Eye candy that is 2Die4. If you have spent any time on Pinterest, you must have come across this photo. I have come back to the photos of this home time and time again to dream about being in this room. I daydream about being at a flea market in Europe and finding a pair of these huge prickets. Wouldn't that be a dream come true? I probably would put them in my living room, however, not at the foot of my king bed, but they certainly make a huge design statement. The room would look so different without them. Wouldn't you like to know where they came from, a church, private chapel, or manor and what year they were made? I am curious and always have so many questions.
Look at that ceiling -- the wide plank floors [replaced?] -- the mirrors -- the bed corona -- the linen and the plaster patch stains on the back wall. Those beams must be over 550 years old. Every surface and object is neutral in color. Who said neutral is boring? Think about what would magically happen if you put an orchid colored pillow on the bed, or a turquoise one or a bouquet of orchid Lilacs on the table or a painting on the wall with those colors. The room would become orchid or turquoise or any color you choose. Instantly changeable. Love neutral decor for that reason. I am fully in the process of switching my home to nearly all white. I can't stop looking at that photo. In September it will be three years since James Balston went to Sees, France [West of Paris] to photograph this home for the London Times published on September 23, 2013. To me, this is timeless decor. This is not a dainty house so scale of furnishings is critical. Do you want to move in and never leave? I would probably change the nightstands, however, and add some of my console tables with the marble tops. And install my Swede Collection four poster crown bed instead of the corona, although in our master I currently have a corona but much smaller than this one. When I was doing my container in Sweden, I found a corona this big size but didn't purchase it as I didn't think I could sell it easily and didn't have the space for it.
And, have you seen this photo of the huge cupboard and just stared at it forever wondering what it would be like to see it in person? I have thought about what I would store in all those drawers. Is it Swedish Baroque?
Well, here it is.
Do you ever look at a fabulous photo and wonder about the backstory -- where is it -- who lives there? I found the answer to those questions. The residence, the bedroom and the cupboard belong to the owners of Augustus Brandt Antiques in England, Paula and Stephen Parkinson, who spent 10 years restoring this 15th century property in Sees France. Can you imagine the cost to do that? But now restored, it can live another few hundred years. Love preserving things. Would also love to visit their antique shop.
Preserving beauty is one of my missions in reproducing Swedish antiques. Imagine my delight to see that Paula and Stephen chose Swedish Rococo chairs for their breakfast room. So similar to the ones I make. And, these are around my kitchen table at home as well.
Side view of the chairs. See how versatile Swedish furniture is to mix in a French home. There is also a Swedish bench shown below -- look in the photos for it. And, note that HUGE mirror that reflects the outdoors.
View of the eight chairs around the table.
Here are Paula and Stephen in the kitchen.
Thank you both for the joy of the eye candy you have given me. This house must give you pure joy daily.
Also note the close up view of the top rails of the Swedish kitchen chairs. Look familiar?
And the epauleps on the chair knees.
Absolutely love these chairs. They grow on you over time and you love them even more.
Here is my reproduction Swede Collection Rococo chair based on the original antique chairs that I purchased from Sweden:
I also make it without the arms like Paula's antique chairs.
More photos of the bedroom. Notice there are no drapes on the windows. There is another Swedish chair by the radiator.
See the oval commode with drawers on both sides -- if I remember correctly, Henredon made this style in the 1990's. I am not sure how old this one is but it looks English.
View of the opposite end of the bedroom. Swedish bench in the window at left. Vitra's LaChaise is striking in contrast but very fun. It runs just over $11,000. Okay, I'll dream of finding one on clearance! Bathroom is behind the open doors in the paneling.
I do not know what year this came to production, but the original was done in 1948 by Charles and Ray Eames.
Let's go on and see more of this house.
Living/dining room. Love that big cupboard on the left.
Love the floor. Limestone perhaps. It would not surprise me to learn that all these floors were installed during the renovation as it is doubtful that floors from the 1400's would still be in good shape. I heard that the staircase was replaced.
Have you ever lived in a home made of stone? I have wondered if it has an odor of wet dampness. Some plasters hold moisture as well.
Lots of lovely details.
Another photo of the dining room.
I would love to see the "before renovation" photos of this property. I hope the Parkinsons write a book about this house. Do you think the left portion where the new kitchen and breakfast room are is a new addition to the old structure?
My Swede Collection furniture line would look fabulous in this house. Wish I could use it for a photo shoot for my product catalog.
So what do you think? Love it? Would you take on a renovation like this?
To see more of the property photos go to www.jamesbalstonphotography.com.
Oh, be still my heart!
Photos: James Balston, Colleen Martin