Chloé Fleury is an illustrator and prop stylist who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Mehdi, and their two daughters. She makes three-dimensional paper objects, like pink flamingos and yellow elephants — and her home is just as fun and colorful as her work. Plus, she has great IKEA finds! Here’s a peek inside…
Blue chair: IKEA, similar. Hanging chair: Cobble Mountain. Sofa: West Elm. Mirror: IKEA. Coffee table: IKEA. Rug: from Morocco, similar. Pink pouf: from Morocco, similar. Pink rocking chair: Modernica. Pom pom basket: Eliza Gran, similar. Side table: IKEA, similar.
On California dreaming: I grew up in Lyon, France, but when I was 10, my family took a California road trip and I fell in love with the state. It became my dream to move here. After school, I had the opportunity to visit San Francisco for a few months as a tourist. I did my best to find an internship and get a visa so I could stay for good. I ended up meeting my husband, who is also French, at a friend’s party a few years later.
Rug: from Morocco, similar.
On being close to the beach: After living in San Francisco for years, we moved to Los Angeles seven months ago. My husband is a surfer, and this house is a 15-minute bike ride from the water. The beach has become my daughters’ happy place. It’s so nice to spend the weekends and some afternoons there. As soon as our four-year-old’s feet hit the sand, she’ll tear off her dress and run naked across the beach.
Dining room table: CB2. Black chair: Modernica. Bright pink chair: Modernica. High chair: Oxo. Rocking chair: Modernica. Pendent lamp: IKEA. Wall hanging: Janelle Gramling.
On pink: Color has always made me happy, although I am trying to do less pink because my husband has gotten kind of sick of it. Right now, the girls are really into princesses, ballet and unicorns, and last weekend we went to a fairy hunt in the forest — that was just too much for him!
Play table: IKEA, similar. Chair: French flea market, similar.
On children’s art: This wall is a mix of family photos and my daughters’ art. Until recently, Lula had no patience to sit down, but now she’s getting into drawing. Every day, she tells me that her favorite part of school was doing art. As an illustrator, that makes me smile. A colorful house and kids’ art go well together.
On mixing and matching: My husband is half Moroccan, so we have a few things from Morocco, like our rug, the pouf and some pillows. We also have things from flea markets in France. Little Broc in Lyon has the best vintage rattan furniture — it’s my first stop when I visit home in the summer. I like to mix styles and not stick to a single color palette — that can get difficult, especially with kids and all the toys everywhere. So, I just fall in love with an object and make it work.
On IKEA: I keep telling myself to stop buying from IKEA — because I don’t want my home to be only their stuff — but then they always have amazing new collections! If you mix their pieces with other things, everything looks really nice. When we moved in, there was a hideous chandelier above the dining table, and finally I was like, I just can’t look at it anymore. So, I bought this $5 shade from IKEA. It’s fun and cheap, and I like the geometric shape — it reminds me of the work I do.
Art: Tom Pigeon.
On DIY: When we moved in, we had so many books but nowhere to store them. We tried to find a nice-looking, affordable shelf to fit the space in the dining area, but it seemed impossible. So I found a tutorial on a French blog, we bought the wood and copper tubes at Home Depot, and we made it ourselves. It was team project — my husband was cutting, I was sanding. It took forever, but I’m proud of the end result.
On easy French food: After school, the girls and I spend a little time at the playground; then they take a bath and I cook. I usually make fish, vegetables or French dishes, like quiche or gratin. Quiche is so quick and easy, and my daughters love it. We usually make salmon and broccoli quiche or quiche Lorraine — but you can really put anything in. I always have frozen pie dough on hand; then you just toss in vegetables, eggs, and milk; and after 30 minutes in the oven, it’s done.
Bed: Muji. Bedding: Mexico, similar. Ladder: Urban Outfitters, painted white.
On switching things up: We’ve collected blankets and pillows through the years, and I love to change where they are in the house every week. I move things around all the time to keep it interesting. My husband just lets me do my stuff — he doesn’t even ask anymore — but he enjoys the house.
Shelf: Container Store. Mirror: Anthropologie, similar.
On functional design: I’m obsessed with baskets; we have them in every room. They’re useful for corralling toys, and they pair well with everything. I even use a basket for my purse. Mine are mostly from flea markets, but I have a few from Eliza Gran, an L.A. designer. I also have a thing for straw hats — both to wear and use for decoration.
Dresser: The Land of Nod. Bed: Kalon Studios. Rug: Revolución del Sueño. White rug: Urban Outfitters, similar. Striped rug: Tiger London, similar. Bookshelf: Urban Outfitters, similar. Ice cream truck: Target.
On animal art: When my older daughter was born, I made a few paper bunnies to hang on the walls of her bedroom. I posted some photos on Instagram and people liked them, so I started making and selling paper animals on Etsy. Things got crazy; now I have my own store. We have flamingos, foxes, cats — I try to add a few animals each year.
On colorblocked walls: I’m into all colors, but I was on a yellow kick when we painted this wall. The bedroom gets lots of natural light, and I wanted to emphasize that by adding even more sun and fun to the room. The girls love it! I did a half-wall so the colorful element is balanced out by the white wall. Otherwise it might have been too much.
Crib: IKEA. Dresser: The Land of Nod. Rug: Revolución del Sueño. Eye pillow: Arro Home.
On raising trilingual kids: We’re hoping Lula and Anouk will be trilingual. We speak French at home, and they speak English at school and with their friends. They learned Spanish when we spent six months in Mexico before moving to L.A. — kids are like sponges. Some of the teachers at Lula’s school are from Mexico, so they speak Spanish with her to help her practice.
Photos: Parabo Press printing. Pink tape: Amazon.
On printing photos: Now that we have camera phones, it’s easy to forget to print photos. But I try to print a bunch every few months, and my girls put them on the wall with pink tape. Our extended family is so far away and we’ve been changing homes over the past few years — so this helps them remember relatives and places they love. The first couple months in L.A. were hard for Lula; she felt lost and didn’t really know where our home was. Thankfully, she’s more settled now.
Bench: IKEA. Dining table and chairs: IKEA. Orange stool: IKEA.
On outside living: I was drawn to this house because it has a detached garage, which I can use as my studio. Although I work from home, it’s still nice to walk out of the house and go to another space, especially when my daughters want to touch everything on my desk. The house also has a backyard, which was a big plus. The weather is warmer here than in San Francisco, so we barbecue and the girls love to ride bikes.
Hanging chair: La Siesta. Woven chair: Urban Outfitters, similar.
On shopping: For home decor, I like Modernica, Leif and Babasouk for their colorful Moroccan and Mexican pieces. The kids’ beds from Kalon Studios are great. I am dying over Pop & Scott furniture, and these fun chairs from Ames Shop are on my wish list.
Thank you so much, Chloé!
P.S. More house tours, including a cabin in the city and a San Francisco home with a cool backyard.
(Photos by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo. Interview by Megan Cahn.)