June 6th, 2010 comments
it’s high time you were properly introduced to my friend Catherine. As you leave l’Isle sur la Sorgue -direction Le Thor- Catherine Auffret Antiquités is on the left hand side of the road. Through the gates and behind the house sits her shop. It’s one of my favorite places to be, so much so that I’ve threatened to move in.
When she converted the old garage to a shop she used reclaimed arched windows from an orangerie, 6 of them. The antique windows frames are perfectly proportioned and the natural grace they lend to the space provides a magical backdrop for her beautiful selection of antiques. Catherine has a successful decorating business as well and in the rear of the shop she stocks samples from all of the best fabric lines.
Last year her projects ranged from private residences to a new Relais & Chateaux hotel just across the valley called La Coquillade. I’ve watched her business grow and I’m so proud of her! Best of all she’s a great friend and she loves an adventure. Trouble seems to find us wherever our love of antiques and design takes us… don’t ask me about the time our car was towed in Marrakech and we found ourselves attempting to charm the officials at Commissariat de Police through a barred window in the wee hours of the morning…
I hope you’ll visit her if you’re in town because chez Catherine tout est beau. For those of you wanting a virtual tour, here are a few of my favorite things…
May 2nd, 2010 comments
March 22nd, 2010 comments
tucked inside the heart of l’Isle sur la Sorgue is the home and shop of Odile Bouscarat. As you pass through her treasure filled courtyard, you’ll see the shop in the back. Look at everything, because you never know what you’ll find hidden in a corner. Odile favors the 18th century and doesn’t mind when pieces show their age. Her displays always have the right amount of whimsy in the mix. As I walk around my own house I see just how many of Odiles treasures have made their way home with me and never left. Please visit her if you’re in town and email me if you need directions.
La Petite Curieuse is the name of her shop and as the name implies it’s a Little Curiosity. Today it was a petite 18th century chair and a demi lune table (she says she bought with me in mind) that tempted me. Just the right patina, just the right amount of age. Arrrggghhh, what’s a short on space antique lover to do? I’m not quite sure yet, but I’ve been plotting ever since I got home.
March 14th, 2010 comments
bernard and Isabelle are two of my favorite dealers at the street brocante in l’Isle sur la Sorgue on Sundays. They set up stands next to one another. You’ll recognize Bernard by his straw hat and Isabelle surrounded by her collection of confit pots.
Today Bernard and I were talking about his personal collection of antiques. Most everything I admired in his display had come from his own home. He’s decided to edit and edit severely. “It’s time” he said. I nodded, adding that when it comes to the love of old things I think there are two personalities; the Finders and the Keepers. I fall into the Finder camp and though I swing towards the Keepers every once in a while, I’m not comfortable there for long. Bernard agreed.
I admire the Keepers for their ability to hold onto the things they love. And I’m oh so thankful for the Keepers, because their passion allows for Finders to keep finding. The last couple of years have been tough for the antique dealers in this part of France. The buyers have stopped coming. American buyers especially. For Finders like me it feels good to support my dealer friends by buying from them and it feels good again to see the pleasure the objects bring to their new owners. My place is in the middle. And it seems for the moment that Bernard’s might be too.
February 21st, 2010 comments
Sunday is the day in l’Isle sur la Sorgue. On one side of the river that runs through this well-known little antique haven you’ll find a weekly market. Fresh fruit and veg line up next to tapenade and pintade.
Scarves and lavender compete openly with goat cheese. Olive wood bowls stare down a vendor offering vintage country western cassette tapes. It’s the colors and smells of Provence seasoned with a dash of funny.
But, it’s the other side of the river that sings to me. Along the street facing ‘antique row’ the brocante vendors set up their tables beckoning me to take a look. Many have become good friends so please stay tuned and in the months to come I’ll introduce you.