I discovered Sophie a little while ago through Instagram. She oozes positive energy and by the photos on her feed, I could see that her home reflected her personality. So I reached out and ventured down to the 13th. It's not an area I go to very often, so I was a little out of my comfort zone and admittedly got a bit lost. But I finally found her building and she opened her door with a big smile. We immediately clicked and I spent a few hours there, chatting, snapping photos and munching on a delicious breakfast that she kindly laid out - obviously just how any photo shoot should go.
She’s been in her home for 5 years, and it’s the kind of space that you want to curl up in with a good magazine. It’s bright and cosy, and filled with personality and warmth, with touches of colour and pattern - in other words, a real home.
Paris born and bread, of Cambodian descent, she grew up in Paris’ China Town and has remained in the area, where she lives with her husband and two small boys. She works as a freelance web and fashion consultant, as well as working part-time for Qwant, looking after their communications. Her blog, The Other Art of Living is full of positive vibes, inspiration and tips for mastering the art of living well!
Scroll down to read the interview.
What inspired you to start your blog?
It was a time in my life when I wanted to change direction. I went back to school because I needed to learn new things. That’s how I started, but it was not supposed to be a blog, just a website showing what I could do as a freelance creative consultant… I was so surprised when I was invited to an event for bloggers the very first time!
What words of advice do you have for someone following their own career path and freelancing?
Listen to yourself; try to feel it. Do things you want to, not only because you have to. That makes a huge difference.
Any projects in the pipeline?
Don’t get me started! ;) I think I have as many dreams as there are stars in the sky, so I always have a project on the go! But seriously, I’m currently really excited about my first collaboration with K-Swiss. We are launching an exclusive style of the Classic tennis shoe this Thursday at Colette. I still can’t believe it’s real; it’s a dream come true!
I was also a part of the jury for Maison & Objet last week and of course my (almost) full-time job at Qwant is full of new adventures everyday, that’s a startup lifestyle both ways.
What do you like most about the area you live in?
There’s such a great energy here, which I guess is because of the mixture of cultures. We are near Chinatown where I grew up, and this is one of those new areas mixed with old, with a real family spirit. On top of that there are also a lot of green spaces, which is so important when you have kids.
What were the biggest decorating challenges you faced when you moved in?
Our apartment is a former medical office, so renovating that into a home was the biggest challenge. But as soon as I got there, I had the image of what our home would be, I could totally visualise it, then it had to be!
How would you describe your interior style?
I guess it’s a mix of modern, Scandinavian & boho, we like to mix everything together.
Favourite piece(s) of furniture/treasures?
I never know how to answer that one as I like everything, but more as an ensemble. Although I do love the buffet we’ve had for years because there’s a funny story behind it, and I love when things have their own story!
Favourite places/shops to buy for your home?
Recently I just went nuts at my friends store Jamini! I love the designer, the products – I just can’t get enough of those pillows, they really add some flavour to the spirit of my home. I also really like Bloomingville and Bxxlight.
Interiors/style that have inspired you?
L’Eclaireur, Merci, Maison & Objet
Favourite sources for inspiration?
Travel and blogs, such as blogger & instagrammer, Jesus Sauvage.
Favourite three lifestyle blogs?
Inside Closet, Apartment Therapy, Anna G, Beautyarchi
Last good book you read?
I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m really enjoying: Le jour ou j’ai appris à vivre from Gounelle (the day I learned to live.)
What’s in your magazine pile?
Home magazine, Le M Monde, Les Inrocks, Society, Happinez, Vogue and MPA.
What’s in your fridge?
Organic fruits and veggies and some easy stuffs for kids like ham & cheese and a lot of different condiments & juices
Go-to alcoholic beverage?
Tea or coffee?
Lipsticks, money, pressed powder, earplugs, kleenex and something to rinse your hands.
What do you do to relax?
I play with my kids, I sleep, I play music with my friends, and I love spending hours in my bathroom and having a home spa!
Café: Le Bonaparte is around the corner from my office, it's super convenient. It's a tourist trap, but I still love being amazed by my city.
Restaurant: there are so many I love, but one of my all time favourite cantines is New Hoa Khoan, 15 Avenue de Choisy, 75013. It does the best dim sum in Paris, trust me!
Shop: Colette for its crazy selection from street to high end, Merci as most of the fashion designers I love are there, Heimstone, Le Bon Marché, L’Eclaireur, Jamini and…. Monoprix for everything!
For kids: Maralex, Little Michel & Noel online and Womb.
Words & photos by Marissa Cox.