Let's head to Paris, France where Sandrine shows us around her family's home.
Come on inside ...
Sandrine, tell us a little about your family and your home.
I live with my husband Thomas, our two children, Maya, 15 years, Felix, 11 years, and our two cats, Mouta and Pompon. We live in an apartment in Paris. It has three bedrooms, a large kitchen/living room, and an office. We had the chance to buy the apartment with a completely open floor plan and drew up the layout ourselves.
Maya snuggles with Pompon
Pompon -- is it me or are French cats cuter than American ones?
How do you approach decorating in your home? What's the most important thing?
I like very simple decor, warm and friendly. I need to live in a relaxing atmosphere, which is why I also like the house to be tidy. It's not always easy with two children who leave all sorts of things in their paths and two cats who lose their hair ... but we try ...
We chose to paint everything white and to provide splashes of color through textiles like fabric cushions and throws on the beds. I also like natural substances like wood and straw. I style and photograph all the pictures for my shop Neëst in my home, so it's necessary that the decor is neutral enough so that the products stand out.
A peep into the bedroom
The pretty master bedroomYou have two kids. How does their STUFF influence the look and feel of your home?
Yes, I have influenced my children, that's for sure. They are sensitive to home decor, but they have their own tastes. Someday Maya wants to live in a small apartment with many objects, vintage furniture, and floral wallpaper. Felix loves a very simple, zen ambiance. His taste is much more orderly than his sister's.
Felix gets zen in his bedroomIn which room in your home does your family congregate most often?
The main room, which is altogether our kitchen, lounge, bike storage room, and a playground for the cats. This is the place where we try to spend time together talking and exchanging ideas. It's where we eat the delicious meals that Thomas prepares us. The children often do their homework here. We like to read in the lounge. Maya loves to make cakes like her head chef father.
Thomas, the husband, dad, and chef
The kitchen tableGreat design can be expensive. How do you get the most bang for your buck?
I am fortunate to have a very good handyman husband. He has built almost everything at home -- the furniture in the kitchen, the closets, the shelves, my desk, the bathroom cabinetry. For our closets, we used inexpensive IKEA wardrobes, and Thomas covered them with wood. I like the idea of not spending too much money but being inventive.
If I am going to really spend money, I think about the purchase a lot before buying, and I choose a timeless piece that I'll keep a long time.
Tell us about a DIY project you have taken on recently and love.
The last really cool project Thomas completed was the glass wall built to separate my office space from the rest of the apartment -- because it became crowded with the creation of the shop. The wall is made entirely of wood and glass, and we love it very much. We were afraid that the wall might make the room seem smaller. Well, not at all! It seems much bigger than before!
The DIY glass wall into the officeYou are a shop owner and a blogger. Do you have a room or space of your own?
Now that I have my office, it's very convenient. I can store so many objects in there. Of course, I store my Neëst items everywhere in the house. There are some items in my room and in Maya's. I think I might attack Félix's bedroom soon. Thankfully, they are all very lenient with me.
Wonderful shop goods line the shelves
Shop goods spill into the loungeWhat is your most important everyday ritual at home?
Tea! A day does not go by without us taking a little tea break when my husband comes home from the restaurant (around 16:00!).
Tea time!In your home, what is one indulgence you give into?
I buy flowers every week! It's a habit I inherited from my grandmother who I adored. I've never seen her house without flowers.
We also love good food and drink in this family. I never buy ready meals, but I buy good organic vegetables that we cook ourselves. I make good soup, good vegetable pies (my son says I am the champion of pies!). We also prepare good homemade applesauce with cinnamon. I make chocolate mousse. I don't buy at the supermarket dessert custard. It takes time, but it is very important to me.
The flowers of the weekWhat are your favorite stores to shop for home ?
I buy many accessories from IKEA and MUJI. For chairs, armchairs, and the sofa, I shopped eBay (shops like Velvet-Point), flea markets, and sales. On the web, I'm also a fan of Analogue Life in Japan and Labour and Wait and Baileys Home and Garden in England.
Mouta and PomponWhat Home & Garden blogs or websites inspire you the most?
I regularly watch Remodelista, Spoon & Tamago, and 3191 Miles Apart. All three are very different but complementary for me. Also in this moment, I have a weakness for the Finland blogs prettygingham, chocolate circus, and via.
That's funny, Sandrine, because I have a weakness for Neëst. And now I have a weakness for your pretty home. Thanks so much for the drool-worthy tour. See more from Sandrine Pigeon by visiting her shop Neëst or her lovely blog Hello Neëst.
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