Belgian-born Birgitte De Paepe describes her Instagram feed @zebodeko in five words: Everchanging Badass Bohemian Jungle Fairyland. There you’ll find jaw-dropping images of her magical fifty-year-old home, located in a small village in the south of France and bordered by the forest. After moving in over a decade ago, De Paepe renovated the house from floor to roof, keeping only the old doors. “The garage became the living room,” she says, “the former kitchen and living room became bedrooms, and a new kitchen was added in an extension.” She also added a swimming pool and built a terrace around the existing trees because she didn’t want to cut them. The house is filled with her thrifted treasures, her woven wall hangings, and tons and tons (and tons) of plants. “I love to create things and nature is my inspiration,” she says. “I constantly change and move things around the house.” She’s also constantly dragging home pieces of wood from the forest and the beach and is known to abruptly pull over in her car to cut palm leaves or pampas grass along the road.
Her tips? “Follow your own tastes—not trends—and create what you dream about. Don’t be afraid to use colors or to go for ‘more is more’ in spaces where you’re just passing. Be brave, be crazy, be unconventional, create fantasy, and listen to your heart! Never doubt yourself! Can you do it yourself ? Yes, you can!”