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Home House Design Slow Living Style: Visit a French Country Home in Normandy

Slow Living Style: Visit a French Country Home in Normandy


Hello and Happy Friday to you! Let’s kick off the weekend with a home tour for some Friday inspiration. Today, we’re jumping on the train and heading to France to tour a 19th-century townhouse nestled in a small village in Carrière, Normandy, are you ready?

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I first met Stephanie on Instagram (@steph_since_1979) and after seeing her home, I had to request a tour for decor8 because her decor is just so charming! But before we get into the tour, I must share that she JUST opened the doors to her online shop for French finds – it’s called Steph Since 1979 (after her Insta). A big, warm congratulations on this accomplishment!

What do I like the most about her home? Well, she really LIVES in her four-bedroom home, which she shares with her husband and 4 children. Her space has a large kitchen, office, living room, dining room with beautiful glass windows (and a skylight!), along with a small garden. There is personality in her space, and it feels like a peaceful nest.

I also believe that her home embodies the whole Slow Living style that is so popular… Slow living is a lifestyle that emphasizes a slower approach to everyday life. When it comes to the home, it’s all about getting back to our roots and enjoying life through all of our senses, mindfully, intentionally, with gratitude. It’s a lot like Hygge in Danish, “Not too much, not too little”. It’s having enough and being happy with that.

About her style, Stephanie explains, “My style is quite rustic while at the same time being refined. I like authentic and simple things. I don’t like it when there is too much decoration.” Stephanie and her husband also recycle and upcycle a lot, and she finds some of her ideas on Pinterest, but mostly from her immediate environment, the landscape, nature, etc., and okay, she admits, “A little bit on Instagram”.

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What makes French decoration so special, according to Stephaine is, “That rustic style that we’ve always had, with old stone, floor tiles, etc.”

I agree with her because to me, the French Country style is very unique because it’s rustic yet somehow enduring, it never feels tired, boring, or out of context. Even in a modern world where minimalism and NEW is such a huge decor trend, there is plenty of space for this restful, “forever on holiday”, French Country Style. In fact, a lot of people like Stephanie are mixing elements of minimalism with French Country, making a strong, clean edit, and showing French Country is a newer, simpler fashion that I really love.

What are some of the hallmarks of this look? In my experience with interiors for the past 16 years, it’s definitely lots of natural materials, things with a patina, showing imperfections (like coffee rings on wooden tables), muted tones, soft whites and neutrals that are warm, metal overhead pendants, pegboards on the wall, moldings on cabinetry, wooden paneling painted white, exposed wooden beams, linen sofas and curtains (and bedding), wrought iron patio sets, Mercury glass and mirrors, lots of clear glass (jars) and anything reflective, rustic stools and benches, sisal rugs and wooden floors, woven baskets, and decorative elements like stacked books in neutral tones, rocks, and shells.

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When I asked her which room is her favorite, she said it was definitely the living room, “The whole family feels really good there”, and that her sofa, in her favorite material of linen (from Maisons du Monde) and also very cozy and comfortable. I have to add that personally, a cozy sofa is everything. If you buy one great thing in your living room, it should be a comfortable, wonderful sofa!

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In addition to the living room, Stephaine also loves her windows, collections of seashells, her rustic cabinet with the large drawers (shown in the final photo – she’s standing by it), and her antique mercury mirrors. During Corona times, she admitted that they got a lot of work done around the house and that lockdowns made her realize, “ I could easily do without things that are not that essential.”

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Creative since childhood, Stephanie always loved the home and interior decoration. “I loved to move the furniture around in my bedroom as a little girl, and to create paper decorations… When I was in secondary school, I started buying home decor magazines.”

In addition to magazines, she’s also inspired by places like Caen, where she says there are many nice shops and it’s a beautiful city near the sea. She told me the Perche area is very pretty and inspiring to her, and it’s there where she loves to visit decor shops and flea markets. It’s known for its forests, rolling green hills, its impressive Percherons. Don’t know what a Percheron is? I didn’t either, so read more here.

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On Instagram, she enjoys…

@Valdirose – “Wonderful photos… I hope one day to stay in their bed and breakfast in Italy.”

@aureliemazurek – “She has a beautiful home with a simple decoration just as I like it.”

@moncoinvintage – “A lovely woman who has an online flea market with nice finds.

When I look at her home, I imagine lots of cooking and French music filling the air. I was surprised to learn a little secret from her – she’s actually a big fan of MUSE from the UK, “I love all their albums. We had the chance a few years ago to see them in concert in front of the Eiffel Tower, it is a wonderful memory. I hope I will see them again soon.” I hope you do to, Stephanie and thank you so much for this lovely introduction to your home and life today. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Love,

Holly

(Photography with permission from @steph_since_1979)





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