Country Living editor Niña Williams had never visited Provence, yet visions of that fabled French region permeated her dreams. And so, with a little help from some talented artists, she transformed her own simple Denver home (inside and out) into a small bit of Provençal heaven. Everywhere trompe l'oeil murals turn the walls into a storybook peopled with imaginary characters and landscapes from a tiny imaginary Provençal village. And each detail, from the ceramic dishes to the small soaps in the bathroom to the wrought iron furniture on the patio, has the perfect Provençal touch. Williams herself explains her inspiration, and the reasons behind all her choices. A pure delight and true original, this blend of romance and design primer also includes tasty tidbits like Provençal recipes (Garlic Rabbit) and information on the Provençal crafts of lacemaking, enamelware, and more.
Read an Excerpt
When I happened upon my cottage a few years ago, I was on the brink of a new life - a reinvention of home was necessary. Gypsy-like, I had traveled from house to house, and this time I yearned to make the cottage the retreat of a wanderer come to rest. I wished for coziness, for stacks of books, for a layering of intensely personal allusions, for a spirit of sensuous playfulness and fun.
I resolved to work with two old friends and colleagues, trompe l'oeil aritists Barb Fisher and Laura Chappell, to set a convincing mise-en-scene. I admired their talent, sensitivity to color, and technical abilities. Additionally, they possessed a knack for incorporating historical accuracy into their designs as well as whimsy and humor. In short, they were the perfect team to illustrate the cottage, to imbue it with the fanciful and childlike beauty of a fairy tale.