and of course, to our taste. As Anthony would say, it’s like a food truck (laughs). We have everything at hand, so it’s important to be well-organised, otherwise, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
What does this apartment say about you?
At the moment, it’s allowing the magic of Christmas to shine through, but always naturally, through very simple and plant-based decorations. And it also says that we love to entertain! This month of December is all about sharing. We have friends over every weekend. Dinners, apéritifs, secret Santa, breakfast with the festive flavours: before hitting the road and joining our families to celebrate with them.
Where will you find us in the coming months?
In the kitchen! We’ve already released two e-books of vegetarian recipes, and now we’re preparing to release a printed book. That’s scheduled for the end of 2022.
Photography : Jeanne Perrotte – Text : Juliette Bruneau @thesocialitefamily