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Marcel Zelmanovitch Home

Marcel Zelmanovitch, founder of Galerie Diurne, acquired this 18th-century farmhouse in the Occitanie region of France in 2008. Together with his wife, Yolande, they rehabilitated the place, transforming it into a second home where the couple can escape Paris and welcome their four children and their families.

A unique getaway



With no particular attachment to this region, it was by chance that they first discovered it, on the occasion of a stopover when travelling through France. They immediately fell in love with these bucolic landscapes where time seems to have stood still, with the rolling countryside, narrow farm roads, colorful fields and hillsides of fruit trees.


Nature shaped by man and an extraordinary heritage born of a long and rich history, medieval villages entirely restored, imposing cloisters, magnificent churches, so many places steeped in history and culture that fueled the attraction this world held for them. Having lived all their lives in Paris, this region had the allure of their dream of escape and space, accessible, only a few hours from Paris.

Renovating a farmhouse...



Both were initially attracted by the volume and shape of the building. Traditional farmhouses in this region were characterized by the fact that all their component were housed in a single building, often forming a chaotic whole. In the past, this large building housed the stables and cowsheds, but only part of it was actually used for living.


The first step was to strip the building bare, leaving only the structure they liked so much: brick and mud walls, sometimes more than a meter thick, perfectly irregular, an oak framework whose beams, often completely twisted, gave lightness and freedom to the space. Circulations, openings and levels had to be completely rethought to harmonize the whole and give coherence to the place and modern comfort.


Looking at the result, it's hard to imagine what the house looked like before, so much so that its current architecture seems self-evident and the materials seem to date back to its origins. Finally, Marcel Zelmanovitch has reserved a large space to the north of the house for his painting studio, where he can work in peace and quiet, fulfilling his dream of devoting himself to his work, far from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

Decorating to reflect their image 



Marcel Zelmanovitch was able to indulge his passion for decoration. Most of the furnishings are souvenirs of distant travels. Much of it comes from India and Nepal, where he spent a long time working for the Galerie Diurne, meeting workshops, but also from Morocco and Tunisia. Furniture from all eras, including Indian colonial furniture, which he likes to combine with traditional tribal rough-hewn pieces, hand-crafted fabrics and objects found at local flea markets.


On the floor, of course, are the Galerie Diurne rugs he designed especially for the space, flat weaves in jute, hand-knotted rugs in hemp, others in wool and silk, as well as the traditional carpets he's always collected. And on the wall are his signed paintings and tapestries. This eclectic, multi-influenced ensemble blends into a perfect harmony, all subtlety and nuance, drawing on the four corners of the decorative arts.

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