Doing the intense factor in our terraced household residence | Life and magnificence


When the French-born and London-based jeweller Raphaele Canot determined to maneuver on from Notting Hill in the hunt for extra space for her household, her 1 concern was shedding the lateral area of her former flat. But what she has created, alongside along with her architect husband Christophe Carpente, in a terraced home in close by Brook Green, is a free-flowing household residence that mixes the very best of each worlds with intelligent design methods.

One of the best is a straightforward entrance corridor that has now been commandeered by Canot’s 3 kids: Ruby, 12, Leo, 10 and Zef, eight. “Initially I put a table here and my daughter said something like: ‘It prevents us from living.’ And I thought, ‘She’s totally right,’” says Canot. “I think it’s important to have an area where they are free with nothing in their way, even if it’s not massive. And this space has now become their space.”

The couple made the doorway corridor stream through the use of the identical bleached oak on the hallway cabinetry and glass partition partitions and the one ornament is an art work in material and paper by American artist George Blackwell. On 1 facet of the corridor is a glossy, light-filled kitchen, whereas on the opposite is an expansive front room, however the glass room dividers present an uninterrupted view from 1 finish of the home proper by way of to the backyard on the different finish.

A Saarien Tulip table and chairs with fuchsia cushions

Flower energy: a Saarien Tulip desk and chairs with fuchsia cushions in the lounge. Photograph: Simon Upton for the Observer

“We live with our kids, hanging around as a family – they are not off in their rooms. I can be in the kitchen and watch them, they can do their homework in the living room and they can see me,” she explains. “But it’s quite handy to have these flexible partitions so you can close off rooms depending on daily life.”

The unimaginable mild additionally helps to make the home really feel greater and airier than most interval homes with skylights flood the area, whereas upstairs little angled home windows convey extra mild alongside conventional sashes. “The structural work had been done but the space was very cold and dry. But Christophe saw the potential; creating a sense of space and bringing light in is what he’s really good at and, being an architect and Swiss, he has this sense of essentials.” The couple additionally softened the flooring with plenty of pure supplies – extensive oak floorboards are contrasted with pale stone thresholds between the rooms – a playful contact that truly provides plenty of character.

Canot initially moved to London in 2004 to work for De Beers, after beginning her design profession at Cartier. Four years in the past she launched underneath her personal identify and her jewelry, like her home, combines classical rules with whimsical thrives – her signature assortment bringing collectively diamonds and dazzling scarlet enamel lips. And it’s that sense of wit that pervades her residence, too.

White painted stairwell, lit by skylights.

Looking up: the stairwell, lit by skylights. Photograph: Simon Upton for the Observer

At each flip there are vibrant, quirky items (one more reason to maintain the backdrop as clear and light-weight as doable) and one of many principal motivations for transferring was the prospect to begin residing with much-loved items of furnishings and artwork that had been left in storage in Paris for 10 years. “This is madness, right?” says Canot of a decade of storage payments. “It makes no economic sense but it would have broken my heart to sell them.”

These vibrant items are actually the punctuation factors all through her new residence. An enormous cactus, which previously stood within the corridor as a coat hanger, supplies a blinding inexperienced hyperlink to outdoor. An Yves Klein desk crammed with the artist’s signature Klein blue pigment takes centre-stage in the lounge (“It brings so much life and light”) whereas a big oval Saarinen tulip desk and chairs on the different finish of the room has been given a twist with vivid fuchsia cushions. Above it hangs a chunk by the French artist Alain Declercq of a Lebanese cityscape depicted with rifle photographs on black melamine.

The identical method continues within the couple’s bed room the place 1 virtually black wall and really pale duck egg curtains present a impartial backdrop for a blinding scarlet lips couch, a vibrant Missoni Fleury rug and an angular pink chair.

A blue table by Yves Klein in a sitting room

Low rise: the blue desk is by Yves Klein. Photograph: Simon Upton for the Observer

Canot, who grew up in Paris, the place her inside designer father would take her to flea markets each different weekend, is an avid collector – of artwork, furnishings, ephemera. Her eldest son’s bed room has been one of many principal benefactors: his lime-green shelving models, a desk and leather-based and metallic chairs have been among the many unique 1977 furnishings of the Beaubourg library in Paris. Canot purchased them at public sale a few years in the past when the library was being refurbished.

“In the beginning he said, ‘Oh but this is old.’ He didn’t get it and I had to say, ‘Yes it’s old and they have scratches but they come from this library in Paris and I will take you there one day,’” says Canot. “He got into the story and he loves them now, but you have to explain because otherwise it’s just a piece of metal furniture.”

One of Canot’s favorite sources of inspiration are the curiosity cupboards at Dover Street Market (the Haymarket store was additionally the primary to inventory her jewelry) and it’s an idea that has filtered into her front room, the place 1 wall is roofed in cabinets crammed with little worlds that includes books, artefacts and different treasures – from classic robots to rocks – that she has collected for many years.

A dazzling scarlet sofa and Missoni  rug in the main bedroom, set off by dark paint and and neutral curtains.

Lip service: a blinding scarlet couch and Missoni rug in the primary bed room, set off by darkish paint and and impartial curtains. Photograph: Simon Upton for the Observer

“They are really mind maps of travelling, stories and family. Christophe and I share this habit of bringing things back. Daily life is so busy with work and life and kids so when we travel we tend to have more time and space in our minds to browse,” she explains. “And the shelves are really about bringing together objects that are very meaningful to me and my family and my husband, and that make sense altogether. My kids do the same thing now but we are very strict – it needs to be really nice.”

There’s an American part with Native American Kachina dolls, ET figures and a hunk of gorgeous fossilised redwood from a gallery in Paris that specialises in fossils, and a pure historical past part with books on mountains and rocks (one among her favorite outlets for a tremendous choice of pure rocks is Venusrox in Notting Hill). Each themed space is surrounded by associated books like a reference library round a residing museum. Books are one other ardour and they’re crammed beneath benches and tables, filling any vacant area.

Just beneath the cabinets stands a fragile freestanding wire fox that was purchased at Themes & Variations in Westbourne Grove 12 years in the past and which had in some way not been re-formed by inquisitive little arms. It’s a vigorous and galvanizing area for younger minds, though residing with young children and a lot artwork at shut quarters should be a problem. “I think they learned early on that these things were precious to me,” says Canot, who has clearly crammed her kids along with her personal awe for artwork and artefacts. “But actually they were always quite good. Even when they were small.”

Clare Coulson from

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