Starting from Scratch in France
Clean slates. They’re daunting, challenging and invigorating, but most of all, they’re opportunities. Five years ago I sold everything I owned and moved to Chicago with only three suitcases. Those first few nights I slept on the floor with only a blanket from home and a pillow made of my folded t-shirts. You would think the silence would be deafening, but it was roaring with the ideas and potential of what my new home would be. Needless to say, starting from scratch is close to my heart. My clean slate was a Chicago grey stone, but Émilie, of MilieO, and Greg hit the jackpot with their 1948 red brick house – or amiènoise – outside of Paris. This post-World-War-II tri-level in the diverse Sainte-Anne neighborhood immediately spoke to the couple as they turned the key to the front door. The narrow façade disguised wide rooms and the perfect bones for making a home in the couple’s style. It was a fixer-upper, but just the right project they had been hoping to find. They have done a marvelous job of turning their first amiènoise together into a home and I couldn’t love the final results more! —Garrett
All photos by Émilie Rousseaux
Image above: The couple’s Scandinavian-inspired bedroom was originally two rooms! Every new wall was painted white to serve as a base, then an accent color was chosen to warm each space in a different way. To convince Greg that a black accent wall was a good idea, Émilie created a photo-montage in Photoshop to sell the idea. Clever, clever. Bedding and table by Fly. Lighting by Tom Dixon.
Image above: The first-floor landing and center of the home. Émilie loves the patina of the original wooden stairs. Her grandmother’s sewing box, which inspired her to start sewing, sits at the foot of the stairs, ready to go. The beautiful milk glass lamp is from IKEA.