Mediterranean Chic – Villa in France

Taylor Howes Press / Danica Maricic, Editor-in-Chief

June 17, 2016

Archi-World

This design project involved furnishing a 10,000sqft villa in the South of France for an existing client. The extensive grounds incorporated a football pitch, tennis courts, vineyard, and a hotel size swimming pool. The style is relaxed, Mediterranean chic and the fantastic light quality in the South of France lends itself to pastel tones and soft linens with joinery pieces in pale oak and whitewashed timbers.

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Taylor Howes lends its impeccable design flair to this stunning holiday bolt home near Mougins in the South of France. What better place to escape the relentless noise of the city than this restful holiday home in the south of France. The 2-story house is a new build but its London-based owners opted for a French provincial style, an ideal fit for the serene surroundings. Interior design was placed in the capable hands of Taylor Howes, whose project portfolio runs from private residences and boutique hotels to luxurious show homes. Taylor Howes’ brief was simple. “The clients have two young boys and wanted us to create a child-friendly holiday home that was in keeping with traditional French style, but with all the modern amenities,” says Creative Director Sandra Drechsler. “We have worked on two projects for them previously, both located in London, so they had complete confidence in our choices.”

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The house is every inch the family home, engineered towards growing children. Beautifully landscaped grounds alive with fragrant lavender feature an impressive swimming pool and children’s sized football pitch. Inside, a spacious ground floor playroom comes complete with a snooker table and bespoke sideboard, made with children in mind owing to its decorative handles fashioned into numbers.

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Proving that playrooms can also be an adult-friendly space, Taylor Howes has added refined touches such as dining chairs lacquered in a soft grey from Italian label Billiani and a super comfortable L-shaped sofa from London retailer Coexistence, where the family can watch television. “I love the playroom because we bought everything, even down to the tiniest accessories such as the colored pencils,” recalls Sandra. “We really took the greatest care to get everything right, thinking about how the children would open the door and find everything ready for them.”

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Throughout the rest of the house, descriptors like stylish and sophisticated spring to mind thanks to tasteful furniture, luxurious fabrics from the likes of Fox Linton, Dedar and Altfield and a soothing neutral color palette of sand colors that echoes the tranquillity of its setting. “We used a lot of linens,” says Sandra, “we avoided anything too silky because the house gets a lot of sunlight so we wanted to keep things fairly practical and not use materials that can fade.”

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The ground floor features honed travertine flooring throughout, starting in the kitchen where a centrally located La Cornue island unit steals the limelight. The kitchen leads into a separate dining room, opening out onto a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the swimming pool. Upholstered dining chairs from Poliform’s Velvet collection soften the look of the bespoke wedge dining table, which is lit by Kevin Reilly’s spectacular Altar pendant lamp. “We wanted to bring the outside in, as well as reference the seaside so we hung fish shaped dishes on the wall,” says Sandra. “Obviously France is very well known for ceramics, so we felt it worked particularly well.”

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The teal color of the dishes is picked up by the scatter cushions in the impressive reception room, where smart bespoke sofas, are clustered around a bespoke bleached oak coffee table. “I think zoning the seating area and keeping everything in natural sand colors helped to make the space more welcoming, we then used dark timbers to warm it up,” explains Sandra. Well considered finishing touches such as a magnificent Peshawar rug, that successfully offsets the cool tiled floor, also helps to make the room look and feel more comfortable.

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Sharing the ground floor is a guest suite comprising a living room, bathroom, and bedroom, thoughtfully furnished with twin beds that can be pushed together or separated as desired. The talking point is a pair of Jackie bed heads by Collet Sandrine for French manufacturer Pierre Fray, upholstered in rich aubergine linen to match the bed bases and flanked by bedside tables by Belgian brand JNL. The bedroom leads into the guest living area, dominated by a bespoke sofa upholstered in aqua blue linen. Continuing the coastal theme is a large shell print that hangs on the wall.

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Upstairs is given over to a further four bedrooms, the most impressive being the master bedroom complete with a small terrace. Keynotes include bleached oak floorboards, a bespoke bed complimented by a buttoned headboard and a bespoke sofa, made to the width of the bed. The sculptural lamps either side of the bed were discovered in a small shop in Cannes. 

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The crowning glory of this impressive house, however, is the cinema room, fitted with large, relaxing armchairs and sofa. “This house caters to all your needs,” laughs Sandra, “there is even a bar in the cinema room, propped up by bar stools.” Were the homeowners happy with the finished result? “Absolutely,” says Sandra. “They were thrilled.”

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