Our media and our brand are intrinsically linked by their shared passion for decoration, and they sometimes inspire emulation. As a result, we have encountered interiors that, without this complementarity, we would probably never have seen. Like Clara Chappaz and Paul Depardon’s! This thirty-something couple, clients of the interior design agency Space Factory, itself a client of The Socialite Family, has included pieces from our collection in their apartment. These “creations that combine a highly contemporary feel with charm and warmth”, as specified by Ophélie Doria and Édouard Roullé-Mafféïs with the help of our Pro Service, fit in beautifully with a design full of creative ideas. Seduced by “the huge central room and the massive studio-style windows that let the light flood in everywhere”, the couple wanted to commission the architectural duo to give the place, which is located in a former industrial building, a strong look. A challenge taken up enthusiastically thanks to a distinctive proposal based on the concept of the white cube, created to showcase its owners’ art collection and which lends itself to being dressed up using primary colours and materials. Terrazzo, wood and concrete complete the original rectangular floor plan and its designer additions. These spaces are now fully opened up and reveal themselves differently depending on the position they occupy in the property. And what’s more, they will soon welcome the arrival of a fourth occupant!
Clara and Paul, would you like to introduce yourselves?
I’m 33. I’ve been the director of the French Tech mission for a few months and I’m soon to be a mum!
33 too. Revenue Manager at Frichti, the food delivery start-up where I have been working for 6 years – and soon to be a dad!
What’s your background?
I grew up totally fascinated by Japan, so I was determined to start my career in Asia. I spent 5 years there in various e-commerce start-ups at a time when everything was just getting started. Next, I headed to Boston to resume my studies for two years. A real opportunity! I finally returned to Paris in 2019 to join Vestiaire Collective, the start-up buying and selling second-hand fashion items. And 8 months ago, I left the operational side of start-ups to commit myself to the ecosystem by heading the French Tech mission. A great leap into the public sector!
After studying at the Dauphine University, I started working in London for an American bank. After two intense years, I joined Jumia, the leading e-commerce company in Africa, where I had the chance to spend time in Egypt and Nigeria. Since 2016, I have been with Frichti where I have had the chance to work on many of the issues that Frichti has encountered along the way. A fascinating adventure!
Tell us about your education. In what context did you grow up and consequently develop your taste?
I grew up in the Paris region with my sister and with parents who were fans of travel and beautiful places. With a strong penchant for home renovation! After doing ours in Bourg-la-Reine, they tackled a pretty farmhouse in a hamlet at the foot of the Cévennes, near Anduze. In the summers we also travelled around Europe a lot by car and boat. That shaped me a lot I think!
For my part, I was brought up in a small village in Seine et Marne, but from an early age we travelled a lot with my parents. I think that’s what made me want to go and spend time abroad as soon as I had the chance. I did one of my very first internships in a hotel in Okinawa because I was fascinated by Japan and wanted to learn to speak Japanese. The aesthetics of that place have remained an inspiration.
Tell us the story of how you came across this property.
I was in my apartment near Jourdain which I had just renovated, and which I like very much, when we met. Pretty soon we wanted to have our own place. We began to search, driven by Clara’s boundless energy.
Paul wanted lots of light and a high floor. I wanted a “loft” type ground floor. So we started out pretty far apart! (laughs) But when we visited this apartment, which was a perfect compromise between our aspirations, it became obvious that this was the one.
We were attracted by the huge central room and the large workshop windows that let light into the whole interior. In fact, the former owner, a photographer, used to do shoots there. The simple rectangular plan left a lot of scope for imagination too.
You called on the architectural practice, Space Factory, to rethink the volumes. Explain that choice to us.
As the project was quite large, we wanted to get help. So we looked at the Instagram accounts of practices that we liked. We selected about ten and met three of them who came to visit the apartment.
We wanted a style that was unique and distinctive, but that didn’t turn our apartment into an Instagram photo! More than anything, we wanted a practice that listened to us and was able to create a welcoming living space. We met Ophélie and Edouard, and we trusted them.
How much work was needed before you moved in here?
A lot! The apartment wasn’t in a bad state but from the first conversations with Space Factory, there were a lot of creative ideas that we loved.
Blue, red, sparing touches of pink: colours are everywhere in your nest. Is this palette of shades a deliberate choice on your part or a persuasive suggestion from your architects?
A persuasive suggestion from our architects – absolutely! We love the warmth of colour. At first, we intuitively opted for pastel shades before Ophélie and Edouard convinced us to go for primary colours: a more original style – but no less warm.
A persuasive suggestion from our architects – absolutely! We love the warmth of colour. At first, we intuitively opted for pastel shades before Ophélie and Edouard convinced us to go for primary colours: a more original style (...)
More broadly, to what extent did they help you in the decoration and furnishing of this setting?
We let ourselves be guided by their suggestions. We believe that any creative process should be well structured and allow for iteration while leaving the designer a free hand. Otherwise, if we intervene too often, we run the risk of ending up with a patchwork of styles and losing the original framework. It was important for us to leave this unifying structure to Ophélie and Édouard. From the brief to the end of the project, they listened to us all the way through although they were assertive at times. Which, in our opinion, has made for a beautiful apartment!
We can see several pieces designed by our design studio in your home: from our pink Classica chair, made-to-measure, to our Duetto vase. Why did you want to include The Socialite Family marque in your home?
They’re pieces that combine a very contemporary feel with charm and warmth. Interestingly, the vases are a surprise wedding gift. The colours go perfectly with those of the living room, which we love.
You live in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. Any hidden gems to recommend here?
A little restaurant that just opened recently, Recoin. Very fresh, well-prepared dishes, and a beautiful terrace on a quiet street. Fantastic! More conventionally, we love to go to Amici Miei, for an authentic pasta dish or a good pizza.
Where are you going to be next?
First, Paris to welcome our imminent baby! Then we will be with our family at the foot of the Cevennes, near Anduze, before ending the summer in Vence on the heights around Nice.
Photography: Jeanne Perrotte – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily