Be bewitched by this characterful Parisian hideaway

The Editors
Photo credit: Karel Balas

From ELLE Decoration

Stepping off the busy streets of Paris’s ninth arrondissement into this peaceful home, with its majestic stained-glass windows and luxuriant courtyard garden, you can almost feel magic in the air. The apartment, a secret hideaway in the centre of the French capital, now belongs to art director Jean-Christophe Aumas, but it was once rumoured to be home to a mage – a person with great wisdom who is believed to practise the mystical arts. ‘I first visited two years ago and was drawn to the place’s unique character,’ says Jean-Christophe. ‘Once inside, it’s like you’re in a space-time warp – I loved it immediately.’

Photo credit: Karel Balas

For his company, Singular, Jean-Christophe transforms shop windows and exhibition spaces, and it is this clarity of vision and tinkerer instinct learned on such projects that helped him to make such a colourful mark on his home. ‘My apartment is like my laboratory,’ he explains. ‘I like unearthing new pieces and, as I am always devising new décors, I sometimes introduce elements I’ve used or made for elsewhere.’

Amid all of the experimentation, however, foremost in Jean-Christophe’s mind was to properly highlight the flat’s existing architectural assets. ‘I didn’t want to take too much away,’ he says. ‘I started by replacing the windows with larger ones to bring in as much light as possible, and then I endeavoured to declutter so that each unique feature could be properly enjoyed.’

This sensitivity of approach is obvious in every corner of his home, from the meticulous arrangements of art and ceramics that decorate the windowsills and bookcases to the precise placement of his Vincenzo De Cotiis sofa in the living room – perfectly angled to draw the eye to the courtyard’s jungle-like profusion of plants.

Photo credit: Karel Balas

Every room in this apartment is a lovingly conjured scenic landscape, with Jean-Christophe as the modern-day sorcerer-in-chief. He adds small flashes of colour to bring out the jewel tones of the stained-glass windows, and mixes in abstract sculptures and artworks to contrast with the traditional plasterwork on the walls. ‘Nothing is ever static,’ he says.‘I can wake up one morning and suddenly decide to change the colour of a wall, or move around the furniture.’ Of course, spontaneity is all part of this home’s spell.

For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration May 2020

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