An eclectic mix of France and Asia

It's a flamboyant, vibrant home incorporating bold colors and rich textures, reflecting the family's eclectic tastes.
Dong Jun / SHINE

The first level is home to the vcollection of beautiful objects such as the 50 kokeshi (traditional wooden Japanese dolls) displayed on the round Chinese-style red shelf gracing the front door.

It’s a flamboyant, vibrant home incorporating bold colors and rich textures, reflecting the family’s eclectic tastes.

Situated in the center of the former French concession on Gao’an Road, the modern duplex is home to a French family who has called Shanghai home for more than a decade.

Their previous home was a villa house on Hongmei Road.

But after eight years, the family wanted a change in neighborhood. Evidently, the former French concession was the most ideal area for quality living. They visited dozens of apartments before finding this one, which has plenty of space and a nice flow.

Their home is a living, breathing museum of art and design, filled with objects carefully selected in their years of living in Japan and an eclectic mixture of custom-made furniture and contemporary artworks. 

Florence Guillot is a creative person who wanted a functional home with flexible areas that would be suitable for socializing as well as for quiet time with her husband Philippe and daughters Leonie and Margaux.

Throughout the 370-square-meter home, an eclectic theme exudes a vivid charm with the style evolved organically over the years of living in France, Japan and now China.

Guillot doesn’t like to impose one typical interior style but a more personal ambience so that all her close friends would immediately feel “her” when entering the rooms.

“I actually see the apartment as a tribute to my upbringing surrounded with art and fashion mixed with my experiences living in Asia,” Guillot said.

“Many of the details in the apartment are custom-made by me, coming from my previous career as a stylist for show business and design magazines in Paris and Tokyo.”

Dong Jun / SHINE

The living room is rich, warm and inviting.

The first-level living area is rich, warm and inviting, which is an ideal spot for family and friends to spend quality time.

Guillot loves to use colors and patterns in a bold way. Unlike those earthy-toned living areas most homes incorporate, she opted for passionate colors such as red and purple to give a relaxed yet happy mood.

Sofas with cushions in different colors and patterns make fabulous chill-out space and art books, magazines displayed on the center table are nice touches for a relaxed home lifestyle.

The first level is also home to her collection of beautiful objects such as the 50 kokeshi (traditional wooden Japanese dolls) displayed on the round Chinese-style red shelf gracing the front door. 

The whimsical, playful theme is carried throughout the space, with fun items adorning every possible corner. Inspired by places and cultures of France, Japan and China, Guillot has tried to recreate a mixed feeling here. Heavy with artworks and rich materials, she managed to keep things casual and relaxed as well. She has the talent for grouping things on a shelf or in a corner that one would never have thought would match when looking at them separately. 

She also loves taking things and restoring or re-upholstering them, and making them into something special, such as the vintage chairs re-upholstered with fabrics of interesting patterns. She considers fabrics and patterns are essential for decoration.

Dong Jun / SHINE

 The dining area is an essential part of the first level where Florence Guillot loves to spend quality time with family and friends. 

“I’ve collected key furniture and accessories over the years in different countries and always love to mixing them in different home environments. However, my taste and style has always been eclectic and bold – the opposite end of minimalism,” she said.

The kitchen area is where Leonie has her after-school tea snacks and the family gathers for a simple dinner. It gives a real vibe for cooking, eating and sharing between family members. It is probably the most used space for the French family, who love to share their life over the food and wine.

The two-level layout of the duplex gives the right amount of privacy for everyone. The bedrooms, the office, the living room and the kitchen are all private areas. 

The master bedroom is, unusually, decorated with sober hues of walnut, beige and oak to make it as Zen as possible compared to the bold colors used in other areas. 

“It is essential to create different moods in different functional areas at home. It’s always about setting a mood in a specific spot. Nothing is ever too serious or too heavy. Nothing can be too arranged and stable. We need to be more playful and create unexpected juxtapositions,” Guillot said.

Ask The Owner

Q: What’s the best thing about living in Shanghai?

A: The best thing about living in Shanghai is the mixture of experiences, people from different countries and backgrounds as well as the amazing food.

Q: Describe your home in three words.

A: Welcoming. Warm. Red.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home?

A: Go to the kitchen. There is always somebody there or something to do or just simply for admiring the view with a cup of tea.

Q: How do you unwind?

A: A cup of green tea with a book on my huge living room sofa.

Q: Where do you spend most of your time at home?

A: The kitchen. It’s the core, the warm heart of this flat.

Q: What’s the view outside your window?

A: The amazing vibe of the city from the high rises, historic houses, to birds and trees. In the evening with the city lights on, it’s just magic.

Q: What’s your favorite object at home?

A: The otafuku paper mask that is a cherry-faced figure bringing happiness to the interior.

Q: Where do you source furniture in Shanghai?

A: I source mostly objects and books from different lifestyle boutiques in the city.

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