Mylène, who are you? Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m 33 years old, I’m the mother of three children, soon to be four! I am also an entrepreneur, at the helm of the pretty children’s brand Frangin Frangine.
Where are we here?
We are in Saint Cloud, in the house where we have lived for the past 18 months. We left Paris because we wanted more space and to be able to offer our children a living environment that seemed more suitable for us: calm, the countryside, and perhaps a little less Parisian frenzy. And all of this while still being able to reach Paris in half an hour.
What’s the history of this house? How did you find it?
This is the first house we visited. It didn’t really correspond on paper to what we were looking for (too big for us and not enough outside space) but we decided to go and see it one Sunday. The owner’s granddaughter was just coming out, and she allowed us to look round, even though we were not expected… we fell in love with it! The proportions, the style, the vintage details, the potential for complete renovation. We immediately felt at home here. We made an offer that same evening. Four months later we moved in. Just in time for the birth of our son Achille 10 days later!
Was there any work done at the very beginning? If so, what did you start with?
Everything in the house needed to be redone, and that’s what we were looking for. We were assisted in this project by our friend Cyrielle Wattinne, who is an interior designer. She helped us to think through the plan, the layout, the choice of materials and colours. She also took care of project managing the site. We really wanted to create large living spaces to share with the children, a kitchen open to the outdoors, a lively and bright place, easy to live in and where we can entertain.
How are the 200m2 of this space arranged?
It’s fairly classic. We have a large ground floor with a spacious kitchen-dining room and a living room. This is structured around the chimney, which was not apparent at first sight because the room was quite large. The first floor is the children’s area. They each have their own bedroom and bathroom. Finally, on the second (and top) floor, we have our master suite, a small office that will soon welcome our baby and a guest room.
Which is your favourite room, the one you most like to be in?
It has to be the kitchen-dining room! Breakfasts with the family, returning from school in the evening for homework or colouring sessions, preparing dinners with a glass in hand, pastry workshops, meals with friends and so on. And it overlooks the outside space, so in summer everything is open and we live half outside. It’s also incredibly light. I am also a big fan of my own room for a bit of ‘me’ time, in the evening, when everyone is asleep. To have a bath, to read… to take some time just for me.
How do you organise life at home with your large family?
Each of the children has the opportunity to have his or her own room and therefore his or her personal world. For Arthus, I wanted a “boy’s room”, with its green wall and some decorative elements from the past: old cards, tennis rackets, a bench seat and a large Playmobil cupboard. Jeanne has a real “girl’s room”: Little Green wallpaper, pretty rattan hanging shelves and a collection of dolls. Achilles has a more baby oriented environment, with royal blue walls, pretty details, books and moons from days gone by. I don’t worry too much. I only ask that their rooms be tidied up on Sunday evenings. They are quite respectful of the ground floor, which is the family space, and they play their games there in the evening. I’m quite obsessive, and I like it when everything is clean and tidy. But with three kids, I’m learning to let go!
Where did you get your inspiration for the decoration, for the choice of colours and materials?
I can’t really say where the inspiration came from: Pinterest, the decoration magazines, Instagram, what you see in girlfriends’ houses, the eye you develop over the years, blogs and The Socialite Family of course! We were also helped by Cyrielle, who helped us to make all this coherent and to fine-tune the small details. The house itself also inspired us a lot with its period details, its mouldings, its brass door handles and frames, its marble slabs… I wanted things that were quite timeless and that we would never get tired of. Like the huge crush I had on the Zellige tiles in the bathroom and the cement tiles in the hall.
The house is bathed in light, especially with the white parquet and there are large living rooms that allow us to spend time together and entertain guests, which we love to do.
Do we detect the flavour of your brand Frangin, Frangine here?
Frangin Frangine is a brand of clothing for children, with a retro feel to it. We offer timeless pieces, in trendy colours, with quality materials and a distinctive touch that makes all the difference. So yes, I think this house is entirely consistent with the world of Frangin Frangine!
Tell us about this fabulous adventure. Why did you choose to adopt this particular brand? Do you have a particular affinity with the world of children’s fashion?
We took over Frangin Frangine with my partner, Aude Aubron, 18 months ago. As mothers, we have always been a fan of this brand and its deceptively classic DNA. When we heard about the possibility of a takeover, we didn’t hesitate. We’re enjoying making Frangin Frangine into a brand that reflects the families it dresses: lively, cheerful, buzzing with projects and ideas. All our pieces are designed in Paris and manufactured in Europe, sold directly and without intermediaries so we can always offer a fair price. We believe that childhood should still be a carefree, joyful, imaginative, noisy, confident and free world. A childhood where children look like children: they will have plenty of time in the future to dress like adults. We don’t pretend we can change the world with our clothes, but we have fun designing pretty pieces that can’t be found anywhere else, capsule collections built around our mums’ needs. Frangin Frangine allows us to meet all sorts of people and to experience our entrepreneurial adventure 2000%.
How would you like to continue to develop it?
We have lots of projects: Frangin Frangine has just released its new collection, capsules are planned for spring summer (pyjamas, knitwear, mother-and-child and a heck of a collaboration), we want to enlarge the team, and to keep meeting people who inspire us. As mothers with large families, we love our children to be well-dressed and look quite cute, but we are also fully aware that we must create pieces that are easy to live with, comfortable, easy to maintain (in the real world, who has the time to wash their children’s cashmere by hand?) and at a fair price for children who are growing up fast!
What are your plans for the coming months?
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily