CREATING PARADISE

Laetitia has a sense for art, design and creation. She invites the nature and the natural elements in her home, located in a beautiful village not far from Marseille and thought to be her true paradise: a house surrounded by nature with stunning views over the hills and cliffs of Provence! It was renovated from scratch and completely decorated by Laetitia, who designs and crafts numerous objects and accessories that can be found in her house: copper tube lamps, pebbles shaped cushions and sculptures. Polished concrete floors and vivacious colours complete this stunningly decorated family house!

This family home, full of personality and yet so functional, is a homage to the mixing of genres, with ease and relaxation. It took 3 years of renovation – out of 10 years of total refurbishment – to transform an old house into a stunning family villa. It was on a holiday, while taking a stroll, that Laetitia and her husband fell in love with the area. Laetitia was then completely dazzled by the natural surroundings: green valleys, scattered cliffs, ravines and breathtaking views. They decide straight away to find a home in the region and just a week later that they discover the perfect place.

The house looked at that point like it was stuck in the 70’s: old fashioned windows, brown ceramic tiles used for the floors, wallpaper with flowers pattern in the bathroom, and a ramshackle swimming pool. But Laetitia is immediately and completely fascinated by the beauty of the surroundings and by the stunning views – the cliffs of the Sainte Baume Mountain – the house possess. She admits it was love at first sight. “It will take as long as it will take, but we will restore it”. The statement left no room for argument – it was obvious she had decided that was her home to be. They had only been tenants at that point, so this was going to be their first purchase. At last, a place of her own, Laetitia thought, where she could finally have some fun and unleash her imagination in order to redefine the whole house. Some partitions didn’t made any sense, so a few walls were destroyed, the lounge and the kitchen switched rooms. Laetitia has always dreamt of a home with a polished concrete floor – she searched and searched but it seemed nobody could do it. Eventually, in a magazine story, she reads about Marylène Tortora, artist and architect from Marseille (www.ouillecapique.fr).

In a stroke of luck: Laetitia calls her and they click – her polished concrete project can finally be realized. Her father is another useful help for Laetitia – together they create the basis of the walls and floors that will be afterwards polished. Marylène does all the coating and polishing of the concrete surfaces (floors, kitchen, fireplace, bathroom). It will take three weeks in total for the project is finished, and Laetitia has now a balanced mix of styles in the different areas of the house, all unified by the same concrete floor. The house has a friendly & social feeling, given by the layout of the rooms and of course, by the kitchen opening into the living room and dining room. “It’s really nice to cook while chatting with guests. It is a house where we take a real pleasure in receiving them. I quite like the feeling of having a couch in my kitchen! ” explains Laetitia.

What is also striking when you enter this house is the continuity of natural light – both outside and inside are luminous, vivid and bright. Almost all living spaces are bathed in a soft light and have openings towards the exterior (doors, windows). The walls of the kitchen and living room have large windows, offering magnificent views of the surrounding nature.

Facing a cement chimney in the entrance room, a sand colored carpet, sprinkled with pebble-shapped cushions, reminds us of the nearby beaches. The ceilling lamp ressembles the moon, and long and airy black threads curtains dim the light without obscuring the windows. In the kitchen, black stools and vibrant green touches create a graphic style to this area. This dinning room area has a color enhancer right beside it – a purple wall, that highlights the table and chair’s lighter shades. A tree branch, discretely suspended by a strong nylon thread, serves as a support for ceiling lamps.

In the bedroom, in order to redraw the outline of the room, the walls have been painted in two soft shades: purple-grey & grey-pearl. The bed panel echoes the contemporary style of the vanity area, with lamps designed by Laetitia. A beautiful light wood floor, as well as a silky-grey cowhide carpet, create a warm feeling. The wonderful chimney is pure luxury, and they definitely appreciate this extra dimension it creates in the bedroom – a real intimate place to unwind and relax. The logs can be stored directly under the chimney and become part of the decorative set.

Laetitia’s house is a very personal project, created little by little, and based on her possibilities, findings, journeys and desires. A few years ago, this business woman decided to have a break, to devote her time and energy to her family and her many other projects. She started painting, drawing and sewing… and never stopped since – she now creates cushions, lamps, sculptures and paintings. Her creations are inspired by the discoveries in her life: a walk in the forest, the flea markets, finding furniture abandoned on a street corner, objects that children bring at home etc. “I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I have found my home, my haven of peace and this is where I want to see my children grow up”, confesses Laetitia.