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July 14, 2015
In honor of Bastille Day, we round up some of our favorite modern homes in France—from idyllic countryside retreats, to Parisian pied-à-terres, and historic, innovative prefab structures by modernist masters.
Aumas' assorted collectables.

Art director Jean-Christophe Aumas’ multi-hued Paris apartment houses a stunning and eclectic assemblage of furniture culled from a lifetime of travels. Here, a vintage 1950s credenza discovered in Paris supports three works by Aumas and two Sol LeWitt–inspired cubes used in one of his window displays. The daybed is an eBay purchase reupholstered in fabric from Kvadrat and the dark paint is from Dulux Valentine. Aumas found the photographer’s lamp at a Brussels flea market.

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Originally appeared in A Furniture Collector's Renovated Flat in Paris
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Modern banquette with wooden floors and door

For Dutch architect Felix Claus, a 1930s rental apartment in the Passy district of Paris is more than an idyllic pied-à-terre—it’s an architectural gem that requires reverence and careful tending. Designed by seminal 20th-century architect Auguste Perret, the building is listed on a historic register. Shown here, a calf leather–upholstered banquette between the grand salon and the bedroom was designed by Perret and is original to the apartment; Claus likes to imagine that it’s where Perret would curl up for a nap.

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Originally appeared in Modern High-Design Pied-à-Terre in Paris
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modern french country house facade wood

Arba, the architecture firm founded by Jean-Baptiste Barache and Sihem Lamine, designed a 1,786-square-foot residence for Dominique Jacquot 45 minutes outside Paris. Jacquot says the house is her sanctuary from city life.

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Originally appeared in This A-Frame is Ideal for Yoga
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Modern cabin renovation with glass facade

In 1981, Londoners Anthony and Gillian Blee purchased the ultimate fixer-upper: an old mill located in southwestern France. The couple renovated the mill and its three flanking outbuildings—which date back to 1822—with a host of green and renewable energy sources, and a careful restoration of its existing structures.

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Originally appeared in Renovating An Aging Mill in France
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Botanist Patrick Blanc has been bringing the wilds of the rainforests to Parisian walls for over 30 years, at venues including the Jean Nouvel–designed Quai Branly museum, where he created a lush, 8,600-square-foot façade with 15,000 plants. The lucky Dimanche family, however, doesn’t have to go any farther than their living room to take in the wonders of Blanc’s vertical gardens: Here, a 20-by-23 foot living wall dominates a central space of their Left Bank apartment with greenery.

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Originally appeared in Garden Apartment
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H2O Architectes used curvy cutouts in the space’s central column to draw the eye around its corners. A clever recessed cupboard conceals the TV screen. Comics, clearly, are everywhere.

Mathieu Vinciguerra, a graphically inclined Parisian who works as an art director at the French advertising giant Publicis, commissioned an apartment that would deftly house his prized and expansive collection of comics. Making the most of a 635-square-foot apartment with six doors, six rooms, and lots of pointy corners, H2o Architects transformed whole walls with a series of custom, space-efficient cutout shelves that wrap around even the most challenging nooks and crannies of Vinciguerra's abode.

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Originally appeared in Shelf Life
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The front door dissolves into the facade.

“I didn’t want the kind of manicured garden that would mean I’d have to come out on weekends and mow the lawn,” says Jean-Baptiste Barache of the country home he built, mostly by himself, over a year and a half in Upper Normandy. The result is a house that looks like it’s just been dropped into a field, casual, with nary a path leading up to it and a front door that can barely be detected on the red-cedar-shingled facade. 

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Originally appeared in Modern Wooden A-Frame Retreat in France
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Prefab house by Jean Prouve that's easy to assemble and transport

First designed in 1944 as a commission from the Ministry of Reconstruction and Town Planning, Jean Prouvé's progressive 6X6 Demountable House was a temporary bungalow made to accommodate postwar housing for Lorraine, France. To reinforce the ease with which these prefab structures were assembled and dissassembled on site, one model was built and then taken apart every day during Art Basel Miami 2013.

Courtesy of 
Galerie Patrick Seguin
Originally appeared in Progressive Prefabs of Jean Prouvé
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French apartment kitchen

During the Belle Époque, the resort city of Royan, in southwest France, was a magnet for the high-society set. Blown to smithereens during World War II, the town was rebuilt in the 1950s by a clutch of high-minded architects from the nearby Bordeaux architecture school who were under the spell of Brazilian modernists like Oscar Niemeyer. Drawing upon its local history, designer Florence Deau transformed a modernist city-planning office into a beachside pied-à-terre, furnishing its interior with a mix of midcentury and contemporary pieces. “It had to be inspired by the 1950s, it had to be fun—not too crazy—and it had to have a soul,” Deau says of the space.

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Originally appeared in Flea Market Finds and Modern Design Can Live in Harmony
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Le Corbusier Cabanon 1952 at Art Basel

No roundup of modern, French residential architecture would be complete without mention of Le Corbusier. In 2012 at Art Basel/Design Miami, visitors to the Cassina showroom were able to see—for the first time in the U.S.—a replica of the interior of Corbu's personal holiday home, the 1952 Le Cabanon on Cap Martin. Revolutionary for its time, the diminuitive cabin promoted simplistic, functional design over self-interested ornament in architecture. Here, Corbu's signature for a primary-color palette is shown within the context of a room furnished with space-efficient cabinets, a small table, and a bench.

Courtesy of 
©claudiauribe2012
Originally appeared in Inside Le Corbusier's Le Cabanon at Art Basel/Design Miami
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Aumas' assorted collectables.

Art director Jean-Christophe Aumas’ multi-hued Paris apartment houses a stunning and eclectic assemblage of furniture culled from a lifetime of travels. Here, a vintage 1950s credenza discovered in Paris supports three works by Aumas and two Sol LeWitt–inspired cubes used in one of his window displays. The daybed is an eBay purchase reupholstered in fabric from Kvadrat and the dark paint is from Dulux Valentine. Aumas found the photographer’s lamp at a Brussels flea market.

Photo by Christian Schaulin.

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