Monday, July 27, 2020

For sale: a charming home in my Hidden Provence




I love this house. Dearly. I have spent so many moments of joy (and tears too) here with my dear friend Louise and her companion, Wolf. And now, it is for sale! 


It is a real Provençal village house. Large in scope and yet intimate with its lovely and very private walled garden. It has been exceptionally well renovated and the care that was put into that process is evident throughout. 


As with all of the best homes in the region, there is a fluid sense between indoor and outdoor. 


I have never felt anything but "at home" here. How many meals have I taken at the massive stone table (yes, just as at Peter Mayle's original home)? How many nights when I was house-sitting did I stare up at the stars? Many, many indeed. 


And while the home is inherently elegant, this is not the "bling bling" Provence but rather a truly authentic one where you can get to the heart of this beautiful region. Quietly, you will be on the insider track while the hordes overrun St. Rémy. For this is my Hidden Provence. Many of you will remember that phrase. It still rings true.

But let's go inside...there is much to discover.


Directly off the garden is the living room, which is just as delightful in summer with the perfume of jasmine ever-present as it is in winter with a crackling fire in the Renaissance period and delicately carved fireplace. 


The Art Deco tiles are a grounding presence of the open neutrality to the "pierres froides" of the walls. I love the difference in textures, the rough solidity of the ceiling beams. This is a really adaptable space and great for everyday living as well as special moments. I rang in New Year's Day this past January in this wonderful room! 


Under the stone entryway is the condensed kitchen space. I love the patina of the floor! Louise, who is a phenomenal and accomplished cook, has effortlessly whipped up many a feast here.



Shall we go up the central staircase? Past the hall, currently lined with books and used as a small office, there are many delights to be found. 


What do you think the niches in the stone were originally for? Louise uses this charming feature to showcase various bibelots. Were letters stored there? Documents writ in ink? I don't know...let's turn right.


Isn't this room gorgeous? To me this is the elegance of Provence personified. There is even a touch of Paris too with the high-ceiling and covered beams. The light pours in...all year around. 


It is just as spacious as the salon on the ground floor and so very welcoming with its warm wood flooring.


Louise has used this as a formal sitting room and yes, I remember well the very first time I clinked champagne glasses with her here. I could have been a bit over-whelmed but her welcome and that of the house itself put me at ease.

This room could also very easily be used as a bedroom for there is not only amply closet space but also an attached bath...


...leading onto this large suspended terrace. How lovely would it be to take your first coffee of the day here? To say goodnight to the moon at night before going to bed? Again, as you can see, privacy reigns...

But come with me, let's go up the stone stairs once more...


Past the landing a massive wooden door opens up to a "havre de paix"...


I defy you not to sleep well in this bedroom. And this coming from a long-term insomniac! To me, this is a perfect example of a cocoon. 


The wide-plank flooring, the stone, the beams, the light...


And there is a bonus space! One that Louise and Wolf use for storage but it easily has potential to be more...an atelier? To paint? To dream? A special room for naps after too much summer heat? 


Well, this is my fault entirely for not capturing the bath correctly. It is just great and far bigger than it looks. Let's just say that I had a bit of rosé at lunch. For these are the happy times that this house inspires.


Could you put in a small bassin in the garden for dunking? Perhaps. How pretty that could be next to the very unusual and striking "calade" a traditional Provençale stone design. This one happens to be beautiful and rare.


And so where is this haven exactly? Well, I am not telling except for those who are interested! But I will say that, exceptionally for such a small village there is a grocery store, a great butcher shop, day care, grade school, a post office, a pharmacy, a nurse who will come to you and a physiotherapist. 

Those of you who know Provence already will be impressed by that!


Are you seeing stars yet?

Here is Louise's description:

Charming Provençal house in a village minutes from Arles, Avignon and the Alpilles with the TGV train line (2 and a half hours to Paris) at a 15 minutes drive. 130 square metres (1400 square feet). Large reception with Renaissance fireplace. Magnificent staircase leading to bright salon and bedroom with high beamed ceilings. Possibility of second bedroom and attic that could be made into an office or atelier. Southern exposure, large balcony and private walled courtyard. Equipped kitchen. Master bathroom, WC/laundry room. A haven of peace for lovers of old stone. 285,000 euros 

If you are interested, please feel free to contact Louise directly at: dowll8@yahoo.ca. She is Canadian and so, speaks both English and French. Plus, she is just a lovely human being.

And if you feel more comfortable contacting me, that's fine too. I know and love this house so well. And just to be clear...I am sharing this with you because I believe in it. I will get nothing out of this beyond the hope that I am helping one of you find their dream home. :) 


With so much Love and Gratitude from this beautiful Provence,
Be well. Be safe. Be kind.

Heather

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Saturdays are difficult



This is my post today. Call it spoken word if you want. It was created as an improvisation because the ideas came too quickly to write them down! It is a short piece that you can find by clicking below :


I hope that you will go to listen. It means a lot to me. These times are challenging in different but important ways for us all. Let us not underestimate our emotional challenges as well, whatever they might be. 

I believe in us.





Please know that I miss you and love you.

With gratitude,
Heather

"Be safe and be kind."  as says Edgar