Marie-France Cohen is the co-founder of children’s line BONPOINT and the Paris concept store Merci – a personal favorite, Merci is the first and last stop I make every time I’m in the city. What I love most about visiting Merci (apart from my routine stop at the nearby falafel shop) is browsing its selection of beautiful and useful items for every facet of life. What I love most about Marie-France’s house is that it feels like Merci’s alter ego. While both spaces are thoughtful and creative in their construction, unlike contemporary Merci, Marie-France’s home is deeply rooted, and elegantly dressed, in old world charm. Today, she invites us and shares what turns a house into a home.
How did you find your home? How long have you been living there?
Through acquaintances and word of mouth. Finding a pretty home with a garden in Paris in the 7th arrondissement takes a lot of searching, disappointment, and patience…We finally found the home of our dreams ten years ago.
What is the most important quality when finding or creating a home?
To find a home, you have to have the house of your dreams in mind and wait for love at first sight to strike. You have to have that feeling that “this is the one.”
Does your interior style influence your own personal style or vice versa?
Yes – I’d say that my home looks like me and I look like my home.
How do you find the balance between fashion and interiors? Did it happen organically – were there any difficulties?
For both my home and my personal style, even though I’m surrounded by the fashion world, I’m more interested in style, simplicity, proportions, colors, materials, and comfort. A real feather down sofa, a big, thick cashmere sweater, so soft…
Are there any rules you absolutely stick to when decorating a space? What about rules you’re ok breaking?
I’m obsessed with lighting. It has to be both direct and indirect. I’m also obsessed with scents. I can’t have a house without a fireplace, ultra comfortable seating, beautiful rugs, lots of books, paintings, photos, a piano, objects I love, and my favorite smell: toasted bread.
What’s your favorite thing to do at home?
A beautiful home is open to everyone. It’s full of friends, it’s a place where you eat well, drink well, and laugh a lot. A home you don’t want to leave and dream of coming back to.
Photos: Erik Melvin