La Ferme du Vigneron is an 18th century vintner’s farm turned into a beautiful holiday home with 5 bedrooms in the heart of Provence.
How would you describe the River House in a nutshell?
River House is a chateau in a very quiet village with an incredible aesthetic.
What was the inspiration/story behind the River House?
I’ve been coming to Provence since I was a child and this year marked my 30th Easter spent in the Camargue. I have good friends here, so I’m inspired by the people, the landscape and the food of the region.
A friend showed me the house in 2010 and I immediately felt there was something special about it. So I went to the town hall and asked who owned it. It has been deserted for three years but the current owner showed me around — I asked the price and three weeks later I bought it.
It needed a lot of work, so I replaced the entire roof and every window in the house, as well as taking up the floors to seal them. There was only one bathroom in the house (which was outside), so all of the bathrooms are new too. I’ve restored a couple of houses in London and another in France, so I drew on that experience and my global travels to inspire the design.
How would you describe the atmosphere of the River House and what do you love about it?
It has a really good feeling to it and a beautiful aesthetic, as well as a sense of security. You’re in the village (so you’re not in the middle of nowhere) but the streets in the village are just wide enough for one car, so there’s never any noise. The high courtyard walls make you feel very protected, with high ceilings throughout the interior creating plenty of space.
While much of the interior is new, I’ve left some of the patina of age, giving it a rugged country house feel. A lot of Provençal furniture is featured in the rooms, together with elements of French Gothic, Victorian English and Medieval styles, as well as carpets from Turkey and Persia.
Is it suitable for families or couples?
Children often come to stay and are just as safe as they would be in any other country house. There is a lock on the swimming pool door and I ask guests before I give them the code to sign a waiver that they will be responsible for safety around the pool.
The River House is really designed for anyone who loves artistic beauty. But I wouldn’t say it’s ideal for those who need air-conditioning or like the sterile feel of a hotel room.