COTE DE TEXAS: Tour the Provence Guest House: Le Petite Bijou

Tour the Provence Guest House: Le Petite Bijou

 

Is there someone you know or someone you’ve read about who is living the life you you’ve always wanted to?  Vicki Archer is my someone.   Vicki, a best selling author, writes the beautiful blog “French Essence” which recently celebrated its 5th anniversary.  Vicki lived in Australia, was married and had three small children when she visited Provence in 1999 and fell in love at first sight, as she describes it, with an abandoned and decrepit 17th century olive farm. 

 

 

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Ms. Vicki, sitting down for once!

 

She and her husband bought the farm, Mas de Berard, and began the long and laborious process of renovating it.  To simplify life, they moved to London in order to be closer to Provence.  It took three years before the farmhouse was restored and today they split their time between the two countries.   London?  Provence?   Does it get any better than that?   I didn’t think so. 

Over the years, I have written about Vicki a few times and we interviewed her on The Skirted Roundtable.  Obsessed?  Moi?  Just a little.  One look at Mas de Berard and its easy to see why anyone would gladly trade places with her.    

Vicki is kept busy.  Running the farm isn’t just sitting back and admiring its beautiful gardens – it’s hard work.  When the olives ripen, Vicki is right there helping in the harvest.   And besides taking care of both her houses, she managed to find time to write two books about life in France.   Still, a few years ago, Vicki decided she needed yet another project and she and husband found an abandoned townhouse in St. Remy de Provence,  a short five minutes from their farm.    The two turned the wreck into a charming guest house which is now available for rent.  

Vicki was sweet enough to share the before and after pictures of  the guest house “Le Petite Bijou,” which I am thrilled to show you today!  But first, let’s take a look at Mas de Berard again.

 

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Mas de Berard, Vicki Archer’s 17th century farmhouse in Provence

 

 

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The interiors are wonderful, pure French.

 

 

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Vicki always mixes the new with the old – like here in her library.

 

 

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The master bedroom has this wonderful bed. 

 

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The fireplace in her master bedroom.  I love the colors in this room.

 

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Vicki’s daughter’s bedroom is my favorite room in the house.

 

 

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The kitchen – the heart of every Provencal mas.

 

 

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The stone stairs meet the terra cotta tiles.

 

 

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As much as I love the interiors, Mas de Berard’s property is spectacular.   Here, the Les Alpilles mountain range is seen in the distance.

 

 

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The grounds are especially beautiful during the lavender blooming season. 

 

 

 

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Here is the olive grove in front of the mountain range.  Does it get more beautiful anywhere?   Imagine how lucky Vicki and her family are to wake up to this beauty each morning?

 

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Remember the water rill from a few weeks ago at actor Robert Pattinson’s L.A. house?  Vicki has her own water rill – here surrounded by blooming lavender.

 

 

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A longer view of the rill.

 

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Blooming flowers on the front yard.

 

 

 

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The rill is flanked by tall cypress. 

 

 

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It’s a shame the blooming season doesn’t last longer.

 

 

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Vicki says the lavender is a lot of work – but worth it.  At the end of the season, she bundles the lavender up and puts it in bowls around the house.  Other lavender is tossed into the fireplaces – the oil is used as a starter.

 

 

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Roses on a pergola.   These beautiful photographs of the farm by Carla Coulson mostly come from Vicki’s books.

 

 

 

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Facing towards Mas de Berard.

 

 

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And here, the rill gushes into the stone trough on the terrace.

 

 

 

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Here, the terrace under the pergola.

 

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Wisteria growing on the pergola.

 

 

 

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Al fresco dinner on the terrace.  Through the metal window is the living room, previously seen.

 

 

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So Provence- love the shutters.

 

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Heaven on earth.

 

 

 

 

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  White roses surround the front door.  I’ve always wondered how Vicki leaves and goes back to London?   But, she loves London as much as Provence. 

 

 

 

 

Le Petite Bijou

 

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For the past few years Vicki and her husband have been busy renovating Le Petite Bijou, their new guesthouse in the historic district of St. Remy-de-Provence.    They hired Hugues Bosc, the talented architect who designed Mas de Berard, to restore the house – but Vicki took on the interiors - scouring the brocantes for antiques and furniture.  The predominant color scheme is greige- that beautiful color between gray and green.  The only pattern is a few choice toiles and chintzes.   The mood is quiet and peaceful and it’s a perfect place to stay and refuel while antiquing or touring the South of France.

 

 

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  The house is in the middle of the historic village – next to the Musee des Alpilles and the Hotel de Sade – where the red A is.

 

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To reach it by foot or bicycle – there’s a large town square with a café.  Go past the Musee through the stone arch in the corner. 

 

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Looking back towards the town square – past the arch in the corner - is the Musee des Alpilles. 

 

 

 

 

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You continue through the arch to another arch.  So charming!

 

 

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The cobbled street continues under the stone bridge.

 

 

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BEFORE:    And finally the house comes into view – here is how it looked 3 years ago when Vicki and her husband first saw it – abandoned and falling down. 

 

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And here is the house when construction started.  The entry was moved to the garage instead of the front door – which is seen here in the middle in blue. 

 

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From the balcony, the view of the hotel across the street.

 

 

 

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The scaffolding goes up.  Renovating in Provence calls for extreme patience.  Getting permits can take months and even years.   The grounds under St. Remy are Roman ruins, so great pains are taken to be sure no archeological relics are destroyed when renovating properties. 

 

 

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Rebuilding the roof.  Upstairs will be two bedrooms, one bathroom.

 

 

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A detail over the door.

 

 

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The stairs before.

 

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Interesting to see the roof being prepared for the beams.  This will be the living/dining room.

 

 

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Wood beams and steel door.   The entry hall.  These beams were later whitewashed. 

 

 

 

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Notice the arched wood shutter with braces that fits on the outside of the steel door.    The dining table will sit in front of this window/door.

 

 

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The galley kitchen – most appliances will be hidden behind cabinets.

 

 

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Open shelving going in.

 

 

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The sink cabinet – before.

 

 

AFTER:

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And here is the façade, all cleaned up.  The shutters are now a light blue/gray – much more subtle than their original color.   The original bush has been cut back to make it more manageable.  The large bedroom is located here on the second floor – behind the shutters.

 

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Love the address plates.

 

 

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The front door was restored, along with its stone surround – even though this is no longer used as the entrance into the house.

 

 

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Original hardware remains.

 

 

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And welcome to the entry hall, which is the former garage.  The terra cotta tiles are from Mas de Berard – there was enough left over to use here throughout the first floor.  I’m in love!  This is so, so charming the way that Vicki put it all together.  I really love the gilt frame inside the trumeau.  Just love this!

 

 

 

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A close up - I really like the metal plants.  If you can ever find these – buy them!  They look so great on a mantel or on a bakers rack, like this one.

 

 

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Across the entry is this bench filled with baskets ready for the market.  Love the candle stands.  Above are great looking white washed beams.

 

 

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Going through the entry is this small hallway – with a commode found in an antique shop in Provence. 

 

 

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Close up of the small pass-through hall.  Love the mirror Vicki added and I really love the apothecary jars.   There is a powder room across from this hall.   

 

 

 

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The main room is a combination living/dining room with the kitchen off to the side.  At the window are linen panels.   Next to the French chair are two chairs covered in aubergine linen.

 

 

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Vicki does interesting vignettes – notice the charming drum.  Behind this chair are the  wood tread stairs that lead up to the two bedrooms.

 

 

 

 

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Next to the stairs are this pair of chairs that sit under a wonderful set of botanicals.   Vicki likes to mix the new with the old – here she puts a set of classic nesting tables next to antiques.  Aren’t these botanicals fabulous?

 

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The focal point of the room is this painted bookcase in the dining area.  The sofa is covered in a subtle toile that looks like Bennison Roses in pink.   The terra cotta tiles pick up the color of these fabrics.

 

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This shows the sofa with its end tables and the dining table behind it.  The kitchen is to the right.  

 

 

 

 

 

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The dining room table is painted and sits underneath a crystal chandelier, which is the main light fixture in the room.

 

 

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The arched window/door opens off the dining room to the neighborhood outside.

 

 

 

 

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Vicki mixes white dishes with red and white transferware.  Beautiful monogrammed linen napkins.

 

 

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Vicki accessorized the bookcase with paintings and books.

 

 

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The kitchen is located through the opening.   Along this side of the kitchen galley are cabinets that hide the oven and refrigerator and microwave.

 

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The countertop is a stone from the region.  At the top shelves are a collection of small paintings.

 

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The kitchen is fully stocked if the guests would rather cook than eat out.  There is also a chef available for those who want to eat in, but not cook.  So many choices!

 

 

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Appliances hiding behind the cabinets in the kitchen.

Paint color?   The walls are similar to Farrow & Ball’s ‘elephant’s breath, while the woodwork is paler, a colour resembling Farrow and Ball’s ‘skimming stone.’

 

Ready to go upstairs?

 

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At the landing is a vignette with a chest, clock and sconce.

 

 

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Down the hall is a collection of paintings in gilt frames flanked by sconces.

 

 

imageThere are two bedrooms upstairs.  This is the smaller one that has a balcony.  Beautiful linen pillowcases.

 

 

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Upstairs – there are hardwoods.   Across from the bed are two bergeres with a toile fabric.

 

 

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Another vignette by Vicki.  She puts her favorite caramels out for the guests. 

 

 

 

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Vanity mirror repurposed as a book holder by Vicki!

 

 

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The back of the chairs are traditionally upholstered in ticking.

 

 

 

 

 

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The balcony off the smaller bedroom. 

 

 

 

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Even the balcony is charmingly furnished!

 

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The view towards the other direction.

 

 

 

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The larger bedroom has two bergeres and painted nightstands.  Notice how Vicki places prints or mirrors behind each nightstand in both bedrooms.

 

 

 

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There is a vaulted ceiling with painted beams.  This headboard is tufted in linen and the dust ruffle is out of the same linen.

 

 

 

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Notice the pretty doors and cabinets.   Along one wall is a painted chest with a mirror and lamps.

 

 

 

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Closeup of the fashion prints and lamp.

 

 

 

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A stack of large antique books act as a side table next to the bergere.

 

 

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French doors open to the view of the historic area of St. Remy.

 

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The view from the Juliet balcony window in the large bedroom.

 

 

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View at night.

 

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The two windows in the large bedroom – notice the curtain gatherings, it looks so pretty.

 

 

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The bathroom sink with its Venetian mirror and sconces.

 

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There is a tub and a shower – for both options.

 

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Sweet. 

 

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Heated rack for towels.

 

 

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I’m ready!  I’ll spend a week here and then a week in the country at the Huff Harrington house we saw a few months ago HERE.   Care to join me?

 

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Le Petite Bijou in St. Remy!   A huge thank you to Vicki for all her gorgeous photographs.

 

 

To contact Vicki Archer about renting Le Petite Bijou, go HERE.

To read Vicki’s blog, French Essence, go HERE

To listen to the Skirted Roundtable interview of Vicki, go HERE

59 comments :

  1. Seriously! Le Sigh! :)
    Sincerely, Laurié

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  2. So very pretty.....Loved the interiors. I too want to go stay there. Closest I'll get is to try to make my own house similar in style.

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  3. Probably a good investment decision (St. Remy a popular destination) and did a good job getting the bones right. However, not in love with the tiny floor tiles and too much junky junk around. The wrinkled bedsheets also need ironing or photoshopping. I realize this is a "look", but find I'm getting tired of all-greige, battered rooms. Would have preferred more color (pretty/fresh) and fewer, but larger objets d'art for visual impact and practicality. For example (larger bedroom), with two lamps and 10 items on the chest of drawers, where would a guest set down her things? Why the need for two chairs per bedroom (obstructing windows/floorpath)? Just too much clutter, and more shabby than chic.

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    1. BRAVO!! But what would the great unwashed who generally comment here know? Rusty chairs, clutter and mold are commonly accepted by Americans who want so badly to find a new pedigree. I hope Joni has the privilege some day of doing a post on how the French actually design and decorate, not those who are trying to be French because they love the country. Hopefully some European readers will submit authentic designs.

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    2. Oh come ON!!! This smacks of nothing but jealousy. The houses are gorgeous. Really, the tiles are likely original (sorry, may have missed it if in the post). While Brits and Americans on "the Continent" are more often than not despised by the locals, it's true (my husband is Italian and his family do find them appalling because their behaviour generally is especially when they have $$ to spend on the back of strong currency etc) viewed objectively I love both homes and would be happy in either.

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    3. Anon. 8:20 am, you are probably familiar with the blog Belgian Pearls, but if not I encourage you to spend a lot of time there reading and looking not only at the home of the author, but at the homes of her clients. I believe you will see a big difference in how design is approached, including the use of vintage and antique pieces, between this property and the homes of other Europeans. You might conclude that the difference is one being French and one being Belgian, but remember that Belgium is culturally two countries, the Flemish part and the French part so the French have a lot of influence in design. I have never seen contrived design on the Belgian Pearls site, but pure elegance and unmistakable quality. I don't believe you are correct in the least by playing the "jealousy card" in your comment. It truly is an accurate observation of the decor and the comment was aimed at such - not the real estate as you may have been suggesting.

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    4. I'm from Indiana, but I've lived in France for nearly 30 years. This greige/Gustavian/Shabby Chic business has been going around for the last 15-20 years, but has really picked up in the last 5-10. It figures predominately in the lower end deco magazines in France . Also it's commonly found in the deco section of your local garden center. This is not to say one can't find traces of it in high end decoration......but it's minor. Very few people are decorating in a pure French style. Most love their large sectionals in leather. A few years ago, I went to the Paris Spring fair (Foire de Paris) to look for new period furnature: NONE. Some Art Deco pieces or the cherrywood traditional pieces that Mamie would like.....but a true bergere - none.

      All one has to do to confirm what I have mentioned is: go online to different French decoration magazine sites.....you'll see the variety. Also, I'm the Anon who left the color comment at 3:03 am. I don't understand this continual worship of greige: it boggles the mind how Architectural Digest manages to put out issue after issue and greige doesn't way heavily in it???

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    5. Duh - I mean "weigh heavily in it"....

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    6. Oh I have seen many "homes of other Europeans" having lived in London for a decade and having married a Roman whose family have several properties in the city as well as in the Umbrian countryside, some of which are stunning. I understand your point that this is a little "thematic" perhaps, but it's hardly "greige" (in the France in Texas style, sorry Joni), in fact it's quite elegant. I agree, probably most French people would have a more interesting mix, but that doesn't mean that this is not lovely in itself. I can't criticize, I think she's done a lovely job. I understand where your criticism comes from but I don't believe it applies here.

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    7. Lovely et toujours monochromatic......

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    8. Anon. 3:24, your points are correct. The furnishings here are not "high end" by any stretch of the imagination. Europeans who are acquiring antiques are not shopping at the Paris flea market or garden centers for their furnishing.They are traveling the continent and buying from dealers. The Paris flea market is much like an American yard sale without the worn out clothing. Much of this looks like a version of a French Craig's List or worse. Perhaps it's because as you indicate the mix is not eclectic enough and there is just too much of the same look and therefore it looks contrived. Joni has not traveled abroad, let alone lived there so much of what she interprets as being "French" is interpreted by others. This is the reason the France in Texas look is so prevalent on this site. I would also suggest that you might enjoy the Brussels Antiques Fair where you will find a true bergere.

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    9. I don't have a problem with the look - it's very nice and Vicki did a beautiful job pulling it together. I'm only questioning why the monochromatic neutral look is ubiquitous to this point and has the endurance it does. I'm not a purist either with antiques - I only mentioned this Shabby Chic monochromatic style has been co-opted by the lower end retailers here in France for good reason: everybody likes it!

      I'm just wondering how Mario Buatta still has a job.....

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    10. "I'm just wondering how Mario Buatta still has a job . . . "

      Mario still has a job because there are still people who demand quality, originality and style along with attention to detail, fine tailoring and lasting style. Mario would never put this rubbish in one of his designs. You get what you pay for!

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    11. The first two rooms of Vicki's farmhouse (living room, library) are classic and timeless, and would be equally at home in the English countryside as in Provence. One might call them elegant. After that the photos start veering into flea market territory, from the master bedroom with head/footboard clad in priests' robes, to the daughter's bedroom, and everything in Le Petit Bijou. It's a look you either love or hate, but one thing is clear: flea market is never elegant. At best it can be "interesting" or "eclectic", but the quality is not there for "elegance". Labeling it "French" does not change its nature. Now, no one is suggesting that Vicki should fill her rental with the same quality furniture as her personal home. However, even within the flea market category there are things to avoid that cheapen the look, such as obvious distressing, too many small knickknacks, clutter, overwrought/fussy accents (curlicued mirrors/metal), wrinkles, etc. Draining a room of color (greige) often doesn't help, as sometimes color can compensate for other elements that may be lacking (add richness, warmth, or interest). Clearly the greige, battered look has its fans. However, for many of the rest of us, it just looks like junk. To each his own.

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    12. To the obvious distressing, too many knickknacks, clutter, curlicued metals, I might add horrifically painted objects of gold which are clearly out of a can of spray paint rather than done by traditional "leafing".

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    13. Honestly? you are all the rudest people in the world. Unbelievable.

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    14. Rude, or just not easily fooled?

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    15. While some are more blunt than others, I don't think that people are trying to be rude. Most people commenting love the decor. This is the only thread for those who don't like this look (and the focus is on the "look", not Vicki's execution of it). Not everyone shares the "sigh, perfection, elegant..." viewpoint, and a few have taken the time to detail why. It's a good debate, about developing an eye for the past. Knowing the difference between antique, old, flea market, and fake old. Le Petit Bijou is about flea market -- what works, and its limitations. How do you make flea look interesting, but not cheap? Darryl Carter uses old/salvage items, clean lined or sculptural, but sparingly, mixed with finer pieces. Rachel Ashwell uses color to inject "pretty" into her decor. Neutral is hard to do well, even with expensive finishes. Nothing kills a look (up or downscale) like clutter. Imagine the Mas de Berard's master bedroom lime chairs/rose rug photo without all the seashells lined up on the mantle -- much better, no? Put the shells in a bowl somewhere, clear the tabletops in Le Petit Bijou of most of their objects. Avoid "fussy", and poor finishes (a bad paint job will always be a bad paint job, even on an antique). Flea will always be flea, but it need not be junky/flat/generic.

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    16. The daughter's room (Joni indicated it was her favorite) has even more clutter. Who does a photo shoot with 10 pairs of shoes on the floor and a side table obstructing the side of the bed not to mention the clutter on the mantle. Granted this is a teenager and perhaps these casual photos were never originally intended for publication, but if they were, the stylist missed the mark.

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    17. I agree with everything you stated! I would love to see some fine Louis XIV furniture and some beautiful gilded paintings....and perhaps a gorgeous sterling tea set, yes, and less junky junk!

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  4. Yes Vicki lives a charmed life....she is so stylish and elegant and graceful and lives it well. I love the guesthouse, it is so full of charm. The grounds of the home in Provence are just out of this world.....Vicki is incredibly talented and I love following along with her......great post!!

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  5. Saint Remy is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We've had the pleasure of visiting that part of Provence and actually spent two months in Saint Remy. I know right where her petit bijou is and could walk there this this very minute if we were there. I have both of Vicki's books and read her blog faithfully. Her taste is impeccable. You've really captured Vicki's life, her incredible style, and her remarkable taste.

    Merci beaucoup Joni for this close up tour of Vicki's mas and petit bijou.
    Sam

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  6. Joni...
    Thank you for such a thoughtful and gorgeous post... I love it...
    Both our home and Le Petit Bijou have been labours of love for me... and I am only sorry the process is over... :) I do love a renovation!
    When I look back at those before photographs... I just can't believe how far we have come... Makes me realise with a good team, anything is possible!
    xv

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  7. Another simply beautiful post from you. I wait every week for a new one and you never disappoint. The whole world stops while I read them and soak up all your writing. It is one of the heavenly moments of my week. Please do not ever consider giving it up!

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  8. Sigh... so, so lovely. I can only daydream about that kind of beauty.

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  9. Just ethereal! Each better than the former and I liked that the best. Thanks for the visions! franki

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  10. When do we leave? I'm packing my bags. Ha!

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  11. Can I leave tomorrow! Restored to perfection ....no detail left to chance....amazing!!

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  12. I definitely have to follow Vicki…her work is amazing and this post was a mini vacances. Oh the lavender fields! And the fact that she puts the lavender into the gorgeous fireplaces. Thank you for the guided tour, Joni.

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  13. I hope to make it there one day!Have been following VICKI for years now and watched the whole remodel unfold on her blog…………..JUST PERFECT!

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  14. I'm with you Joni.....Vicki is living the most beautiful life! And her homes are FABULOUS!! Vanna

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  15. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Vicki Archer has my ideal life! I'm reading this post on a lazy Saturday and loving every second. I have Vicki's books, which I'll re-read this afternoon but it's great that you have shown us additional external photos of Mas de Berard that I've never seen before. The beautiful lavender, cyprus trees and blue shutters are so evocative of summer and France.

    I can't think how wonderful it would be to stay at Vicki's guest house in St Remy, I especially love the upholstered bergeres and notice that yes, I think I notice a few Durance candles (the ones covered in cardboard) on the tables, I own some of these candles myself and will light one at home tonight!! Lovely post, it has made my day.

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  16. Oh I forgot, doesn't Princess Caroline of Monaco have a home in St Remy? I think she does. I'm going to stop at the garden store this afternoon and buy some lavendar for my balcony. It is spring going into summer where I am so I'm going to channel Provence on my balcony.

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  17. everything is just perfect and just as it should be. You'd think she had grown up there she has the style down PAT!

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  18. Vicki is one talented woman + someone I would like to know personally + have been following her blog French Essence + lets go to le petite biyou + looks wonderful. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  19. Can we see her London home?!? Please!!!!!!
    janeprice

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  20. Lots of prettiness - especially the stunning grounds......but someday we have to rehabilitate color: why all the greige? Is it because it's easier to decorate? Sorry, it's beginning to look washed out
    and depressing. And.....why does all the furnature have to look this distressed?

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  21. Stayed for a wonderful two weeks at Le Petit Bijou in September - can't wait to go back next year! By coincidence, stayed at Les Muret some years ago with my family, so loved seeing your great photos of before and after. Denise

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  22. I love Vicki and her blog and she was one of my first followers on my blog. I have her book and look at these pics and can't believe someone gets to live in her house and now, rent the fabulous bijou!! She is lucky beyond words. I would love to someday stay there!! ;-) Thanks for the beautiful story and pictures as always Joni, you do such a fab job!

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  23. Joni thank you so much and bravo to Vicki who has such grace and talent. She has always been the most generous and thoughtful blog friend.
    Le Petit Bijou is simply wonderful.

    Xoxo

    Karena

    The Arts by Karena

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  24. Joni, Both homes are gorgeous!! I have to run out and buy her books.
    xx,
    Sherry

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  25. I adore this wonderful post; and I adore the job she did on the "guest house"
    I love the floor tiles; I have them in my guest house; and used the extras in our "Monterey Colonial" daughter's bathroom! They are such a lovely look!
    As always; the comments range from the sublime to ridiculous! That's what makes the world go 'round!

    I adore this look, and find it perfect for a "guest house in St. Remy"; and also nearly died with the beauty in the new book on Mario. Perfection....and 50 years of it!! They could not be more different......but equally divine to me!!

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  26. This post is a feast for the eyes! LOVE LOVE LOVE every luminous, soft and textured, tasteful bit!!

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  27. I love the mirror in the master bedroom above the fireplace! Thanks for the beautiful photos!

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  28. You're so right about her master bedroom- the colors in the rug and the pillows make the room so elegant and whimsical. She has an amazing outdoor space as well. Beautiful post, I love the pictures!

    Best,
    Dorian Bernstein
    dorian@dorisleslieblau.com
    www.dorisleslieblau.com

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  29. Joni lovely surprise to see Vicki's two St. Remy vacation homes on your post today...her Mas de Berard looks wonderfully comfortable and the grounds are stunning! ... and le Petit Bijou is a very charming and inviting bit of heaven in Provence... Vicki's pitch-perfect interpretation of the current (but actually quite ancient) love of all things greige and "found" in Provence style shows lots of care and balance.

    The current love of greige/linen/stone actually harkens back to Provence's earliest times, when the Romans inhabited the region... you have to go only a mile from Vicki's house to see one of the most amazing excavated Roman villages in all of Europe... buildings and objects were made using local materials, and if you have ever visited Provence you know that the land is mostly limestone and light colored rock with mostly olive tree green for color.

    The use of the brilliant colors associated with Provence started with the fabric craze of the 1700's when gorgeous colors/patterns arrived from India (les Indiennes)... and you do find brilliant color in the eastern Luberon region of Provence, in and near Rouissillon, where the very hillsides are blazing with color. The brilliantly colored prints associated with Provence so strongly are still there, but not as wildly popular a run as they had in the heyday of the Pierre Deux fabrics so beloved in the 80's and 90's. I think the "draining of color" was overdue, paving the way for cleaner and simpler looks. The pendulum will surely swing back into that direction again some day to be sure.

    Also Vicki's use of flea market finds is spot on for one of the most enduring and loved trends for lovingly reusing found things and giving them new life, instead of buying new or even extremely expensive period pieces... who can afford those or want to put all their money in those items, especially for vacation homes?

    Vicki is just as charming as her homes and a good deal more elegant than most!... I was happy to meet her for lunch a couple of years ago, and she graciously met with my Chic Provence Design Tour group .... I would love to add a visit to her homes to our Tour in future (wink to Vicki!)...

    bisous Joni

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  30. So glad to get a peak inside Le Petite Bijou. I'm always curious to see how the interiors of smaller residences are managed. One thing that using a neutral, monochromatic color scheme really helps with is to make small spaces flow from one to the other making the house seem more spacious. And whether one likes this color scheme or not, there is no denying that it works wonders with marketing spaces to potential clients. It's often so much easier for holidaymakers, tenants, & buyers to picture themselves in more neutral color surroundings than to fit themselves into one that is dominated by someone else's favorite color.

    And I always love seeing the gardens at the mas.

    Keri

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    1. Neutral is fine for home buyers, but not necessarily holiday makers. No one is looking for a bland vacation.

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  31. Lovely photos and beautiful homes. I would be happy living in either. One small correction. French language has both masculine and feminine nouns, and the spelling of adjective should reflect this. So it should be Le Petit Bijou, not Le Petit(e) Bijou. I am addicted to your posts.

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  32. Doesn't greige stand for a blend of grey and beige (not grey and green)?

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  33. Absolutely beautiful. I too, can't wait to visit Le Petite Bijou. You have decorated both places elegantly. Provence is a place i would dearly love to see one day.
    Wish it was closer!! All the best to you Vicki also

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  35. Beautiful Photographs and we can see them in provence tours,Thanks for share

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  36. I cannot imagine that I missed this post and that it took so long for me to finally read it. I adore Vicki's writings, so is a true artist with her words. Her property is amazing, I love the vast views of the countryside and the water feature on the property. I know it must be simply splendid. Always, always, a treat to visit you, Joni.

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  37. Thank you so much for sharing the news. I really want to go along with family on this vacation or some days after.
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