A recent holiday to the French Mediterranean coastal region of Languedoc-Rousillon provided us with plenty of inspiration for some front of house make-overs. The pretty and bustling port of Collioure is a small Catalan harbour situated on the rocky coastline in the southern-most part of France, 26 km from the Spanish border. Sheltered by a quiet bay where the Pyrenees meet the sea, Catalan “art de vivre” originated here. This, along with the exceptionally sunny climate and purity of light, has made it a unique place of vibrant colour and culture. Not surprising then that we found the narrow streets, flanked by ancient stone dwellings, alive with bright, earthy Meditteranean colour and decked out in the soft hues of sun loving indigenous plants such as Plumbago and Bouganvillea.
A stroll through the hilly back streets of the port revealed a hotch-potch of mellow stone terraces and rough stucco fronted villas, each with their own unique stamp of welcome at the entrance. Front doors, side doors and garden gates were enticingly bedecked with flowers and even ceramics depicting local scenes and traditional folklore. Vibrant Mediterranean colours, juxtaposed to startling effect, were evident around every corner, as well as softer shades in dark, light and mid-tones exuding a more subtle, aged elegance.
The shabby chic of old shutters, combined with bright window boxes arranged haphazardly, rewarded every upward glance and exerted a power to captivate the heart. Even the drain pipes have a sense of humour in Languedoc-Rousillon…
In the UK, a splash of Mediterranean colour on your front door will enliven your patch and welcome your visitors. I love this sunshine yellow by the Little Greene paint company http://www.littlegreene.com/ Colour: Mister David no. 47
Or try Farrow & Ball’s Citron no. 74, or Setting Plaster no. 231 for an authentic Provencal look.