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Interiorssneak peeks

A jewelry maker’s home in Provence filled with art, books and silk ribbons

by Amy Azzarito

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In the small hilltop village of Lacoste in Provence, France, Ruth Ribeaucourt creates some of the most exquisite jewelry I’ve ever seen. Ruth grew up in Ireland and started making jewelry when her father gifted her a toolbox filled with beads on her 10th birthday. Her father, a dentist, was an amateur jewelry maker and would drive Ruth around to scavenge at local industrial sites, and she would transform found computer circuit-boards into beads. In 2007, Ruth became engaged to a French man and as an engagement present, his grandparents presented her with a collection of antique ribbons. Unbeknownst to her at the time, she was marrying into a celebrated French silk family.  A wedding and two babies later, the couple made the move from Ireland to Lacoste, France. At one family Christmas, Ruth came across a box of breath-taking antique ribbon echantillons, small sumptious treasures, some that had been created over 120 years ago in the family’s silk factory, Les Freres Faure (now operating as Julien Faure). Where others might have closed the box and moved on, Ruth was inspired by these miniature works of art to create something that could be enjoyed today. (See her atelier here) She began collecting echantillons and passementerie trims (dating from late 19th to mid 20th century), from the family archives and crafting one-of-a-kind handmade jewellery pieces.  She combines these turn-of-the-century ribbons, heavily laden with gold thread and silk, with Swarovski crystals embellishments to create beautiful, contemporary pieces with a touch of old-school glamour. (Just last week, Ruth launched a new line of cuffs using silk from the ’20s).  After years of renting in Ireland (where fully furnished rentals are the norm), the couple moved to France with very little in the way of furniture. They’ve slowly been furnishing their home with antique finds from local brocantes, car boot sales (vide greniers) and mixing it with family heirlooms. Ruth grew up in a house filled with art and she is trying to recreate the feeling of a home filled with art and books for her children. Luckily, the village is also the European base for the Savannah College of Art & Design and the family supports the SCAD Lacoste students by buying at least one piece at each end of term exhibition.  Thanks Ruth, Raphael, Louis,  and Charlotte! And a big thank you to Emily Detrick for the lovely photographs –Amy 

Image above: In the living room, the large oil painting is by U.S. artist Kimberly Bates. To left, two smaller female nudes by  artist Ben Readman, red papercut print just out of shot to right is an early Rob Ryan. Rug and Various cushions Ikea, Sofa Parker Knoll. On unit to left of photograph is book collection of Coralie Bickford Smith Penguin classics.

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Image above: Antique Glass dome with collection of antique gold passementerie trims from my family archives. Two antique ribbon collages created by me using the family ribbons set within antique French letterpress frames.

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See more of Ruth’s home in Provence, France after the jump!

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Image above: My favorite corner of the house, an antique ‘Secretaire’ desk that I bought for a song in a brocante. Above the desk, a treasured portrait of my son Louis by Michael Porten (SCAD). Antique Memory Boxes house my precious passementerie collections. Vintage Eames chair picked up on eBay.

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Image above: The Coralie Bickford Smiths F. Scott Fitzgerald book collaboration inspired some of my jewellery designs. Cuff and antique gold passementerie bracelets from my collection.

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Image above: Color-coded books

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Image above: Coralie Bickford Smiths Penguin classics book collaboration, Louis’s playmobil Pirates and an antique toy car found at a vide grenier.

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Image above: Louis and Charlotte in their favourite reading chair, a Flea market find armchair repainted blue and cushions recovered in African batik. Portrait wall behind Louis with art collected from France, Ireland and Mexico.

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Image above: Dining table from Ruth’s family home. Two paintings by Sujay Shah (SCAD)

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Image above: Kitchen and breakfast table

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Image above: An Orla Kiely tea caddy and a vintage Guinness sign remind me of my Irish roots!

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Image above: Louis bedroom: French Alphabet Print in Louis room by  Silvia Portella via L’Affiche Moderne, The three prints above Louis bed are from online site Little Paper Planes . Brocante finds include this bedside table, fixed up with a lick of paint and some watercolour MT Tape, Louis’s antique blue striped Eiderdown feather quilt and this oversized Blue plastic ran Orla Kiely tea caddy & a vintage Guinness sign are, again, a reminder of my Irish roots.

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Image above: The Ikea Hemnes chest of drawers was decorated with neon MT tape and paint.

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Image above: Lots of vintage finds are used in Charlotte’s bedroom including this French educational plate depicting a farm scene from 1960s, the vintage Liberty fabric used to make bed linen and the sari (which I bought at a market in London when I was 16) used as a curtain to add a bit of girly sparkle

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Image above: Painting by U.S. artist Emma Balder (SCAD), Blue Metallic linen bed linen from Toast and brocante-find vintage French floral fabric made into quilt.

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Image above: My new collection of earrings using antique gold bullion & crystal.

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Image above: Two dresses hanging are Etoile Isabel Marant 2013 SS (L) and 3.1 Phillip Lim 2008 collection (R).

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Image above:  Charlotte and Ruth outtake from family portrait. Painting by U.S. artist Emma Balder (SCAD), Blue Metallic linen bed linen from Toast and brocante-find vintage French floral fabric made into quilt.

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Image above: Family Portrait: Ruth, Charlotte, Raphael and Louis Ribeaucourt.

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Image above: A door in the village of Lacoste.

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Image above: The old bakery in Lacoste, it now houses the SCAD Lacoste library.

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