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‘I Don’t Do White Walls, ’ Says the Owner of This Insanely Colorful French Apartment

a living room with a large half moon rug, three pedestal cocktail tables with gold bases, plants, a mural behind the brown and blue geometric design sofa
‘I Don’t Do White Walls,’ Says This Homeowner John Daniel Powers

In the Paris apartment of Valentin Goux, color, character, and culture are crammed into every corner. “I don’t do white walls,” Goux says. The scion and president of Rinck, who took the reins of the French design firm four years ago—and in January, celebrated the opening of Galerie Rinck on the Left Bank—Goux is a rare blend of youth and wisdom who, before assuming his current role, had stints as a menswear retailer and a journalist. His personal design philosophy is characterized by a deep-rooted connection to history with an eye to the future.

a dining are painted in a terra cotta planter color with a curving wall with a pedestal table and chairs, and a green glass light fixture overhead
The terra-cotta wall color was Medaghri Alaoui’s suggestion. The 1970s table is Italian; the 1990s chairs blend postmodern and neoclassical styles. The light fixture by Sophia Taillet mimics the curved dining room wall.John Daniel Powers

The two-bedroom apartment he shares with his wife, Sabrina Medaghri Alaoui, in the 11th arrondissement, serves as a testament to his family firm’s 183-year history, with carefully placed pieces ranging from the reeditioned 1973 sofa to the contemporary cocktail table and a 1990s mirror. The unit, in a 19th-century Haussmannian building, needed an extensive renovation before Goux moved in, and it now serves as the perfect canvas to tell the story of the couple’s shared past.

a kitchen backsplash in peach color with decorative elements like chili peppers etc with bone colored cabinets
The backsplash in the kitchen is covered in tiles of Goux’s design: “There are chile peppers we grow at our country house,” he says, “and you can see our names in Arabic on the harissa tubes on the tiles,” a gesture toward Medaghri Alaoui’s Spanish Moroccan heritage.John Daniel Powers

Sentimental objects and design flourishes—such as the custom-tile backsplash in the kitchen and a dramatic painted ceiling in the office—make for a meaningful medley. “We have our own way of living,” Goux says, “which is to always be celebrating with our friends and family.”

Entry

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

The sketchbook wallpaper by Rinck for Fromental covers the walls. The 19th-century Empire-style demilune table and farm bench were purchased at a flea market.

Living Room

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

“This 1973 sofa was the last contemporary piece made by Rinck before I took over about 50 years later,” Goux says. He altered it by making it a sectional, and upholstered it in a Thevenon fabric that is an homage to Cubism. The cocktail table was designed three years ago and is one of Goux’s favorite Rinck pieces.

Living Room

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

Facing the sofa is an Italian palm tree marquetry table. The conspiciously missing TV is instead supplanted by objects of sentimental value to Goux and Medaghri Alaoui, collected on travels and from friends.

Living Room

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

The view from the living room into the kitchen.

Kitchen

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

The backsplash is covered in tiles of Goux’s design: “There are chile peppers we grow at our country house,” he says, “and you can see our names in Arabic on the harissa tubes on the tiles,” a gesture toward Medaghri Alaoui’s Spanish Moroccan heritage

Kitchen

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

The backsplash tiles are custom.

Dining Room

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

The terra-cotta wall color was Medaghri Alaoui’s suggestion. The 1970s table is Italian; the 1990s chairs blend postmodern and neoclassical styles. The light fixture by Sophia Taillet mimics the curved dining room wall.

Office

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

The ceiling of Medaghri Alaoui’s office, which also functions as a guest room, was painted by French artist Morgane Guerry. It depicts the constellation Orion—Goux’s favorite since youth. “I reference it endlessly in my work,” he says.

Office

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

The mural depicting Orion on the ceiling of Medaghri Alaoui’s office is by French artist Morgane Guerry.

Private Quarters

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

A19th-century Uzbek Suzani hangs on the wall, behind an arched doorway designed to mimic the curved wall in the dining room. The faux malachite baseboards were painted by Atelier Tourtoulou.

Primary Bedroom

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

Fromental wallpaper contrasts with the plexiglass Rinck chair, which is from the same 1970s collection as the sofa in the living room.

Primary Bathroom

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

“The colors become cooler in the private areas of the apartment,” Goux says. Yves Klein–blue tiles cover the spacious primary bathroom. “It’s a bit more calm, though still colorful, and reminds us of the bathrooms we had as kids,” he adds.

Valentin Goux

Photo credit: John Daniel Powers
Photo credit: John Daniel Powers

Goux sits in front of a 19th-century Japanese screen he purchased at auction. “The dimensions for the screen were listed incorrectly,” he says. “It’s four times bigger than we expected, but it worked out well, reinforcing the 1970s theme in the room.”

march 2024 cover elle decor
Hearst Owned

This story originally appeared in the March 2024 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE


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