As I was surfing around the Guardian this evening, I spotted a series of images whose title attracted my eye… Vintage Charm, the French Way. Well, some of it I found completely charming, and other views of it were charmless. I’ll let you decide which is which.
The ordinary and the extraordinary exist side by side in Isabelle Puech’s Paris apartment – a converted carousel workshop in the 9th arrondissement, where merry-go-round horses were once repaired. The upper reaches of this vast, double-height space are accessed via a rusting spiral staircase, and three large, first world war battlefield medical kits – found, like much else, in the flea markets of Vanves and St-Ouen – are used as seating. Metal girders and factory lighting add to the industrial air, which is only softened by a wooden rocking chair. The workshop’s former office is now a kitchen, complete with distressed cabinets and charcoal-grey tiles. “Paris has been so done up that much of its texture has been lost,” says Puech, one of Paris’s best known maroquiniers (leather workers).The old atelier’s concrete floor, battered brick walls and beamed ceiling have been left, alongside a glorious tiled floor in the main bathroom. A second, smaller bathroom has its original sink.The bedroom has a reclaimed filing cabinet and a distressed screen that serves as a headboard – found in a flea market. The lavender bed linen picks out similar shades in the parquet floor. Animals hoofs and oil paintings – flea market finds – in the main living space.
So, what do you think?