This South of France Home Reminds Us Why We Love French Style
It’s effortless and cool.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:26 AM
Nestled in the ever-chic Côte Pavée neighborhood of Toulouse, her home is 1,400 square feet of carefully curated sophistication meets whimsy. The home was built in 1930 and was completely redone before Bohéas and her family moved in.
“The house was all white everywhere,” says Bohéas, a freelance social media community manager and photographer. “So the challenge was to bring [in a] natural and warm feeling; we found the perfect balance with the furniture we chose.”
With three bedrooms and an expansive outdoor area that includes a garden and a swimming pool, that challenge was no small feat. The home’s abundance of natural light played a key role in the family’s decision to purchase it, and Bohéas was sure to emphasize that airiness throughout her design efforts. For example, her workspace features a skylight but no other windows; by keeping the walls a simple white, the room feels bright instead of cave-like. After layering a few personal accents and finishing touches, the room became her favorite in the house.
Though she didn’t start the renovation with a particular color palette in mind, somehow, the furniture and decor seamlessly work together. This is likely due to the attention to detail Bohéas employed in every room of the house. Even the kids’ bedrooms, which in most cases can be seen as temporary due to the fast-growing nature of their tiny inhabitants, feature vintage pieces and curated artwork.
As for Bohéas’ favorite item in the home? “The library is the masterpiece of the living room,” she says. “We love books, and it was important for us to have them in our living room. It was designed by a friend of ours and built by a French artisan especially for us.”
She’s not done yet: Bohéas has her sights on soft green kitchen floor tiles from local shop Atelier Zelij “for a Moroccan touch.” Luckily for us, she’s documenting the entire design process (as well as sharing some intimate moments from her life as a mother under the “Vie De Maman” tab) on her blog, Bonjour La Smala. In the meantime, here are some tips to steal from Bohéas’ gorgeous home to help you turn your own space into a South of France–worthy retreat.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Styles
Bohéas drew inspiration from exotic beach locations like Tulum and Formentera to create a light, breezy feel. However, she advocates using a melange of styles and materials (“as you can see, we love natural materials like wood, cane, and straw”) and mixing in vintage finds with contemporary items.
Think Outside the Big Retailer Box
“We buy a lot on vintage shops,” says Bohéas, citing French stores like The Cool Republic, Fleux, and Terra Rosa as favorites. When outfitting your own space, look to local boutiques and small retailers first for unique items. And, of course, pick up a few souvenirs on your travels: A large chunk of Bohéas’ decor comes from Barcelona, where the family lived before moving to France.
Don’t Overthink It, But Make Sure It’s Cohesive
While Bohéas steered clear of the restraints of a fixed color palette, she didn’t go into the project unarmed. She recommends playing around with three dominant colors to keep some uniformity in the home. If you’re feeling stuck, Bohéas suggests pulling inspiration from magazines or blogs to get a clearer sense of the vibe you’re aiming for, and then make it your own.
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