Our apartment in Apt, France

On Monday I talked about our arrival to Provence, Apt more specifically. The trip was just my mom and me and we had been talking about a trip to Provence for ages. You see, once upon a time Mom had a shop in Corona del Mar, CA called “En Provence” where she sold beautiful French country furniture (made by my uncle!) and gifts. But between you and me, she had never been! She’d get comments all the time, “yup, this feels just like it” and she would just smile and nod, “merci.” Most likely because of this, I grew up a French country disciple and devoured anything Provence-related like Peter Mayle’s Year in Provence. You can imagine, this was a bit of a dream come true for us.
Knowing that Mom was coming to visit us in Denmark we just knew we had to go south for a bit and make it a reality. Then the question arose, WHERE to stay? I asked you dear Lars readers for suggestion and you were SO helpful. Thank you! If you want to go there yourself, read some of their suggestions here. I was tipped off by a friend of mine that Katy Elliot, whose blog I’ve adored for many blog years had stayed in Provence and after seeing her post about her stay in Bonnieux I KNEW that that had to be us. The apartment is owned by an architect/designer couple in Maine who also have properties and an antiques shop in New England called Marston House and other properties in Southern France. We didn’t stay in the Bonnieux location, but their 2 bedroom apartment in Apt, the town right next door. The pictures of the apartment showed a really beautiful, simple interior in neutral colors with a mix of antiques and new pieces. They later told me that they completely renovated it themselves including the statement staircase done by local craftsmen (go local!). I loved their whole vibe and their love for the area so I was sold. 
Read more about our experience below.

Like I said, the apartment is a mix of antiques and new pieces including the linens, which included personalized monograms from previous owners. I loved these touches, like on the window curtains.
This is the bedroom that I stayed in, above, and I didn’t get a great photo of my mom’s room which was the bigger of the two.
The apartment overlooked this quaint courtyard, which we could have used, but ended up leaving early in the morning and returning after sundown each day, so we gawked from afar.
If you want to stay here, or at any of their rentals, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Their taste helps transform your experience. I wouldn’t say that Apt was my favorite town that we stayed in. There was a tinge of grittiness that I didn’t prefer, but when you’re in Provence you end up renting a car and seeing all the towns anyway so you may not spend so much time in your place. It was a great home base for us.
Marston House rentals website here. I’ll be posting more about the markets in the area and our day trips. Guys, this trip blew my mind and I can’t wait to show it to you.
All photos but two taken by me. The two are from the Marston House website

Outfit to Room: 4

In case you live under a rock or fail to subscribe to the same multitude of fashion-related e-mail newsletters that I do, New York Fashion Week is upon us.  So, in an ode to one of my favorite designers, Lauren Moffatt, today’s “Outfit to Room” features a darling look, aptly titled “the Catcher in the Rye Sally” colorblock dress.  The English major in me is geeking out.

by Katie Farber of This, That, & The Other 

DRESS  |  PILLOW  |  CATCHER IN THE RYE  |  CHAIR  |  TRIANGLE ARTWORK  |  SOFA  |  TABLE

House update

Our house has undergone a major facelift within the past few weeks and I must say that it is lookin good. Remember what it looked like before? Brick with a red tile roof. Our landlords, who live on the bottom two floors (we live on the top), have replaced the roof with a black tile roof, plastered it and painted it white and added really lovely windows. And we are most happy that there is now insulation. Yes, after they tore off the roof it was discovered that there was none, which explains so much about why it’s just as cold inside as it is outside during the winter.

This Girl: XV

This Girl  |  Reads  |  Gardens

I started this This Girl with the “reading” room that I found from Katy Elliott as I’ve been scouting out places to go in the South of France in September. Anyone have any tips? I’m looking for one place where we can stay for a number of days that an art lover would love. A town with cute shops and markets. A town where we can find fabrics and flowers and where we are inspired to paint and photograph. Am I the biggest mooch alive? I swear I’m not super needy in real life, I just trust my dear readers’ opinion. Shoot!

Single cupcake stand

I made a cupcake stand out of candlestick holders for Brooklyn Bride and decided to try it with a different flavor so I used shocking pink spray paint. Shocked are you? It’s so easy! And guess who took the photos? ME! I got a 50mm lens for my birthday and my life has officially changed for the better. Thank you mom! I still have A LOT to learn so please be patient.
And here’s the wedding version over at Brooklyn Bride.

For another cupcake stand idea check out this other one I made out of board.

Floor treatment inspiration

My new studio space has wonderful wood flooring. Two rooms are a beautiful herringbone pattern and the other is plain vertical planking. I’m ACHING to paint on some black and white diamonds like this party scene on the plain planking and then keep the integrity of the herringbone with a wonderful stain. What do you think? Have you ever done either? Any tips?

Party scene 
Herringbone

Tucked away

Still working through these Iceland photos. What do you think so far? Nuts, right? Paul and I rented a car for a few days and drove across the island. We stopped periodically to capture the houses built into mountains*. I’m guessing this technique came to be because it’s so (so so so so so so so) windy and the rock is at least one solid fortification. 
*kind of reminded me of that rock house in Laguna Beach. You know what I’m talking about OCers? 

This Girl: X

This girl oozes sophisticated pink.

This Girl  |  Sleeps  |  Works 

Kissing clothespin magnet

I did a version of my wedding couple clothespin (originally on Brooklyn Bride) for Chalkboard Mag, but this time I turned into…drumroll please….a magnet. *GASP*. I know, contain yourself. 
Materials: oversize clothespin, acrylic paints, paintbrush, pencil, magnet strip, double sided tape or glue, scissors.
Step 1: Create the outfit outlines of the couple’s clothing with your pencil. (I based her outfit off of Lauren Moffat‘s fall 2012 line)
Step 2: Paint in the outfits with your acrylics.

Step 3: Cut a strip of magnet and use double sided tape or glue to attach it to the clothespin.

Voila! 
I mostly wanted to find a way to find a practical use for this clothespin rather than just have it sitting on my bookshelf so I thought the fridge would be a much better place for it. Plus, you get a little peek into the chalkboard cupboard that I painted in our kitchen. 
As always, photography by Hilda Grahnat 

DIY: Friendship Bracelet chevron rug

You know how friendship bracelets are totally back? Well, I can’t quite bring myself to get into it after 15 years but I love the bright colors, the patterns, the idea of it….It got me thinking where else I could apply the process and I thought it’d be fun to make a huge friendship bracelet that you could walk on.  You know, given my love of all things oversized. After multiple attempts I came up with this rug for the new Chalkboard Magazine (it’s awesome. Check it out here). Any other size is too thick to actually use. The one you see here is two final rugs stitched together.
Materials: 2 sets of 5 colors of fabric, 8-10″ wide and 3 meters long; scissors, needle, thread, tape

Step 1: Line the 5 colors up how you’d like them to appear in rows on the rug.
Step 2: Mirror the colors on the other side of the line so that there are 10 pieces.
Step 3: With the first piece of fabric (mine is pink) on the left, make the number 4 with the second piece (dark blue here).
Step 4: Put the first piece under the second piece and tie it, bringing it up to the top.Step 5: With the first piece, move onto the next piece of fabric (yellow here) and repeat the process. Continue to the center of the colors and leave the pink alone for now.

Step 6: Work from the other side, moving from the right to the center. Make sure to reverse the number 4.
Step 7: When the two pinks meet in the middle, tie them together.

Step 8: Go onto the next row (the dark blue) and repeat the process.

Step 9: Work until you’ve finished your desired length. Mine is 31″ from the outer points.

Step 10: Begin a new one and repeat the process in the same color order.
Step 11: Stitch the two together with a needle and thread. I stitched mine so that they go opposite ways.
Step 12: Cut the ends off so that they hide into the first layer of color.
Step 13: Stich the ends to the first layer so it’s secure and can’t wiggle out.
Step 14: Voila!
Photography by Liv Colliander

This girl: IV

Black and white gloriousness.

Girl  |  Foyer  |  Office space