29 May 2012

The Provençal Upholsterer

Yes, it's just an upholsterer's atelier. But the soul and spirit I found in this workshop & showroom tucked away on the back streets of Isle sur la Sorgue last week captivated me. Madame the Designer graciously welcomed me into her private world of fabrics, leathers, old club chairs and chandeliers with a little tour. She occupies a wonderful ancient space with a front room, an design studio, a couple of side rooms, a courtyard and a true workshop at the other end of the sunny courtyard.

I could not help but envy her as she fielded calls from clients throughout Provence and cheerily pulled fabrics and colors together. We spent a wonderful time together sharing design ideas...that and a cup of espresso and we are now global friends!

patiently waiting their turn on the upholsterer's bench  are these  Art Deco vintage club chairs .. 
do you not LOVE  that back wall?!!

the courtyard of the atelier's upholstery shop and showroom
will be filled with sunshine in a few hours
the shabby shocking pink linen soon to be replaced
for a discerning client in Provence

artlessly chic side room holding projects-to-be

one of the crystal chandeliers hanging in Madame's
showroom..  utterly perfect in design and scale

on the way to her atelier, Madame must peek into this arched courtyard to follow the sounds of 
children playing, glasses tinkling and dogs barking
perhaps Madame comes to work in her vintage
deux cheval?

pretty ironwork over ochre shutters on the rue

Madame has a penchant for the colors and stripes of Morocco reflected in the 
polychrome lights and the vivid fabrics

a small chair awaits a new life!

surely Madame passes through this lavender arch
on the way to her atelier each morning!
a peek into one of the side rooms off of her courtyard

stunning crystal sconces from the early 20th C.

a study in simplicity and rusticity, this worn old vintage 30's must have its original leather

ah the Provence morning always includes un cafe et une croissant!

all photos via 
Kit's iPhone


thanks for visiting!... Kit

22 May 2012

We're Back From A Chic Provence Design Tour!

Bonjour everyone! Sleepy and jet lagged though I am, I can't wait to share with you our adventures in the most beautiful region in the world... Provence! Steven and I arrived well ahead of the arrival of our fabulous Chic Provence Design Tour guests to do some scouting... our first day took us through Avignon's ramparts and narrow, twisting streets, then leaving town and driving all the way up past the village of Vaison la Romaine to a stunning winery, La Verrière, at the edge of les Dentilles.

Here are some of my iPhone shots of that bleary-eyed first day's arrival in Provence. More posts about our incredible Tour will follow soon as I catch up on my jet lag!

the chic destination in Avignon for that certain Provençal je ne sais quoi for the
home and gardenis "Au Jardin de Provence" , housed in a charming 18th century
building a few blocks from the Pope's Palace

"Au Jardin de Provence" charming
stylized topiary

exposed ceiling beams at "Au Jardin de Provence"

delicate wire work found at "Au Jardin de Provence"

stop and stay a while in front of "Au Jardin de Provence" in Avignon

the ubiquitous rooster of Provence, here in a soft rendering

wonderful delicate bronze work chandelier

you see a lot of short shorts and ankle boots worn
by the chic and young in Avignon

another decorator's shop in Avignon is Passé Présent, a beautifully staged
showroom full of vintage finds and contemporary fixtures, this is not to
be missed in Avignon

pinks and a springtime palette in the darkened rooms of
Passé Présent in Avignon

closeup of a trunk of the plane trees found
all over Avignon... no wonder there is so
much great design here with nature for
inspiration... look at these colors!
the brand new Avignon TGV station, where the high speed
trains take you where you want to be in
record-breaking and breathtaking speed... Paris
in 2.5 hours!


Leaving the ancient walled city of Avignon, we drove north to visit the vineyards in the wine region of Provence just northeast of Avignon and due north of our ultimate destination in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Thank goodness for Google maps and for GPS for the iPhone... without which navigating the twists, turns and meandering byways and highways of Provence would be tres difficult! Steven is a genius at navigation!

driving out of Avignon into the wine country north
arriving at the Southern Rhône valley;
it's early spring, the vines don't quite have their leaves yet

you can just imagine the we had with the spectacular
switch backs and twisting, winding narrow roads leading from
the D938 and past the small village of Crestet to arrive
at La Verrière...

the main residence and inn at La Verrière vineyard... once the site of glass making in the 18th C,
(the surrounding oaks were used to fuel the fires for making the glass),
this stunning and remotesetting is a spectacular sight in the heart of the southern
Rhône Valley's hearty wine region in Provence

even the elderly grape vines are treated with care and
are elevated to works of art at La Verrière
beautiful early French period oak table in the chic and
modern tasting room at La Verrière
Chene Bleu is the name of the wines by La Verrière...
here we have been poured the rosé, the perfect
Provençal summer wine

the intrepid Steven, my tour manager, after driving that twisting
road and before we relaxed with a glass of rosé, outside the
very chic wine tasting room at La Verrière... we decided this was the perfect
setting for a relaxing lunch and wine tasting for our guests

the kitchen garden at La Verrière.. here it is early spring; the asparagus was
fabulous... later the garden provides bounty for the meals served at La Verrière

no designer can resist a long look at a French kitchen, and I loved this one! the
stunning stainless steel trimmed cabinetry and countertop, the terra cotta tile floors
and the tile backsplash are the perfect setting for creating culinary masterpieces

the kitchen rotisserie was fabricated by
Labesse Giraudon, ateliers in Paris

espresso anyone?

old marble topped table dominates this French
country kitchen
once a small oven, this little alcove just adds
charm to this gorgeous kitchen

a view out one of the many patios at La Verrière

Jon Chiri, chef extraordinaire, standing before the
outdoor kitchen at
La Verrière; you will hear
more about him in future posts!

all photos via 
Kit's iPhone


thanks for visiting! it's good to be back home!... Kit


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