A Parisian Apartment Like You've Never Seen Before

The red lip says it all. In that one bold statement, we seem to recognize the entirety of model Jeanne Damas's personality — though, really, we're just scratching the (very pretty) surface. You may know her from the runway, where she walks for her friend Simon Porte Jacquemus, or maybe you're one of her 100,000 Instagram followers. Her addictive blog showcases a charmed existence steeped in travel, fashion and a few odd cigarettes. The men are bearded (and come with accents) and every girl sports the kind of perfectly-tousled bedhead that says "I'm not familiar with trying;" it says, in a word, "I'm French." And Damas is almost archetypically so.

Her Paris apartment is a further reflection of that insouciant sophistication. The classically Haussmannian space was destroyed in a fire late last year, a tragedy that Damas took in stride. The revamped interior now perfectly melds traditional architectural detailing with a flippant, sensual bravado; an eye for modern photography and a knack for mixing vintage furnishings gives the space It-girl élan. It helps that good taste seems to run in the family for Damas — her sister, Louise, just opened Atelier Couronnes, a concept store spiritually akin to The Broken Arm in its perfectly nouveau-Parisian execution, outfitted with herringbone floors and Julie Lansom lighting. We caught up with the model just before the couture shows to talk about her cats, her passion for design, and what it's like to call Paris home.
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.
Damas's living room, where a mix of mid-century furnishings, including a cat-scratched armchair, live comfortably with a Smeg refrigerator.
Advertisement
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.
Damas strikes a pose on her sectional sofa.
You've managed to make your space so beautiful and so personal after the fire last year. How did you rebound after such a traumatic experience?
"I was lucky because not everything was lost. The hardest was waiting for my insurance to kick in before I could begin all of the work. That took took 6 months, and then a month and a half for the restoration. Then, step by step, I took my time to buy everything back — going to flea markets, and getting other ideas to better the apartment. I'm focusing on the positive side of things and telling myself this type of thing can't possibly happen to me twice."

What songs do you get ready to in the morning?
"Right now, I'm listening endlessly to Christine and The Queens, Arcade Fire, and Sébastien Tellier. But I never get tired of Supertramp, The Rolling Stones, and Serge Gainsbourg."
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.
That bookshelf is to-die-for. What are you currently reading?
"I'm currently reading the biography of Anjelica Huston. I also bought Brigitte Bardot's and Françoise Sagan's for this summer. I love reading biographies — you always learn so many things about the subjects and the eras in which they lived."

If you were to be reincarnated as a plant, what would you be?
"A fig tree! I have so many on my balcony and they remind me of holidays. I also love carnations that I buy at the supermarket. I just bought a vase on Tsé Tsé that I'm going to put them in!"
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.

I have a cat, Charlie, who has a lot of character. She pretty much owns the household.

Advertisement
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.
How many cats do you have? How are they as roommates?
"I have a cat, Charlie, who has a lot of character. She pretty much owns the household and I'm completely obedient to her and all of her desires. I love her like my own daughter. The other cat belongs to my ex-boyfriend. I would love to have another, though. Maybe a white Persian."

I know you brought back some of your rugs from
Morocco — do you bring items home often when you travel?
"I love Moroccan rugs; the last I bought was from Marrakech. And I just ordered one in black and white Berber wool from my friend. He brings them back from Morocco and sells them in Paris."
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.
Tell me about the art you have in your apartment. What are some of your favorite pieces? Do you collect anyone's work?
"[Photographer] Harry Gruyaert is the father of my best friend, whom I've known since birth. He used to take photos of us. I love his photos and his use of color. I'm lucky to be able to own some of his photos, and also some of his books, which are so beautiful. I don't yet have a full collection of art, but I hope to someday."

Do you have a favorite product or furniture designer?
"I love the round [Saarinen Tulip] tables by Knoll. I'm looking for one in white marble for my living room."

What creature comforts do you always keep with you to make any space feel like home?
"I always bring my horrible Uggs because they make my feet feel so comfortable."
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.
Damas's dining area features a circular table to maximize space; a vintage étagère houses a mix of glassware, candles and decorative objets.
Photographed by Hugues Laurent.
Where did you get your amazing dining chairs? Do you shop vintage often?
"I got those from my dad. I love going to flea markets and shopping in the vintage stores, all of the must-see's and go-to's — off Ledru-Rollin [métro stop], or Les Modernistes at Gambetta. June is the best month to thrift shop in Paris; there are so many flea markets and garage sales each weekend."

Last, but not least: How did you decide on your new paint color?
"My apartment is classic Haussmannian — super luminous and all white — so, I wanted to use a darker color to make the living room more cosy. I chose [Farrow & Ball's] Oval Room Blue, a very pretty blue-grey."

More breathtaking home inspiration, right this way...
Advertisement