The French man with all the chairs
I recently took a little vacation, a little rest and relaxation at my Aunt's home in the south of France - she's a fantastic cook, so most of our time was spent in the kitchen or at the dining table, quality time with family!
In the first months of summer, Provence is a little piece of heaven; the warm afternoon sun and bright blue skies, the olive trees and chirping morning birds, and yes it does look just like this... no special effects, no filters!
The perfect place to sleep in, linger on the terrace with your morning cafe au lait, read a book (imagine that!!), eat good cheese spread on fresh bread, deep conversations that help you evaluate your life, and warm nights spent with bottles of rosé... Are you booking your flight yet?
And of course, chair inspiration on every street corner!
My Aunt is a passionate artist, among many other things, and totally understands my love of chairs and textiles, which is why we eventually left the comfort of our sun-drenched patio to discover a charming little town known for it's many antique stores - L'isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Honestly this tiny little town was straight out of a postcard, with cobblestone streets and sweet little canals, an old church and lovely cafes. We strolled through treasure filled antique stores, found some vintage middle Eastern fabrics and Kilim covered chairs, and I added to my fabric collection with some traditional South of France stripes.
But then I met a fellow lover of chairs and it was the highlight of my trip. Mr. Jean-Jacques Bourgeois owns a sweet little store called "Memoires D'un Ane" where he meticulously restores the most gorgeous XVIII and XVIIII century chairs, while staying religiously faithful to the authentic design, and only using fabrics and colors from the same century. He's also a little wacky and full of vibrant stories, the best kind of store owner!
As I looked through every corner of his little store, touched everything made of wood and every piece of fabric, and took as many photos as I could, I also listened with enthusiasm as Mr. Bourgeois shared his knowledge. His passion is so infectious and so vast, I have already ordered his book to study as soon as I get home.
Though my personal taste runs a little more modern and whimsical, I love to start with something authentic. Antique furniture, wether from the 18th century or the 1950's, always has good bones and the best structure... after that, the sky's the limit!