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Liz’s urban oasis

28 March 2016

Stepping away from the grey streets of Paris into Liz’s cheerful apartment and beautiful garden is like taking a trip to a sunnier place. ‘Having a garden in Paris is such a luxury. It’s my husband’s favourite place – he loves being outside, relaxing in the fresh air, reading on the sofa and drinking coffee at the table, says Liz, a Mexican chef.

Liz’s urban garden is filled with potted plants and comfy textiles
A portrait of Liz, a chef living in Paris


MY HOME IS… a ground-floor apartment in Paris, with two bedrooms and a secret – it has a garden!
I LIVE… with my husband Vincent and our son Pablo, who’s four.
COLOUR IS CULTURE… I grew up in Mexico, so being surrounded by colour is what I’m used to. I really like the white Scandinavian style, but I couldn’t have it in my house. Colour is part of my DNA!
SPACE IS FOR SHARING… When Vincent and I moved to Paris, we found it hard to meet new people. So we started renting out our spare room, to get to know visitors to the city. Then, once Pablo was born, we began hosting supper clubs. It’s been such a nice experience.
COOKING IS MY PASSION… I became a chef to have a better quality of life doing something that I love. And to teach people about real Mexican food – there’s more to it than tacos!

Lay a fresh tablecloth and add cosy textiles and an inviting place to dine

Chop and change

‘Vincent cooks too – sometimes I’m his sous chef! We work side by side in the kitchen; he cooks at the counter, I chop at the table. Or vice versa. Before a dinner party, I prepare all my ingredients and put them into bowls before I start cooking. Then I add a tablecloth, change the cushion on the bench, put on music and add candles. It’s so important to be organised in a small, multifunctional space, so you can spend time with your guests and enjoy the experience.’

‘I love living here. It’s not big, but I’ve realised that the less space you have, the closer you are to the other people in it!’

Liz, chef, France

Complement an industrial-style metal kitchen with pops of bright colour

Secret storage

‘My kitchen isn’t huge, but it’s very functional. I have everything I need, and because it’s metal, it’s easy to clean and combine with all sorts of colours. There’s also hidden storage in the wall behind the photo collage. When you don’t have a lot of space, you have to come up with clever solutions!’

Liz has warmed her bright, light living room with sunny colours and patterns

Bring the sunshine indoors

Liz has used soft colours and patterns throughout her home to make each room feel warm and bright. ‘I can’t imagine living in a home where there’s no colour,’ says Liz. ‘I need to be surrounded by subtle patterns, traditional designs, and warm things!’

Create a private sanctuary in the bedroom with neutral, soothing tones

A room apart

‘This is our private place. Guests don’t go in here, even Pablo doesn’t come in here that often. Sometimes I work in here, when I’m cold, but that’s not usually a good idea, because I get so comfortable that I fall asleep!’

‘Even if Pablo is playing in the living room, or outside, and I’m in the kitchen cooking, I can see him and talk to him, because our space is so open. I like that’


Liz’s floorplan


Liz hosts cooking classes in her kitchen-dining area, so has a blurred line between work and her personal life. ‘It helps that when I’m working, I don’t use my living room,’ says Liz. ‘So once people leave, and I’ve cleaned up, that’s where I can relax and read a book.’

Made by

Photography: Daniel Farmer
Styling: Abigail Edwards