this would be the lovely little slice of heaven belonging to a friend of mine who was gracious enough to extend an invitation to me for a visit- its a beautiful little house tucked away on a hillside above the town of giens – a perfect spot to relax and not have to use my brain for a bit – but i did get to exercise my eyes! besides the breathtaking view- the house was lovely and has a collection of things that sparked the idea roller coaster –
the color of this door is so amazing, a deep tealish, its the color of the mediterranean and has a definite nautical influence. it wouldn’t be the first color i would think of for a beach house and yet its perfect and sophisticated. i also love the way its complimentary to the terracotta tiles – so great!
this is part of the living area – its got that super casual sweep-out feel that i think is a necessity in making a beach house feel relaxing and uncomplicated and yet through a bit of accent color, furniture and light fixtures is updated and modern, all of which is pretty impressive seeing as this home was decorated 30 years ago!
don’t you just love this pendant light – i’m still working on trying to find out who makes it but it totally reminds me of the poul henningsen light from elisabeth dunker’s kitchen
? and its a bit unexpected for a beach house but is still airy and light. one of the things i always admire in french homes is the wonderful use of tile, decorative and otherwise, but it always looks casual and sophisticated at the same time. these floors aren’t any exception – simple terracotta tiles with a unique shape running throughout the house becomes the neutral backdrop that unites all of the other elements of the decor.
and this chair! actually there is a pair of them in the room – i love it! its not light, white or neutral -again things i expect in a beach house – not that there is anything wrong with this – i just love the unexpectedness of this dark black – its such a strong element and another thing i love, the seat as the same color of the inside of that front door (remember its teal on the outside) and the rounded window in the background – again unexpected but uniting elements!!
on to my usual favorite room in any house – the kitchen! this one is no exception – again tiles! and the cabinets are all painted with white enamel paint and have red formica counter top!! totally great!!
below are just a few other spots in the house that i found myself drawn to – enjoy!!
there were a few of these fabulous glass lamps around the house – i love how simple they are – anyone have any suggestions for finding something similar state-side?
hummm where to start really – i decided that traveling for me is like yoga -not only do i love the experience and the people i get to encounter but it forces the stretch of every part of my body, places i didn’t know i had (metaphorically speaking of course except for flying, the older i get the more it actually hurts) while remaining mentally calm and still – breathing it all in deep from within. “dont miss it”, “dont take your eyes off it”, “remain aware”, “remain open” – yoga.
so again where to start? well, from the end of course. on my last day in france i had to drive from the teeny tiny village of chapsal up to paris – on the way up i remained open, aware and tried not to miss it – this mantra lead me about 20 miles off the highway – and into the beautiful, stunning, breathtaking town of bourges–
this is a very old and culturally centered city – at one time it was even the center for alchemy!!
i parked down at the bottom of the hill from the city center and walked up – the architecture and roof lines on the way up were simply stunning
i love this sign – apparently the city is known for having timber made houses, in fact it has a whole district of them which unfortunately i missed but perhaps that influence explains this awesome sign –
and how did i find this town your asking?? well they have a beacon off the highway also know as the gothic cathedral of saint etienne, an unesco world heritage site, and with out a doubt the most beautiful thing i have ever laid my little eyes on – construction on this cathedral was begun at the end of the 12th century and completed in the 13th. it is considered the earliest example of the high gothic style.
i was obsessed with the way the light was coming through this green glass window –
so this town is just one of those places that keeps getting better like a frosted chocolate molten cake! with each bite you get to something even better than what you just thought couldn’t get any better!!
so outside of this crazy beautiful cathedral is a breathtaking formal garden –
the way they mix plants, colors, flowers and textures together seems perhaps haphazard but all together sums up to be soulfully good – they included grasses, inpatients and coleus with things of more formality like rose and boxwood topiary
i sorta stalked this old couple as they walked among the garden at sunset, they were arm and arm just walking along enjoying the flowers. another total fantasy happening here – before i got to the cathedral or the garden – i came upon a little park area where there was live music emanating out form an iron framed gazebo while people of all ages danced and laughed an enjoyed themselves on the lovely summer evening –
its nice to see communities using public spaces which have been important to the towns for generations – so romantic
last weekend i had a wonderful friend in town and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves galavanting around napa and the city of sf i must say – its always so much fun to show someone your home who has never been there before – and tonight i am off to visit another dear friend at her home in france – i can not wait – i know the conversations will be as warm as the weather and it will be nice to relax – below is a photo of our picnic from pineridge winery in napa and what i anticipate my upcoming week to be filled with – i just keep pinching myself!!
i will be doing lots of work while i am there for the blog and hopefully will have a few treasures to bring back for the shop too!
Cheers! see you in a week