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Solenne de la Fouchardière of Ochre at Home in Islington

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Solenne de la Fouchardière of Ochre at Home in Islington

June 14, 2021

It’s no wonder the elegant façade of this 1790 terrace in north London drew Ochre co-founder Solenne de la Fouchardière and her husband Simon Lee, managing director at wholesale tableware company Canvas Home, with its grace. Located on a charming, tree-lined historical street, the six-story house is one of the lucky few to have escaped devastation during the Second World War. “It has many assets,” says de la Fouchardière of the original cobbled pavement and period features of the property. “You feel calmer just coming home.”

Inside, the style pendulum swings toward spare minimalism and artisanal design. Nothing is too fluffy, nor is it too grand. “We adapted our furnishings to suit the fabric of the house,” describes de la Fouchardière who cherry-picked favorite Ochre and Canvas Home pieces to suit the setting. “Our design is elevated yet hopefully still homely,” de la Fouchardière explains. “My daughter wishes we had cream-colored carpets everywhere but we ripped them all out. I just don’t like carpets, they are a big ocean of color.”

The kitchen is the most striking room of the interior, with its ultra-modern burners by PITT and bespoke units made from reclaimed Austrian chalet beams. Details such as the floor lamp and ‘table add further individuality – breaking the mould of a kitchen being something that performs a totally functional role. “The cobbles are not great for shoes, in retrospect, as they are so uneven,” says de la Fouchardière, “but they are so warm with the underfloor heating and give so much texture. It feels very us.”

Here’s a tour:

Photography Yuki Sugiura courtesy of Ochre

ochre solenne de la fouchard london living room
Above: The living room is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Elephant Breath. The bowls are by Canvas Home and the artwork was created by Japanese artist Yoon Heechang using sand from the River Seine.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london pantry
Above: In the basement laundry-slash-winter party room, exposed brick and a stone floor hint at the origins of the house. Custom-made metal racks hold party essentials. An Ochre Gaia pendant lamp with a large, illuminated glass orb is the first thing you see as you walk down the stairs. “I love its monastic feel,” de la Fouchardière says of the design. The lamp hangs above an old Spanish table that the couple picked up on the Ile de Rè.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london kitchen
Above: In the kitchen, period European furniture such as the 1960s Dutch chairs are mixed with handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces, such as the mussel artwork by Blott Kerr-Wilson. A two-tone stripe runs along the wall. The tulip-shaped table is by Ochre
ochre solenne de la fouchard london kitchen 2
Above: Above the PITT gas burners is a collection of tableware from Canvas Home. The cabinets are from Robert Timmons Furniture.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london bathroom
Above: The main bedroom is the brightest space in the house, opened up from two small bedrooms into one large space with an ensuite bath. The palette is muted in putty grays and denim blues. “I’m drawn to the blue end of the color spectrum—blues, grays, and a bit of pink,” says de la Fouchardière.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london living room 2
Above: In the bedroom, the slubby alpaca and velvet headboard was made in collaboration with Lucy Bathurst of London studio Nest Design and features beautiful hand-stitched details.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london living room 5
Above: The couple were keen to have the brick wall exposed for a loft effect, but kept it to the chimneybreast in the end. The wide-plank floor is reclaimed Georgian pine, treated with Danish lime oil.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london bathroom 2
Above: Clothing is hidden behind glass-fronted wardrobes with Ochre horn handles.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london bath
Above: In the ensuite bathroom, all fittings are by Aston Matthews. The hand-glazed Moroccan floor tiles from Abibi are the most decorative element in the scheme. The stitched nubuck cube and foxed mirror are signature Ochre designs from the late 1990s.
ochre solenne de la fouchard london garden 4
Above: Vintage Parisian cobbles extend beyond the kitchen into the courtyard garden—a real bistro vibe a la Francais. The courtyard features large olive oil pots from Avignon, and a flea market bistro table and chairs. A big fig, lavender and beech tree all add to the French effect.

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