Communal family living gets a luxe upgrade in this French retreat

For fashion insider Alix Petit and her extended tribe of loved ones, this is a place to gather, recharge and reset

alix petit founder of heimstone home france
Karel Balas/Vega MG

Every Friday, Alix Petit and her husband Onur Keçe pick up their two daughters – Panda (three) and Ellis (seven) – and head for their private haven. ‘As soon as we arrive, even before we put the lights on, we light the fires in the fireplaces and fire pits and sit outside with a glass of wine,’ explains Alix. ‘It’s a sacred moment to unwind and a prelude to the weekend to come.’

For Alix, founder of fashion brand Heimstone, life is a family affair. ‘We’ve always lived in a pack,’ she says. Her twin sister Caroline (founder of ceramics brand Three Seven Paris), her husband and their two children are never far away, plus their brother, a photographer, often spends weekends at the property.

alix petit founder of heimstone home france
Karel Balas/Vega MG

It was a desire to find a place to gather and recharge as an extended clan that led Alix and Onur to this 19th-century farmhouse in Vexin Regional Nature Park, a pocket of unspoiled wilderness on the outskirts of the French capital.

‘It had been uninhabited for more than 10 years and the land was totally overgrown. The garden looked like a jungle,’ recalls Alix. ‘After much reflection, we decided to keep the property’s traditional white stone façade intact, but the volume and flow of the place was completely rethought.’

The renovated space was split into three distinct parts. Each one, like an organ of the body, is autonomous but linked.

alix petit founder of heimstone home france
Karel Balas/Vega MG

At the heart of the house is the main dining, kitchen and living area. A grand open-plan room beneath the rafters, it is dominated by a five-metre-long concrete table and central island stretching across much of its length. A true communal space, it features a built-in indoor barbecue, hotplates and an induction wok.

The barn became a main bedroom, designed like a New York loft, with a suspended bathroom and the girls’ bedroom next-door, while the tower boasts three additional guest rooms, all equipped with ensuite bathrooms. Next to it, two outbuildings have also been renovated, one of which is permanently reserved for Caroline and her tribe.

alix petit founder of heimstone home france
Karel Balas/Vega MG

‘Onur did the structural work and I did the interior design,’ says Alix. For Onur, a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, concrete was the material of choice. ‘Our priority was to give the building a strong identity, inspired by modernism, and for nature to become one with the architecture,’ continues Alix. To counteract the potential coldness of the walls, she introduced warmth with patterned curtains, soft shades (lagoon green and pastel pink) and generously plump furniture.

alix petit founder of heimstone home france
Karel Balas/Vega MG

‘Just like my collections for Heimstone, I wanted this house to be feminine, but with inspiration stolen from menswear. There is a playful juxtaposition of influences that reflects my personality, my taste for eclecticism and travel. I refuse to allow myself to become locked into one style. I am as much Kim Kardashian as Princess Diana!’

Taking two years to complete, the renovation of this home has been a marathon, rather than a sprint, but both Alix and Onur have relished the experience. ‘We talked a lot to fuse our creativity and, in the end, the project has brought us closer together,’ says Alix. ‘This house is our oxygen.’ heimstone.com

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