Thursday, August 9, 2012
When Janet and Gilbert de Botton set about finding a house in the South of France, they finally settled on a 1,000 acre bull farm in Provence. From it, they created, along with decorator and landscape architect Jean-Louis Raynaud and his partner Kenyon Kramer, "one of the great contemporary estates of our time." Jacob Rothschild described it as "certainly the most comfortable and thoughtful place I've ever stayed in my life." It looks like it from these photos by François Halard that were first published in Vogue magazine in 2004; the book Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People; and recently on Vogue.com.
There are many amazing spaces in the house that was created out of the old farmhouse but the collection of 18th-century Marseilles faience displayed in the breakfast room is the pièce de résistance.
The Louis XVI dining room chairs are upholstered in their original Aubusson tapestry.
The provincial Louis XV canvas panels were discovered by Janet de Botton's friend Susan Gutfreund in Paris. The mid 18th-century dolphin was found at auction.
The irises are reminiscent of those painted by Van Gogh in the South of France.
The drawing room features a leaf painting by Carolyn Sargeant.
The 1940's chair in one of the bedroom is from Louis Bofferding on Lexington Avenue in New York.
Guests often take their meals on the dining terrace shaded by a split-reed-and-grapevine arbor.
The entrance to the main allée is flanked by Lavinia roses and under planted with irises.
Over 300 plane trees line the allée that leads to the Romanesque temple.
The hydrangea walk was cultivated to bloom into a riot of ultramarine blue.
The lavender bed stretches as far as the eye can see and is used in homes as a scorpion repellent.
Adelaide d'Orleans roses bloom on an arbor in the potager.
How lovely would it be to take a rest on this bench?
The potager was created by Lady Keen.
The box maze was inspired by the legend of the Minotaur, a nod to the original bull farm.
Photos by François Halard