COTE DE TEXAS: Do You Need A Place in Stay in France?

Do You Need A Place in Stay in France?

If you do - I have found the MOST perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a vacation house in the heart of Provence.   If not – stick around anyway for some beautiful before and after photographs!    The house,   Les Murets, is located on seven acres and has spectacular views of the nearby Luberon Mountains.  It’s a short hike from Gordes, the amazing town carved out of the mountain’s stone: 

The town of Gordes – shown above.

How did I find out about this Perfect Provencal House?   It seems that through the years the owners of this house and I keep bumping into each other – in cyberspace.  It’s a small world, as they say – even on the internet!

Where to start?

At the beginning?

Remember this story from a while ago?

A few years ago, I decorated a neighbor’s house using whites and aquas from Kravet’s Windsor Smith’s Collection. 

On the mantel, I used an antique mirror from Tara Shaw. 

But, much to my surprise – another blog wrote a story about this room – and photoshopped a piece of art work right over the mirror – thinking that it looked better.   Read the original blog story HERE.  It turned out the blog with the photoshopped art work was written by the Huff-Harrington ladies – Meg and Ann.  Huff-Harrington?
The bloggers, Huff-Harrington Fine Art, have an art gallery and their blog story using their art with my design made for a good time and lots of laughs.   I actually loved all their suggestions and over the years have gained a keen appreciation for Meg and Ann’s business acumen.  They have mixed a love of art and travel and France and created something quite special. 

What’s the saying? 

“If you do what you love, it’s not a job?”

  Besides the art gallery, there is also now Huff-Harrington Home, a home décor store.   Both the art gallery and the décor store have a strong online presence – and both have storefronts located in Buckhead, Atlanta. 
Huff-Harrington Home is filled with the goodies they find in France and Europe since Meg and Ann spend a lot of time overseas. 

Their new web site has just launched and it’s a thrill to see all their décor wares:

Above is just a small selection from their web site.  I’m going shopping there as soon as I finish writing this story!
Besides selling art at their gallery and furniture and accessories at their décor store – they also sponsor trips to France – “From Paris to Provence”  - is one of their more popular trips.  It features 3 days in Paris and 5 days in Provence.   There are also painting trips and antique shopping trips to Provence.  More information is found HERE.
The story continues… 
After the blog story about the photoshopped art -
I showed this beautiful apartment in Paris:

A totally renovated apartment in Paris, two bedrooms.  French doors divide the dining room/kitchen from the living room.

Remember its darling kitchen with the touch of pink check chairs?   Yes, that really is the kitchen.  And yes, you can stay there while in Paris!


It’s hard to tell where the dining room ends and the kitchen begins!
Well, it turned out this beautiful apartment was restored by the Huff-Harrington ladies and is available for lease through Paris Perfect HERE
Recently, after showing you yet another apartment from Paris Perfect, I was thrilled to learn that in addition to their Paris apartment, the ladies from Huff-Harrington also have a house in Provence that they have been lovingly restoring for the past few years – Les Murets.  The house is also where their Provence trips are based.  And, it is available for lease. 

Ready to visit?
Here’s a quick look at its floorplan – if you are like me and are into that sort of thing.


There are actually two houses each with their own front door.   The large house features 3 double bedrooms, a small bedroom and a study/single bedroom.  The Petite Maison, or guest house, has its own living room and bedroom with a small kitchen, a bathroom with shower, and a sleeping loft that has two single beds.


Take me there!  Yes!  This is the charming house, Les Murets, that has been recently  restored.    The lavender means it’s summer there.   So charming!  So romantic! 
The house as it appears today – after a few years of renovation:  creamy stucco walls and a traditional tile roof, French blue wood shutters and stone terraces along with new landscaping. 


A view of the side of the house.  The terrace (center section) is where most meals are eaten in the summer and spring.   To the right of the terrace is one of the guest rooms and to the left is the large, two story high living room.
8B as captured by Sheryl Lott painting

Over the years, the house has been painted by some of the Huff-Harrington artists.   Here, Sheryl Lott painted the house.
9A Before Front patio

BEFORE:   A wall of slider doors overlooked the terrace, which was replaced with French doors.
9B After Front patio

AFTER:  The same view of the house showing the front patio with its French blue shutters, creamy stucco, tiled roof, and stone terrace and new French doors. 
10A Terrace before haircut

Here’s a before view of the terrace – showing the landscaping not yet trimmed.  The trees had blocked part of the view of the Luberons.
10B Terrace after haircut

AFTER:  The terrace with its view of the Luberon Mountains.  After the landscaping was trimmed, the view became much more prominent. 
10C another view of Terrace after haircut

And another view. 

The view at a fiery dusk of the Luberon Mountains.
8C as captured by artist Nancy Franke

Here – the house was painted, by Nancy Franke.
11A Courtyard before

BEFORE:  Here is the courtyard – showing the area between the main house and the guest house – which is on the right.
11B Courtyard after sorry not a great picture

AFTER:  The courtyard today with its freshly painted stucco and French shutters.  The Petite Maison is reached through the door at the right.  The door straight ahead leads to the large house kitchen.   An iron pergola was installed over the terrace with wisteria vines being trained to cover the courtyard in shade.

11C Courtyard painted by Nancy Franke

The courtyard painted by Huff-Harrington artist – Nancy Franke.
2A Front hall

BEFORE:  The front hall with its sliding glass doors and stone walls.
2B Front Hall Les Murets

AFTER:  The front hall in an earlier renovation.

AFTER:  The front hall today is half office and half main hall located off the large terrace.  Through the door is one of the guest rooms.

And today – the front hall overlooks the terrace.


The newly installed French doors replace the old sliders.
6A Living room before

BEFORE:  The living room.

6B LR after

AFTER:  The living room today!  Notice the doorway between the kitchen and the living area was opened up.  And notice the beautiful newly installed – antique fireplace mantel.  Gorgeous.  I love the balcony overlooking this tall, two story room.
6D Before Mantel

BEFORE:  The mantel.


AFTER:  Today – the antique mantel is now the focal point that it should be. 

AFTER:  Looking the other direction.  There is a dining room table at the end of the living room.  The large French doors open onto the terrace that overlooks the mountain.  Just beautiful!!!!  Love the décor – simple French furniture in linens and white slips.  Easy to keep clean, especially with guests.

I love this view of the living room – the corner of the living room.

Here’s an early view of the renovation.  I like this  too!!!  So much!  Today, there are darker gray curtains and colors brought into the décor. 

Sunset at Les Murets’  dining room.
5A 5dining room before

BEFORE:  The dining room/kitchen, overlooking the courtyard.
5B again Other higher res kitchen where DR used to be

TODAY:  The kitchen has been totally redone.  Instead of the dining table – the chairs are set up around the island.  aNow, the French door leads to the courtyard – without the table in the way.  Beautiful French appliances. 

AFTER:  The island takes the place of the breakfast table, freeing up space. 
1A Alex's bedroom before

BEFORE:  The bedroom downstairs, off the front hall.

1C Alex's bedroom another view after

AFTER:  Today, the same bedroom, totally renovated.  The ensuite bathroom is through the wood door.

1B Beds in alex's bedroom

Another view.  This French door leads out to the side of the house.  While the other door leads to the side of the terrace.


Love the mirror on the wall!  Pretty bedroom.
3A Christie's room before

BEFORE:  The bedroom at the back of the front hall.

AFTER:  Through the wooden door is its own bathroom.


After:  Another single bedroom off the kitchen.

4A Study before

BEFORE:  The study, upstairs.

4B office after

AFTER:  The study upstairs – an earlier renovation.  Love the art work and curtains!

4C Office recently converted to a bedroom

AFTER:  And more recently, the same space, converted into an extra bedroom.  The French door overlooks the courtyard.


This bedroom has a balcony that overlooks the living room – the curtains close off to provide privacy.  Love this room!!  So romantic with both the balconies!
7A MBR before

BEFORE:  The master bedroom, upstairs with its private balcony.


AFTER:  Today, the master bedroom.  Love this!!!!!


AFTER:  another view of the master bedroom.  So cute!
Petite Maison:

12A Guest House Les Murets

In the guest house – the bedroom and living area are combined.  Here’s an early renovation.

12B Guest hours got a little facelift

TODAY:  And, a more recent redecoration – adding more color.

12C Guest House Kitchen

TODAY:  The kitchen in the guesthouse.  So cute! 


The upstairs loft bedroom in the guesthouse.

Here’s a picture of one of the bathrooms – totally renovated.   Love the sink vanity – and the tiny window.

After an afternoon rain – the view of the Luberons.


The swimming pool and pool house.


The swimming pool can be heated if you want the water warmer.


Like to paint?  Consider taking the painting week at Les Murets. 
10D Can you tell I love this terrace

The terrace set for afternoon drinks.
I love this list of 100 Fun Things To Do at Les Murets HERE.

A few favorite ideas:

#22. Celebrate your wedding anniversary with lunch at Domaine de la Capelongue.

#23. Celebrate it again the next night with a catered meal, at home, and ask the wine merchant in Coustellet to pick out the wine for you.

#74. Go for dinner at the delightful Bistrot a Michel in Cabrieres and walk home, in the moonlight. (Love this one!!!  Sounds so romantic!)

#100. Or, if you are like my daughter Alexandra, spend a week happily at the house without ever leaving the property!    (Hmmm – I’d probably be like Alexandra!)

Still – read the list of 100 things to do – it gives you ideas of ways to have a good time no matter where you are – whether at home or in Provence!!!

10E just before dinner with one of our groups

Dinner set out on the terrace. Just beautiful.

And remember how I told you that Huff-Harrington and Cote de Texas keep bumping into each other?

Here’s this:

Look at this piece of art work Huff-Harrington sell:

13A Joni's retreat. Laura Shubert 30 x 40  

This painting by Laura Shubert turned up on the Huff-Harrington web site!  Look familiar?  HERE.


It’s a painting of my living room!  To say I was stunned would be an understatement.  I think Ann and Meg were too!

It seems that someone had given the artist a picture of my living room and she painted it.   When Huff-Harrington saw it – they recognized it and sent me a photo of it! Small world indeed!!!

13B lifeimitatingart at Huff Harrington Home

The painting displayed at the gallery.  
I have never met Ann or Meg of Huff-Harrington in person– though I feel like we have, a million times before!  I guess when you share similar aesthetics, your paths are sure to cross – like ours have over the years – which is what makes blogging all the more fun and personable.

A huge thanks for sharing Les Murets with us!
To rent either the house in Provence or the apartment in France, go HERE.

And to learn more about their fabulous trips to France, go HERE.
And, now, if you will excuse me, I’m going shopping in Europe – on the Huff-Harrington Home web site HERE right now!


  1. Joni:

    I too have been inspired by your style and blog from afar for a long time. What a wonderfully sweet post.

  2. Les Murets looks so heavenly. Who wouldn't want to stay there? When I got to the painting of your living room my heart stopped! That is so awesome and the best form of a compliment I have seen lately. It is beautiful!

  3. Dream trip of a lifetime! What very fun coincidences! Loved this post! Les Murets is what dreams are made of...thanks for the I just need the $$$

  4. Serendipity at it's best! Are you planning to purchase the painting? Les Murets is breathtaking to say the least, and the transformation by Huff-Harrington is remarkable. The house, with it's gorgeous terrace and magnificent mountain views looks so tranquil that I think my blood pressure has gone down just reading the blog. Maybe someday....sigh.

  5. Lovely!
    So happy I stopped by, all those pictures make a wonderful morning to a Fall day to signs of winter setting-in here in Sweden.
    I was just going to write a note, that so far I had been reading blogs which were more like 'I pat your back and you pat mine'.
    Then I come across this set of blog posts that were so well researched, albeit the comments full of 'wisdom' and 'opinions' :).
    I am sure you do not have the time to read half of them or don't care! Keep up the good work.
    Thanks again for the lovely post.

  6. These ladies have done a wonderful job with their renovations. Changing out the sliding glass doors and fireplace at Les Murets made a world of difference in terms of charm. May I ask them:
    1) Who did you use for your Paris kitchen remodel?
    2) Which mattress brand did you choose? (when I lived in France 20 years ago, all the models were so hard compared to American brands)
    3) You have lots of charming little side tables in the bedrooms and main rooms. Were these difficult to find? Are they new or antique? (I'm always on the lookout, but never seem to come across any)
    4) Did you buy most of your antiques at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi there. This is Ann from Huff Harrington (still pinching myself from Joni's wonderful blogpost, for which we are so grateful!). Just to answer a couple of your questions: We used a local Paris kitchen shop for the kitchen remodel (and totally moved the kitchen from its original spot in the back of the apartment). Our mattresses are wonderful thick American made! But our side tables are pure French ... and mostly antique, from different markets in Paris and the South of France, including Isle sur la Sorgue. Thanks for asking!

    2. Hi Ann. What was the name of the local Paris kitchen shop? Did you ship the mattresses from the U.S. or did you find a U.S. brand sold in France? If it's the latter, what's the brand name? I have a viager in Paris that I'll have to one day renovate, and these contacts will be useful.

      For anyone wondering what a viager is, it's a piece of real estate one purchases from an elderly person. The senior has use of the property for life, then it passes on to the buyer. Since the handover date is unknown, the property is sold at a discount compared to market value.

    3. Why the secrecy regarding the poster's original questions? Obviously it's a local Paris shop -- but which one? Which mattress brand? You're not in the renovation business, so these are not trade secrets. I don't get it.

  7. Question for Huff-Harrington, or others with similar experience:
    1) You've now made two real estate purchases in France. Any advice/difficulties/experience you'd consider useful for others thinking of buying abroad?
    2) How difficult was it to find a good renovation team in a foreign country? Any tips/advice/things you wish you'd known beforehand?

    1. Hi there: I'm glad you're considering a purchase in France because our experience has been wonderful! The process is very similar to buying in the U.S.: You just need a good agent, a lawyer and lots of patience! Renovating is tough if you are not actually there all the time, but there are plenty of resources to help you manage it if you can't be. Our major renovations went very smoothly, but Paris took a long time. Again, patience is key!

  8. Wow. First how funny and ironic that someone gave a picture of your living room to be painted! And moving onto this house..I am ready to go.What a charmer, it has such good karma and the views, those vistas...I felt my blood pressure drop just looking at these amazing images. Ahhhh to spend an extended period of time in Provence one summer is a dream I hope to realize!

  9. ..oh my...i want you to have the painting...blessings laney

    1. do have the original...blessings laney

    2. I agree with you Joni that the painting is way over priced for what it is and I don't mean that because your room is the subject matter. I looked at other works by this artists and compared to some of the other artists represented by this firm, her work is over priced for the talent. You will find something equally beautiful and it won't costs close to $5,000. Get to know some dealers and young artists in Houston. You will find something that will be lovely in your space. Even an inexpensive painting looks fabulous if put in the right and well selected frame.

  10. Lovely post, but how could it not be with such wonderful views and vistas. Now you have no excuse to ignore art in your home, Joni. Perhaps you could commission a piece from the artist who did the painting of your LR and place it above the fireplace in your family room. It would be lovely indeed. Imagine the view from the terrace of Les Murets hanging above your fireplace - gorgeous!

    As to your living room, have you made any changes lately? From the picture you posted, it is still cluttered and cloistered making it look difficult to move in and out of. You have many lovely things in your home, but they don't have to be displayed at the same time. Some seasonal rotating would give you reason to do some editing.

  11. I remember the post well of the cleverly photo shopped Geoffrey Johnson painting above the mantel. I love his work and have several of his pieces. After looking through the gallery on line, I don't see his work at Huff-Harrington any longer. I wonder why? At any rate, there are some good artist - Bill Davidson comes to mind - that would look great in your home, Joni.

  12. Loved the painting of your living room! A wonderful compliment to the visual rhythms you created. The views of France are wonderful. A great Cote de Texas post.

  13. My GOOD LOURDE. To me, this was perfection so beautiful I almost ached. You absolutely took me away. Hopefully, one day...a stay. franki

  14. Oh my! I'm ready to pack my bags! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post.

  15. Dear Joni!! It is that very few degrees of separation! What synchronicity!
    Love the Hone in France, everything about it! This will be my last trip to Europe!!
    The photograph of your own home; what an honor and it is a gorgeous painting!

    2013 Artists Series

  16. Serendipity at it's best + How wonderful + Loved the art, the house, everything.

    1. Joni, I always look forward to and throughly enjoy your posts. Do please ignore the negative comments you receive; focus on art in your home, or anything else, when you choose to! And please don't let the negative nellies slow you down!!! My only request of you would be that you find time to post more often, please, please, please!!!

  17. I do hope you get to meet Ann and Meg in person some day. They are fun, talented, lovely ladies !!!

  18. What a glorious setting for a fabulous house. Perfect for an extended family vacation!

    The kitchen range is a Lacanche--they make, IMO, the most beautiful stoves in the world.

  19. Love those Huff Harrington girls - tons of style and taste!!

  20. Your blog posts are like a mini-vacation! Beautiful work!


    1. Joni,
      I'm not well-versed on proprietary property agreements. However, based on how gracious you've been with your portfolio being photo-shopped and now a lovely painting of your sitting room making its artistic debut (much to your surprise), I applaud your embracing the old adage, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". Wouldn't it be an even greater compliment if the gallery and artist, having gained a great deal of exposure through your blog, donated a portion of the painting proceeds to your favorite charity? (paying it forward in the name of the wonderful relationships started by blogging).

      On a side note, I'm puzzled by the anonymous editorial of your "ignoring art in your home". Clearly, your asethetic is a work of art - literally (now) and figuratively. Thanks for your informative blog!

    2. Lulu, "decoration" is never a substitute for art. A wonderful piece of artwork is an heirloom which can be passed down for generations. Decoration is temporal and while decoration may show a person's preferred style, to assume, let alone declare, that decoration is a substitute for art is nothing short of a definitive lack of sophistication. Sadly, you do not know the difference and obviously are not a collector.

    3. Anonymous-I don't believe I ever stated decoration is a substitute for art (merely, it was a tongue-in-check reference to the surprise painting of her sitting room and perhaps a dig at you for your comment. My apologies.) I agree art, whether heirloom or simply sentimental, is a beautiful addition to a home. However, you not only "assume" and "declare" your preferred style should be Joni's too, you make assumptions and declarations regarding "my lack of sophistication" and the extent of my collection. We don't know each other, so I won't take such liberties with you. Nor do I know Joni, except through her wonderful blog, so I won't extend my opinions, unless asked to do so, regarding what is displayed in her home. Thanks to her blog, we are given a forum to discuss our opionions. Joni's humility in accepting suggestions, sometimes un-solicited, is an example in tolerance for all. Given the opportunity to share my opinion already, I'm satisfied to "agree to disagree" with you. I won't feel compeled to clutter her comment section with further clarifications.

  21. Oh my goodness Joni you find the best spots! If only I could afford a trip to France right now...

  22. I must have pinned 8 photos which is a lot!! Love this home~and did you notice it looks like the sofa pillows from the Paris apt were used again in the Provence house? Loved this Joni!

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  24. My dream life - a lovely converted farm house in France.

    Joni - I was shocked by the painting of your room at the end of the post - you have to buy it! It's really beautiful and captures the room so well.

  25. Gorgeous dreamy post- I shared this with my husband and this is our dream. Thanks so much for indulging all of us with this beauty.
    Kris in Seattle

  26. Gorgeous Joni! My one trip to France was so beautiful.. it was a bitter-sweet trip for me unfortunately, but I can't wait to go back and enjoy it with a fresh set of eyes! And, now I know where to stay!


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  28. Thank you for your very beautiful posts!