8 Jun 2015

Spring-Cleaning: The Way To Re-Work An Interior

jacques grange french interior designer

I have had that urge to spring clean.

Spring-cleaning: So dangerous.

I get into these moods where I want to streamline our living, move everything around and create a brand new look. When I see these beautiful Parisian pastels from Jacques Grange I long to dump the heavy antique woods and lighten up, at the very least paint them over.

jacques grange french interior designerjacques grange french interior designer

I am spring cleaning in Provence this week and taking a multitude of photos with my great pal Carla. This means we will change everything around, we always do.

I have over the last year or so re-upholstered to lighter shades but I have not been so brave when it comes to tossing over the furniture.

jacques grange french interior designerjacques grange french interior designer

Sentiment stands in my way.

I want to be less sentimental, I want to move with the trends and the times and follow my interiors heart but my emotions work against me.


I dial the painter, ask him to come and work his magic on a pair of wooden antique tables and I cancel. He could so easily transform them into pieces of beauty; I have seen him do this at Le Petit Bijou. The difference is I had the intention to paint the furniture. I wasn’t anchored down with nostalgia for what once was.

Here is someone who is pretty much fearless when it comes to change and yet painting a couple of old tables and she turns to jelly.

I am ashamed to even admit it.

It’s a new week, a new spring and I will see where it leads.

I am excited to re-energise the house for the coming summer, switch it up and create a fresh tableau. Looking through the lens enables me to view the spaces more dispassionately and encourages ideas for ways to display and arrange the existing furniture.

Not new, feels new. Know what I mean?

I might even find the courage to paint the furniture; I will let you know, xv.

images jacques grange, paris


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Anita Rivera

Oh Vicki, you and I need to hang around together, THEN you’d get the painting bug! My entire family, everyone from parents to cousins to husband, know that I am fearless when it comes to dumping out what I don’t want! AND I am just as swift with a paintbrush! LOL

These photos are heavenly. They sit on a cloud of dreams, but I know you can make them a reality. I too prefer the light over the dark, to change things around, and just recently (thanks to Instagram), I am forcing myself to style my photos better in my home. I used to think that just snapping the house the way it was would result in a great photo. NOT! I must move things around, take away an element that won’t communicate through the lens….the result? Growth. Perspective. And new ideas for interiors!

I love your images here. I think you and Carla (she is wonderful!) will come up with a permutation that will change your mind. You will soon be hauling things into la poubelle or will be sporting painters’ whites. I look forward to hearing about the changes.

Bonne journée! Anita


I will let you know Anita… I have just arrived in Provence and am looking at my brown pieces as I read your comment… decisions, decisions… :)

I know we will be moving things around, that’s for sure…


These rooms are very pretty and romantic and would suit a luxury hotel de charme. But they have no soul or sense of the history or personality of the owner and family. That’s the difference between a home and a hotel/rented apartment.
I say that but then I think LPB, where you have had furniture painted, seems to be very you, including the choice of books, and is full of charm and feel so sympa/gemutlich/homelike or whatever. But certainly not the rooms above. Best wishes, Pamela

Keri | Ivy Clad

I know this frustration too well! I love the light colors in the spring and summer, then I want the warmth of the dark woods in the fall. I appease myself with a mixture of dark and light, new and old: an old French walnut dining table with new whitewashed chairs upholstered in cream duck cloth; a dark oil painting on white walls; a walnut console with glass vases and spring flowers… Mixing it up, painting the walls, slipcovers and new upholstery are probably the best I can do.. That whole nostalgia thing gets me too. Good luck with your spring cleaning!


Absolutely stunning Vicki…I am forever changing…moving this to that and that to this…I carry a similar color palette that you have shown…I so enjoy your interior! Absolutely BREATHTAKING…

Heather in Arles

Oh, to think that Carla was so close and yet so far!! I would love to meet her Vicki. I know that you two were probably very busy with all of this but the next time maybe?? And yes, I am the same way as you are and who wouldn’t be tempted after seeing these gorgeous photos? Still, memories win over style any day in my book…


How wonderful to see your post on interior design, I have missed your ideas on design. Just yesterday I was flicking through both of your books which hold pride of place in my bookcase. Please don’t paint over your beautiful antique wood pieces, they add so much character to a room and I feel antiques must be preserved in their natural state. Also can you do more posts on your lovely garden, I’m sure while you have Carla there she will take some fab photos, enjoy your time girls.


Once again you have read my mind! The sofa in my Livingroom belonged to my grandparents. My grandmother passed away when I was quite young and this sofa is where I remember her sitting. I can not let it go. That said, it is a beautiful empire style with dark stained wood trimmed with lovely carvings. I am planning to have the wood stripped and rubbed with “lime wax” to give an antique white finish then re-upholstered in white linen with pale blue piping or pale blue with white piping. Now if I could only make the move to do this….

Teddee Grace

My advice…mix it up and hang in. Ten years from now everyone will be looking at the pales and painted furniture saying, “Oh, that looks so 2016!”. Just have a few things painted that you know you won’t regret or that can easily be stripped back to their original finish if you change your mind. Lighten up with easily changed wall and ceiling paint and fabrics.

Kerrie in France

I’m waiting for the sun to come out for more than an afternoon before I can get enthusiast here in southwest France. But I will be looking at new curtains and perhaps more plants indoors this spring. I think they lighten the atmosphere in any room. On the subject of painting furniture, I don’t like destroying good quality furniture this way, but it can certainly improve pieces of lesser quality and make them more acceptable. Maybe even fun…


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