Dear read­ers

Condé Nast House & Garden - - CONTENTS -

As we were plan­ning this is­sue, i was re­minded of a real es­tate mar­ket­ing buzz phrase i heard re­cently:

ar­ti­sanal liv­ing. there’s a com­pelling ring to it, right? But what do you think it means? My ro­man­tic brain bolted to vi­sions of a space fit­ted out with gor­geous old car­pen­ter ta­bles, hand­made ce­ramic tiles, brand-new matte black in­dus­trial-look­ing tap­ware, ex­posed beams, Car­rara for miles and no rat­tling win­dows or creaky floor­boards. i was mildly dis­heart­ened to learn that ar­ti­sanal liv­ing in fact im­plies madly chic apart­ments, lofts or stu­dios in a newly re­fur­bished ur­ban devel­op­ment with a neigh­bourly vil­lage vibe. Butch­ers, bak­ers, can­dle­stick mak­ers and well, juice baris­tas – the ar­ti­san du jour – at arm’s reach. it’s a com­fort­ing con­cept and re­flects the emo­tive power of vil­lage-com­mu­nity con­nec­tions to the way we want to live. Can you imag­ine what a wild­fire win these places would be if they came with a gor­geous old car­pen­ter ta­ble or two?

Which brings me to the cur­rent fash­ion for kitchens in this month’s de­sign So­lu­tions. the lab­o­ra­tory look – stain­less-steel sta­di­ums for fan­tasy cheff­ing – is los­ing ground to the work­shop look, which com­bines the mod cons and tech (com­merce com­pels us to be set free from the Yup­piechef web­site) with an in­for­mal but high-de­sign setup of free­stand­ing and fixed fur­ni­ture like the bril­liant Bulthaup B2 range of tool cabi­net, work­bench and ap­pli­ance cabi­net.

Go­ing more rus­tic, we visit a unique home­stead and farm on the Gar­den route, which the own­ers have very mind­fully cul­ti­vated to ex­press a cul­ture of con­nec­tion to and cel­e­bra­tion of African na­ture. Get­ting out of the city to recharge is one thing, but get­ting out of the city to recharge here is not just an an­ti­dote but in­stead a po­tent re-dose of sense, seren­ity and self nur­ture.

Another favourite fea­ture is Some­thing Wicker this Way Comes, a re­stored manor house in a town in Provence famed for its wicker work. not only is the dy­ing art be­ing re­vived and made rel­e­vant at the work­shop and stu­dio the own­ers es­tab­lished on the prop­erty, but it’s an in­te­rior dream scene from ar­ti­sanal Arcadia, where the al­lure of peel­ing paint, i think, is the new black. i hope your imag­i­na­tion bolts as much as mine did when i first saw the pictures.

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