Se­cluded sanc­tu­ary

Be­hind a garage door on a small Parisian street lies this un­ex­pected world of abun­dant green­ery, hum­ble ma­te­ri­als and rus­tic charm

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words JAMES RICH Pho­tog­ra­phy FABRIZIO CICCONI/LIV­ING IN­SIDE Styling CHIARA DAL CANTO

Be­hind a garage door on a Parisian street lies this un­ex­pected world of adun­dant plants, hum­ble ma­te­ri­als and rus­tic charm

There is al­ways a mo­ment of joy to be found in stum­bling upon a se­cret gar­den. You feel that tremor of ex­cite­ment when you step through the anony­mous garage door in the 11th arondisse­ment of Paris that leads to this art­fully crum­bling for­mer car­riage house. Be­long­ing to painter and ce­ram­i­cist Ema Pradère and her part­ner Frédéric Win­kler, one of the founders of the light­ing de­sign com­pany DCW Édi­tions, the build­ing has a green­house-like en­trance­way full of ferns, vines and field maple plants. In­dus­trial-style ta­bles and chairs of­fer a quiet spot to sit and en­joy the green­ery. ‘It’s an in­for­mal space,’ says Ema, ‘where peo­ple pass and share con­fi­dences.’

The un­usual thing about this in­ner-city prop­erty is that it has the spirit of a coun­try house. Re­mov­ing the smooth plas­ter on the walls and restor­ing the orig­i­nal stonework in the down­stairs rooms re­vealed tex­ture and hid­den rus­tic fea­tures. Light­ing, mean­while, is never harsh. In­stead, gen­tle pools of il­lu­mi­na­tion have been cre­ated by plac­ing the lights three quar­ters of the way up the walls.

Ema says that she feels as if the house ‘res­onates with the mys­tery of life’, from the vi­brancy of the many house­plants to the tac­tile qual­i­ties of the nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als that can be found in ev­ery room. She is drawn to ce­ram­ics be­cause they are ‘ac­ces­si­ble and hum­ble’ – two words that also sum up her ap­proach to de­sign. For, de­spite this be­ing a three-bed­room house in one of the grand­est of Euro­pean cities, there’s a gen­tle modesty to this home, ap­par­ent in the roughhewn walls and sim­ple, beau­ti­fully crafted fur­nish­ings. Ema is an ad­mirer of the an­cient Ja­pa­nese art of kintsugi – re­pair­ing bro­ken pot­tery us­ing gold, in a way that trans­forms im­per­fec­tions into artis­tic de­tails – and you can see its sen­ti­ments at play here. By care­fully restor­ing this build­ing’s rough bones, she has re­vealed its true charms. dcw-edi­tions. fr


Court­yard The con­ser­va­tory-like en­trance to this for­mer car­riage house is filled with ferns and other vi­brant plants. The wall light is a new edi­tion of the ‘Lampe Gras’, de­signed by Bernard-al­bin Gras in 1921 and now recom­mis­sioned by home­owner Frédéric Win­kler for DCW Édi­tions Stock­ist de­tails on p182 ➤

Kitchen The cus­tom-built ply­wood kitchen has open shelv­ing filled with Ema’s pot­tery and sculp­tures, all lit by ‘In The Tube’ wall lights from DCW Édi­tions Court­yard An in­dus­tri­al­style ta­ble and chair pro­vide a spot to re­lax amid the flour­ish­ing green­ery

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