Coming Home to Nature: The French Art of Countryfication
The call of the wild has never looked as stylish as in these homes nestled in the French countryside, crafted by families pursuing a new form of country living.
A manor next to an elegant seventeenth-century castle in a picturesque village, a restored four-hundred-year-old windmill, or a ruin in the Barbizon forest transformed into a contemporary timber house—our trio of authors saw the potential in these rural homes and took the leap into a life rhythmed by nature. But how did these urban dwellers step away from the glamour of Paris, and why haven’t they looked back?
A calmer life enriched by its surroundings, with more space at home, a burgeoning garden, and a relaxed ambiance is a seductive combination. But a country house is different from a cozy apartment, just steps from modern conveniences. In their search for a deeper experience, they embarked on a long-term project that required planning and effort, but it brought unexpected joy along with the challenges.
Life in the countryside takes adjustment and there is much to be learned—from furnishing and organizing your home to getting the most from nature and your garden, and from dressing to suit your new setting to hosting relaxed soirées where you’ll linger over dinner with your guests. This is the art of countryfication. Alongside portraits of similar-minded individuals and families who have adopted country living, this book provides insight, practical advice, and recipes that celebrate life in the countryside, all while retaining a Parisian flair.
Praise for Coming Home to Nature: The French Art of Countryfication
"We look to the French to guide us on the latest trends—from layering mirrors to Baroque mantels for way less. So it’s no wonder they were early adopters of abandoning busy cities for the calmer countryside, long before the pandemic spurred a mass exodus in the U.S. In a new book, Coming Home to Nature: The French Art of Countryfication, authors Gesa Hansen, Estelle Marandon, and Charlotte Huguet interview a handful of transplants on why they left the City of Light—and why they haven’t looked back. In an excerpt, below, a different Charlotte (this one a lifelong Parisian) and her partner, Emiliano (from the hills of Tuscany), admit their fair share of hesitation over moving into the “near ruin” structure they now call home, about an hour outside the city. And for urbanites who haven’t taken the leap just yet, read on for eight crucial questions the authors suggest you ask yourself before you do." —DOMINO