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Animal ‘dad’ uses chic decor that’s practical
2014-01-08
By Patsy Yang

When Philippe Jeangeorges moved into this new apartment, he was initially overwhelmed by its open space, luminosity, convenient configuration and nice city view. “I live with four adopted dogs and four cats. A huge garden on the second floor of the compound is a plus and very secure to walk my dogs.”

Jeangeorges was hired in late 2006 to audit a start-up company in Shanghai. He arrived in January 2007 for a two-month posting and never returned to Paris, drawn by the city’s energy and culture. Years passed, and he had even started a new adventure by founding the Think Adoption Foundation with Chris Lau, a not-for-profit organization to promote the concept of adopting animals rather than buying them.

The new place he calls home for his big “family” is a rented flat and since he couldn’t change the structure, he swiftly set about transforming the space into something that would work both practically and aesthetically. He decided to decorate it a little like a theater set by ordering custom-made canvases in different blues and greens coordinated with his custom-made curtains by Shanghai Trio to highlight the furniture and the pieces he really likes. It took Jeangeorges three months to finalize all the details and create it.

The neutral white background sets the stage for the very vibrant colors of the artwork and furnishings. In every corner of the flat, he created a showcase and little stage for his impressive collections, from vintage biscuit boxes and designer-produced pieces to antiques.

Old furniture he has collected over the years has mixed well with new items he found for the new home to give them a fresh dimension. Nothing is too serious. Jeangeorges likes to describe his style as a bit playful.

“Furniture has to find its own space. It has to tell us a story, and a canvas has been ordered especially to highlight it.”

One of the main things he’s brought back from home is his mom Yvonne Guillemin’s handmade pottery. “They are unique pieces. With them I feel even more at home and in touch with her on a daily basis.”

“I wanted to find a way to organize all the materials that I like in harmony; terracotta, wood, ceramics, stone, glass, plastic, metal and fabrics, to create a full complement of all that surrounds us,” he added.

Jeangeorges is proud of his living room and not only because of the decoration. He currently has the privilege to display a few paintings from Jean Dolande, an internationally known French painter. “I was very lucky to meet him during his last exhibition in Shanghai to talk about Think Adoption.”

Dolande decided to help them to finance studies for young, talented Chinese vets ready to spend a few months outside China to learn more. He spent eight months painting 18 works of art for them based on animal abandonment and adoption.

“The meaning really provides me a very special feeling in this room, with the mix of design, having a part of Shanghai history in my furniture and real exclusive art for the best reasons — that’s for me a well-balanced room like life should be.”

At the same time, he has many pets and needed something convenient: chic, practical and easy to manage as well. All fabrics at his home are a special polyester from Shanghai Trio that is easy to maintain. “I also discovered since I am using polyester that it’s an amazing and efficient thermal regulator that helps me save energy by keeping cold or warm depending on the season. Respect for our planet through simple steps is increasingly important. It has been a real and unexpected additional revelation that was perfectly linked to my expectations.”

Jeangeorges works from home, so it’s vital for each area to support different activities: resting, eating and working. All areas for rest are mainly indigo blue. The eating area is peacock blue. The freshness of the green spring leaf is to find energy for work. The study is bright and very green. “I’m trying to create a fresh feel to it so that when I’m working in the study, I can feel the same as the decor’s mood,” he said.

Ask the owner

Q: What’s the best thing about living in Shanghai?

Shanghai is a city that never stops; the creative energy is everywhere if you take time to open your eyes correctly.

Q: Describe your home in three words.

A: Full of Love.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home?

A: (Laugh) ... this is something that I cannot decide. First is my dogs’ warm welcome.

Q: How do you unwind?

A: A glass of good wine, listening to Li Quan, Natalie Dessay or Mozart but also many more.

Q: Where do you spend most of the time at home?

A: Everywhere.

Q: What’s the best view outside your window?

A: The Huangpu River with all the very colorful boats by night.

Q: How do you scent your home?

A: Eucalyptus oil only.

Q: What’s your favorite object at home?

A: Can I say all of them or not answer? Everything is so complementary.

Q: Where do you source furniture in Shanghai?

A: It belongs to my walk more than to my favorite addresses, I do not find furniture, it finds me. Let’s put it that way.

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