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It could only be in a dream that I thought I would be involved with the design of a project in the South of France. My clients are from the Chicagoland area with a home I had already helped design, so it was fortuitous that we could work together once again on such a unique and special project. There were two parts to this project. Phase one was to renovate the existing building with new flooring, kitchen and bath cabinets, counters, tile, paint and new staircases. Phase two involved space-planning, fabrics, furniture and accessories.
Initially I sent a contractor there, after my clients interviewed him, to field-measure and assess the project. He also took many photos, video and measurements. I was able to select all the hard surfaces and materials for construction. Our contractor would work with a local group of artisans and also do some of the work with an assistant during a three-month period. Following that, local artisans helped with the completion of phase one. All of the materials for both construction and furnishings were collected in a container and shipped together to the Marseille port, and stored locally until delivery was possible.
The color palette chosen was soft aqua blue and sea foam green with caramel and butter tones. The furnishings were traditional with a mix of country French and mixed vintage pieces. I had the opportunity to visit Paris during this time and found the pricing to be quite high, so we decided to do our “flea market” shopping in the local antique and consignment stores located in LaGrange. We had so much fun selecting some vintage pieces. I had my faux artist refurbish with paint and glaze items like the table next to the fireplace, the desk in the master bedroom, and the birdcage in the loft along with the vintage French chairs. They were not authentic French pieces from France, but they added to the charm and ambience of the home.
One of my favorite aspects of this project was accessorizing some of the final pieces with great “finds” from local French shops. This was done when I went to visit the project after everything was delivered. I especially enjoyed finding old leather books to prop up the lovely original oil on the fireplace. I also love the unusual stone end table next to the living room sofa. All in all this was a memorable experience and I can honestly say my clients were thrilled with the results as well as myself – C’est magnifique!