Thursday, February 26, 2009

The ultimate Provencal Escape

One of my favorite books is called Provencal Escapes. Caroline Clifton-Mogg travels throughout the South of France taking pictures of beautiful homes one can escape to. I wanted to share my favorite home in this book and tell of its history.

This home is a hunting lodge located about an hour away from Aix-en-Provece, France. It sits in a clearing in the middle of an ancient forest in the South of France. It was built in the 17th century and was provided as a hunting lodge for Louis XV; it's called Le Pavillon St. Lambert.

Blahnaid Behan is a British interior designer who restored this home to its former charm. Blahanid had been looking for a house in Provence for some time; she wanted something that would lend itself as "a Project." She came across St Lambert from a local realtor who even told her it was "a ruin." She said, "The first time I went there, I fell in love with the magical situation-in the middle of a valley, far from everywhere except a medieval chateau on the hillside above." All I can say is she did an incredible job! This kitchen is so beautiful with its La cornue oven range, stone sinks and butcher's block. I love the french gray/blue windows and doors; so soft and timeless.

From the kitchen you go into an inner hall that walks into the dining room. I love the huge stone fireplace and the large painted armoire holding beautiful glasses and plates. Notice the beautiful color palette, cream and soft muted greens. All the stone on the floor are local stone flags.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Provence, unique, fascinating, timeless

Provence is unique, fascinating and timeless. This is where the 'The good life' comes easy. I love how enchanting it is in its own intimate charm. Homes are beautifully restored with new surprises reinterpreting its past. Maisons Cote Sud through their books and magazines capture the beauty of Provence. I collect them all!

'These houses reveal harmonious stairways and rooms where the old Provencal way of life under its kings is almost intact. And all that silence, those proportions, those handsome, hidden rooms, suited to a life of study, even idleness, should one choose it, exude order; the wisdom of lives in balance.'
-Andre Saures

I love this room; it looks so cozy even though the floor is terracotta. Linen sofas arranged in a sociable way accentuate the beautiful chandelier suspended in the middle of the room. Eye candy!

Can I just say "PERFECTION!" loving the terracotta. Terracotta, locally in Provence are known as 'malouns.' They are the most popular form of flooring in Provencal houses. They are cool, hardwearing and easy to wash. What is it about linen, it goes with everything! I love how the two balance each other. And those can only dream.

I love the pale matt tones of this room; Gustavian chairs and Provencal sideboards create a restful mood in this perfect sitting room.

These two pictures are a perfect example of how Gustavian and French decor compliment each other. What a cool idea to cover a Swedish Rococo bench, it softens the whole room while at the same time boldly combines past and present. Yum!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Beautiful Mora Clock

Thanks to the peasant people of Dalarna Sweden, we are able to have these beautiful clocks. Between 1750 and 1760, there wasn't sufficient funds to support the growing population. Making these clocks helped support the people during hard winter months around the city of Mora. I'm so grateful some of these clocks withstood the test of time. They make me happy. I WANT ONE!

I love the Gustavian painted chairs surrounding the round French walnut wine-tasting table. By the doorway sits a fun Mora clock. is by far my favorite website for finding Mora clocks or any other Swedish antique. They have a huge warehouse in Atlanta chock full of yummy pieces.

My dream someday is to have a cozy beach home filled with large soft linen sofas and wood tassel light fixtures hanging in every room, oh yes and my Mora clock. These pictures show that Swedish pieces can go anywhere!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What is Gustavain?

Gustavian is a genre of style, named after Sweden's King Gustav III. The style is clean and elegant with neoclassical detailing. The style evolved from the court of Louise XVI and was brought back to Sweden by Gustav III and his architects. I love this look! 18th century French decor can be too extreme in the Rococo arena; a little goes a long way. Mixing these two styles are a perfect fuse between art and nature; they carry tones that not only sooth my soul, but bring balance and peace to a home.