today’s sneak peek belongs to boo and bruno louis of ekobo/ecology & design. based in france, the company designs and manufactures contemporary, sustainable home accessories from bamboo- working exclusively with fair-trade artisan villages in vietnam to handcraft their products. bruno (the [french] founder) and boo (the [american] product/graphic designer) live in the historic center of montpellier, france on the 3rd and last floor of a “hôtel particulier” (or mansion) built in the 18th century with their two little girls. it’s hard to believe the stunning home you see below was a transformation from what was there when they moved in, so be sure to click to see more additional full-sized images here. and, as always, you can check out all the sneak peeks here. [thanks to boo and bruno for transporting us to france today!] -anne
[image above: “I have a deep love for dark grey so we chose to cover one wall with it in our bedroom. The side table on the right is a chinese chest and on the left is a Nepalese box. The painting is a Hollander. Against the white wall is Bruno’s childhood dresser which was handmade in Indonesia in the late-60s. The figurines are also Indonesian.”]
Our salon / dining area is an open format on the opposite side of the kitchen. I had the pillows on the couch made with left-over leather I had — each side is a different color so I flip them around, as well as the art for a change. In the hallway are Binth prints. Above the couch is one of several paintings we have by Gino Hollander. The lacquered poofs (MELLO and Mini MELLO) are also Ekobo.
We found the tall cabinet at a sidewalk sale. It was once a wardrobe from the 70s, but now it holds all my art trinkets. My desk is a former dining table hand-me down and the chair is SKRUVSTA from Ikea. One of my most favorite possessions of all-time is a wash-board menu from a restaurant my parent’s owned in Pinetop, Arizona in the early 70’s — back when dessert cost .50 cents.
The one thing we liked from the previous tenant was the idea of the bench with the long dining table. I fill it with lots of pillows that I interchange – it’s a cozy nook. The painting above it is one of my favorites. It is by Swiss painter (living in Santa Barbara), Jean Nerfin.
In France, nothing but the kitchen sink is standard for a rental. You bring your kitchen and you leave with your kitchen. It was a huge obstacle and expense to have to build a functional kitchen for a place that we didn’t own. The first thing we tackled was covering up the water-heater. Bruno built a case floor to ceiling with an integrated broom closet; such a luxury to hide the mop! We cut and straightened the diagonal counter-top to allow for our appliances, then made the big trip to Ikea for cabinets, counter-tops and shelving. We struggled with the back splash for the new elongated countertop. We didn’t want to hassle with tile so we ending up gluing sheets of imprinted brushed aluminum. It worked well with our appliances and was cheap and easy to apply. Our kitchen deco is a mix of my Grandmother’s vintage pieces (salt and paper shakers and spotted bowls), our own products (lacquered bamboo fruit bowl, vase, knife holder) and wares from Habitat (floral tray, white wine glasses, dish towels). The black cups and saucers and other ceramics are from Vietnam.
My other favorite painting is of our three-year old, Maya, painted by my sister, Colleen Weber. We found the chair Maya’s on sitting out by a garbage bin in Paris. Major find!!