Designer Emilie Lemardeley left a lively area of Paris about six years ago for the quiet suburb of Clamart, where little houses and gardens contribute to a French village atmosphere. “We were looking to slow things down and wanted more space,” she notes. “One really feels elsewhere, [like] a peaceful galaxy, out of time and place.” Indeed, poetic musings aside, the home that Lemardeley has created for herself and her family is decidedly unexpected and definitely, a world all its own.
After university studies at the prestigious Sciences Po, followed by stints at Sotheby’s London and Christie’s Paris, Lemardeley decided to return to school to study design and to learn the tools of the trade. She designs what has been called “jewelry for the interior,” or narrative furniture. Drawing inspiration from Greek mythology, Etruscan accessories, and her own imagination, Lemardeley creates pieces like a winged sofa called Zeus and a mirror aptly named Narcissus. Her house in Clamart is like a living laboratory for her creations—no surface is unadorned.
The Argan Chandelier by Lemardeley was fashioned out of brass and blown glass. A large gold mirror prototype, wall lamp, pendant light, and bench are also by Lemardeley. Craftsman Christian Forget constructed the concrete staircase and inlaid it with pieces of brass designed by Lemardeley. The rug glimpsed in the back room is from La Manufacture Cogolin.
With two stories, a basement level, and a garden, the original abode required a complete overhaul. She knocked down walls and created all the archways. “This is really a new house,” Lemardeley explains. “We changed the windows, the room dispositions, the floors; added a third floor; and expanded in the back. We also raised the ceiling height in the main salon.” The renovated house now includes four bedrooms and two bathrooms, for the couple and their three children under the age of eight.
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The modern interiors, which are cast in a warm palette thanks to an assortment of wall treatments, are full of her creations. “This house is meant to be a place for me to experiment, so colors change and things move around regularly,” shares the designer. She doesn’t really collect anything, but does have lots of bits and bobs and different materials. “I like to keep all of these things for inspiration. Fabrics, bits of glass, leather. And illustrated nature books.”
Lemardeley has a studio on the top floor with a large terrace and views as far as Sacré Coeur, where she thinks and draws. But her favorite place in the house is the dining room. She says, “I like all of the spaces, but if I was to choose, I love the dining room. This is really a friendly place, connecting the salon and the kitchen. And I think it works with the large Dionysus chandelier, which livens up the space.”
Although she is originally from Bordeaux, Lemardeley has spent 17 years living in and around Paris, where she founded her business in 2012. Now, it’s clear that her home rests firmly on the outskirts of the City of Light—so much so that her latest large-scale project is a sculpture for the city of Clamart.
The dining room table is a Lemardeley prototype constructed out of burnt wood and polished resin. The Dionysus Chandelier is also by Lemardeley while the chairs are by Gio Ponti. A piece by American artist Lee Burr can be seen, as can Pomax vases, a glass bottle by Potten, and ceramics from Laos.
The steel coffee table with a stainless glass top is by Lemardeley. The chalk-colored terry towel is from Harmony Textile while the bathtub is Betacryl. A polished, hammered mirror wall was an experimental creation by Lemardeley.