Sunday, February 22, 2009

A "France Trance"

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
their beauty.

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
ambiance.
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
"France Trance."
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
would photograph.
Whoops, you have to excuse me, I was in a
"France Trance."
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
list.
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
inspirational photography.
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.

39 comments:

Vårt liv i norr said...

I love the way you write!
I was "glued" to the screen while I was reading it. =)

/helena

Leslie Rowlands said...

I have this issue, filed away. Iam so glad you posted it, I was looking for some inspiration for a clien't kitchen table to make, I found it today, thanks to your post, & the refresh of this lovely home.
Have a good Sunday!
lamaisonfou blog
L

Chrissy said...

Thank you!!! I needed that bit of eye candy today to inspire me, hope this finds you well....take care Chrissy

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

beautiful post today! thanks

siren said...

Once again...BEAUTIFUL PICTURES! Have a great sunday evening!
:)

Maison Douce said...

I will follow you on any France Trance you go on.... Gorgeous place!!! Thank you for sharing!
Isabel

Kathleen Ellis said...

Aaaahhh, yes...a France Trance...my favorite! I, too, have this issue of Veranda...I love to go back and dream over the pages, don't you?!
Hope you are well my friend, I'll be in touch soon!
Have a fabulous week!
;-D

mary said...

Oh Heavens - thank you thank you for taking me away from this snowy, subzero tundra where I am relegated to cleaning the storage room. Passport on the ready......

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

What an absolutely beautiful place, if I visited here I don't think I'd ever want to leave!!

mimi said...

I may have to abandon reading your beautiful blog- after I saw this post, I rushed out to a local home consignment shop where there was a gorgeous huge, antique, gilded mirror for only $399. Needless to say, I have given it a new home. My little piece of France in PA.

Blue Muse said...

Your posts always take me to the dreamiest and best places! I'm more than happy to join you in your trance! Lovely, lovely, lovely!!
xo Isa

Tracey McBride said...

You are such a wonderful story-teller Shawn! I'm always torn between your word stories and your picture/photo stories...but then...you weave them together so beautifully! What a lovely gift you have. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I always know I'm in for a treat when you put out a new post.
Warmly,
Tracey

Classic Style in City said...

oh what a loverly images you shows..from my favorite magazines..

you have a lovely blog I found you at "daisys pink cupcake"
welcome to visit me too. have a great day
marie

Velvet and Linen said...

I always enjoy joining you on your journeys.
Of course, I will come with you on your France Trance.
What a gorgeous place to be.
These are all of the colors, finishes and details that I love.

xo
Brooke

Antiques and More Blog said...

What a lovely post! I love Veranda..and I have that issue..it's one of my favorites.

Have a wonderful day~
Lisa

kath@retromantic antiques said...

What a lovely interlude. Thank you so much! kath

Petit Coterie said...

I completely lost myself in your blog. The photos are fabulous as well as your content.
Thank you so much for sharing. I will add you to my blog roll.

Merci Beaucoup!

Kelli said...

These photos are stunning! I am thinking I might have to add Veranda to the barrage of magazines I receive on a monthly basis. Absolutely dreamy!

Miss Kris said...

Bravo Shawn!!!

I love your beautiful thoughts! I felt as if I was there myself and the lovely scent of lavender still lingers in my cloths. BEAUTIFUL!

~Miss Kris~

Cote de Texas said...

I have this issue with me in my car. weird, huh? I pulled it out a few months ago and just can't store it back away. I loved this!

Petra Voegtle said...

Shawn, all these lovely photos bring back wonderful memories from the south of France. I wished I could go back in this instant - seeing only wet snow coming from the sky here in Munich at the moment.
Thank you for sharing!

Greetings, Petra

MARCELA said...

Merci pour ces belles images!!!!! Je viens vous voir depuis un temps, je ne me lasse pas!!!!!!!!
Depuis mercridi, j'ai crééé un blog, je vous ai mis dans mes liens tout de suite!!!!!
merci encore et continuez à me faire rever!!!!!!! MARCELA DE PATAGONIA

Di Overton said...

I am there already - In my dreams :(
Fabulous post and amazing images.

Italian Girl in Georgia ~ Suzanne MacCrone said...

Hey Shawn,

Who needs books when we've got your writing to entertain and inspire us. Lovely.

Ciao bella,

Suzanne

Anne Marie said...

That dining room with the recessed alcove (the the plates on the walls)
wow

and the enormous canopy...can you imagine doing that in your home?

My mother in law would crack up! and make so much fun of this queen!

your posts always inpsire me to decorate!

vosges paris said...

Tres jolie fotos... I like the way you tell a storytale ;)

Scribbler said...

Exquisite! Now I have to go dig through my old copies of Veranda and find this.

Scribbler

Sydney Plumber said...

Great blog post, Beautiful France Trance...

lily-g said...

you are such a creative writer with such beautiful taste, I really need to stop by so much more, I always love every post x

cityfarmer said...

I'm feeling faint now!!!!!
You transported me right to the abandoned villa.

*moggit girls said...

Lovely!!

Le sigh...

On a more reality-driven note (sob!) We're hoping you can all drop over to 'the mogg blogg' (www.moggit.blogspot.com) as we're getting ready for a Domino book giveaway! Alas, it's no trip to France, but hey...
;)
J&J

marcela said...

JE suis toujours aussi éblouie pour vos photos!!!!! Vous nous montrez des choses si belles!!!! J'adore ce style de déco, et dans ma "déco" personnelle je mets un peu du charme de l'ancien!!!!!!!!merci pour votre musique, je peints et elle m'inspire!!!!!je peu naviguer sur votre blog des heures!!! Depuis 1 semaine j'ai un "bébé" blog!!!L'atelier du coteau...passez me voir, je vous ai mis dans mes liens depuis le début....... bonne journée et continuez à nous ravir!!!!

Anonymous said...

Again..... I am sipping a glass of wine and fading away ......to France with you ....In the 300 yr. old farmhouse,..... I am wondering about the outdoor open foyer with the two candle arms above the door....... I wish they could speak to us.... about the many times that candle wax has piled up on the floor..... and how in the morning,...... some sweet and precious soul is on their knees scrapping and sweeping the wax away........ That soul .......is the soul that I wish I could spend a day with...... I have them pictured in my mind...... and I am loving them with my heart.............Thank you for yet, another trip to France.... for I have never been there......but you take me there............every time.

Cameo said...

Again..... I am sipping a glass of wine and fading away ......to France with you ....In the 300 yr. old farmhouse,..... I am wondering about the outdoor open foyer with the two candle arms above the door....... I wish they could speak to us.... about the many times that candle wax has piled up on the floor..... and how in the morning,...... some sweet and precious soul is on their knees scrapping and sweeping the wax away........ That soul .......is the soul that I wish I could spend a day with...... I have them pictured in my mind...... and I am loving them with my heart.............Thank you for yet, another trip to France.... for I have never been there......but you take me there............every time.

Anonymous said...

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Becca said...

The pictures alone are wonderful. I would give my eye teeth for the kitchen furnishings. I love the French country style and find by just adding bit and pieces it adds a very old country warm charm to our home.

Jade Creative said...

Your blog has inspired me enormously! Love the music as well. I'll keep following...
darlene

Conspicuous Style Design Blog said...

Tina was right....awesome post! She included one of mine, too...isn't she the sweetest? I'm a new follower. Hope you'll stop by sometime. Very excited to get to know your blog!
Stacy