This listed Art Deco villa in the South of France has been restored to its former glory

The renovation of this grand seaside property has created a space of enduring elegance that balances pretty touches with a masculine edge

three images of grand modern home in south of france
(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Once the home of a French film star, this grand art deco villa with its striking pink facade in the south of France was the epitome of faded glory when bought by the present owners. They decided to seek the help of the experts who had helped with the house design of their London home, to restore the villa to its former glory.

That's where Georgina Cave, the creative director and founder of Cave Interiors, came in - she worked on the villa with her daughter Anouska and their team. She comments, ‘It was very much about renovating and bringing it back to what it would’ve been in its heyday'. 

Colourful grand living area

Sofa, Cave Interiors; covered in Biarritz in Sable, Métaphores. Cushions, Penny Worrall. Luca chandelier, Fiona McDonald. Coffee table, Milos Antiques. Chairs in Persian Flower, Soane Britain.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Georgia explains, 'Most of the original features were missing so we reintroduced panelling and cornicing.’ They also opened up window arches and designed the new fanlights in the salon, introducing them over internal doors in other areas such as the bureau and main bedroom. ‘We continued that theme throughout the house to make it more in keeping with the Art Deco aesthetic and French style’, she continues.

Bureau with red accents and chair and desk and checked rug

Antique sofa in fabric from Tibor. Rug, Robert Stephenson. Bespoke ottoman, Cave Interiors; covered in fabric from Soane. Murano glass chandelier, Barovier & Toso. Cabinets in Bronze Red, Little Greene.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

The property is listed – the exterior paint color was sacrosanct, for instance. Work allowed included the building of a timber-clad extension at the back of the property with a kitchen, snug, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. A new basement created the space to incorporate a playroom, three bedrooms (two of which benefit from en suites), a family bathroom, and a utility, as well as a redesigned statement staircase.

dining area with green chairs and chandelier

Antique chandelier, Galerie Glustin. Dining table and chairs, Fiona McDonald. Chairs in Indus Weave in Emerald, Guy Goodfellow. Artwork, sourced by Projects on Walls. Curtains in Persian Maze in Emerald, Soane Britain.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Cave Interiors were responsible for the planning, which involved reconfiguration of some of the rooms. Upstairs for instance, the main suite was redesigned to create a main bedroom, dressing room, bathroom, and a guest bedroom with an en-suite.

The interior is imbued with an elegant, enduring quality. ‘The client didn’t want the country Provençal look so we worked closely with her to create a classic and timeless design,’ says Georgina. ‘It needed to be in keeping with the environment, so we chose local stone and colors with the Mediterranean light in mind.’

Modern style kitchen with pale green and grey veined marble

Arabescato Corchia marble. Cabinets, designed by Cave Interiors; painted in Lichen by Farrow & Ball. Floren two-arm pendant, CTO Lighting

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

The decor exudes ‘a gentle glamour that encompasses the taste of the client’, and this is epitomized, for example, by the number of pendant lights. ‘The one in the bureau was the first one we sourced and a favorite of ours,’ says Anouska. ‘The client likes pieces with glass so there’s a lot of Murano. Around 90 percent of the lighting was antique - much of it is mid-century.’

The statement kitchen includes an informal dining area that opens onto the terrace. It was a difficult space to design because of its long and narrow shape. The client was inspired by fluted marble, so Cave Interiors designed an arresting Arabescato Corchia marble island. Green kitchen cabinetry, which picks up on the goldy green threads running through the marble, was chosen to complement it.

bedroom with headboard and drapes

Bed canopy and headboard, Cave Interiors. Vintage cushion, Penny Worrall. Bedside table, antique.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

A muted color palette is used throughout the home. ‘It’s soft and gentle to work with the light,’ says Georgina. The client was open to the occasional strong colour and this is showcased in the bureau where an unexpected red introduces verve. ‘We wanted to create a bold statement with the deep red,’ says Anouska. ‘It has a masculine air but elements of prettiness.’

grand bathroom with large marble sink and seaweed wallpaper and bevelled mirror and glass wall lights

Washstand, Cave Interiors. Wallpaper, Pierre Frey. 1950s French Venetian-style mirror, Guinevere Antiques.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

The elegant redesigned staircase creates an instant impact. ‘The idea was to have this lovely, flowing, circular feel. The steps at the base are curved to bring you round as you walk down, which was important,’ says Georgina.

Paneling is carried down the staircase and through the rest of the house, injecting flow and grandeur as well. ‘We wanted it to feel quite majestic because it is a grand villa and makes a statement with its beautiful architecture.’

sun terrace overlooking pool with dining table

Antique dining table, Streett Marburg. C-Chair dining chairs, Gubi.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Meet the designers

Georgina and Anouska Cave share their style inspiration

What part of the home was the biggest indulgence?

The fluted Arabescato marble-clad kitchen island.

What one small change has the biggest impact?

Creating the effect of a single-pane window in the main salon overlooking the sea.

What's your go-to color?

A combination of Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin and Lime White in the main areas to create a neutral backdrop.

Favorite homeware brand?

Fiona McDonald for vintage and bespoke.

Describe your style in three words.

Masculine yet pretty.

Reveal a secret address we should know about. 

Les Trois Garcons for vintage and antique pieces stored in its warehouse in France.

Can you recommend an Instagram account we should be following?

Atelier Vime.

Vivienne Ayers
Houses Editor

Interiors have always been Vivienne's passion – from bold and bright to Scandi white. After studying at Leeds University, she worked at the Financial Times, before moving to Radio Times. She did an interior design course and then worked for Homes & Gardens, Country Living and House Beautiful. Vivienne’s always enjoyed reader homes and loves to spot a house she knows is perfect for a magazine (she has even knocked on the doors of houses with curb appeal!), so she became a houses editor, commissioning reader homes, writing features and styling and art directing photo shoots. She worked on Country Homes & Interiors for 15 years, before returning to Homes & Gardens as houses editor four years ago.