Ann's back in France and we've been pinging her non-stop with questions: how was entry in France (no problem, but boarding in Atlanta was a little more intense with a lot of document checking); what paperwork did everyone want to see (negative PCR Covid test and proof of vaccination card); what's it like in Paris (overjoyed, bustling, cafes are packed and masks are not mandatory if you're outside but everyone is still wearing them on the metro).
I'm headed over on Thursday and Ann and I will immediately embark on our first duo buying trip since December 2019. I'm beyond excited - and a little nervous too, in the very best possible way.
Home base in Provence
The beautiful (and recently renovated) living room at Les Murets.
HQ will be Les Murets, Ann's lovely house in Provence. It's going to be such a visual feast for our eyes (and souls, after being gone for so long) and I can't wait to peek at sweet little villages, cherry trees, lavender, sleepy cafes and early morning markets. And with my head and heart already in France, it was very serendipitous that we just placed an order at the store for a wonderful new book called Provence Style: Decorating with French Country Flair.
Swoon-worthy Provencal eye candy
An 18-century Provencal farmhouse, Le Mas de Poiriers, is the star of the book. Oozing plenty of charm, rustic details and nods to the region's history, the house was completely redesigned by local architect superstar Alexandre Lafourcade. (Rumor even has it that President Obama and his family stayed there a couple years ago when they took a little vacay in Provence. And you can rent it too!) The photos are simply breath-taking and will transport you immediately to that sun-drenched part of France. (All photography courtesy of Le Mas de Poiriers site and/or Vendome Press and Luke White Photography)
I'm just swooning over this place and the sheer charm overload and if that doesn't put you in the mood for France, I don't know what will! (We are waiting for this book to arrive any second now. And check out all our other great coffee table books right here.)
Furniture before and afters
Back to our trip. We'll be buying for the store and we'll be looking for all things crunchy, crusty, chic, cool and different.
We love finding those diamonds in the rough, getting them back to Atlanta and giving them a little make-over, like these gems:
After with their new Anna French for Thibaut upholstery:
Or these simple "mouton" chairs, whose before shot was taken on a snowy day:
Et voila, the after shot, all dressed up in their Thibaut fabric:
And a little Antiques 101 for you: these are called "os de mouton" chairs because their graceful legs are shaped like those of little lambs (mouton means sheep in French). In the 17th century, every grand chateau had these classic and stately pieces clustered around the dining table.
We are armed with wishlists from our clients and the designers at Huff Harrington Design - and we will have our eyes peeled for the rustic and refined, the gritty and the sleek, the modern and the old and anything else that takes our fancy.
Stay tuned - we'll be taking loads of pictures and documenting some of our goodies on our Insta account (@huffharrington) - and we'll be soaking up that gorgeous Provence atmosphere while we're there.