Lionel and marie’s home truths
OUR HOME IS... A 160m2 house with some land, which we bought 12 years ago and share with our three children, Lison, Ruben and Thelma. We extended the original 1970’s building using a few eco ideas.
BECOMING PARENTS MADE US MORE ECO-AWARE... You look at your children and ask yourself: ‘What will the future be for them?’ Now we collect rainwater, use our food waste to raise chickens, and Marie has a vegetable patch in the garden. The food we grow does taste better – maybe because it has her heart in it. (See the family’s growing ideas here)
A SOCIABLE KITCHEN SET-UP
An open kitchen makes it easy to spend time together. ‘Ours is laid out so everyone can join in – whether that’s cooking or chatting to the chef,’ says Marie.
HACK YOUR STORAGE
Lionel turned his sideboard into an open display by replacing the door panels with chicken wire. ‘I’m happy with the result – it’s rustic, to suit our lifestyle,’ he says.
HIDE EVERYDAY CLUTTER
Use textiles to disguise what you don’t always want on show. ‘Adding curtains to our cleaning cupboard means we can screen it from view at mealtimes,’ says Lionel.
‘Our big map hangs in the hallway. We use it to talk about places we’ve visited and places in the news – the kids learn to understand different people and not to be afraid of difference’
Lionel, environmental manager, France
Our room for living
‘We didn’t design our living room around the TV,’ says Marie. ‘We don’t have one! We prefer watching movies together on a projector, which feels special. The sofa is a daybed, so guests can sleep over. And there’s always a book to hand to make you feel at home.’
‘Our bedroom is made for our way of life, rather than to look magazine-perfect. An inviting bed, a place to put the books we’re reading and some meaningful pictures are all we need’
Refresh open clothes storage
‘In our small bedroom, leaving the doors off the wardrobe means we have more free floorspace around the bed,’ says Marie. ‘The curtains were a recent update – they brighten up the room and we can easily cover up our clothes storage if things get on the messy side.’
A teen den for work and play
‘As a family we like to be connected, but we also appreciate having our own space. Lison is in her teenage years and it’s important that she has a space of her own, somewhere to be herself and develop in her own way,’ says Lionel. ‘Her bedroom is split over two floors. Below, we’ve created a kind of studio space, where Lison can work, be with her friends and do her hobbies; upstairs, the space is kept for sleep.’
A room for all seasons
‘We don’t get much rain here, so we can spend a lot of time outside,’ says Marie. ‘Lionel built a covered veranda and we turned it into a living room. We added all the things you’d find indoors, plus a few extras, so the space can have lots of uses. In winter, we drink tea here, in spring we pot plants, and in summer we play, relax and party here.’
‘Our outdoor living-room is our favourite place. Being together here is where we are happiest’
A home to keep us connected
‘We love that our home is arranged mostly on one floor,’ says Lionel. ‘It keeps us close to each other and within easy access of the outdoors. The large, open living space is great for parties too!’
Photography: Christina Bull
Styling: Ashlyn Gibson