A Provençal villa with a view

Set in the celebrated landscape of Aix, this former farm building has been transformed into a charming home that embodies the traditional style of the region.

Looking at this impressive home, it is hard to believe it was once a large dilapidated farm building with a rabbit warren of rooms. However, with loving care by the architect, it has become a home-away-from-home near Aix-en-Provence.

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Set in a picturesque landscape, the property looks out onto Mont Sainte-Victoire, so stunning that Cézanne painted it time and again throughout his career. The area is incredibly popular and good properties are hard to find, so it is best to concentrate on the location instead. Views will be with you forever, but a house can be changed to suit your needs.

The property was a bricolage, or a jumble of rooms, that had seen many modifications over the years, leaving the floors uneven and the rooms disorganised. The plan was to turn it into a charming bastide Aixoise – the type of country house the region is famed for. To begin with, and to help determine the new layout, it was noted how the Provençal light and the colours and terrain of the landscape affected the property’s appearance and structure.


This area in front of the kitchen, where the flagstones have been edged with pebbles inlaid in concrete, offers a shaded place to relax away from the heat of the summer sun.

Provence villa

Similar garden furniture, Sublime sofa, £1,100, Sweetpea & Willow, 0845 257 2627, sweetpeaandwillow.com. Garden design, Dominique Lafourcade, 0033 4 90 95 52 91, dominique-lafourcade.com.


The property has 50 acres of land and includes an olive grove, as seen through the windows of the main bedroom.

Provence villa


The farmhouse-style kitchen is the focal point of the house. Recesses have been built into the table for the family dogs, which like to curl up there.

Provence villa

For similar Burgundy flagstones, try Martin Moore Stone, 01372 478955, martinmoorestone.com. For a similar antique chandelier, try Brownrigg Decorative Antiques, 01666 500887, brownrigg-interiors.co.uk.


A contemporary sofa was chosen for daily comfort. Although it is not a period piece, its understated looks ensure it does not jar with the antique furniture elsewhere in the room.

Provence villa

Similar coffee table, Low Tibetan painted table, £1,125, Shimu, 0800 088 6800, shimu.co.uk. For a similar antique console table, try 1stdibs, 1stdibs.com.


The windows were designed with soft arches, a typical feature of Provençal villas in the 18th century.

Provence villa

Similar tablecloth, Rectangular Café tablecloth, £70, Beyond France, beyondfrance.co.uk. Flowers by Coquelicot, Architects Bruno and Alexandre Lafourcade, architecture-lafourcade.com.


Bastides Aixoises were the homes of wealthy landowners and it was customary for an area of the main living space to be used as a music room – a feature recreated here.

Provence villa

For a similar music stand, try Period Piano Company, periodpiano.com.


Accessories and artwork reflect the region, from the lavender in the urn to the impressionist paintings on the wall.

Provence villa

For a similar antique stone urn, try Jardinique Garden Antiques, 01420 560055, jardinique.co.uk.


The wrought-iron stair railing was made to a traditional design by a local craftsman.

Provence villa

For a similar antique armoire, try French Finds, 01538 370052, frenchfinds.co.uk.


A Provençal-style ladder was made to reach the upper shelves of the linen cupboard.

Provence villa

For similar linen tablecloths, try Beyond France, 01285 641867, beyondfrance.co.uk.


The basin adds a sense of grandeur. It is a copy of a typical Provençal design and is carved from local stone.

Provence villa


Pairing fabric-covered walls with a quilted bedspread brings softness and depth to the room.

Provence villa

For a similar antique bedside table, try The French Depot, 01424 423703, thefrenchdepot.com.


Terracotta floor tiles combined with red ticking on the canopy bed give the room a warm glow.

Provence villa

Similar fabric, red-ticking stripe 235, £25sq m, Susie Watson Designs, 0844 980 8185, susiewatsondesigns.co.uk. For a similar antique chaise longue, try The French House, 020 7371 7573, thefrenchhouse.co.uk. Similar flooring, antique reclaimed hexagonal tiles, £4.60 each, The Reclaimed Tile Company, 01423 339952, reclaimedtilecompany.com.

Photography/ David Cleveland