seems like a dream
getting a call to decorate a client’s house in the south of france was truly a dream come true. it whizzing by undocumented (we had no internet and i only took a few pics), makes it seem surreal. but having no technology (no tv either) was a great way for us to get to know each other and become completely immersed in the project, work hard and get it done. this was ‘my‘ room and waking up to the mountains and mediterranean sea was sheer bliss!
but real it was! i finally had the energy to go thru the shots put a little recap together now that i’m back at home.
truth is started in the states with the prep (liz prepped me, my bff and personal stylist, putting together a grown up-Garanimals packing system that took getting dressed out of the equation so we could focus our 6 days fully on finding furniture). we studied websites, brocante listings and books like exploring the flea markets of france by sandy price. we put together an itinerary so we’d have two or 3 options of markets and/or regions to visit each day along the coast.
arriving at the apartment in the early afternoon was perfect. we took measurements and hit the road. the only thing in it was a table and chairs left by the previous owners that we decided to donate.
not having much time to sight see i just held my camera out the car window and snapped random shots. it’s only looking at them now that i really notice the details.
nice is a port city with an old and new quarter. but whatever the district, the underlying theme is vibrant color and creating an space to enjoy at the sea.
the balconies, windows and shutters were all so beautiful, vibrant and well used.
intertwined with the new was the old…and the ancient! it was inconceivable how many stones and bricks were stacked on top of the other for thousands of years by this group then that before finally becoming the cote d’azur as it’s known today.
looking thru the pics and zooming in showed some closeups of the lifestyle of the locals.
casual, minimal, very french, doing a lot with not a lot of space.
with italian influences everywhere (they were the last ones to have it before france).
our first stop was right in the heart of town, the puces de nice, a fantastic resource that’s open everyday.
i immediately started getting a feel for the region, it’s such different furniture than you’d want in paris.
in fact anything that was even a little gilded looked uber gaudy and overdone. it was all about simplicity, still keeping with french furniture styles and silhouettes.
we scoured this little market and its alleys and chose these chairs in the first hour. they set the tone and we knew that if we both loved something it was probably right.
we found some linen and had the chairs dropped off at the dealer’s cousin’s upholstery shop down the rue. after the puces, we explored the nice proper which is just around the corner. nice is known for having 100 antique stores scattered throughout a maze of streets, in alleys, garages and along old aquaducts. we grabbed a local map and hit the roads one by one.
some were high end, others were not too chi chi and we talked with dealers who led us to their warehouses and basements.
everyone was easy to work with and delivered the furniture either the same day or the next. we found a chic black lacquer chest that went perfectly in the master bedroom.
(at the shop)
(at the apartment)
last but not least, it was here we found a harvest table she could use as a work space and dining table.
along the way we found an antiques collective that had great, affordable stuff indoors and out. one dealer had a lot of what we liked and we started to imagine it all coming together.
we were kind of sticking with neutrals but both really liked this red chest to hold the printer and act as a sort of tech headquarters.
we ended up with the above chinoiserie desk, the cocktail table, small chairs and little chest. (he threw in the little silver lamp on the left with the perfect linen shade).
the little chest was too small between the beds in the guest room so we created a nook outside the master and found an early bamboo mirror to go above it.
there were a couple brocantes going in antibes that day and even though we got there late there was still plenty to be found.
we fell love with a vitrine for the kitchen painted in we affectionately call ‘grayish greenish blue’.
we found a ton of dishes for just a few euros. we didn’t mind they weren’t washed and took them home, basket and all!
the dishwasher was broken and we washed them 3x by hand before they were clean.
at the same market we these found two black wood folding chairs for the balcony (below) and a little marble top cafe table. from then on we ate every meal outside.
we also picked up the little wooden vanity peeking out behind the chairs for the guest room. everyone bent over backwards to find keys to fit the locks and even fitted them with little tassels for us.
we had picked up these chairs for the balcony in the early morning and found linen to make cushions. once they got to the house though, we ended up loving them in the bay window in what we lovingly called the party area.
even with everything the place still looked bare! luckily there’s a sofa, large vitrine and headboards on the way as well as the rug, artwork and more mirrors to reflect the sea. maybe one day i’ll see it all put together!
in the meantime, the next day was another brocante out by st. tropez in grimaud. it was a pretty market in the woods.
we found mirrors, (the standing hall mirror that was once an armoire door), pottery and linens.
the last day came way too quick. our final market was back in nice and we could finally put some finishing touches in place.
not sure how many days we shopped but by the last day we were ready for some details, knowing most of the big stuff was done. we picked up some books and this little statue and stated creating vignettes.
next time i’ll be sure to shoot it all, true beginning, middle and end. for now i hope you enjoyed this little jaunt and i’ll hopefully get more pics as this place develops!
for now i have sweet memories, made a dear friend and have a new place that i can obsess over! it got dark real quick over here so if i’m going to have anything left of this saturday night i best jet! have a great weekend darling friends!