Bathed in the rich, cultural tapestry of the Left Bank, Monica Ainley de La Villardière’s home is a harmonious blend of Parisian charm and modern elegance. Situated on a quiet street steeped in history, the early 19th century Louis-Philippe-style building exudes the classical grace of old-world Paris. Inside, the apartment boasts ornate coving and tall ceilings that are complemented by modern décor and timeless furniture pieces. This is the family home of Monica Ainley de La Villardière — a journalist, broadcaster and influencer whose life in fashion and culture has seen as many textures and layers as the city she calls home.
"It was the old-world Paris bones of the building that lured me in," she shares, reminiscing about the smaller apartment in the same building where she and her family once resided. Ten months ago, they jumped at the chance to move into their current home, which Monica describes as the confluence of a "perfect location and layout."
“I love that podcasting provides an even more personalised version of the way radio enters your space — and you really feel like the host is speaking to you directly.”
Originally from Canada, Monica moved to London to pursue journalism. While studying, she landed an internship at the features desk of British Vogue. Since then, Monica has written for a multitude of prominent publications, including the Coveteur, T Magazine and Style.com. While fashion and culture have always been an interest, it was radio that stole Monica’s heart as a child, and today she co-hosts the popular fashion and culture review podcast, Fanfare. "As a kid, I used to eavesdrop on my mom while she listened to the CBC. I love that podcasting provides an even more personalised version of the way radio enters your space — and you really feel like the host is speaking to you directly. I love feeling like I’m in the room with people," she tells us.
Monica’s home is shared with her husband Marc and their two young children, two-year-old Mia and one-year-old Arthur, creating a lively and loving environment. In the contrast between the apartment's historic French style and its contemporary décor with quirky, eye-catching details lies the family’s essence. The ferm LIVING Catena sofa, which has become a gathering spot and integral part of their family home, holds a special place in Monica's heart. "We’re all addicted to it," she quips, ”How is it possible for a sofa to be so comfortable yet so elegant at the same time?”
“Where your family is
— that's what home means to me.”
The dining room holds a dual role as Monica’s office. A sanctuary for her professional pursuits, it transforms into a gathering spot for friends, or as Monica lovingly calls it, her personal ‘room of one’s own’: “I love the tranquility I find here while working, but I also love converting it into a space for entertaining friends for dinner. The kids know it’s a special place and are excited when they get to come into this room, which is very cute.”
The Left Bank, with its rich history and vibrant café culture, has always resonated with Monica. As we part, taking in the beautiful melding of architecture, fashion and history, we're reminded that home is where stories begin and memories are etched, just like the cobblestones of the Left Bank.