Everything you see, in the garden, in the caves, in the house is a testimony of the family history.
Of course, we brought all the modern comfort with the kitchen, the led lighting, the usb ports or the wifi! But we wanted to preserve the spirit of the place. We did not choose a "Provence chic" or "design" decor. We wanted to keep the country side of the house. The furniture and objects we bought were chosen to fit in with this style, with a preference for metal or recycled wood.
And nothing of the old objects that decorate the house was bought. They had always been in the family. Most of the furniture belonged to Camille and Augustine and have not left their place: the kneading trough, the farm table, the sideboards, the straw chairs... Some of them bear the initials of their original owners, others have handwritten notes on them, most of them made by Augustine who did not want to forget. For example, "Grandma Elisabeth Abeille 1844" on one of the boards of the living room sideboard. In the drawer of the little bench we found Camille's military service book and letters... And we separated the "two bodies" of the 19th to make a bar and a storage unit in the caves.
I have always seen the plates of Moustiers on the wall of the kitchen. The sewing machine is Augustine's and the last used fabrics are still in the drawers. The scores from the beginning of the 20th century are also hers, she who loved to sing so much. The postcards were bought or received by Camille and the shares of the French railroad company PLM were Charles', my great-grandfather. The old dishes were Marie-Louise's, his wife. As for the suitcases, they belonged to my grandfather, Emile-Marius, known as Milou.
The photos are those of all these generations. The oldest one was taken at the local school in Cotignac in 1902, and the paintings and engravings were also there. Some date from the end of the 19th century, others have been added over the generations. The antelope, for example, belonged to my great-aunt, Mana. The picture representing the main street of Cotignac, painted in 1944 by Jean Forniche, was in Cannes at my grandparents', who had taken it with them to see this beloved village forever.
Only the printing press, which was given to my mother a long time ago by an old bookseller from Antibes, and the old Parisian subway seats that used to sleep in our garage, have nothing to do with Cotignac, but we found that they belonged here. Transformed into bar chairs, they are a reminder of Camille's career in railroading. And you'll find a nod to the Ruchers du Bessillon in the kitchen.
The 18th century grain measure has always been there, as well as the old cast iron pot, recovered by my daughter as a magic potion cauldron! The barrels are Camille's and bear his initials. Originally surrounded by wood and/or woven straw that have not survived the ravages of time and humidity, the wine barrels - the "Dame Jeanne" as they are called - are Camille's, that we found in the caves, still full for many, of wine, vinegar or grape pomace.
The wicker baskets used to collect the grapes could not be saved, too damaged as they were, but the wooden crates whose fronts we have preserved, the hedgehog bottle rack, the bottle holder and even the bottles were in the cave.
Outside too, if we added the swimming pool, we wanted to keep the spirit of the place, with the door of the henhouse and the pond. And all the gardening or plowing tools were left in the garden or in the caves by their last user. Most of them are engraved with the name of their maker, sometimes even with the initials of their owner.