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unexpected guests: pauline chardin.
this week, we’re dropping into the incredible home of art director, cookbook author, and photographer pauline chardin in provence, france.
you’re just going to have to forgive me for the number of photographs i’m sharing in this post because this week’s unexpected guest is not only the voice and the eye behind the voyageur, a fashion designer and art director working between paris and provence, but also an amazing photographer. and, i have a distinct feeling that once you see these images you’ll come to be as inspired as i am and realize why my ability to edit was just not possible — there is simply too much beauty to leave out. today, mes amis, we’re dropping into the incredible home of pauline chardin where she lives so close to nature with her husband, editor françois guillaumein, in the very magical countryside that is provence, france.
i first discovered pauline on instagram and was instantly taken by her incredible eye — with a weak spot for travel, good design, and cooking with fresh ingredients, pauline’s feed is full of not only beautiful glimpses of her home, but her travels all over the world (i love her visits to japan) but also her finesse in the kitchen. pauline has this seemingly effortless ability to take whatever’s in her pantry and turn them into meals that are works of art — thus, the creation of her inspiring cookbook, a spoonful of sun published by gestalten. so, today i think you’re going to get a plethora of creativity — a dose of wanderlust, certainly some gastronomic inspiration, and probably a strong sense of envy for her jaw-dropping contemporary abode, inspired by modernism, japan, and the natural beauty of its surrounding gardens and provence. for more, be sure and check out the voyageur, and follow her on instagram. let’s get to know pauline a little bit better.
where do you live in france?
i live in northern provence, a couple of hours from the mediterranean sea.
what's your favorite part of your home?
the kitchen! after living in a parisian apartment for years, it's the ultimate luxury to have a big, sun-filled kitchen.
favorite hack (i.e. food, diy, travel tip, etc.)?
i don’t know if that qualifies…but following my instinct for small and big things alike feels like the secret to serenity for me!
from when you wake up to when you lay down at night, what's a perfect day off for you look like when you're not working?
i'd say that if I manage to have time to cook, time to be in nature, and time to craft something then my cup is surely full! it doesn't have to be anything spectacular but it does bring me great satisfaction.
be at home, or what you wear -- your lifestyle, how would you describe your personal style?
ah! it's always hard to have an objective perspective on the subject. i could say for sure that it's influenced by the mediterranean and japan, and also more maximalist than i realize.
these days a lot of small business owners, artists, and makers wear many other hats to create a life by making art and doing what they love. is that the case for you? do you dabble in several different ventures to ultimately do what you love?
very much so, yes. i'd like to say this all has been a well-thought-out plan, but in truth, it's really a mix of investing time in what i love to do and not-so-predictable opportunities. i've been working as a freelance creative for more than 15 years and always enjoyed the surprise assignments! i have a curious nature and believe the pleasure of creative direction also lies with unexpected challenges.
these last few years, as i delved more into photography and food, in addition to my "original" fashion and travel fields of expertise, it's been truer than ever!
do you have some favorite artists or makers or Instagram accounts you'd like to share with us?
do you have a favorite museum or gallery?
in paris i'd say the musée bourdelle, which is housed in his former atelier. lately, i was also very moved by a visit to the noguchi museum in takamatsu, japan, which was also his final house and workshop.
do you have a favorite vintage find?
i tend to go crazy for japanese vintage…on our last trip, we brought back beautiful wooden sculpted tiles. i hung them in our home but i do wonder about their original purpose…
do you have any reading recommendations for us? favorite novels, or books that helped you in some way?
when I have a bad case of wanderlust and creative fatigue, re-reading swiss writer nicolas bouvier always helps. he's as honest about his struggles as he is about the wonders of travel.
what's one of your favorite cities and what makes it a favorite for you?
i'd have a hard time pointing out a "perfect city" but there are a few that captured my heart, even if it was just for a short time. i like to be surprised, for instance in naha, okinawa's biggest city. you'd expect a small, nondescript town, but instead, you're finding a culturally rich, super laid-back tropical city.
song or movie you could play over and over and not tire of?
endless repetition sounds a bit scary just now…! but I was raised on jazz and would happily listen to it any day.
do you have any guilty pleasures?
fruits! that’s one pleasure i do indulge in. i also have these pastries dreams at night, but actually rarely act on them…maybe that’s a very french thing!
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• photography credits: all photography courtesy of @pauline_chardin.