Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Dream House on the Côte d'Azur


For once, it was Remi who pulled the car over with a need to take a second look. "You need to see this," he declared as a smile slowly spread over his features. "What?" (me, cranky after a long day). "Only your dream house," he tossed off as he slid out of the car. I grabbed my camera but was highly dubious. 


Silly me. I love the cast-offs, the shy ones, the Island of Misfit Toys. Remi knows this. He also knows that there is a part of me that is dancing in silk bias cut gowns, Zelda-like, if only in my imagination. And he found the perfect blend between the two. 


The house looks as though it hasn't been lived in for quite some time. But the charm of the best of what the Riviera once was beckons behind its closed-off gates, sleeping in its ill-kept gardens. With the lullaby of the sea singing just beyond. From the few shutters left open, I can tell that the house has a straight-through access to the blue beyond. Can you imagine the Jazz Age parties that were held here? Don't you feel the impulse to open up all of the windows and let the curtains billow? I sure did. And here is the kicker. Someone will. On the quaintly unimposing gate, reminiscent of more promising times, we read the permis de constuire or construction permit which was not, thankfully having to do with destruction but rather concerned the simple addition of a pool. 

So someone is going to save this lovely old girl--isn't that something? It made me think of my other Sleeping Beauty, My Dream House in Provence. I would take either, frankly with unabated joy. Remi and I got back into the car and were both quiet for some time, groggy from having a new dream in our hearts and content that someone will be living it soon.


Have a wonderful rest of your weekend, friends.




27 comments:

  1. It is hard not to love a house located sur la Cote d'Azur; overlooking la Grande Bleue; with a pool ; and that displays so ostentatiously the word "Paix" to greet visitors. I like your dream house, Heather. Heck, it's la maison de mes reves too (no, I am not the new owner. Rats!) Bon weekend! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Isn't that Pax amazing? I thought that it was "la cerise sur la gateau"!

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  2. ... and I apologize for the accent-less French words, typed on an American keyboard, in my American kitchen. Veronique

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  3. I love that villa. She really needs help. Hubby and I have a bad habit of adopting orphan homes. It's an expensive habit but a virtuous one. Hew, wait a minute! Are you in the cote d'Azur? Call me!

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    1. Hi Jennifer! We saw this house during our week in the Var. We drove the coast down from Cannes to St. Maxime. This house was in Boulouris just outside of St. Raph. If I do get back closer to you, I will let you know!! :)

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  4. Ooooo - what a tease!! I was desperate to see more photos, but I guess there's that pesky thing called "the law". Sigh. But it did look AMAZING, and of course I can see why it's your dream house! Something tells me your own house is pretty dreamy; maybe I'll have to come over there and check it out for myself! : )

    p.s. thanks for the shout out for my back!

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    1. Hey maybe you DO need to come over and be the judge. :) Love you Sister!

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  5. So loved the house, one could build numerous stories around it, all of them romantic and lovely! I too enjoy those structures that are just a bit rough around the edges, not perfect but full of promise. Hope you are having a wonderful Spring!

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    1. Isn't it true Laura--a prime example of "if these walls could talk"!

      And thank you--I hope that all is well with you too!

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  6. How absolutely wonderful! I am much like you and can imagine a life in such a place. I love the idea of restoring a beauty to a more loved state.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Best,
    Christina

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    1. I can only imagine what you would do with a house like this Christina--you could go to town. :)

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  7. My heart goes pitter-patter and my knees go weak at the sight of sites like this, as you know only too well Heather. Oh to get one's paws on it and protect it, love it, allow it to remain alive. It rather speaks to me of colonial architecture, Vietnam or Singapore, with an Asian colonial influence. Could that be right?

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    1. Yes, I knew that you would be crazy for this house, Virginia. Isn't it a beaut? And that is a rather brilliant point you have there. While the main structure, the core of the house, spoke to both of us of Mansart, the addition of the upper story and certain the gate pavillion are right out of Vietnamese colonial architecture! There is an amazing home that we visited on the Mekong that was exactly that--right down to the round rooftiles. This is the only photo of it that Remi has online:
      http://www.remibenali.com/travel-mekong-delta/mekong-delta-7.php
      Bisous.

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  8. Oh, what lucky people who will live here. I hope they do it proud with Jazz Age parties. Liked the Zelda-like silk bias-cut dress reference. I am the biggest F.Scott Fitzgerald fan!

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    1. Sanda, you are such a romantic at heart! I love it!

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  9. Hello Heather:
    We admire your restraint. Risking guard dogs, security people, even the police, we should have been over those gates to trespass with wild and gay abandon. Nothing we like more than to explore houses such as this one and, of course, to dream!

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    1. We had Ben and all of our equipment in the car otherwise I imagine that Remi would have been tempted too. Not I--far too afraid of getting tazered! But now, of course, you make me want to go back and risk it!

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  10. Oh ma chère, I have seen many a chateau or villa in the South of France on my travels that I just HAD TO CAPTURE in photos.....the whole COUNTRY is GORGEOUS! THANK YOU, MERCI BIEN for your visit and kind words. Enjoy a splendid French day! Anita

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  11. Thank you Anita--it is election day here so a very important one!

    I am still so blown away by your last post. So beautiful...

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  12. Don't you just love it when you come upon something so beautiful. Nice that someone is going to refurbish the grand old lady. I hope you're enjoying your weekend!

    XX
    Debra~

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  13. Linda casa!!! Amamos seu post!!! Beijinhos do TC.

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  14. STUNNING!!!!!!!!IT's just perfect!Wonder who the lucky BEING is!!!!!

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  15. I am the same. And, at the least, in the countryside of Europe one often cannot demolish a property, you know? This one is a true beauty. Maybe Brad & Angie bought it? xx's

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  16. Thanks ladies! And Marsha, it really depends on the zoning restrictions. Here in Arles everything is protected but there are plenty of places that are not--or you might have to just leave the facade and you can gut the rest. I love this 'ol girl how she is!!!

    And something tells me it might not be big enough or private enough for the Pitt brood!

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  17. It looks wonderful. I too love a sleeping beauty!

    ~ Clare x

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  18. Oh, no! It would break my heart to see such timeless grandeur torn down. It's good news that someone is saving this "lovely girl." And just look at those handsome gate pillars guarding her entrance. This house has stories to tell within every inch of its concrete.

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  19. Isn't it true Colby? I wish you could have seen the house in person. It gave us both the chills--in really good way!!

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