Laureen and Ridouane Habbani, <br>Sam 12, Rose 10, Elie 3 years old
Famille - Paris

"It Doesn't Take Much to Be Happy"!

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Laureen and Ridouane Habbani,
Sam 12, Rose 10, Elie 3 years old

Laureen Habbani masters words as well as she masters Wednesday’s painting sessions! A date in the diary that Laureen and her three children – Sam, Rose et Elie – wouldn’t miss for the world. Creative time out together. Where everyone takes their time. And while this date is far from a routine (family life leaves no room for planning!) – it’s a real feast for the eyes! A poetic feast for the eyes prepared by this primary school teacher, under the handle @happycheriskids, which serves up brotherly and sisterly love day and night against the backdrop of the family’s apartment. An apartment bathed in light, a well-loved cocoon which has become just a smidge cramped, but one Ridouane – her husband – wouldn’t leave for the world. Because this space is part of them.”A space in which we feel creative and ambitious. A space we learn to appreciate each day, and one in which we love each other fiercely and adore… despite its imperfections” she wrote – and we imagine she did so with a smile. Brought up by a mother who placed great importance on interior style, Laureen quickly caught the interior design bug. She couldn’t imagine living anywhere other than places that feel like her – and, by extension – like them! And besides, she explains “I really like the idea of this mix that characterises us”, referring to their interior decor. Our interior resembles us and represents the uniqueness of all five of us.” The five of them – anchored explorers. Curious, passionate, food lovers, music lovers! Who spend their days at the sacred dining-drawing-play-room table (and a whole host of other doing words) and almost as much time living “in chaos and in calm”. The table we all so desperately need right now.

Entrée Banc École Bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Entrée Banc École Bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Livres Bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Enfilade Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Souvenir Photographie Laureen et Ridouane Habbani

Laureen, Ridouane: can you introduce yourselves, please?

Laureen
I’m 37 years old, I grew up in a small town in the provinces and then arrived in the Paris region about fifteen years ago to take the competitive exam for school teachers. I’m also a former sportswoman, passionate about photography and the mother of three children: Sam, Rose and Elie.
Ridouane

I’m 39 years old, born in Morocco and arrived in France at the age of 10. Nowadays, I’m an automotive engineer.

Tell us about your education in “beauty”. How did your taste develop?

Laureen

As a child, I remember that my mother took great care of our home. There was an unmistakably aesthetic approach! She was always trying to make her house cosier, changing the furniture around on a regular basis… It was a lot of fun for me. For my part, I’ve always loved living in spaces that say something about me. It was never a big thing for me, and my parents always consulted me about the layout of my room. I’ve never been indifferent about decoration! Later on, when I got my first flat at just 18 years old, I was completely euphoric at the idea of making it pretty and welcoming. Everyone who visited us complimented me, and I loved that. Ridouane and I lived together very early on, just after we graduated from high school, and even though he trusts me with all this, it’s fortunate that we have more or less the same tastes. And when we don’t, it’s often me who “wins”! (laughs)

How do you influence your children’s growing tastes, day-to-day?

Laureen

I always tell them that the space we live in has to be kept tidy to be pleasant. A place for everything. I don’t obsess about it, but I make them aware of the importance of order. I find that one lives better and feels more fulfilled in a tidy interior. And then when you live with five people, you have to admit that you have a thousand natural opportunities to be a bit disorganised! It’s often happy and chaotic, it’s often noisy… We regularly get overwhelmed, but at least we live in a soothing space. Our apartment is not very large, so that’s all the more necessary and it grounds us. I find it hard to be punctual, but I’m a stickler for order! You have to choose your battles! (laughs) We’re also in the process of de-cluttering, and that’s great! Being a family of travellers, we’re inquisitive and enthusiastic; our travel souvenirs and our favourite little objects all have their place in our home. You can see reminders of tennis, music, school, and our diverse backgrounds! I really like the idea of this combination of items that characterise us. Our interior reflects us and represents all five of us as individuals. When it comes to my decorating choices, I usually ask them for their opinion. It may not always be a determining factor, but I at least take the trouble to listen to them, because it’s their living space too!

Salon Piano blanc Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Parquet Boule à facette Laureen et Ridouane Habbani

Many people question this choice of living in a "small" space, even though it's not really difficult on a day-to-day basis. We believe in the old adage "It Doesn't Take Much to Be Happy"!

Salon Vase coquillage Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Entrée Banc Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Verrière Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salle à manger vue salon Laureen et Ridouane Habbani Salon Photographies Laureen et Ridouane Habbani

Designers, artists, writers, musicians (…): whose work has had an influence on you?

Laureen

I have a thousand influences when it comes to decoration. It’s hard to choose! I really like Constance Guisset’s work, which I find very poetic, both light and colourful, and her objects fit into almost any setting. I’m also a total fan of Charlotte Perriand, who inspires me a lot. I dream of building myself a library in her style. One day perhaps! Poetry is also very important to me. So I have little mantras or quotations here and there. You will also see books and song excerpts all over the apartment.

How long have you lived here?

Laureen

We’ve been living in our apartment for just over five years. We arrived here somewhat by chance, while we were looking for a bigger property than our previous one. It was love at first sight! While we were tenants, our landlord put it up for sale. That was two years after we moved in. So we decided to buy it to stay here.

How is your living space arranged?

Laureen

We chose to keep a relatively large living room even if it meant “losing” a bedroom, and that suits us very well at the moment. Ideally, we’d like to have one more room. But we wanted to give priority to the living room rather than the “night-time” spaces! So we only have two bedrooms, one for Sam and one that Rose and Elie share. Ridouane and I sleep in the living room. I like to say that we’re parents with no fixed place to lay our heads, but we live with it very happily! (laughs)

How have you furnished it?

Laureen

We have a few antique and second-hand pieces, mainly small objects or small pieces of furniture (stools, crockery, mirrors, etc.); the rest is quite contemporary. I also like having pretty illustrations, some of which are numbered. And indeed, numerous reminders of school, including these photos of my forebears’ old classrooms found in the family, and this old school desk.

What does it say about you?

Laureen

We spend a lot of time around the table! (laughs) Which certainly says we’re foodies. Many people question this choice of living in a “small” space, even though it’s not really difficult on a day-to-day basis. We believe in the old adage “It doesn’t take much to be happy”!

Salon Meuble rangement Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Photographie Famille Laureen et Ridouane Habbani Table salle à manger Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salle à manger Suspension Georges Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Salon Bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Photographie Famille Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Entrée Banc École Bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani

In which room in your home do you feel best?

Laureen

We spend a lot of time in the dining room drawing, playing board games, playing music and of course: eating!

Music seems to be inseparable from your life! Why?

Laureen

I believe that music is good for the soul! It cheers us up when we are a little sad, it unites us, soothes the children when they are upset … It’s an integral part of our lives! And while I’m not a musician (even though I’ve always been a music lover), I have a lot of admiration for my children’s musical skills. Even Ridouane has got into it! The only thing missing is me.

What sounds represent your home?

Laureen

I was tempted to say the noise of the washing machine! (laughs) But there’s also this lullaby in Arabic that Ridouane sings to the children, his mother passed it on to him, and we love to hum it. The variety of songs we listen to as well. Jazz/folk, rock, French variety or reggae.

You love travelling. Which destinations have you most enjoyed exploring with your family?

Laureen

Sam and Rose’s favourite trip was to Thailand. My favourite destination is Bali. We love Asia in general and the West Indies, which remind me of my origins. We’re also looking forward to returning to Morocco – Ridouane’s birthplace – a very inspiring destination for interior design! Apart from the change of scenery, what we like most about travelling is the fact that we get to meet other cultures. We believe that it is through experiencing the world that one understands it best and through being confronted with difference that one becomes more tolerant. As soon as the opportunity arises, we’ll travel “actively” again by visiting schools, museums and meeting the locals!

Salle de bain Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant bureau Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant Laureen et Ridouane Habbani

I really like the idea of this combination of items that characterise us. Our interior reflects us and represents all five of us as individuals.

Chambre enfant Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant lit bibliothèque Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant lit bibliothèque en bois Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant photographies de famille Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant jeux en bois Laureen et Ridouane Habbani Chambre enfant jeux en bois Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant Bibliothèque livres Laureen et Ridouane Habbani
Chambre enfant jeux Laureen et Ridouane Habbani

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