Fusion of Art Deco, antique and modern

For Felicie Corre-Le Blan, a spacious multi-floor lane house proves the ideal setting for an array of modern furniture and a well-curated collection of contemporary art.
Dong Jun / SHINE

The lane house is renovated in a Shanghai Art Deco style but in a contemporary way.

For Felicie Corre-Le Blan, a spacious multi-floor lane house proves the ideal setting for an array of modern furniture, a well-curated collection of contemporary art and a few of her own designs she is proud to showcase for family and guests.

The 39-year-old Parisian stayed in an apartment on Wukang Road with her husband Jean-Baptiste Le Blan and two kids for seven years before moving to this 200-square-meter lane house on Taiyuan Road.

“Our previous landlord wanted to renovate the place so after seven years in the only apartment we’ve ever lived in Shanghai, it was the right time for a change,” she said. “Living in an authentic lane house from the 1930s in downtown Shanghai was a wish come true and this place has all the criteria.”

The condition of the lane house was good, renovated in a Shanghai Art Deco style but in a contemporary way. Aside from small details such as removing the curtains, their collection of furniture fitted the ambience perfectly. Felicie takes great joy in decorating the house and furnishing it to her own taste. She wanted to live in Shanghai with a French-Parisian feel: antiques mixed with contemporary pieces and ethnic objects. 

Dong Jun / SHINE

The corner of the living room features a portrait of Chinese woman by Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf.

“Contemporary but authentic, comfortable but nice to look at” is the homey feel Felicie believes in. 

The house itself is already brilliant, so having an interior that is soothing, welcoming and can be portrayed as a canvas for beautiful art and decorations is her goal. A spectrum of bold colors such as beige, red, blue, yellow to dress up the home and complement its clean lines. 

The layout and design of the house allowed Felicie to reflect on her life in the city and consider the things that matter most to her. 

The 1930s mosaic floor on the first level is one of the original features that seduced her immediately. 

“I’ve taken advantage of this beautiful original floor, that gives a tropic mood to the whole space, and I avoid any carpet on the floor,” she said. “I also removed all curtains to enjoy the original old Shanghai style windows I cherish, yet keeping our contemporary furniture and artworks to make the space look modern.”

Evidence of the Parisian’s discerning eye for color, pattern, and texture can be found in her intelligent and subtle collection of art and design.

Felicie proudly pointed out the lovely 1940s vintage armchair covered with French and African wax fabrics, Nankeen fabric cushions mixed with denim and other accessories designed by herself. 

Dong Jun / SHINE

The family room is soothing and welcoming.

“My interior style has been progressively influenced by Chinese culture with small touches such as a Chinese cabinet or traditional baskets from Anhui Province at home,” the mom-of-two said. “After seven years living in the country, I found my own Chinese style so I am launching a lifestyle brand “Chinoises” with my French partner Carine Boyer — lifestyle objects from vintage Chinese furniture with Miao minority embroidery are selected and twisted with our Parisian taste. 

“It is a mix of modernity, ethnicity, authenticity and Chinese and French styles at the same time.” 

Under the collection, Felicie also designed new items inspired from Chinese crafts and patterns, yet wanted to avoid the Chinese cliché that you find everywhere. Each lifestyle object is achieved to have a more personal, funky take based on its cultural roots.

In addition to the newly designed “Chinoises” items, the couple has brought with them unique furniture and objects from family heirlooms, chosen with passion or brought from different trips in exotic places like Africa and South America.

It is important for them to feel at home even if they are thousands of kilometers away from Paris.

“My favorite furniture is my grandma’s Charles Eames armchair that she bought in the 1970s and used to be in her New York apartment before being in Paris,” Felicie said.

Other items include a 1950s lamp-table bought a few years ago at the famous antique market St Ouen puces near Paris; drawings of Rio de Janeiro by friend, Brazilian illustrator Filipe Jardim; a portrait of Chinese woman by Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf and a photograph of a typical tricycle in the street of Shanghai by Alain Delorme.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Felicie is co-founder behind lifestyle brand “Chinoises.”

Ask The Owner

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

A: Witnessing the mix of modernity and authenticity: riding a bicycle under plane trees in the city and having a drink on same day in some of the most sophisticated hotels of the world.

Q: Describe your home in three words.

A: Contemporary, authentic and mixed.

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

A: Enjoying daylight in the living room with wide open windows and music playing.

Q: How do you unwind?

A: Watching my favorite movies with my kids.

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

A: In my office which is also the family room for watching TV or playing games.

Q: What’s the view outside your window?

A: Typical lane houses made of bricks and surrounded by vines that linked us to the facing neighbors.

Q: What’s your favorite object in your home?

A: This 1930s terracotta of a graceful naked lady I bought in one of the first Paris auctions I attended in my early 20s.

Q: Where do you source furniture?

A: French and Chinese flea markets, and any travel is the occasion for a new ethnic crush.

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