Painting away the crisis


Nathalie Lété, the famous French artist who collaborated with over 50 brands like Gucci, Monoprix, Astier de Vilates and Medicom Toy Japan, recently bought a house south of Paris, near the Fontainebleau forest. It is about an hour traveling by train from her Parisian home and studio. The house, her hideaway during lockdown, was her inspirational blank canvas. Today it is filled to the brim with her imaginative murals.

Maison Suzanne

Maison Suzanne. This is the name of Nathalie Lété’s house in the French countryside, is vastly becoming her biggest canvas. She constantly keeps adding to it. Lété and her artist husband Thomas Fougeirol bought the three-bedroom 1830s stone house situated in a little village along the river Loing near the Fontainebleau forest only three years ago.

Nathalie decided to call the house Maison Suzanne, after the previous owner - a 103-year-old lady who bought the house when she was about the same age as Nathalie. With the help of an architect friend, Lété decided to refurbish the house. A year was spent renovating; knocking down walls, enlarging windows, creating an ensuite and replacing a stone floor with Nathalie’s own cement tiles, designed for Belgian brand Emery et Cie. Walls, staircases, floors and even some of the furniture were painted in solid white. A refreshing white canvas was the starting point for Nathalie to work her magic. She wanted to create a very personal world by painting murals and including her bespoke rugs, lamps, cushions, baskets, blankets, stool and even some ceramics by her daughter;
ceramist, artist and model Angèle Fougeirol. Her wonderful ceramic details can be found in the living room, Lété’s bedroom and around the door frames.

Escaping reality 

For the past two years Nathalie and Thomas spent weekends there. Every Saturday and Sunday Nathalie would patiently add more and more details making the rooms feel truly special. All that changed with Covid 19, when the couple decided to spend the first lockdown in their summer house. It was an
exceptionally stressful time, painting proved an excellent way for Lété to block out the world outside and concentrate on her art. She found a perfect creative way to escape reality temporarily.

Motifs and colours brought instant happiness to her and her family. She transformed the entire house into a secret garden painting blossoms and foliage on steps, walls, window frames and almost every white space she could find. Nathalie Lété’s work is inspired by the Canadian artist Maud Lewis and the Bloomsbury Group’s Charleston Farmhouse in the U.K.

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Luxury hotel

She has great fondness for the street art in Tangier and fell in love with the folk art decorated houses in Zapilie, Poland. Her favourite rooms in Maison Suzanne are the bedroom and the kitchen. She loves the filtered sunlight that lights her romantic bedroom. It is ‘ensuite, a bit like a luxury hotel’ says Nathalie. While cooking in the kitchen she enjoys to be surrounded by many of the objects she created over the years.

Nathalie does not really plan her murals, she just follows her inspiration. She chose to decorate with blossoms and vegetables as she wanted to enhance the impression as if the garden made its way inside. Favourites are green and pink - but there is no planning. If she does not like it, she takes up the white brush to covers it up in wallpaint and start all over again. No stress!

The second floor is still awaiting Natalie’s brush. Next to the house she plans to build a big photostudio to capture her products in a (probably) highly artistic fashion.