Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Famille - Lyon

From the City to the Country, the Story of a Lifestyle Change.

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Stéphanie Zwicky,
Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

When something pleases her, Stéphanie Zwicky is generous and giving. And she doesn’t do things by halves! A major figure on Instagram, the lady, born in Switzerland, shares delightfully witty snapshots of her daily life. Images of her life in the country, the result of what she likes to call a “major migration”. For before moving with her family to her #ZwickyHappinessHouse (look it up — it’s easy to find) our blogger was a city dweller. In Paris, to be precise. The exact opposite of where we are taking you today. 50 minutes from Lyon, it was 4 years ago that Stéphanie set her heart on a house…. And not just any house! A respectable 17th century old lady of a house, having elegantly survived the ravages of time. A piece of history in need of happiness, with which Stéphanie fell in love at first sight and which she has been constantly enhancing by bringing to it just the right amount of modernity. From being an unrestored dilapidated building, thanks to Stéphanie the grand old home is starting a new chapter in its life. That of being a Noah’s Ark in a big garden, of playtimes where happy sounds ring out, of a fascinating alter to entomology, of a treasure chest of antique finds… So many roles that the bubbly brown-haired lady with the hypnotic tattoos enjoys recounting to us (brilliantly and for our great pleasure) in special features backed up by anecdotes and inspirational mood boards. An unlimited desire to share things, that we felt we had to pass on to you. A radical “change of being” where simplicity and nature make sense of the present.An ode to generosity.

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

I had the feeling of reconnecting with myself here, of being more aware of the things around me.

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

Stéphanie, can you introduce yourself, please?

Stéphanie

My name is Stéphanie Zwicky, I’m originally from Switzerland and I’ve been living in France for seventeen years now. I’m the mother of two children and I have been writing a fashion, decoration and beauty blog for fifteen years.

Why did you leave Paris for the countryside and Lyon?

Stéphanie

We left Paris nearly four years ago with a deep desire to slow down in our lives and to offer our children a lighter and more nature-oriented living environment. We were suffocating in Paris, which from my point of view was unsuitable for them. I grew up in the countryside in Switzerland and I have wonderful memories of it; I wanted my children to be able to experience that. Being close to the neighbours, having friends to play with in the street, going to school on foot or by bike, focusing on the seasons and having lots of animals, all of these encouraged us to leave the capital and make our dreams come true.

How has this impacted your family life and your personal plans?

Stéphanie

Living in the countryside is a bit like feeling you’re on holiday, knowing it’s possible to disconnect very quickly. I had the feeling of reconnecting with myself here, of being more aware of the things around me. It’s allowed me to find myself again, to take account of my own desires and to develop projects that have been important to me for a long time. I’ve gone back to playing sports regularly, and I consume differently, locally and essentially organically. Our family has returned to simpler and more spontaneous things.

What is your philosophy?

Stéphanie

To always savour the moment.

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

I wanted a real family home, warm, bright and welcoming. I wanted it to be the focal point for great parties inside and out!

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

How has Big Beauty – now Stephanie Zwicky – the blog you started 15 years ago evolved?

Stéphanie

My blog has evolved considerably and, since 2010, it has allowed me to become independent, being on my own. Although at the beginning I only wrote about fashion, for about six years now my blog has been more focused on decoration and beauty. However, the editorial line remains the same, with the same desire to share and interact with my readers, who, for the most part, have been faithful since the beginning. Even though today social networks play an important part, Instagram occupies a large part of my time and allows me to have more direct contact with the people who follow me. For eight years now, the blog has been named after me, Stéphanie Zwicky, which avoids a kind of split personality and satisfies a desire for authenticity.

In so many years, what societal, digital (or other) developments have you witnessed?

Stéphanie

Social networks have developed a sense of closeness, but there’s also the readers’ desire and need for quick information. Today, people are consuming a lot of images and less text, even though they still come to the blog to find specific things. Video has also made its appearance, which gives yet another creative aspect to my work!

What is the story behind this house?

Stéphanie

The house dates back to the 17th century. I don’t know all its history but this house has an important place in the village. It was inhabited in turn by important people, wine growers… but also by two sisters who lived in this building with lots of children. When we bought it, it had been uninhabited for more than ten years. Twenty years even, according to some of the neighbours! It belonged to a family from Lyon whose son lives in Texas. He still took care of the house.

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

Tell us about your work. What have you done up to now? What do you have left to do?

Stéphanie

The house didn’t need very much work. It was in its original condition and without the modern conveniences for a family. Everything was already there. We took care of the insulation, installed an efficient heating system, created two bathrooms, and had all the electrical wiring redone. The idea was to go back to the original raw materials. The stone of the stairs was painted dark brown, as were the doors. We had the whole thing sandblasted just like the doors. We were able to keep almost all the floors; the former owners walked about without their shoes on so as not to damage them. A great opportunity! The walls were lined for insulation, and we had the mouldings and other woodwork removed to preserve the authenticity of the house. At the time, the living room was deliberately small to keep the heat in. As the house is large, we had half of the ground floor opened up to create a large 60 m² living room. The outside was in a sorry state: nature had taken over again, and brambles had invaded the garden (there more than a hectare to be re-tame!). During the clean-up, we discovered a little house of 60 m² at the bottom of the grounds. I’m a plant lover and I’d really like to create a greenhouse there. This is part of what we still have to do, along with creating a pergola around the swimming pool. In short, in such a big house, there’s always something to do.In fact, I’ve started renovating my shutters: there are 42 pairs to be repainted, I gave myself two years! (Laughs)

What sort of feel did you want to give to your interior?

Stéphanie

I wanted a real family home, warm, bright and welcoming. I wanted it to be the focal point for great parties inside and out! My strongest wish was to preserve the original beauty of the place without spoiling it.

What materials and colours did you use to achieve that?

Stéphanie

All the woodwork was exposed by the sandblasting and we’ve kept as it is today. The stone floors have been cleaned and treated to regain the light, warm colour of the Burgundy stone. I also wanted to add colour to my living room and used an intense peacock blue: it looks wonderful in this huge room. My children’s bedrooms both have a wall painted in the Pantone colour for the year they were born. And the one in my bedroom is darker for a more cosy atmosphere, conducive to rest and relaxation.

What are your favourite brands, the ones we’re likely to find in your home?

Stéphanie

I like to change my decor all the time. So I have fun with objects that come from Maisons du Monde, AMPM or even Casa Shop. For large pieces of furniture, we have been able to keep many family pieces, along with some antiques that have been in our families for several generations. Recently, I’ve been trying to invest more in designer pieces that we will be able to keep and look after. I particularly like the Bauhaus style.

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

My strongest wish was to preserve the original beauty of the place without spoiling it.

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

You love to hunt for treasures. What are your favourite places for this?

Stéphanie

I love the Puces du Canal in Villeurbanne, my online shop – Zwicky Factory – for small objects, Cluny for its antique dealers, and the Sunday garage sales (you can find the calendar on videgrenier.org or brocabrac.fr).

What is the craziest acquisition you have ever made? And how about the one(s) you dream about?

Stéphanie

When I first arrived here, I found a complete stoneware dinner service signed by Lifas Bonifas, a famous artist who was working in the 1920s and 1940s. He worked in stoneware in a very particular colour, celadon grey. Some pieces sell for between €300 and €600. I picked up 24 of them! A real treasure that we use at dinner every day.

For you, The Socialite Family is?

Stéphanie

A genuine source of inspiration. A way of not always seeing the same thing as on Instagram, where the interiors are too smooth for my taste. The Socialite Family is also about traveling to visit other people’s homes without moving from my own. I also really like the “Where to find” part, which is at the bottom of the reports; it helps me to do my shopping or to get sources for some of the objects I spotted in interiors.

Can you share your favourite addresses in Lyon and its surrounding area?

Stéphanie

In Lyon, Food Traboule! The new food court which has just opened. There’s also the Simone Sisters boutique, I really like their selection of furniture and decorative objects. The Terre Adélice ice cream parlour, which will surprise you with its incredible ice cream flavours, made to enjoy in summer and winter. And last but not least L’Œil Vintage, a boutique gallery where you can find some superb Scandinavian sideboards and armchairs.

Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old
Stéphanie Zwicky #1
Stéphanie Zwicky
Stéphanie Zwicky, <br> Lino 7 and Alba 4 years old

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