Interiorssneak peeks

A Relaxing Vacation Home in Provence

by Amy Azzarito

Writing these sneak peeks on summer weekends in Brooklyn is getting a little tough for me to take. Last week, it was the cutest school bus turned camper in Canada and this week it’s a beautiful summer home in Provence. This home is located in the 12th-century village of Grignan and was originally a farm house. The owners had been here for two years for sunny weekends and summer holidays before bringing in Amandine Buisson to help winterize the house and also to renovate it in a way that makes the most of its potential in the summer months. As a designer, Amandine wanted to balance her desire to create a calm, intimate design scheme while also leaving enough space for the family to make it their own. The first step was to make the outside feel happier with brighter colors and materials and many more plants. Then, when choosing a color palette for the interior, she studied the strong light of the sun and the winter winds called the Mistral that blow during the winter and finally settled on a palette with lots of whites and grays. The result is a vacation home that works year-round for a growing family to create memories for years to come. –Amy

Photography: Amandine Buisson

Image above: “This is the ‘winter’ living room, so I wanted to make it cozy and play up the low ceiling by using materials and furnishings in various shades of gray. There are actually two sofas and a lounge chair that wrap around the fireplace. I brought in some additional light by changing the window to a glass door. It made a huge difference – the space feels cozy, not depressing and light deprived.

Image above: “The stone stairs provide a dramatic transition from the public spaces on the ground floor up to the bedrooms. I placed a simple wooden console and lantern at the top to draw your eye upward but not distract too much from the calm and solemn feeling of the stairs.” 


See more of this home in Provence after the jump!

Image above: “The game room! Two hundred years ago this place served as the kitchen and I wanted to connect that spirit of a place where everyone gathers together to it’s current role in the life of the family. It was the perfect place to display a series of black and white photographs, from the beginning of the century to the 70s. It’s a wall dedicated to family and the French lifestyle.”

Image above: “In the living room, the ceiling height is incredible! When you arrive from the kitchen – and even more so from the winter living room – it feels like you are entering a small cathedral. This room has the best views of the garden and the surrounding hills, so I wanted to maintain that connection to the outside. This sofa is three meters long and was installed directly in front of those windows to make the most of the view and the light.”

Image above: “I wanted to maintain a connection to the past in this bedroom by keeping the original floor and then magnifying it by using very light and timeless furniture. The result is an atmosphere that is sober and romantic.”

Image above: “In the master bedroom, everyday objects become an art installation. This part of the wall actually serves as the headboard of the bed and it has become the perfect place to display collections, like the Panama hat collection of the owner and the framed French Bank title.”

Image above: “The dining table is designed to receive family and friends. The metal table is softened by the fabric benches and chairs.”

Image above: “In the guest bedroom, the floor, wall and ceiling are all painted in the same ‘beige/rosé’ to create a sense of freshness and intimacy when a person enters the space. I added a fun selection of objects that tell the story of the last 50 years of design –  the rattan mirror, to the wood racket and the vintage brass Dior lipstick packaging.”

Image above: “The floor tiles steal the show in this bedroom. It’s a chic and romantic bedroom, keeping the code of the Provence’s house.”

Image above: “This is the view of the house that guests see upon their arrival. I completely renovated the facade and the colors of the house, which were initially mostly gray and white, in an effort to convert it to a happy house with tones of yellow stone, light green-blue and a lot of vegetation surrounding the house.”

Image above: “This picture shows the spirit of the house where the keywords are ‘summer,’ ‘family’ and ‘welcome.’  I added this window in order to open the house to the south, to balance the facade and to add a view to that bedroom.”

Image above: “This is the renovated courtyard. Here the light underlines the newly renovated yellow stone, the blue, the pink gravel, the pink armchair. The facade was my favorite part of the transformation. It was like turning a black and white photo into color.”

Image above: “This is the terrace in front of the living room and kitchen, where I wanted to create a multipurpose place: eating, playing, working, reading. It’s also perfectly positioned to watch the children in the swimming pool. The best place to read is that antique planter’s chair with stripe cushions made in the south of France in the traditional way.”

Image above: “This is the courtyard where you can see the happy colors of the outside and the beautiful light.”

Image above: “Since we’re not close to the sea, we decided to create a swimming pool where everyone can cool off. It was important to integrate the swimming pool in the garden, so we certainly did not want to use turquoise tiles. I choose gray tones for the material of the swimming pool, which produced this beautiful blue. I love how the swimming pool is surrounded by olive and cypress trees.”

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  • Gorgeous!! I honeymooned in Provence a few years ago and fell head over heels in love with the region. I’m actually reading A Year in Provence right now and it’s so hard not to just want to sell all my possessions and move there RIGHT NOW!

  • Lovely house with bags of character and what a location! I studied in Aix-en-Provence for a year when I was at university and just fell in love with the town and the region. You’re very lucky to have such a fabulous house – enjoy it!

  • Every single bit of this is perfection. Such a marvelous combination of thoughtful design and restraint. So welcoming and beautiful!

  • This might sound silly considering this post is about the house but where is that pen from?
    Beautifully refreshing house by the way.

  • gasp!

    This home appears so effortlessly graceful, beautiful, ageless – such a deft, tender touch by the designer who we read has completely renovated and furnished and yet it is as if liek a sculptor she took away to reveal its personality. Exquisite work with no ego, so inspirational.

  • Those views are just sooooo stunning. I could well do with a bit of France at the mo.
    I love the simplistic elegance of the rooms, the bedroom is fab, stone floors, wood beams and then a beautifully craved French bench and chair to add a touch of romanticism.

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