In the Sainte-Catherine quarter of Honfleur, Normandy, a two-storey 1940s house was quietly displaying what estate agents like to describe as potential. Or such was the opinion of magazine editor Jérôme Aumont and his partner, the gallerist and designer Christophe Delcourt, who happened to drive by the house while taking the scenic route home to Paris from Trouville in 2012.
‘There was a very sweet, almost soothing atmosphere,’ says Christophe, who was enticed first by the medieval architecture of the port town, then by the paved streets winding up the hill, and ultimately by the forged-iron, art deco shopfront of what was to become their weekend bolthole.
‘The interior was, frankly, very ordinary, with all of the faults these little old village houses have, such as being dark with low ceilings,’ Christophe recalls. ‘But we imagined it as a space to exhibit our own work and display objects by artists we admire,’ adds Jérôme.
And so began a process of transforming the house into a sort of living gallery. They kept only the chimney, staircase and the parquet flooring in the living room and bedrooms, creating a minimal backdrop so that attention is focused on the artwork, rather than the space itself. ‘We made the choice to alternate between the dark colour of the original wood and a lighter hue used for the newer constructions and additions,’ says Jérôme.
‘The fact that we were able to conserve some of the original features, such as the staircase and floorboards, really gives a lot of character to the project. I especially like the juxtaposition of elements and the unexpected,’ he adds, looking to his home’s mix of old spruce and modern plywood.
For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration May 2018
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