9 Jun 2013

Le Petit Bijou… Part 4

Will you lend me your imagination today?

I wanted to show you many pictures of Le Petit Bijou… but I just couldn’t snap any that tell the real story…  the house is full of electricians, plumbers, painters and carpenters… all trying to finish… there was no room for me and my camera…

Le Petit Bijou is nearly ready… final coats of this and that… tiles being positioned here and there… the wooden flooring finished and all covered up… even a functioning alarm… These are good signs, don’t you think?

The kitchen is in… unpainted… or in the process… and the bathroom commode is in place… Now that was a difficult one… but I am very happy I persevered… The idea was to have an old ‘table’ holding the hand basin… and at the last hour I found one… It has had to have many modifications… and it has not been the economical idea I imagined… but it’s charming and it will work… which is the most important bit…

The electricians are ready to hang the chandelier… and the curtain rods have been measured… The upholstery is well under way and the beds are ordered… I am feeling like we are nearly there…

Without any unforeseen catastrophes it will be ready to rent at the end of July…

My lovely but impetuous husband found and bought this house nearly three years ago… he had his own little coup de foudre. When he showed me the pictures I could understand the reasons he found it so enchanting.

Le Petit Bijou is located in the historical part of the village and the house looks back towards the Musee des Alpilles. He loved the location and the quirkiness of the house… the weathered stone, the slightly curved and crooked walls… Inside had been renovated some time ago and sadly nothing of note remained.

Now Le Petit Bijou has two double bedrooms upstairs, one very generous in size and the smaller one benifiting from a terrace overlooking the museum…

I imagine the terrace would be just the place for an evening glass of rosé… A pair of painted iron tables and decorative chairs are waiting to be delivered for that very purpose…

The bathroom is shared (with a separate loo) and I think will turn out to be my favourite room… A free standing white enamel bath… the old commode converted for the hand basin… a vintage mercury glass mirror and a pair of crystal drop wall lights…  It sounds very girly… it is… I couldn’t help it… no apologies… think shabby chic/boudoir… It might be a little feminine for the boys… but with a separate shower around the corner… they will be happy…

The bedrooms have plenty of cupboards (I like to be able to properly unpack when I am on holiday) and the fauteuils I am upholstering in old fashioned toiles… the linens will be white… and the beds covered with French quilts… I am yet to find those… That’s my next job… along with stocking the kitchen… This weekend I will be searching for porcelain and old pharmacy glass to display on the open shelves…

The sitting room and dining area is open to the kitchen… and yes I have succumbed to modern life and will install a big television… but at the other end of the room there will be a glass fronted cupboard filled with my Provencal flea market finds… Styling that up will be the prize…

Fingers crossed in the next few weeks I shall have photos to show… and we will be open for rentals from the end of July… If you would like any further information… please email me… vicki@vickiarcher.com

Have a fabulous Friday… xv

VA In Your Inbox

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Linda Carswell

Oh Vicki…..it sounds perfect!!!!! I long to see photos, each item you describe is mouth watering. Please don’t makes us wait too long for pretty pictures…..crack the whip with those work men…lol!
Linda x

Anita Rivera

Vicki, if…no….WHEN I GET BACK TO FRANCE, I will contact you to find out if le petit bijou will be available. How FANTASTIC that “she” is finally taking shape! I love the photos of the items that are waiting to live and give life to this gem. You’re almost there, Vicki! Anita

Karen in CT

.. wheeee … I can’t wait for photos .. it all sounds wonderful. Good luck with le finale.

Karen in CT


Hi Vicki,
Wow, Le Petit Bijou sounds absolutely charming. One day we will get that trip dream to Paris, and when we do I will be contacting you re availability. Have a fabulous time with your finishes touches Vicki.
Kathy xx

A Gift Wrapped Life

Oh, such fun to read about this and remembering when I saw last year it in it’s untouched state. It is going to be divine and if it turns out to be “girly” all the better! You have been working so hard Vicki, it may be that this will be the best little spot to rent in France. Actually, we all know it will be. Much love and keep the details coming, it is making my day to picture it all done. xx


Vicki, I thought there’d be more comments – I guess everyone is too green with envy! It looks and sounds divine! Enjoy it in good health more many years to come!

Esther George

Hi Vicki you have painted a beautiful picture for us and on my part I can’t wait to see the photographs. Have a wonderful weekend. It sounds like you are going to be one busy lady in a nice way ENJOY….. Regards Esther from Sydney.

leslie nash

This time last year we rented a house in St
Remy…..it was a wonderful holiday…..looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your “beautiful little house”!

Heather in Arles

It is going to be gorgeous…welcoming…and the Essence of Provence. How could it not?

All of the many well-thought out details sound absolutely perfect to me (although I am grateful for the warning of the pricey commode transformation as that is something that I have always wanted to do), not to mention that Le Petit Bijou is in my very favorite corner of St. Remy!

Your guests will be spoiled for choice of wonderful restaurants and bakeries in walking distance…although in my mind, THE spot will be to sip rosé on the balcony…Heaven! :)

It will be worth the wait to see how it all turns out.
Bon Weekend!

Colette Nel

Vicki, it sounds absolutely awesome and so lovely to share in this exciting project via your blog. I think a book titled ” Petit Bijou” will be a best seller…what do you think..to give us all a little detailed dream with the ups( and lows) of restoring a little gem..greetings from Afrique du Sud X

my notting hill

This is all very exiting. Your descriptions have me looking forward to seeing the pics. Have a feeling it will be rented for a year out before you know it.

Peggy Braswell

I can’t wait for more photos to arrive in my e-mail. Aren’t you excited? + I am! Congradulations to everyone who has worked on the project. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

Karen Albert

Vicki I do believe That your design eye will entice renter’e to pick this spot for their getaway!

2013 Designers Series
Art by Karena


It all sounds heavenly! I am excited for you and can’t wait to see the pictures.

Anita Rivera

Good morning Vicki!

Many thanks for coming to visit my Father’s Day post, a day of celebration that is always bittersweet for me, losing my mom on that day, then losing dad two weeks later. One must try to see the light in whatever way possible.


lisa thomson

It sounds like heaven, Vicki! In my dreams I would rent it for the month of August and have a glass of rose every afternoon on that terrace. I can’t wait to see the pic’s!


It sounds like the perfect place for a romantic holiday! I am looking forward to more photos of your little jewel. Everything sounds wonderful and frankly even more special because each and every item was hand picked for this little place.

Enjoy your weekend, Elizabeth


How exciting Vicki!! I can’t wait to see the final photos! Good luck with the last few projects! I’m sure it will be stunning.

regards from a wet and cold (again) New York

Emily @ Town And Country Shuffle

Une femme

Vicki, it sounds so charming and special. This has truly been a labor of love, and I can almost picture it. Whoever stays there will be in for a real treat!

Tricia Heliker

I was so happy to see another post about Petit Bijou but I am craving more details. Don’t make us wait too long. If necessary shoo the workers outside for a lemonade and show us more. It is torture waiting.


Hi Vicki
How fun to sit down and check emails at the end of a long week and find news of Le Petit Bijou! We must have photos of your magic soon, it will of course be gorgeous and warm and inviting at the same time. The location is perfect. Can’t wait to see the little beauty – I am already thinking that maybe after Eygalieres this summer it could be the perfect excuse to come stay in St Remy in the fall!

Don’t let the various travails wear you down, I am sure it will truly be a little jewel!

Barbara Lilian

Putting the finishing touches to something like this is always rewarding. Can’t wait to see the pictures of Le Petit Bijou when it’s finally finished.

Pauline from Phillip Island

Oh Vicki, what a wonderful picture you have painted of your beautiful Le Petit Bijou. Even the name is charming. I hope to return to France one day and your stories have given me many ideas for my next trip. Most of all, I would love to stay in your “little jewel”. I know I will have to book well in advance because you will have so many people wanting to enjoy your wonderful place. It is all the more special having read about it from the beginning. I can’t wait to see the completed pictures. Congratulations on an another amazing project.
Pauline x

Terry price

How wonderful Vicki, nearly finished, all those beautiful pieces. It will be AMAZING can’t wait to see photos and make a booking!!!
All those markets to source items from (very lucky).

ann pauley

dear vicki,
i am really stymied about what color i should paint kitchen. it has a french feel with cream cabinetry and deep bluish-gray granite ctps. The walls need a pop of french colour. any suggestions/
please reply


It sounds like French grey.. that mix of blue and greeny grey… would work very well with your countertops… Alternatively I would go for a strong cream colour to echo your carpentry… xv


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