Before & After: Designing a Romantic Guest Suite in Provence

For this third post about the development of the interior design and decoration of Le Mas des Poiriers, I want to focus on Chambre Fontaine.  This bedroom seems to capture the heart of most people when they see it.  It has the grand, regal feeling of a Master Bedroom but also the coziness of a well-appointed guest room.

 

After image of Chambre Fontaine, Le Mas des Poiriers
After image of Chambre Fontaine, Le Mas des Poiriers

 

My Client’s desire was to have this room feel comfortable and beautiful, and slightly elevated from the other guest bedrooms in the house.  It was the original Master Bedroom, before the addition over the barn that created the new Master.  That said, this was the second most important bedroom in the home.

For a luxurious feeling, I had my eye on Braquenie Fabric’s Princesse Palatine fabric. The cool cream silk Jacquard, with accents of coral and blues seemed just the right feminine colors for this bedroom with views out to the formal gardens.  The fabric was also one of the finer Pierre Frey fabrics we used in the bedrooms – instantly setting it apart from the others.

 

Before photo of Chambre Fontaine, Le Mas des Poiriers
Before photo of Chambre Fontaine, Le Mas des Poiriers

 

Before photo - the original room had nice beams and ceiling height – but the furnishing were sad
Before photo – the original room had nice beams and ceiling height – but the furnishing were sad

 

We did a few key things in this bedroom to unify the space and give it that luxurious, dramatic, and authentic French feeling.

CONSISTENT COLORWAYS

The instant soothing feeling in this space is achieved by making the Princesse Palatine fabric the focus point. Keeping the walls creamy, strategically painting the wood beams white, and using white linens and cream upholstery fabrics in the room creates a soft, airy feeling that compliment this floral fabric.

 

Custom Tester bed with tree pattern aligned up and over bed.
Custom Tester bed with tree pattern aligned up and over bed.

 

To add interest and tie the room’s colors together, we pulled out a few key color tones from the Palatine fabric.  First, we trimmed this custom Tester Bed, which was inspired by those at Tuscany’s Villa Cetinale,with solid coral silk moiré on all the edges of the Palatine fabric and in the interior drapery side panels.  We wanted the bed to be center stage, so the added contrast trim highlights the beautiful romantic custom bed.

 

Princesse Palatine Fabric by Pierre Frey
Princesse Palatine Fabric by Pierre Frey

 

Simple, graphic painted line detail around all doors and baseboard.
Simple, graphic painted line detail around all doors and baseboard.

 

Second, we pulled out the dusty brown in the fabric’s tree bark and accented the walls with a thin line – around all doorways and along the baseboard. It’s a subtle, but interesting detail that continues the eye around the room and blends well with the casual diamond patterned sea grass area rug.

Third, we specifically shopped for distress painted furniture with the soft blue tones to tie to the floral fabric and pop off the pale terra cotta tile floor.

 

Antique Painted Provencal secretary picking up the colors in the floral fabric.
Antique Painted Provencal secretary picking up the colors in the floral fabric.

 

furniture plan in centimeters by S B Long Interiors
Our furniture plan in centimeters. Items in red were furniture pieces still needing to be found for this room in the progress of the job.

 

EMPHASIZE DRAMATIC HEIGHT:

The room has naturally high ceilings accentuated by the fireplace column and the tall windows.  We intentionally added to this drama by creating the custom Tester bed that is supported at the ceiling.  Carefully aligning the Palatine tree of life pattern on the headboard and flat fabric panel behind the bed – your eye is carried up the wall.   The complimentary window drapery panels finish off the tall windows and unify the space.

 

Sketch for the drapery workroom
My Sketch for the drapery workroom to ensure all custom details were carefully understood.

 

The grand Tester bed taking full advantage of the ceiling height.
The grand Tester bed taking full advantage of the ceiling height.

 

The original fireplace wall had 2 niches on each side around the center that seemed empty and awkward.  We designed matching built-in cabinets to fill these side areas that ran floor to ceiling.  The tall, narrow cupboards constructed by Lafourcade Architecture’s local craftsmen were appointed with hanging as well as folded clothing areas.  We intentionally painted them soft blue creating a nice symmetry around the fireplace wall to intentionally balance the grand canopy bed on the opposite wall.

 

Wall before cabinets installed
Wall before cabinets installed

 

Cabinets installed - just before paint
Cabinets installed – just before paint

 

Cabinets after distressed decorative painting
Cabinets after distressed decorative painting

 

TEXTURE MIX:

The soft, soothing feeling in this Bedroom is further achieved by a subtle mix of textures.  The silk sheen of the Palatine fabric plays off the rustic painted beams, rough woven Sea grass rug and accents of plush velvet.  The slubby linen upholstery and cotton sateen bedding contrasts the years of worn paint on the antique Provencal furniture pieces.  We use Alexandre Lafourcade’s go-to decorative painting specialist to paint and age the newly installed tall cabinets to a worn, soft blue. The end result is a comfortable, familiar and romantic feeling in this Guest Room.

 

Detail shot of the texture mix - silk linen, alabaster, velvet, distressed paint.
Detail shot of the texture mix – silk linen, alabaster, velvet, distressed paint.

 

If you liked this post, please check out our Blog post Dream Project: Le Mas des Poiriers – Avignon, France about the renovation of the Mas and our design collaboration with Alexandre Lafourcade including dramatic before photos of the farmhouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 







Comments

  • 3 weeks ago Holly Alderman

    Very inspiring to see your concept, the scale, the style, before and after, from the spontaneity of your concept sketch to the comfortability in formality of full installation.

    Reply
    • 3 weeks ago Susan Bednar Long

      Holly, I appreciate your comments! I love your designs.

      Reply

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by design and the subtle impact of our surroundings. Some of my earliest influences still resonate – I think of the dark woods and textured lodens of my father’s shooting club, the smell of fresh paint on a new canvas, and the bold symmetry of the Philip Johnson Glass house just down the street. For me, it was a natural path to become an Interior Designer. I love what I do. I’ve created this Blog to share my thoughts, finds and design inspirations. I hope you enjoy it!