The first Journal entry about my interior design work at Le Mas des Poiriers focused on the construction work in progress. In this second post, I’m getting more in-depth into the design and inspiration for the Kitchen of the Mas.
Our client had a definite design inspiration for the house – she wanted soft French blues and lovely antiques throughout the creamy plaster-walled interiors with added color in classic French fabrics.
Of the local Provencal interior inspirations we gathered for the house, the cellar kitchen of the La Mirande Hotel in Avignon, France was a defining inspiration: it has the same inviting atmosphere we were seeking to have for Le Mas des Poiriers’ kitchen. In particular, my client loved the large center island pictured above. The casual, intimate feeling with the hooded stove at the end and adjacent open shelves was very appealing. Getting this same charm and country sensibility, while translating the proportions for a larger kitchen, was important.
A shot of the Kitchen, at right, during construction
Having worked with Debbie Blumencranz of Design Galleria Kitchens previously to design the kitchen cabinetry in our Mountain Ski Retreat, we knew she’d be a great addition to the project. She coordinated the cabinetry details to ensure the local millworker, Francois Reynier, produced the cabinets with the functionality and construction to which our client is accustomed. Francois’ cabinet shop had done the original construction of the La Mirande kitchen and he understood the look we wanted to emulate.
For me, getting the right balance of materials and details was tricky, but it all worked out to give the right blend of Country French charm and modern conveniences.
Alexandre LaFourcade inspecting the cabinet installation at one of our site meetings.
Installation of the cabinetry just before on-site painting.
My quick sketch for the stone vendor of the custom Limestone sink and side dish drying racks to be flush fitted into the reclaimed Oak wood island. We did this to help protect the wood island from the water of the sink.
The final carved limestone sink installed in the island with its stone dish rack surround.
The stove is centered on the back wall under a large limestone hood. To contrast the soft Farrow & Ball Light Blue cabinets, I chose the bold color of Burgundy for the La Cornue Grand Palais range. This color compliments the classic Pierre Frey fabrics in the adjacent Breakfast Room and works nicely with the creamy stone counters and floors. The dishwashers and refrigerator are hidden behind custom wood cabinetry to maintain the authentic country look.
The overall space is light and neutral with its antique oak wood island and limestone counter contrasting the pale blues of the cabinets and counter stools. Iron details in the hardware and custom pot rack compliment the copper pots and antique iron decorative fixtures from Jamb, Ltd. Antique French pottery and plates, pastoral oil paintings collected with care at L’Isle sur la Sorgue market add the decorative finishing touches to the space.