Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Archive: A Tiny Retreat in Southern France

The tiny (38 square meters) cabanon of Michèle and Bruno Viard enjoys spectacular views of Lubéron in Southern France. Traditional Mediterranean trees and shrubs, planted around the base, soften the strong lines of the retreat. On the other side of the cabanon is a pool, whose design was inspired by old agricultural irrigation ponds.

Top left: In the kitchen the stone sink is set into an iron-reinforced concrete countertop and is backed by antique tiles. Simple taps and a faucet, all from a garden supplier, provide water. The light in the corner is shaded by a former grain shovel. Right: The shower is set into a corner of the kitchen. The linen shower curtain is supported by a branch mounted directly into the wall. Bottom left: The bottom of a broken wine glass, embedded in the natural lime walls, acts as a hanger for a shopping bag.

Left: On the main floor, the bedroom opens directly out onto the terrace, with a view over the countryside. Right: A plan of the cabanon. A: the terrace. B: the bedroom. C: the kitchen. D: the salon.

The salon, furnished simply with garden chairs, an old table and bench, and linens.

Perched on a hill in the south of France is the tiny cabanon of Michèle and Bruno Viard. Sensitively renovated, the soft colours of natural stone, concrete and wood echo the landscape. Every inch of space has been used intelligently, such as tucking the hot water heater under the stairs outside to free up space for a shower in the kitchen. Simple to live in, with spectacular surroundings, it's the perfect summer home. From an early 2000 issue of Marie Claire Maison. (photography by Gilles de Chabaneix).
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