Inside the house of two French architects
Color is not the priority of architects and designers Floriane and Baptiste Dosne. She is attracted to fabric, pattern, texture. Him, form and silhouette. The result is a home whose eccentricity lies in a hammered copper surface or an oblong framed mirror rather than a rainbow color palette. But the lack of color does not imply a lack of intrigue. Baptiste becomes poetic about the shadows that different hours of light cast on a seemingly whitewashed wall. “Depending on the time of day, it can be super white, super bright, warm, or almost gray.”
The founders of interior design and retail studio NOCOD fled Paris in 2021 in search of a more relaxed creative haven – without giving up all aspects of city life – to put down roots. They found a place in Lille, a short trip outside of Paris where much of their professional life is still based. “I think we were lucky to find this place,” says Floriane. “We fell in love [with it] immediately.” The house was once a workshop for movie projectors. The creative duo were actually fond of its less glamorous aspects – the slatted ceiling, repurposed flooring and stainless steel kitchen. Those little details that they left unchanged become, for Floriane, “a testimony, a story of what was before us”, she says. “I think it’s important to have this kind of thing in a house.”
The Dosnes create pop-up installations for brands like Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, and Cartier, and are currently known for their work on AMIRI stores. Each of these projects has a separate timeline, a time when they are completed. Their home, they assure me, is just the opposite. “We arrived a year ago, so it’s like the first phase,” explains Baptiste. “In a year, the project will be completely different.” They add items one by one. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh. We need six chairs for this table. It was like, ‘Oh. I like this chair. Let’s go, ”explains Floriane. “But then you can have 20 chairs,” she laughs.
Chairs aren’t the only thing the creative duo collect. An array of objects sparingly litter their surfaces, each revealing a penchant for thoughtful design. You’ll find a vintage Braun radio above the fridge (Baptiste has a great reverence for Dieter Rams) and an Eames chair perched against the wall. Their own creations also find their way into the mix. They possess an affinity for auctions (and auction catalogs, which Baptiste says are a great resource for discovery) and an unsurprising love for 1950s California homes.
That said, their Lille home is surprisingly practical. Their office space is sparse, efficient. They left the original, professional-grade stainless steel kitchen at home untouched – a choice they don’t regret. “Before [living here], we had a beautiful marble kitchen. And believe me, stainless steel is much better for [real] life,” adds Baptiste. “It really is a family home,” continues Floriane, alluding to the toys left behind by their two and seven year olds. When I ask them how the house makes them feel in its current state, Baptiste says, “peaceful. But only for a few seconds, because [soon] after having a child on the leg. Continue to learn the story behind the thoughtful conservation of their homes.