I'd known about Elodie for a while through friends before I met her at an event she'd organised for Pinterest a couple of months ago. The first thing I noticed was her contagious bright white smile. She radiates warmth, perhaps something to do with her Irish heritage, she later tells me, and I knew instantly that I was going to like her.
The half French, half Irish, native Parisian has been working for Pinterest for the past 3.5 years as their Marketing Manager for France. Given her nature and working for the visuals-driven social media giant, I assumed she would have - in Pinterest speak - a unique 'pinnable' apartment. Luckily I was proved right. Her 5th floor Marais apartment is small, with a pint-sized kitchen, but perfectly formed. Light floods in through the windows in the living room-cum-bedroom and it's beautifully decorated with a mix of vintage furniture, trinkets from her travels, old photos, illustrations of fish (which she has a thing for - her uncle was a marine biologist and she thinks she picked up her interest from him), old mirrors, books, magazines and candles.
One of the reasons I love peeping into a person's home, is that I think it can reveal a lot about who they are, where they come from and what they like. Elodie's home does just that. I could for example, tell that she liked to cook from the navy apron hanging up on the kitchen door, myriad of herbs stuffed in jars and cookery books stacked on a shelving unit. She does have a strong interest in food, she tells me, and the local Parisian food scene - enhanced by her role at Pinterest, where food is a big focus. Before her role at Pinterest she managed Yelp France and worked as a food writer. Last year she teamed up with a childhood friend, a chef, to start a charity that serves meals in refugee camps. Here's hoping she'll invite me round for dinner soon!
What were the biggest decorating challenges?
People have often described my apartment as feminine, but I have a very hard time with that word. It’s too normative and restrictive, often condescending. I wanted my interior to reflect something more ambivalent, that doesn't put me in a box: some pretty things, some weird things, some things that have meaning…In the end, it’s probably very feminine to the outside eye, but to me it’s a collection of memories that go beyond that.
How would you describe your interior style?
Personal and warm. I’m half Irish and it’s important for me to be welcoming; I like having people over. Also for some reason I seem to love fish!
Favourite piece(s) of furniture/treasures?
I’m a Taurus so every object has a story and a meaning to me. I have so many of these sacred bibelots - I particularly love my little porcelain sardines from Lisbon, the little Japanese Inro (case), and the carved wood love letter from my lover.
Favourite places/shops to buy for your home?
My travels! I always bring back one little souvenir that has its own specific style or story. Otherwise in Paris I love La Trésorerie and Muji.
Interiors/style that have inspired you?
I love interiors that aren’t trying to be a certain style. They’re just very personal. What I find most beautiful is people who just live in what inspires them: piles of books, magazines, paintings, random rocks, tools, instruments… Their beautiful mess. Artists or creatives’ style can be very minimalist or completely random. I love people who don’t always make an effort to decorate, but focus on collecting things they love.
In general I’m a fan of simple lines and colours, and a decor that mixes textures and materials: extravagant plants, leather sofas, metal bookshelves… I would say the style is very Brooklyn, New York.
What do you like most about the area you live in, in Paris?
It’s like its own little village. It has everything: a bakery next to a designer’s shop, next to a bookshop, next to a coffee place, next to a farmer’s market… It’s almost too pretty and quaint to be true.
Favourite sources for inspiration?
Pinterest of course! It’s much more than flower crowns and DIY macramés. It has some of the most niche artists and artisans, and from all over the world. I’ve found so many simple home ideas on Pinterest (and I’m terrible at DIY). Also I garner inspiration from magazines and bookstores: they’re a good start to serendipity. There’s always one great idea you’ll find in them.
Favourite three social media mavens?
They're not really social media mavens, but I love illustrator Julie Loren, artist Filthyratbag and Camille Rowe for her impeccable style and endearing personality.
Favourite three lifestyle blogs?
Inside Out, a blog started by two friends on girls and sport, Nitch, an Instagram account that gives me my daily dose of wisdom from the great artists of our world, and Green Kitchen Stories for the veggie food fabulousness.
Last good book you read?
Anatomy of a Story by John Trudy.
What’s in your magazine pile?
Food magazines that capture le gout de l’époque, several copies of The Gentlewoman (whose writing I really love), Elvis Presley Ukulele tabs, very smart magazines I paid a lot of money for and never got around to reading, but still hope I will one day (ie Harvard Business review), and city guides.
What’s on your nightstand?
Little objects that belonged to my grandmother, or that were offered to me by people who know I love little objects. Lots of little boxes I put earrings in (or all of my baby teeth), matches, Trudon candles, hand cream, karma balm (it’s a thing) and a box of all the love correspondence with my girlfriend.
How has working for Pinterest changed how you might decorate?
Pinterest is a visual world that plants ideas into your head without you even noticing it. It’s the Inception of creativity. It sparks ideas and creates relations between objects just because you may have seen an unusual association on Pinterest. It also helps with a lot of life hacks: like how to use a branch of wood to hang things on the wall.
What’s your morning routine?
I do yoga 3 times a week early in the morning, then go home and listen to Hawaiian music while drinking coffee. I never look at my emails until I’m at the office. Also I listen to music rather than listening to the news first thing in the morning, which I’ve done for the past 10 years - has helped me a lot with being more calm and focused.
Go-to alcoholic beverage?
Red wine! Bourgogne/Burgundy! I mean… what else. Maybe sake sometimes.
Tea or coffee?
I'm currently transitioning from tea to coffee.
Headphones, keys, a notebook and a pen, Laura Mercier concealer for touch-ups, terracotta, a good lipbalm, red lipstick, and a sample of my cologne.
Best career advice you ever received?
When building your career, look for the feeling you want to have every morning when you go to work. Not for a company, a title or a salary.
What would you do if you weren’t working for Pinterest?
I’d start my own food company or restaurant. I love cooking, but mostly I love imagining the experience you offer when you serve food - I love how it crafts memories.
What do you do to relax?
I cook! It’s the most basic creative activity you can do. You need to eat 3 times a day anyway: it’s like creating AND enjoying your creation at the same time. Plus you don’t need to talk to anyone while doing it, but it still makes people happy. My definition of happiness (introvert alert!).
A coffee in the morning light at The Broken Arm. Wine and tapas at Martin any night of the week, seafood at Clamato, fancy dinner at Clown Bar or Fulgurances when friends are visiting, impromptu passion fruit caramels at Jacques Génin on a Saturday afternoon, Pain Pita Ratatouille on a Sunday night at Miznon.
Favourite Café, Favourite restaurant, favourite shop
My favourite café is The Broken Arm, favorite restaurant is Clamato and favorite shop is Le Mont Saint Michel.