Provencal Palette: Berry-Nice

Of all the images I have from Provence the one that fizzes in my my mind is:

Is it how damn edible they are? Is it the diagonal? the array? the green. Well – whatever it is – it is well-imprinted…which is sad as it’s not ‘Provence’ per se, however I’ll always remember the market in Lourmarin etc.etc.

Then I got home and I saw Pierre Frey’s new fabric in House and Garden, I attended one of his design lectures in London (being the the kind of textile-obsessed girl I am) and he was your ultimate french man: soigné, erudite and oh-so-knowledgable. They have re-released a 1940’s fabric Dejeuner sur l’Herbes, the artist must have been in Provence, eating berries, quaffing rosé, non?

So now I have my inspiration for ‘Berry-Nice’ my 1st Provencal palette, a sitting area with french windows.

I’d like to see fabric on:

When I consider the architectural features those Provencal chalky-tones needs emulating and these encaustic tiles sprang to mind, possibly even checker-board from Emery et Cie, colour choice? 31 and/or 33 I think:

Then wall colours, I am thinking pink, not sure? well David Hicks 60’s Provencal house sure looks great , Chloe Sevigny rocks it with red and Steven Gambrel’s design is charming, all below:

Hick’s 60’s provencal house complete with original terracotta tiled floor, the bathroom below has pink accents and perspex-boxed iron hinge on the mantel piece:

Steven Gambrel

chloe sevigny pink room

I love the way the red is softened by ‘Kathryn M Ireland‘ style linen prints.

Feeling the pink? check out the Lovely pink rooms at Katy Elliot

So paint wise: Farrow and Ball have a chic option (don’t they always): Calomine, possibly in Soft Distemper, which in ‘F and B’ talk: creates a very flat and exquisitely powdery finish:

It’s sophisticated with mustard, also present in the fabric and the berries. The blackberry trim is fun, so I’ll pick that up in the floor. But I would like wood, a natural material – in all it’s textural beauty – for the doors with maybe a shadow gap detail on the walls:

I’d like proper rustic doors – inspired by:

Looks good, non? with pre-rusted metal window frames etc.

Softened by a rag-rug, a berry-diagonal from those Moroccan Berbers:


Furniture wise I think we need some bamboo and decorative french pieces. Check out Carolyn Quatermaine’s re-imagination of Sketch café:

Sadly when I spoke to Provencal antiques dealers they said manufacturers of this furniture had died out locally, looks like there’s a style- revival on though, appropriately as bamboo is a eco-material par-excellence.  They did have some lovely pieces though.

So shake it all up, add furniture and fun accessories and you have something like this:

colour palette for provence

Clockwise from Top Left: Pierre Frey’s Dejeuner sur l’Herbes, Antique gilt panels , Vintage bamboo chairs, Vintage dog bed in kingfisher blue, glass flask lights from Original House, Sur-real drape table from Soane, antique console, Fermoie’s fabrics in Mustard and cherry for bamboo chair fillers, antique venetian mirror, iron and wood shelving unit from Anthropologie, Encaustic tiles from Emery et Cie, sofa from 1st Dibs, Berber rag rug from Berber Arts, Rope Lamp and Flower vases Anthropologie.

All Antique / Vintage pieces from Isle sur la Sorgue.


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