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This Cozy Home In The Forests Of France Is Natural Design At Its Best

Emma Loewe
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
blue sofa in cozy living room
Image by mbg Creative/ @frenchyfancy
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When interior decorator Céline Alata (@FrenchyFancy) returns home to the country from the hustle and bustle of nearby Bordeaux, she wants to feel enveloped by the surrounding forest. This sense of retreat is clear throughout her cozy space, which is dotted with unexpected relics from the natural world beyond. Here's how Céline, her partner, and her two sons have crafted a home that feels nourishing, adventurous, and worldly—while still staying plenty practical.

warm living room with plants and sculptural lighting
Image by @frenchyfancy / mbg Creative

What are three words that describe your design philosophy at home?

My philosophy when it comes to interior design is all about well-being, harmony, and practicality. I like it when everyone in our family feels good: Spaces should be pleasant for us adults but also for our children. It's all about finding the right balance between beauty, practicality, and individual desires. It's not always easy!

What's the oldest thing in your home? Newest?

The oldest object in our house is a mirror whose lines are inspired by the work of Gio Ponti. I found it on eBay, and I'm a big fan! The most recent object is our lacquered wood lamp from CFOC, a brand I've loved for years.

warm wood tones in bedroom
Image by @frenchyfancy / mbg Creative

What noises can be heard in your home? What smells are there?

Our house is surrounded by forest. Every morning, when I open our bedroom window, I take in trees as far as the eye can see and feel the humidity and freshness of the wood. The birds sing (sometimes very early in the morning!), and it's truly blissful.

What's the most sentimental thing in your home, and what's the story behind it?

The most sentimental object I own is an African mask made of bronze and malachite. When I was little, my dad worked in Africa and brought it back from one of his many trips. I grew up with this mask, and I'm very attached to it.

cozy bedroom with dark woods and finishes
Image by @frenchyfancy / mbg Creative

What's the best compliment you've ever received on your space?

People often tell me that our home is a reflection of us. And that's just fine! We find our favorite objects, books, lots of books, and things that are a little original because I'm fascinated by cabinets of curiosities. In the end, it's a delightful blend of our four personalities.

Does your home change at all from one season to another? If so, what changes are you making as we head into fall?

I do love the way the seasons influence our interiors. In autumn, warm plaids make a comeback. I prefer linens in muted, earthy hues like khaki. Candles are here and there, and my sons add the finishing touches by bringing in pine cones, branches, and dead leaves!

cozy reading area with tea spread
Image by @frenchyfancy / mbg Creative

How does your home promote your health and well-being? What does the word "home" mean to you?

My home has a lot to do with our well-being. In fact, when we're a bit overwhelmed, and the house is a real mess, I can see that all four of us are really upset! I like lively interiors, but I also need a certain rigor to feel good and calm. For me, the term "home" is really synonymous with our family. It's a refuge for each of us as individuals but also for the four of us together.

Recreate the look

a graphic showing how to recreate the look of a cozy home
Image by mbg Creative / @frenchyfancy
Emma Loewe author page.
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.