Monday, July 11, 2011

"Eternal Sunshine" - A Farmhouse in Provence

This past weekend I discovered, what is for me, a new Magazine!  It is BBC's Homes & Antiques.

I was turning the pages of this wonderful magazine when I was surprised to see "my chairs!"  If you remember from an earlier post, I mentioned that MH and I accidentally discovered an amazingly talented blacksmith in a small village in Provence.  I fell for the beauty and perfection of his work and ended up purchasing several outdoor pieces from him, including 8 outdoor chairs and a demi lune (half moon or half round table.)

Back on May 9th I wrote,

"Even though I didn't find the casegoods that I was hoping to find, MH and I did happen upon a wonderful blacksmith in the small village of Les Vigneres. We were driving to the Brocante markets in l'Isle sur la Sorgue and, from the highway, saw his shop yard filled with wonderful tables, chairs and other great metal pieces. At first we purchased 6 handforged outdoor cafe chairs and then, as we were walking toward the door to leave, I couldn't resist a French blue "half table" and two small cafe chairs. They'll be in my shipment as well! Even though the blacksmith couldn't speak any English and we could speak minimal French, we were able to communicate for over an hour through hand gestures and pantomine and have a pleasant transaction for both of us. I'm sure to anyone passing by and seeing our animated conversation, the scene would have been amusing. With the use of pen and paper, we also communicated through the universal language of numbers! This man was a pleasure to work with and his passion for and pride of his work was evident in the pieces he created. I could have bought everything in his shop."

Well, guess what!  Someone else "discovered" this blacksmith and fell for his designs and craftsmanship as well.

In the June, 2011 issue of BBC's Homes & Antiques magazine, there is a wonderful article entitled "Eternal Sunshine."   In this article Sioned and Gavin Rees-Thomas were captivated by La Ferme du Bon Dieu, a 19th century farmhouse in Provence. They purchased the farmhouse, which had been recently restored by its previous owners, and began furnishing it with beautiful antiques and objects found in local flea markets and brocantes.

The cover page of the article shows beautiful outdoor metal chairs and a large metal table.  The chairs and part of the table are exactly what I purchased from the blacksmith and should be arriving (eventually!) into port in Houston.  The chairs in the article are a beautiful verde (green) color.  Six of the eight chairs I purchased are in a beautiful dark brownish finish and two are a beautiful French bleu.  In the photo below you can see the chairs as well as the table.

When I say "part of the table" in the photo is exactly like what I purchased, it is because if you look closely at the top left photo on the page below, you can see that the extra-large table is actually three tables put together.  There are two demi lune tables, one on the left and one on the right side, and a large rectangular table in the center.  The blacksmith in Les Vigneres made tables just like these that can be used together or seperately as needed.  The "half table" that you see below is like the French Bleu one that I purchased.

I can't wait to get these items in my shipment.  Someone is going to see them in my store and have the perfect spot for them in their own home or yard.  I actually think the bleu half table that is in my shipment is so beautiful and graceful that it will make a wonderful bedside table or writing desk.  Actually it can be used anywhere!

Here's a picture of Sioned and Gavin Rees-Thomas's sun filled dining room. Their use of tone on tone creams and whites, painted furniture, brick floor, arched windows and creamware dishes create a peaceful and captivating room.  The unexpected in this room is the formally elegant brass and crystal chandelier.  The sunlight reaching across the chair and tablecloth makes you want to be in this room, sitting down to a cup of tea and getting ready to take a bite of a pastry. 

Hmmmmmmmmmm I just noticed the metal scalloped table in the room.  I wonder who made that?

Take care, Au revoir, Mitty

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