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Adeline Maillet does not fit into any box. And that’s a good thing! In her lifestyle and her work, but also in what she says, the interior designer-window dresser is unique and at the same time… multi-faceted. Like the passing seasons that she can observe from her “contemporary country house”, a very attractive building enveloped by large picture windows, inspired by the traditional construction of farm hangars. This eco-home, built entirely from wood with the help of the architects Stéphanie and Damien Gallet, is a declaration of love for the nature that surrounds it. Nature that the family lives with. That is their neighbour. Their best friend. For which the designer’s husband pulls out all the stops, every day. All year round. For in 2007, after years of urban living in Lyon, Florent decided to take over the reins of the family farm. After lots of coming and going, sharing their time between the city and the country, Adeline, Melville and Ninon decided in turn to join him. For good. For the last 4 years the extensive, natural meadows surrounding the house have for them been the equivalent of other’s photos on walls. As for their playmates, they are different… touchingly so. Furred, feathered or with big ears: a happy menagerie that the children have the chance not only to name, but to really feel! A privilege of which Adeline is fully aware; her condition has helped her learn to concentrate on what is essential. Enough to feed her imagination, already full of mischievous and poetic ideas, for a long time to come. A lesson in life, soothed by the elements.
Adeline, can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m an interior design photo stylist for different brands. I live with Florent and our two children, Melville 11 years old and Ninon 7 years old, near Lyon.
How long have you been living here, in the heart of the countryside? Why did you return to the land?
We settled down here nearly four years ago. We’d been mulling it over for a long time. After more than ten years in town, Florent decided to take over the family farm in 2007. For him it was a historical necessity and for me a natural desire. From then on, I had one foot in town during the week for my work and the other in the country at the weekends. And then, one day in 2013, a few months after the birth of our daughter Ninon, we decided to take the plunge.
Tell us the story of this house. Was it you who designed it? Who built it?
Once we were ready to live here, we designed a home that was simple, understated and on a human scale. We called upon Stéphanie and Damien Gallet. They are an architect couple who work mainly on eco-housing projects. We designed the house to be in harmony with its environment. The view from inside was just as important to us as the layout and decoration. We had to find a balance and a connection between the landscape and the architecture. For three years, we sought harmony between our way of life and nature to savour its benefits. Living here is a kind of privilege!
What makes it so special?
Wood is the primary material in the house. Inside, it dresses the walls and ceilings in the form of poplar panels. On the outside, openwork slats meet between the facades and the roof. Two other traditional materials from farm buildings are also used: corrugated iron on the gables, and polycarbonate, which covers our terrace. We were inspired by the uncomplicated shape of the livestock sheds and the way they are integrated into the landscape We wanted to keep the heart and soul of the place. In the age of connected houses, our one goal here was simply to reconnect with nature.
How did you furnish and accessorise it to make it less “austere”?
We’ve picked up most of the objects and furniture second-hand. There are also a few family pieces and some more designer and contemporary elements. We take our time finding them. We hunt to our hearts’ content. In the central room we have kept these wood tones in the decorative elements to have this soft and timeless side. The touches of colour are brought in by the wild meadows nearby, nature as it changes through the seasons and the bright light that floods in through the bay windows. We envisaged our home as a contemporary version of a country house.
Where, in Lyon or elsewhere, are you sure you will always leave with a beautiful piece for your home?
We hunt a lot in garage sales and flea markets in the surrounding area. The Canal flea markets are a must, of course. There’s also the boutique gallery, L’Oeil Vintage, Hyggelig, Floriane et Mathieu’s boutique, for the more Scandinavian side and the magnificent pieces in the Galerie du Désordre.
What influence does your environment have on your work as a stylist/decorator?
Living in this environment teaches us to focus on the essential and ultimately guides us to the obvious. Consume less, consume better, live outdoors, experience simpler and more instinctive things quite simply. Beneath this plot of land and this house there are also deep emotional roots. It influences my profession and gives me my vision of the world.
Which is your favourite season, living here?
Winter and spring! Winter spent by the fire in the house is certainly the time when you have the most fun of all. Spring is the time for welcoming friends outside, the return to the garden and its tools, the pleasure of a new wave that won’t overwhelm us but will continue to rock us.
For you, The Socialite Family is… ?
Colourful and varied portraits. A wonderful source of inspiration!
Which piece from our collection would fit your interior?
The Achille chair. I like its line, contemporary and a bit rustic at the same time, simple but with character.
Off the top of your head, which addresses would you recommend to our community?
A good coffee at Mokxa, and the always excellent lunches at the Kitchen Café or the bowls at Marza food. And to top it off, a little visit to the contemporary photo gallery, Le Réverbère!
Photography: Eve Campestrini – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily
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