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

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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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  1. So inspiring, love all the color throughout the house. Her jewelry is pretty amazing too.

  2. Emily says:

    LOVE this sneak peek.

  3. Anne says:

    Really inspiring home. Must be the Irish eye but I have 3 of those vintage school posters (in charlotte’s room) hung in my kids rooms in Ireland. Oh how I love those small town vide greniers, something for everyone. Beautiful family home, real mix of Irish and French cultures.

  4. Ha, I love Ruth’s work too…and really enjoyed seeing all these beautiful photos of her home, family, art, etc. Your readers may enjoy a story I wrote about her here:
    http://theprovencepost.blogspot.com/2012/10/jewelry-handmade-with-love-and-history.html

    Merci for this lovely piece.

  5. Such a beautiful home full of love and warmth..well done!

  6. caroline says:

    LOVE IT! – THANKS

  7. caroline says:

    LOVE IT! – THANKS ( BTW DO YOU KNOW WHO DESIGNED THE DINING CHAIR AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE ?-IT’S FABULOUS)

  8. Michelle says:

    What a cosy happy family home. I love how the books are organised by colour too :)

  9. ernø says:

    beautiful interior & village !

  10. Debbie says:

    Love this home. It feels so welcoming just via the photos. Great work!

  11. Wow, such an inspiration!!! Loving this idea!!!

  12. Stacey Day says:

    I’m in love with that color-coded book collection!

  13. Harriet says:

    Love the colors and textures in these wonderful photographs. I always strive to have the right colors in my home.. and to create a world just like they did that is so color-inspired. I have been using the color911 app for my color choices.. use the color themes for my inspiration. Its a lot of fun, I highly recommend it!
    This is a great post.. inspiration for decorating my home!

  14. madlyn easley says:

    What a lovely home’and the colors are breathtaking! Speaking of colors,what about the finish on the kitchen cabinets and chairs? Thank you for sharing.Your jewelry is amazing!

  15. Kim says:

    What a phone post! And what an adventure going through a factory of ribbons, etc…. I’d be in heaven!!!!! I’m so inspired by her jewelry too.

  16. Orla says:

    Beautiful home – lovely to see a sneak peak with an Irish connection.

  17. chloe says:

    Does the artist Kimberly Bates has a website or something? I can’t seem to find anything. Thanks

  18. I did my study abroad in Lacoste, France! It’s a beautiful place that I miss every day. What a lucky woman to be able to live there!

  19. Jennifer says:

    So lovely! Great kitchen and kids room. As a mom of 3 little boys, I really appreciate the Playmobile pirates display – a great blend of design & real life.

  20. Jacques says:

    Hi there! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information
    you’ve got right here on this post. I’ll be coming back to
    your website for more soon.

  21. rr says:

    Love the first painting. Looks so surreal.
    And Jeffrey Deaver, Harlan Coben, Zadie Smith and Nick Hornby… Like the collection.
    And the books arranged according to colour is so pretty!

  22. WOW!!!!! I love it all. I love all of your prints, colours and life in your home.

  23. LOCZIdesign says:

    I love how warm and colorful their home is! So full of love and life, you can tell.

  24. Sahil says:

    Very Inspirational, I loved the idea

  25. Anni Hart says:

    Complicated design, but lovely … Thanks

  26. Sophia Webb says:

    Very warm, colorful and full of love! Brilliant design. I like the way the books are organized :)

  27. John says:

    What a lovely home’and the colors are breathtaking! Speaking of colors,what about the finish on the kitchen cabinets and chairs? Thank you for sharing.Your jewelry is amazing!

  28. karen duff says:

    I love how warm and colorful their home is! Very Inspirational,

  29. Faishal says:

    truly represent a jewelry maker … Very Inspirational,

  30. Nancy says:

    Wow Love the colors & textures, It make lovely home. Get feels of staying in home all the time. Thanks its amazing

  31. Morey says:

    Those kids are so cute! Great post!

  32. john says:

    this is a great work, thank for your time.

  33. Katrina Voss says:

    This is an unreal house, in the same time you might say it’s old and new, dressed and decorated with so much heart. I love it guys you’ve make my day brighter

  34. James says:

    These are really helpful tips for us.

  35. burun kemeri says:

    I love them all! I have lots of ideas in my mind now.. thanks

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