A Few of My Favorite Bargains–Updated

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Several bargain buys caught my eye this week:

 

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Who doesn’t love a lit a la polonaise?  This picture is from World of Interiors via Trouvais (thanks Trish!)  The problem with these beds is you need quite a lot of money to recreate this look.

 

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The French just do design better than anyone.   Recreating this bed, though, is out of the budget for most of us.

 

 

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So beautiful – new or old.

 

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From The Selby HERE, Herve Pierre used a checked fabric, a relatively inexpensive choice, to decorate his bedroom.   Of course, the bed is pricey, but by choosing a reasonable fabric, you can keep the expense down.  Gorgeous?  Not him!  The bed!!!!

 

 

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If the lit a la Polonaise is definitely out of the question, a less expensive choice is the Italian Campaign bed.   I first fell in love with this bed when I saw Mimmi O’Connell’s work.  She’s been using variations of this bed, with and without the draping, for decades. 

 

 

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The Group Sibuet hotel in Provence uses an assortment of campaign beds in their rooms.

 

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While original campaign beds are hard to come by, Niermann Weeks has two new versions.  Here, Phillip Sides used a beautiful Brunschwig and Fils blue check to decorate this NW bed.

 

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And Mario Buatta used the same Niermann Weeks iron bed here in an luscious room, typical of his opulent style.   But, what if NW is out of your price range?

 

Anthropologie HERE makes this wonderful copy – at a fraction of the cost.  Here, the frame is left bare which shows of its beautiful oval top.

 

 

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And, if you are really on a strict budget, Pottery Barn Teen HERE has this version.  Here, Grant Gibson uses the PBTeen bed in his own apartment.  He installed a back headboard to rest upon.  Unfortunately, to everyone’s distress, PBTeen discontinued this bed for a year or two.  Recently, they brought it back.  I wonder if they listened to the blogger backlash over this discontinuation?

 

 

 

Recently, my partner on the Skirted Roundtable, Linda Merrill, used the Anthropologie bed in this young girls room.  She also installed head and back rests for safety reasons.   Read the story of this adorable makeover HERE.

 

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For my own daughter’s makeover, I also used the Anthropologie bed, in the twin size.   At the time, the PBTeen bed was discontinued.  Truthfully, I would have saved the money and used that bed had it been available, although I do like the Anthropologie bed better.

 

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I did not install the head or foot board.   The pillows do a good enough job to keep Lizzy in the bed, but it’s a nice sized gap and the headboard is probably a good idea.

PRICES:

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The Pottery Barn Teen bed runs from $699 to $999, for the queen – no king size available.  These prices are crazy cheap!  What a chic look for not a lot of money!

 

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The Anthropologie bed runs from $1,250 for a twin to $1800. for a king.  Still reasonable, but more expensive than the PBTeen.

 

 

 

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Niermann Weeks – this iron bed retails for around $9,900.00.  Now, that is retail.  Depending on your contract with your interior designer, you may pay a lot less or even more.

 

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This Niermann Weeks bed retails for around $12,000.00   Hmmm.   It is beautiful, no doubt.  It is probably much sturdier too.  The gap in the headboard is no issue here.  You get what you pay for.  But, before you ask, I am very happy with the quality of the Anthropologie bed.

 

 

Ektorp Slipcovered Furniture: 

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If you read this blog, you know I think that Ikea’s Ektorp slipcovered furniture line is the best bargain out there.    For those with almost no budget at all, this furniture gives you a great look and leaves you with no excuse not to have a well designed space!  Case in point, these Ikea Ektorp chairs paired with two wicker PB chairs look wonderful.    I love when I spy Ektorp furniture on the internet or when people send me pictures of their spaces using these pieces.   The white slipcovered sofa is just $399 – an unheard of price.   I also like the new gray slips, slightly higher at $599 for the sofa.   I would mix the gray with the white pieces, but all gray pieces is great, also.

 

 

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Jenny Grumbles from Uptown Country, the cute online shop HERE, used the Ektorp sofa and chairs in her pink and white Dallas apartment.

 

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Recently, while looking at houses for rent in Provence, I was surprised to come upon the Ektorp gray slipcovered furniture in Provence – one of the chicest area in the world to live in.   Now, I do realize this house could use some styling:

 

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Like this one.  This rental in Provence shows the same gray slips with styling.

 

 

An Ikea Makeover:

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BEFORE:

A few weeks ago, the blogger Holly Mathis HERE from nearby Hempstead, Texas, showed a redo she had just completed for an online client.    The client lives in Austin with a hodge podge collection of family room furniture she was ready to repurpose.      Since they were on a tight budget, Holly came up with some cost saving ideas. 

 

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BEFORE:   Some of the furniture was reused, and other pieces were moved out the of living room.

 

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AFTER:

Holly had her client buy the Ikea Ektorp slipcovered furniture and the change was drastic!    The curtains were made with fabric bought online.   The chairs were moved from another room and the ottoman/coffee table is new, as is the rug.   Notice the chandelier – that’s from Ballard Designs for just $299!  Yes! 

 

 

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AFTER:

Holly had the client paint the armoire a blue gray which makes all the difference.    To read about this redo, see Holly Mathis Interiors HERE.

 

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The fixture they used in the living room is new from Ballard Designs and comes in two sizes for just $199 and $299.   HERE.     Holly used the bigger size.  I was surprised to see how large it looked in the room.  It’s a lot of look for just $299.

 

 Lanterns:

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Holly also recently redid her dining room.  For a while it was being used as a bedroom after her new baby arrived.   I love how it looks now and how she tied it in with the kitchen by using the printed curtains and repainting the kitchen the dusty pink which is found in the curtains.   But what really caught my eye was the lantern!   It’s fabulous.

 

 

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Holly’s kitchen.   So charming!

 

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Her office space off her kitchen and next to the dining room.   I love her desk with its linen skirt.

 

 

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So, where DID Holly buy her new lantern from?    The yoke is what makes it really authentic looking.

 

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It’s from  Pottery Barn for just $349.   Amazing!   While the lantern comes with a copper top, Holly painted hers all black.  I would use this lantern everywhere – in the foyer, the living room, the dining room, kitchen, bedroom or library.   You can tell from Holly’s dining room picture that the scale is big enough that the lantern makes a statement.  Personally, I love the copper detailing, but Holly didn’t. 

 

 

 

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Another great Pottery Barn lantern is this model for $499.   Slightly more expensive, it’s still so much cheaper than the antique versions. 

 

 

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Until the PB Lantern came out, this was my favorite budget lantern.  Shown here in Lauren Liess’ office, this lantern is just $139, HERE.

 

If you  have any great budget favorites or makeovers – email me! 

 

COTE DE TEXAS SPONSOR NEWS:

 

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Last week, I showed a house that Pam Pierce designed 8 years ago, that is now for sale.   One of the CdT sponsors, Bonny Neiman Antiques had some fun with that story.

 

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She took every picture from the Pam Pierce designed house and showed how her own antiques tied in with the story.  So, if you were interested in recreating that look, please read this story – it’s really interesting and informative and fun!   Go HERE to read it.

 

 

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Another CdT sponsor, The Bella Cottage is having a sale.  Go HERE to read all about it. 

 

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These chairs are new addition to the Bella Cottage and I just love these!!!!  They remind me of the chair in Elisabeth’s room.  I really like just a just of gilt in living room and bedrooms. 

 

 

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And finally, I was sooooo excited to see that Charlotte Moss has a new book coming out in April.  I love the cover picture – all the green is so trendy right now. 

To pre-order your copy from Amazon, click on the title to the right of the picture below:

 

 

 

 

Dreaming on a Snowy Day

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So, if you are anywhere in the world except for California or Florida, you are probably snowed in today.  Enough of winter!  This has been a really cold one for Texas and I’m ready for summer and sunshine and beaches.   Last week I showed apartments to rent while in Paris, but really, wouldn’t you whether rent a house in Provence and pretend you are Vicki Archer?   I know I would!  Here is an assortment of houses to rent.  There seems to be more cuter houses available than apartments.  I could have shown about 50 great houses today.   I tried to pick a variety of houses there were large and small, and with views and no views so you could pick what you really would want in a rental.  Enjoy!

 

HOUSE #1

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This villa, available HERE, Bastide Lavande, is surrounded by lavender fields.  The mas is so pretty – who cares what it looks like inside? 

 

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Actually, the inside is nice:  tiled floors, seagrass, and antique country French antiques!   I love the dining room and how it opens to the outside through true French doors.

 

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Gorgeous fireplace and mirror!  Notice the cute side table on the right.  I wish I owned a hundred of those tables!

 

 

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The view outside the living room looks over the acreage, 20 acres around the house and over 1,000 around the estate.

 

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Outside the house is a large graveled terrace that overlooks the estate.

 

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And a large swimming pool, surrounded by stone walls.

 

 

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Six bedrooms and five bathrooms.   Notice the French doors and the hardware. 

 

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Adorable!

 

 

 

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Another cute bathroom.

 

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This house has it all.  A large property, views, old fashioned house, and pretty interiors.

 

 

HOUSE #2

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L’Ambiance HERE is located within walking distance to the town of Goult and is considered a townhouse.

 

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The property is on 1 1/2 acres and has a beautiful garden with fountains and a swimming pool.

 

 

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The swimming pool is set into a stone wall.

 

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The house is filled with beautiful antiques inside and out.

 

 

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The 17th century farmhouse is a rarity in the town with its acreage.

 

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The beautiful wood door opens up to the house. 

 

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The house is stunningly decorated, one of the best ones I saw.  I just know an American owns this house!  I love the silk pillows, the painting, the tea table, and the fireplace!

 

 

 

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Limestone floors and stucco walls.  The mantel is gorgeous.

 

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Authentically French!

 

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You can see into the dining room here.  Such pretty antique tables.

 

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The kitchen is every bit as pretty as the rest of the house. 

 

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Precious!  I love the wood carvings over the beds.  The house is small with only 3 bedrooms and baths.  Notice the gorgeous night stand.

 

 

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Another bedroom, perfectly furnished.  Darling chair.  Notice the small niche next to the bed.

 

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Each bedroom has a small sitting area.

 

 

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The master bedroom is so pretty with its fireplace and painting and sconces.  The bathroom is through the arched door.

 

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The master bathroom.  I love all the wood cuttings in the house.  I just love the way this house is decorated.

 

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Great bathtub!

 

 

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Another sitting room.  Cute child’s chair.

 

 

 

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The wine cellar.

 

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Another view of the swimming pool.   I think I might have to pick this house to rent.  I’m more into the interiors than the location and I love the way this is decorated!  But, this one is basically a town house and not out in the country with sweeping views.  Does that matter to you?

 

 

 

 

HOUSE #3

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The next mas, Les Vignes, is located within walking distance from the medieval town of Goult, seen here on the property, through the clouds.

 

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The stone house is small with just 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and is reasonably priced. 

 

 

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The graveled terrace sits next to the arched French doors that once probably led into the barn.

 

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The terrace, looking the other direction towards the pool.

 

 

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The swimming pool is set within stone walls.

 

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Notice the charming stone pool house.

 

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Inside the house, the living room is charming and cozy.

 

 

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The kitchen is adorable with all the skirts in lieu of cabinet doors.

 

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 Another view of the kitchen shows the pantry and the arched ceiling.

 

 

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Notice the large column on the left that holds up the ceiling.

 

 

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There is a mix of French antiques throughout the house.

 

 

 

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One of the four bedrooms, in white and linen.

 

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The remodeled bath – love the window!

 

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Another bedroom with antique iron bed.

 

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The grounds are so charming and beautiful.

 

 

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Les Lignes would be perfect for a small family – I really like this one too.  It’s got views and a cute interior, yet close to a town.

 

 

 

 

HOUSE #4

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Villa Le Relais  is in the Luberon Village, located HERE, and has 4 new bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and a new kitchen.

 

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   Here, the living room/dining room.   Notice how the walls are painted two colors to simulate wainscoting.

 

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The dining area with antique buffet.

 

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Looking up at the second floor balcony.

 

 

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Beautiful arched windows.

 

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The table set for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

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The newly built kitchen. 

 

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You can see the living/dining room through the doorway in the kitchen. 

 

 

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The terrace runs from the kitchen to the living room. 

 

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Typical French checked fabric and limestone floor.

 

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Another bedroom, the faux wainscot is painted throughout the house.

 

 

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A typical tiled bathroom.

 

 

 

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Villa Le Relais overlooks the terrace and the swimming pool.

 

 

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The terrace next to the swimming pool past the stone wall.

 

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The swimming pool.  Small, nice furniture, with views, but in some photos it seems like the neighbors are close by.

 

 

 

 

HOUSE #5

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Mas des Pierres HERE near Avignon has five bedrooms and five baths.   Here, the traditional gravel terrace sits next to the converted barn door.

 

 

 

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This 17th century farm has been recently remodeled. 

 

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Overlooking the grounds.

 

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This house is furnished with antiques.  Unfortunately, many of the pictures were too small to show here.

 

 

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The large living room and dining room in one space.

 

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A corner of the living room/dining room.

 

 

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The kitchen is so wonderful and authentic!

 

 

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One of the bedrooms.  All the bedrooms are charming, decorated in typical Provincial style.

 

 

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One of the bathrooms, traditional, not contemporary.

 

 

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The terrace at Mas des Pierres.  The house is traditional with antiques, five bedrooms, and with a nice property and view.    Do you want something more modern or traditional?

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE #6

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Bastide Vallat HERE is located in Luberon Provence.

 

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The 7 bedroom and 7 bathroom mas has recently been completely redone.   It is very large and luxurious and very expensive to rent.

 

 

 

 

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There is a “garden kitchen” and an outside eating area.

 

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The furnishings are modern and there are very few, if any, antiques.  The bar area sits behind the sofa.

 

 

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The bar area.  The remodeling is first rate.   There are beautiful wood French doors throughout and the floors are limestone.

 

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The stone walls were kept exposed.

 

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The kitchen is amazing – set within the stone wall arches.

 

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All of the bedrooms have sitting areas.   This one is huge!

 

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In this bedroom, the sitting area is behind the bed.

 

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A designer obviously was hired to completely furnish the mas.  All the rooms flow together in a cohesive design.

 

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Notice the charming small windows set into the stone walls on the right.

 

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The bathrooms are all luxurious.

 

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Each is fitted out with robes and towel warmers.  

 

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This spa bathroom with a steam room and massage tables is located next to the gym.

 

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Of course there is a wine cellar!

 

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A private sunbathing terrace.

 

 

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Of all the houses, this one is most decorated and extravagant.  It is also the most contemporary.  Would you rather rent a smaller, more charming mas or a larger, more contemporary one like this with all the bells and whistles?  

 

HOUSE #7

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Fleurs de Provence HERE in Alpinnes Provence is the largest house and the most expensive.   It has 10 bedrooms and 9 baths.

 

 

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The grounds are large and beautifully landscaped especially during lavender blooming season.

 

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There is also a tennis court, seen in the upper left corner. 

 

 

 

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The terrace overlooks the grounds and has its own fireplace.

 

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The mas has been completely renovated.  It has a mixture of antiques and traditional furniture.

 

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Despite its size and cost, the interiors are not dressy.

 

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The breakfast room is the most charming one in the house.

 

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There is a completely fitted out kitchen.

 

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The stairs.

 

 

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A large bedroom.   The furnishings seem lacking when comparing the property and the landscaping.

 

 

 

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Another bedroom. 

 

 

 

 

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All the bathrooms are tiled like this.

 

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Fleurs de Provence is a beautiful house and its grounds are wonderful, but the furnishings seem ordinary.  Would that be important to you?  Would you rather have the grounds or the furniture or both?  

 

 

 

HOUSE #8

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La Belle de Crillon HERE literally hangs off the cliff overlooking the town of Crillon le Brave.

 

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It has six bedrooms and six baths.  There are incredible views from each room in the house.

 

 

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The house is four stories, but there is an elevator inside!

 

 

 

 

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The views are incredible from this mas.   The swimming pool is at the bottom level.

 

 

 

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Completely remodeled and refurbished, the house is elegant and somewhat dressy.

 

 

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Stone floors and stucco walls, the house is professionally designed.

 

 

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The large dining room has beautifully painted walls.

 

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What a range!!

 

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The tiled floors are beautiful. 

 

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Another bedroom with tiled floors.

 

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Charming bathroom with footed tub. 

 

 

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Every salon and bedroom share this view of the countryside.   This house almost has it all, the size, the elegance, the view, the furnishings – but there is no large property.   Would that be important when choosing a house to rent?  Would you care if there was only a small area outside to sit and enjoy the sweeping views?

 

To view more beautiful houses and pick your own dream rental, these two companies have a large selection:

 

http://www.francevacationvilla.com/

and

http://www.luxuryretreats.com/index.aspx

 

 

And this reminder about the Urban Market next weekend - don’t forget they are at a new location!!!!!   Check out their website to read where it is:  www.theurbanmarkethouston.com

 

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finally, my sister just sent me this hysterical You Tube video about our huge “snow day” in Houston!   It would be funny if it wasn’t so true, every word of it!!!!