Friday, August 28, 2009

Jacques Grange's Refined Rustic

The morning's traffic report spoke of journées orange and ROUGE this weekend as masses of people head back home from vacation. So summer larks are just about officially over now. And though the weather report predicted hesitating skies (ciels hésitants!), I still have some summery subjects to share.

This is one straw house is not about to be huffed and puffed away, but is one of a group of four owned by Jacques Grange near the dunes of Alentejo, Portugal. They are made of rice-straw thatch and white-washed planks. Outwardly, these houses have kept the appearance of the traditional homes of Portuguese fishermen which are already bristling with charm; the difference here is in the measured detailing.

Since I spent part of my vacation among sticks and stones (previous post), I'm truly in the mood to appreciate the choices made here. What a change from the decorator's Palais Royal apartment! Some great decorators will not be pinned down to a single style. M. Grange is respectful of local tradition.

Banquettes made of cement serve as sunny day beds

Inside the volumes have been changed by taking down walls and new window openings added.
Ethnic pieces from various provenances, furnishing from the 50s and works from Pierre Passebon's gallery have been selected for their simple lines and interesting textures.

Bronze table with painted tiles is a delicate beauty from the Galerie du Passage. The designer was unfortunately not specified.

Bowl by Mario Prassinos on ceramic table by Roger Capron

Square corded armchairs by Audoux-Minet

Italian chairs from the 50s, table from Eric Philippe

American Indian baskets frame the door, Berber rug

1950s ceramics by Jean Buffile

chairs from Galerie du Passage, 18Th century ceramic tile panel from Solar, Lisbon

Sarongs from Indonesia and Syria

The guest room is Jacques Grange's rendition of the local straw tradition complete with pine floor. The bed is covered with a Syrian cloth and an Indian mat is used at the head of the bed. A wonderful place !

Outdoor shower and stools made from the plentiful local cork forests make this simple vacation home a practical place.
The important thing is to break with habit for vacation. Laurence Dougier's article in Maisons Coté Sud states Grange's desire to preserve the truth of place, striving for perfection and elegance of detail. Bien Vu!

photos Nicolas Mathés Maisons Coté Sud

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