2 Oct 2010

Paulo's Party

Lately we attended a delightful little party hosted by a cousin of ours, Paulo, a sprightly, young-at-heart 80-year-old who shares his life between the Côte d'Azur and Corsica.


Here, he lives in a beautifully-restored former stone barn built right on the mountainside, that used to belong to his grandad. This charming little 'dollhouse' is divided into two floors, with additional mezzanine space. The lower floor accommodates the perfectly-preserved olive press (pictured below), a monument of secular tradition that reminds the visitor of the working nature of the building.

The upper-floor, Paulo's living quarters, reveals a compact yet well thought-out mod-cons holiday home, complete with fitted kitchenette-cum-living area, where old family artfefacts cohabit happily with contemporary fixtures. The wooden mezzanine gives warmth of mood, almost like 'Nantucket-meets-the-Med'.


As far as I am concerned, the exteriors steal the show big time, with their handkerchief-sized rockery garden that is a riot of flowers, colours and textures set against the difficulty of steep terrain. Paulo took the challenge in his stride, designed stone steps and incorporated floral and garden features for added interest, from a decorative wooden footbridge to spotlights cleverly concealed within the shrubbery and climbers, to preserved original barn features turned into purely decorative focal points.


Benches, a grapevine casting dappled shade over the upper terrace and a collection of culinary herbs and tomato plants add to the charm of this un-ordinary garden and its poetic folly, an invitation for one's thoughts to linger into a rêverie...

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