Since childhood I have loved old things, the first antique I ever bought I was 12, I used my babysitting money to buy a mirror and a brown jar. My taste hasn't change.
While creating our newest home in Cassis, I entertained the thought of doing something different, especially when we took out the dropped ceiling and created a loft. The volume of the space spoke a new language, modern was its name. The challenge was to create a modern look combined with my taste for antiques. Friends can attest to my doubting if I could pull it off: Arnelle, Denise, Gina... to name a few. Their cheering me with appreciated guidance gave me the vote of confidence I needed.
Remember, the paddle Rene found under the floor when we were in the beginning stages of renovating? It become a focus color and texture point in choosing items for the house.
Hence, the white oak floor boards, and the white oak cabinet (that we transformed into a closet) which is between the living and bathroom. It is the first piece of furniture that I ever bought new (not counting appliances or bedding.) At the same shop we bought a navy blue sofa. After buying these two new pieces I felt like I was in deep, which made me wonder if I was on the right track as it was new territory.
Brocante finds: Modern with Antiques
The unpainted wooden boat with zinc sails (40 Euros) I found at the bottom of a box, disgustingly dirty, with its sails bent out of shape. The large shell lamp with its nineteen century black iron pedestal I literally begged the dealer to give me a better price, which he finally did at 25 Euros. I nearly kissed him I was so thrilled. The canvas study painting I bought a while ago, before Cassis was ever a reality of ours. I was going to sale it, but my friend Gina said, "He is the Captain for Cassis." I bought it at Carpentras from a dealer I know well for 70 Euros. The colors play well together and set the tone for the living room: White oak, black, zinc, yellow and the muted shell tones.
The window is original with its original forged iron hardware, Rene stripped it back to the natural wood. I am looking for a rug at least I think I am.
When French Husband and Rene hauled the sofa up a ladder, on to the awning of Chez Gilbert, and then through the window I thought I was going to puke (I posted the video of the sofa adventure on FB). At one point the ladder started to buckle, French Husband had the sofa balancing on his head, while Rene pulled it up to the awning. How an accident did not happen has me shaking me head. When I look at the sofa now I hear all the swear words I uttered that crazy day.
Above, and over yonder up those stairs is the bedroom, under the bedroom is the bathroom, below the stairs is the entrance, the kitchen and den.
I gotta change that cord on the shell lamp, extending it so it can hide behind Captain Cassis. The frayed edges of the painting don't bother me none. Yeah, I am a pick and choose kind of OCD. Peeling, cracked, chipped, yep that is okay, short cord on lamp No f-ing way.
When we were selecting a color for the walls Arnelle was a major help. As the walls were plastered the traditional way they were blinding white. As French Husband saw it white was good. Blinding? Wear sunglasses until the sun goes down. Arnelle's idea was to paint the back wall a blue black. Which I was grateful for the idea, and loved instantly. French Husband with his constant doubt and wanting to keep the entire house blinding white nearly made us black and blue with talking it about it. Finally, we agreed, we would paint the walls the same color as we had painted them in Paris (because he could see the results) and paint the walls dividing the back rooms blue black.
The walls in Paris and in Cassis are a stone white.
My life stories circle around the brocante, I guess that is normal considering that it is my work and hunting ground. The painting above is from such an adventure. I was busy buying things for a client, when I saw an older man selling his paintings. I had never seen him at the brocante before, so that in itself was intriguing. As I did not have time to stop and look, I asked him for his card and if I could meet him later to talk about his paintings. French Husband and I met with him, instantly falling in love with his seascapes from Ireland, Bretagne and Provence. His paintings have made me see the landscape differently.
A girl leaning on a window sill, blows bubbles from a seashell.
1800s of older,
Oil on canvas.
Who knew that those colors would match the modern painting on the opposite wall, and add balance to the ying and yang of old and new.
I bought this painting five or six years ago.
Miniature of a Siren.
The 1700s white oak demi-lune, unfolds making a perfect table to gather round for an aperitif.
French Husband and I had gathered our finds at the brocante, the car was stuffed, I laughed nervously, wondering where I would sit as we carried the last bit to the car. Next to our car was an antique dealer, the demi-lune stared at me, I poked French Husband, "See that? Those are sought after, if I was selling furniture I would buy it in a heartbeat." The dealer noticed us talking about it, presuming we wanted to buy it. He said, "300 Euros." French Husband asked me if that was a good deal, I told him if didn't matter if it was a good deal because we weren't looking for a demi-lune and the car was full. The dealer listening to us speaking in English assumed we wanted it, and said, "I can do a better price for the little lady if she wants it?" French Husband, honest as he is, said, "No she doesn't want it." I gave a sorry look and shrugged my shoulders, as to say that was true. Though the dealer read us differently, and offered us a better deal, "It is the end of the day, I am tired, I have sold well, I tell you what, I can do 150 Euros."
French Husband pulls me aside, "That is a GOOD deal we should buy it!"
"Yeah and it can ride on your head and sleep on your side of the bed," I laughed.
Somehow the dealer thought I was mad at French Husband for not letting me buy it. Sometimes male chauvinism pays off. He said, "Okay, okay, the little lady really wants it, and hell I want to get rid of it, so you can have it for 80 Euros. Make her happy, and you will be happier this evening."
And somehow we managed to get it in the car, and it never slept with French Husband.
A monkey fist rope hangs out in a champagne bucket.
The six foot by five foot painting is by Camille, that too went through the window. But as it was light it wasn't too big of a deal, French Husband would say, "Sure."
The chandelier is from the 1900s.
French antiques with a modern twist.
Should I add a rug or not?