cre­ative spark

A plot of land, a bold colour pal­ette and hand­crafted fur­ni­ture were all key for Camila Gi­meno’s first home with hus­band Ni­co­las


Bold, bright and colour­ful – this house in Biar­ritz is brim­ming with per­son­al­ity

When new­ly­weds Camila Gi­meno and Ni­co­las Dazet were look­ing to set up home to­gether on the south­west coast of France, they knew they wanted to live in the surfer vil­lage of Hossegor. ‘It’s a pop­u­lar place for hol­i­day­ing and Ni­co­las’s par­ents had a sum­mer house here but many of the prop­er­ties aren’t suited to the win­ter,’ ex­plains Camila, who is orig­i­nally from San­ti­ago but moved to France after meet­ing Ni­co­las 10 years ago. Their so­lu­tion was to de­sign and build their own with the help of ar­chi­tect friend, Boris Le­tex­ier. ‘ We found a beau­ti­ful 1,000sq m patch right next to the for­est, be­tween a lake and the beach.’

They bought the land in 2011 and after eight months of work, moved into their de­tached, two-bed­room wood-slat­ted home with their son Diego, now 11 months. ‘The first week we lived here, the fence wasn’t fin­ished, so deer would come into the gar­den ev­ery night and eat our dog Faina’s food,’ re­calls Camila. As well as plenty of nat­u­ral light, the cou­ple also wanted an open-plan ground floor sit­ting room and kitchen-diner. ‘We love cook­ing and knew we would spend a lot of time en­ter­tain­ing and chilling in the kitchen.’

As an in­dus­trial de­signer with her own wood­work busi­ness (del­mar­mo­, Camila found the in­te­rior of the house was the perfect test­ing ground for her cre­ative ideas. First, she built the pine ta­ble that takes cen­tre stage in the open-plan space; then she set about de­sign­ing a cus­tom shelv­ing sys­tem for Ni­co­las’s ex­ten­sive vinyl col­lec­tion. ‘It was de­signed to fit around a small win­dow, so it was made specif­i­cally for one cor­ner of the main room,’ she says. ‘When it ar­rived, it weighed 450kg and was in one piece. Nine of our friends had to lift it up to the largest sit­ting room win­dow to fit it through. Then, as I had de­signed it to match the height of the win­dow, it was re­ally tricky to get it in­side. Rookie mis­take!’

Equally as strik­ing as Camila’s fur­ni­ture is her use of colour, from the sun­shine yel­low fea­ture wall to the royal blue mod­u­lar sofa. ‘I love how bold hues can add so much con­trast to a room,’ she says. ‘For me, the key is to know how to play around with colour and bal­ance that out with nat­u­ral tex­tures,’ she says, cit­ing the con­crete floor and the steel kitchen counter stools with sheep­skin throws as ex­am­ples. On the walls, the art­work is a mix of Bauhaus posters, pho­tos by Ni­co­las, and paint­ings by Bruna Truffa, Camila’s aunt.

Other Chilean con­nec­tions in­clude the clus­ter of lamps that hangs over the din­ing ta­ble and the name of the house it­self, which pays homage to the coun­try. ‘The house is called Vi­tacura, which is the neigh­bour­hood I grew up in,’ says Camila. ‘As this is my sec­ond home, I felt that the re­minder would hon­our my child­hood and be a state­ment that France is now my home as well.’

fu­ture plans‘ The idea was to build a house that will evolve as our fam­ily grows, so we’re plan­ning to double its size and add ex­tra rooms’

SIT­TING AREA Punchy colours bring per­son­al­ity into this oth­er­wise chic, neu­tral set­ting. Mags mod­u­lar sofa by Hay, from £2,300, Util­ity De­sign. Stock­holm cush­ions, £12 each; for a sim­i­lar shelv­ing unit (above) try Kal­lax, from £30, both Ikea

BED­ROOM ‘My aunt, artist Bruna Truffa, painted the pretty oil on can­vas above the bed,’ says Camila. Anna bed by Chris­tian werner, from £2,037, Ligne roset. el­metto ta­ble lamps, £148 each, Made in De­sign. For wooden stor­age cubes, try Indigo Fur­ni­ture

BATH­ROOM This cus­tom-made wooden van­ity unit echoes the sleek, clean lines of the mod­ern, rec­tan­gu­lar sink. the Ky­oto rec­tan­gu­lar basin, £59.95, Vic­to­rian Plumb­ing, is com­pa­ra­ble

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