The softness of French country colors

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Imagine a place of soft pastel colors bleached by abundant sunlight. Raw materials like stone, rough iron and roofs of terracotta tiles with stones on top to hold it down from the forces of the Mistral wind. It’s a calming softness. It’s rustic and elegant at the same time, it’s country but still refined. It’s French country! Maybe that’s why it’s so well-loved around the world.

We were leaving Switzerland and heading to Provence by car. Sometimes stopping at some  small towns either to eat or to check out a castle or some site. During the day these little towns are mostly dormant, houses with doors opening right on the sidewalk, windows with a linen curtain slowly moving up and down with the breeze. You could hear a voice here or there but you would see nobody. Only travelers walk in the heat of Provence around lunch hour.

078_20Lots of cats lying around but this particular one was the shop keeper, very awake and observant of treasure-seeking visitors.

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Stones in shades of beige and grey were part of the landscape and construction. Accent colors were shades of blues and greens on shutters, windows and doors. How gracious to live in such a world where every scene is like a watercolor painting.

By the time we got to our destination at the very South of France it was the end of the day. After exploring local grocery stores we returned home to cook.

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I looked around and started using the kitchen like if I had been here before. Getting the food ready, drinking, talking to our friends and watching our kids play together, this feels like heaven. At this point in life I’m still indecisive about what I really love most: art, food, architecture, good friends? Provence makes it even harder to decide.

French people are born cooks, they know their stuff! We experiment with items I only heard about and for the first time I’m tasting them.

Homes here are smaller, cozier and they have a “spirit”. Food is more important than houses but the company is even more important than the food.  The decor is relaxing. The colors are soft. The tiles under our feet are cool, the furniture is comfortable. 045_9

Again, I’m bringing this to some project back in the US. I want to share with people a piece of Provence. Watch for my next project coming in the next month.

 

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