Slow Home Tour #2 – A Slow Home in the French Countryside

EMMANUELLE’S HOME

Haute-Vienne

JOURNALIST FOR THE MEDIA, WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR COMPANIES AND INSTITUTIONS, EMMANUELLE WORKS IN THE FIELDS OF CRAFTS, DECORATION, AGRICULTURE, TOURISM, LOCAL DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL COHESION.

IN 2018, SHE LAUNCHED THE CREATIVE NEWSLETTER TO PROMOTE THE ARTISANS AND ETHICAL BRANDS IT FINDS.

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WHAT IS YOUR DECORATION PHILOSOPHY?

I’ve always been passionate about decorating! As a teenager, I was already making plans to change the layout of the furniture in my room. As a student, I travelled a lot, so my apartment was decorated in a hippie style, with objects brought back from the other side of the world, enlargements of photos, collages… We didn’t yet speak “diy” at the time (or only in the punk world, where this acronym comes from), but already the decoration was for me a way to express myself, a way to promote my values. As much as I could put an African statuette brought back from Togo or a canvas painted with friends at home, it was unthinkable to buy this type of item in a large decoration store.

If my style has (much) evolved (!), my philosophy has not changed, which is why I have favoured for several years objects made by craftsmen and creators, or DIY. I arrange them at home as I would compose a painting, trying to create an atmosphere. Right now, clearly the sweetness and nature!

For furniture, having grown up in a family that cherishes the old, I have always found the vintage more charming, in addition to being cheaper. Half of the furniture in our house comes from the resourcerie or the Bon coin. For new buildings, I have been careful, as far as possible, to ensure that they do not pollute the indoor air in our house. Indeed, I wrote a chapter on indoor air pollution in a book about ten years ago, so it is a subject on which I am particularly sensitive. I have favoured solid wood, metal, and, for housework, solid wood joinery, eco-labelled paints, wood wool or lime and hemp plasters.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFICULTIES YOU ENCOUNTER IN YOUR APPROACH?

My main difficulty is to resist trends, because between pinterest, instagram and magazines, I always want to change everything. But I deliberately invested in certain durable and quality furniture, such as an oak dining room table, tolix metal chairs (made in France) or a sofa made in Italy, it’s not to change them after 5 years (even if I no longer like grey!). So I play with the accessories. But here too, I favour ethics, so I have to hold back a lot. Which is not always easy, because ethical products are not at the same price as the decorative objects of big brands! So sometimes I crack….

My second difficulty was to be able to assert my choices in front of the craftsmen. So, the first windows we changed are made of exotic wood, because I didn’t feel able to ask the company for alternatives. For the joineries on the other facade, I took confidence and looked for craftsmen who installed local pine windows made a few kilometers away!

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OBJECT?

I can’t get enough of the creative objects I bought this year: a cozy Annabel Kern plaid, Shandor graphic cushions, a weaving Les Tissages de la Licorne, an Elise Lefebvre vase… And my dried flowers and twigs picked up everywhere! All these treasures make me happy every day! I really have an emotional relationship with objects. But aesthetically, I don’t like overloaded interiors and I have no trouble getting rid of what I no longer like. There is still an object that has been following me since childhood: a little cat in bronze or brass, which weighs a ton, and which was at the home of an old cousin of the family to whom I often went as a child. I loved her and one day she said to me, “Take it, it’s for you”. I must have been 8 or 9 years old. He never left me again!

 

WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF?

I need two things. First, a house where I am warm in winter and cool in summer. Insulating our house and installing a pellet boiler has changed everything, and today we feel so good there! The second thing is a soothing atmosphere, with the colours and materials that make me feel good.

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THANK YOU EMMANUELLE ♡

@emmamaydeco | @lesreportagesdemma

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