Julie Carricaburu lives with her family just outside the centre of Bordeaux, on a street lined with fine classical houses dating from the late 19th century. ‘My husband really wanted to live on this street, which we both adore for its wonderful architectural harmony. He was so committed that he drove past the street every day until he saw a “For Sale” sign. Luckily it was in August and we were the first people to view it,’ explains Julie. The couple, former Parisians who have been in Bordeaux for seven years now, had been living in a loft. They were looking for a house with a garden to enjoy with their three sons. This property, built in 1898, really appealed to them, with bedrooms on two storeys and elegant reception rooms. ‘The same family had occupied this house since it was built. It had retained its original appearance,’ she recalls. ‘It’s a rare opportunity to find property that hasn’t been spoilt by successive alterations.’
The mouldings, parquet flooring and fireplaces needed a little lift to bring them back to life, so they requested the assistance of architect Isabelle Juy-Lott from Atelier d’Archi, to embellish the interior. ‘Colour was the basis of the project’, the two women explain. ‘We worked with a palette based on a bouquet of peonies, roses and eucalyptus. These colour tones evoke the 1900s, from which the house dates, Renoir and the ladies’ dresses of that time...’ Having worked for a long time in fashion in Paris, Julie had developed a particular sensitivity to colour. Just like a ready-to-wear collection, the rooms feature a harmonious coherence of shades. ‘All the colours work together,’ she explains. ‘The idea was to treat the house as if it were a hotel, with a similar atmosphere between the living room, the bedrooms and the kitchen.’
This new palette also enabled them to modernise the house while preserving its soul. ‘Changing the volumes or the classical finishes was out of the question.’ With this challenge, the architect compensated for the shortcomings of the narrow, high-ceilinged kitchen by designing customised cupboards, which go up to the ceiling. ‘We kept all the flooring, including the beautiful terrazzo in the kitchen and the hallway, which forms part of the history of the house,’ explains Isabelle. They painted all the dark wood joinery black. ‘White would have been too bland,’ she says. ‘Black adds a lot of character to the ensemble.’ She applied the same principle to the kitchen. The cupboards with their classical mouldings were modernised in black, just as the door frames were treated like graphic paintings. The splashback in zellige tiling adds a glossy glow, while the tones of the worktop in Savannah green granite complete this perfect harmony by blending with the Verdigris green shade of the walls. And the kitchen opens onto the dining room creating a perspective that widens the narrow kitchen. ‘This lends depth and allows the owners, who love cooking, not to feel cloistered in the kitchen,’ the architect explains.
To furnish the house, Julie combined furniture finds from flea markets with iconic design pieces such as Saarinen, Nogushi and Aulenti. In the living room a Togo armchair from Ligne Roset is paired with sofa from Gervasoni and the coffee table by Noguchi from Vitra sits on a Berber rug from Éditions Vétiver with a Saucer pendant light by Georges Nelson hanging from above. A Bourgie lamp from Kartell sits on a console table from Søstrene Grene.
Facing the living room, the dining room bathes in light and opens onto the garden. ‘My favourite time is midday, when the sun pours into the room,’ says Julie. ‘We feel like we’re outdoors, even inside.’ The Tulip table by Eero Saarinen from Knoll edition is coupled with chairs from Søstrene Grene. Another Saucer pendant light by Georges Nelson hangs in this space brightening up the darker scheme.
‘I’ve been collecting furniture pieces for 20 years. These items have always been and will always be with me. I’m not one for renewing the furniture each time we move. For me, the furniture has to adapt to the place. The challenge for each new home is to find where the furniture will go. It was moved around a lot in the first few months here. The children would wake up in the morning and the whole layout had changed! I think that everything has found its place now,’ she laughs.
Heading upstairs, the colour palette of the house is harmonious throughout the three storeys. The first floor landing has been painted to follow through from the ground floor with Gris Persée from Seigneurie and Murano from Flamant.
Both the master bathroom on the first floor and the children’s bathroom under the attics are designed in black and white, for continued harmony. ‘I like the idea of designing hotel-like bathrooms by using a single style rather than dissociating them with different themes each,’ explains Isabelle. ‘Black taps and two-tone décor lend style to these rooms without having to spend a fortune on expensive tiling.’
‘I love my bedroom and en suite and I spend a lot of time in here,’ says Julie. ‘It’s like a boudoir!’ She also fell in love with the distinct Dark Floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman, which adds even more drama to the boudoir.
The owner Julie Carricaburu, founder of private showroom Au 67, rue très Honoré, lives with her husband, Brice and their three sons, Gabriel, 14, Achille, 10 and Honoré, 3; and their dog Napoleone and cat Cossima.
The Home A classical townhouse built in 1898, the 240sqm home is spread over three levels. On the ground floor there’s an entrance hallway, double living room and a kitchen. On the first floor, a master bedroom with en suite and dressing room, a study and child’s bedroom. On the second floor, there are two more bedrooms, a play room and a shower room.
A palette of subtle shades inspired by a bouquet of peonies, roses and eucalyptus gives this room a soft, feminine aesthetic. A few of the lovely pieces include the coffee table by Noguchi from Vitra, Togo armchair from Ligne Roset and Bourgie lamp from Kartell.
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