Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Appley Hoare and La Bastide...

Appley and her daughter Zoe Hoare are the owners and founders of a highly successful French antiques store in the popular Pimlico road area of London. Appley is my mothers favourite designer and she's followed her career pretty much since it's begining in Australia. Hopefully with fingers crossed my mum and I are planning a trip to London and Provence next year and we'll finally get the opportunity to visit this amazing designers place of business first hand :)

Appley - born in England, grew up in Kenya then at 17 was sent to a Swiss finishing school but left to go to Sorbonne in Paris. During her time there she developed a passion for visiting flea markets and rummaging through junk that has remained to this day. She married at 22 and moved to Australia where she spent the next few years working as a stylist for interior magazines before opening her own stall called Traders in Sydney's main antiques market.

The stall became very popular and eventually expanded to the first Appley Hoare Antiques store in Mosman (My mum visited often). "It was the first of its kind. We sold early Australian country furniture, which no one else was doing in those days, partly because there was so little of it around. So I started going to France and bringing back French antiques to sell." - said Appley for an article for Homes and Property.

Unfortunately the resession hit in the 1990's and Appley seperated from her husband so in the late 90's Appley and her daughter Zoe decided to move their business and their life to London and have never looked back.

La Bastide is a stunning 18th century farmhouse in the Camargue region of France, between Montpellier and Nîmes, that Appley and Zoe completely renovated by using a local builder and Moroccan stonemasons.

The colour scheme for the interior was inspired by the wonderful tones of the building's original limestone.

The soft furnishings also reflect the muted colours of stone - a giant pair of natural-canvas-covered sofas from The Conran Shop provide tons of comfy seating in the sitting room, which is dominated by a huge 18th century Provençal armoire.

Appley's bedroom is also a pallet of natural colours but with accents of grey through to deep purple. There is an 18th century painted armoire that houses linen, and the bedhead is a piece of 18th century panelling.

Zoe's bedroom features a large set of drawers to house all her belongings she found at a local dealer and an old red seesaw sits on top of it.

The kitchen is ultra-simple, with only an early 19th century zinc-covered table in the centre, 1930s pressed-steel chairs and a huge dresser with a marble top. The base came from a French convent and Appley had a rack made to house her collection of 19th century plates from the famous Gien pottery.

The most important piece of advice Appley has for anyone interested in achieving this look is to leave well alone. "We try to find original pieces that need nothing doing to them and have just aged. Anyone can restore a piece and make it look ordinary but once you've done that, you'll never be able to get it back to how it was when you first saw it and fell in love with it," she says.

(All information came from Homes and Property. Images from La Bastide website)

This gorgeous home can be rented as location space for photo or production shoots.
I think this home is flawless. Beautifully presented with class and sophistication. Isn't restoring and decorating a farmhouse with beautiful French antiques just about everyones dream?


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