Traveling up a winding road in Provence
and humming along with the melody of
the Coors playing on Nostalgie FM radio,
she caught a glimpse of their silhouettes.
The three cypress trees.
Something drew her closer.
She was succumbing to the "France Trance."
She relinquished her control and just
let it happen. Her instincts had guided
her in the right direction before.
The diesel powered Peugeot turned in the
drive and the sounds of crushing pebbles
seemed to fade to a higher calling.
She had read of the symbolic meaning
of the three cypress in Provence.
One meant a drink for weary travelers,
Two, bread and cheese would accompany, and
Three, a place to rest your head.
The place was deserted.
A 300 year old farmhouse abandoned
for decades and battered by mistral winds
lay sleeping on the hillside while three
lonely cypress kept watch.
Good thing she had on her ballerines today,
as her promenade would have to be
choreographed around decay.
As she toured the fading elegance, tumbled
stones and aged timbers started to unveil
She was a dreamer, seeing beyond the ruins.
Her imagination being fueled by adrenaline
began to restore and furnish the interior.
Italian lanterns and 18th century
French candlesticks began to cast
their light against the pearly gray walls
that became a backdrop to a
Venetian buffet, a perfect resting
place for an antique Italian
gilt mirror that reflected the
Antique Italian chairs dressed in vintage
linen graced the floors like ballerinas
and awaited the guests at the Swedish table
adorned with French metal florist pots
embellished with wooden pom-poms.
Unbeknown to her, the
Louis XV fauteuils, gilt wood picture frames,
French antique painted tables, and accents,
the color of olive leaves, that existed only
in her mind now, would one day grace
the cover of Veranda.
She was having beautiful thoughts.
Visions of chalky, limed finishes,
crystal and gilt laden sconces,
finials and religious relics were
brimming over which once arranged,
would reveal their simplicity.
The gardens were already restored in
her mind and she could smell the scent of
lavender wafting through the air.
Peering out the 2nd story window,
she lingered a bit longer in her
Fresh cut flowers along side French candlesticks
turned lamps, decorate the stone mantel and
a glass of eau-de-vie awaits a friend.
There would always be pain et fromage
in honour of the 2nd cypress.
Laughter and the sounds of clinging
glasses started to echo in her head.
The image of an old Venetian bookcase she had
discovered in a Parisian antique store crept
into her trance and wrapped itself around a
doorway. Trumeau's began to morph from
the walls and it was starting to feel like
a home. A place to bear her soul.
She would contact the architect Gilles Gregoire
who restored the fabulous Hotel La Mirande
in Avignon to help her realize her vision.
Once her vision became reality, Jacques Dirand
Whoops, you have to excuse me, I was in a
I posted a few photos from this dreamy place
before, via Marie Claire, but was going thru
an old Veranda (2004) the other day
and Viola! There it was, in all it's glory.
Just had to share the photos.
I wish I knew who owned it, but the article
did not say. Another unknown on my dinner
A bit of a romantic I am, so I
like to think this is how she discovered it.
Dirand whose work was published
often in World of Interiors sadly passed
away last month, but leaves us with his
Well, I think I'll return to my "France Trance."
Want to join me?
Bisou mes amis!
Photos are via Veranda and Marie Claire Maison.