TO LIVE IN AN ETERNAL PROVENÇAL LANDSCAPE,TO BREATHE IN THE WARM, INTOXICATING AIR, TO TAKE REFUGE, FROM THE DAZZLING SUN BENEATH AN ARBOR SWATHED IN GRAPEVINES AND WISTERIA, TO DELIGHT IN THE INCOMPARABLE ENCHANTMENT 0F THESE HOUSES AGED BY TRADITI0N, FORMER SHEEP FARMS, WINE-PRODUCING MAS, OR SMALL FISHERMEN'S HOMES ...
THOSE, WH0 LOVE PROVENCE, WHETHER THIS REGION OR ELSWHERE, DID NOT LOSE THEIR WAY: THEY HAVE DISCOVERED, IN THESE TYPICAL ARCHITECTURAL CREATIONS WHOSE FACADES HAVE FADED IN THE MIDI SUN, A “DOUCEUR DE VIVRE” THAT THEY JEALOUSLY GUARD AND CLING TO.
IT IS TRUE, THAT THESE MODEST HOMES HAVE BECOME INCREASINGLY COMFORTABLE WITH THE ARRIVAL OF NEW GENERATIONS. AND YET THEY HAVE PRESERVED THEIR IDENTITIES, BATHED IN A SERENE HARMONY BORN OF BLESSED MOMENTS AND SHARED INTIMACY.
THE VISITOR LETS HERSELF BE ROCKED BY THE LANGUID, JOYFUL RHYTHM OF THLS ENCHANTING LAND.
ODE TO THE SEA
It was certainly not a whim but, rather, a sign of destiny that guided this man impassioned by sea and sail to what would become his small family Island. One spring day he tied up on these rocks like a modern-day Christopher Columbus and Pound the answer to his question: Would he take to the open sea with wife and children, or would he settle on this strip of land that plunges into the water and build a family haven?
.As he climbed the hill, he felt any hesitation vanish. Here he could bring together his love of the sea and a comfortable family life. Because he was a passionate man, he devoted body and soul to the design of his future house. He left nothing to chance, for he was bound to remain as faithful as he could to the spirit of the ancient Provençal dwelling, or bastide, a spirit that dictated both proportions and materials.
In his quest for perfection, he built not only the main body of the bastide but also the many outbuildings that traditionally distinguish this type of house. Thus, a cow shed and pigeon roost took shape, only to be immediately transformed into rooms: an orangery was built of wrought iron to shelter one part of the swimming pool. This structure, an especially original feature, was designed for use in both summer and winter thanks to a gate that makes it possible to shut off the interior portion of the pool, comfortably heated by a stove of appropriate site.
He shaped the garden by combining the elements most suited to his replica of a bastide. Visitors are welcomed by white doves, symbols of peace and harmony, which fly about the aviary, serving as gatekeepers to the garden. Progress through the garden is patterned on a specially designed layout that leads, in turn, to the sudden appearance of an old fountain whose basin holds white and red fish, a fragrant rose garden, then, finally, an appetizing kitchen garden. If the visitor continues, the landscape becomes more dense with foliage. Finally, nature reclaims its authority in the form of a forest of umbrella pines and oaks that falls away gently to the sea.
The sea, which has so deep a hold on this home owner\\\\\\\'s heart, quite naturally had to make its presence known within the house. For the interior decoration, the master of the house drew his inspiration generously from the fittings of the classic tall ships. The call of the open sea is echoed in each room, most notably through the omnipresence of wood. The furnishings and paneling exude an atmosphere as warm and intimate as that of a ship\\\\\\\'s hull.
In the spacious living room, which offers views of both the sea and the interior garden, the marine world materializes in collections of colored lamps and terra-cotta figurines of fishermen. A stunning model of a galleon bangs from the ceiling. Binoculars and an ancient telescope make it possible to admire the boats sailing in the distance.
In the main bedroom, which is lined with old paneling, the daylight filtered through the interior shutters evokes the calming half-light of the cabins of sailing ships. The adjoining bathroom clearly signals the thrust of the sea, with its varnished mahogany and skylight.
As a result, against a backdrop of salt air, all of the furniture and objects in this large bastide. sing in chorus their ode to the sea. Surely, the captain of this beached craft has anchored here for good.