This week, Lyon is the place to be! Florence Bouvier, antique dealer in the puces du canal flea market, is known by one and all. It...
Marine Palayer has set up home in an ancient house at the gateway to Lyon. Her house, with its Italian architecture, has the feel of a Tuscan palazzo and takes us on a slight digression for a little while. Marine fell in love with the place and moved in in next to no time, bringing with her, her furniture, her children and her pack of dogs. Marine is an uncompromising woman who took a gamble by choosing strong pieces and by playing with the nuances as much in the materials as in her choice of furniture. Marine puts her heart and soul into everything she undertakes. With each new business or challenge, Marine is an enthusiast and unceasingly searches for the right piece. When she discovered this sublime place, she wanted to keep it intact, as is. From the terrazzo floor to the door handles, Marine has composed and preserved the spirit of the place. A play around the contrasts and the light giving a living and eclectic furnishing style. Because when it comes to interior design, Marine also likes happy accidents, furniture with a life that can stand up to busy family life. That’s also why one feels so at home there.
I’m 43 and I’m probably the perfect example of the multifaceted generation we’re in. With a passion for the study of behaviour and psychology in both adults and children, I completed a Masters which was very personal since I never actually practiced because I eventually I found I was lacking the vocation and the strength to handle the stories people were going to tell me about. After that, I became head stylist for the cinema, director, fashion and decoration columnist on France Television and on the press. Since 2009 I am a fashion and decoration photographer and artist photographer. And it still isn’t enough to satisfy my hyperactivity and my need to be really useful. So I’m currently working on the launch of a mobile phone application that aims to report stray domestic animals on public roads, to facilitate research for owners and to replace the small “LOST” posters. It will be ready on June 2016.
We visited three years ago but failed to buy the back part of the farmhouse. The apartment in which we live now, was at the time 600m2 and we found it unthinkable for us to live in all that space! As life would have it, the apartment was divided and we were able to purchase the ideal surface for us now. I just absolutely adore this house, it inspires and stimulates me. It could be, I end up staying here forever as their are endless possibilities and improvements we can do here.
How do you envisage a space in terms of decor?
I start with ascertaining the style and personality of the house, my approach is more of a sense of collaboration with the space itself and all that I want to remain, such as the flooring, doors, space, light and so on… I’m not interested in trends or what is deemed to be fashionable at the time, I try as much as possible to respect the existing features and enhance them by fostering complementary, timeless and personal attributes. Then, I create my decor, my stories and my frenzy- sometimes. Nothing is fixed or definitive though. There is such thing as summer decor and winter decor but everything is subject to change in an afternoon by mishap or mood, a new lamp, console table or vase can disperse refreshment. I really try to avoid overwhelming my decor but there are many objects, pictures and books to which I’m attached, so it’s difficult for me to discard them- it’s a problem!
Where do you get your inspiration? In particular for colours ?
It’s the house itself that essentially guided me in my choice of colours. The unlikely green in the kitchen was inspired by the terrazzo flooring. I wanted to find a shade influenced by the flooring that enhanced the sprinkling of khaki, grey, black, pink and white of the terrazzo. After visualising a powdery pastel colour, I decided to open the kitchen into the living room and paint it fully white so the colour in the kitchen would really pop. It is a joyful colour that really makes the difference and that is in harmony with ceiling height, the wood panels and the light. I often say that the house is “knitting” itself. I must admit I also spent a lot of time on Pinterest to refine some of my choices…
Where do you spend most time in your home?
Unquestionably, it has to be the kitchen! It’s the life and soul of the house, our little hub if you will… I cook a lot but it’s also where I like to work. I find myself in there needlessly but I love it!
Do your children give their opinions on the decor?
“Less is more” was the general assessment given by our five year old son. They certainly appreciate my moods and love change as much as I do. Sometimes I’ll ask for their opinion regarding the common areas of the house… In their areas, such as bedrooms and bathrooms, we give the children freedom with their preferences ensuring they are comfortable and happy in places in which they spend the most time. However the design line is drawn when it comes to Frozen wallpaper or posters of famous boxers, it’s incompatible with my desires!
Is there anything missing in your home?
The work in our home is hardly complete so certain surroundings and atmospheres are bound to change. I will be applying some soft colours on the walls in the corridors but I’d say nothing too big is missing in our home… I’m doubtless that we have too much already!
Do you have a bargain or treasured item that you’re particularly proud of?
The kitchen table; it was bought it at the Puces du Canal at least ten years ago and I still love it. It was the workshop table in an old sewing shop. It’s practical, festive and huge so I’m not ready to change it any time soon.
Your definition of poor taste?
Imitation and duplication of a showroom, shop window or interior image! I like a house to evoke warmth, individuality and spirit so a home that’s rigid and conforming to something is rather boring for me. I love mixing, recycling and shifting pieces to create a personal ambiance.
What are your go-to addresses for decor in Lyon?
I regularly frequent the Puces du Canal and various other flea markets / car boot sales looking for pieces that provide our home with a sense of soul, I like it to be a reflection of our taste and not carbon-copy of a magazine photograph etc. My usual haunts are places I’ve been to several times and to which I am faithful. Bisson-Bruneel is a brand I really resonate with, it coincides with my definition of chic, simplicity and timelessness. I’m a fan of their contemporary fabrics, especially the wools and linens. Equally, I adore Boutique Maison Hand for everything; lighting, rugs, fabrics, fixtures, furniture and accessories. It’s faultless in its curation! For specific and special pieces I look to Galerie Nathalie Rives on Place Gailleton. it’s a beautiful space devoted to bespoke and exclusive design. Nathalie is an interior stylist with an eye for the extraordinary. Scandinavian shop Hyggelig on Rue Auguste Comte also has wonderful things and the website Les Enfants du Design is great too.
2-3 restaurant addresses you’d recommend?
La Cantine du Village in Saint-Didier-au-Mont-d’Or, the produce is aways so fresh and cooked with love. The finished plates are served with generosity- the portion of steak tartare and fries is rather bonkers! Là-Haut sur la Colline , again in Mont-d’Or has a charming ambiance and the menu is right up there with the best of the bunch. Finally, Gang Nam, on Rue Thomassin in the 2nd arrondissement, is consistently delicious.
Crédits photo : Constance Gennari