It’s always fascinating to discover more about the chic nomads behind our properties – as well as the objects within their homes. When we came across La Romaine Villa, an 18th-century vacation home rental in France, we really fell for its stylish mix of designer furnishings and vintage finds – as well as the striking art on its walls.
On further investigation, we discovered its interiors were curated by its owner – interior designer Meilin Bristiel. Meilin was born in Santiago, Chile, but has since lived in France, the US and the UK. We were very intrigued to discover she was an equine veterinary surgeon for many years, but left that career in 2005 to pursue her love of interior design.
In 1997, on vacation in the seaside resort of Dinard in Brittany, she came across the artist Alexandre Motte. “He had a tiny gallery where he sold mostly small size paintings, his flower power phase,” Meilin tells us. “We loved it and bought about five of them. We came back every year, and bought something on each trip.”
She has since become good friends with the artist, and the house in Vaison-la-Romaine is now filled with his works. A particular favorite is the vivid blue image in the kitchen – an abstract piece depicting a pitcher pouring water.
“It was very clear that the painting had to be where it is now,” she explains. “It is not very clear on the picture, but on the lower right, it says donner = ‘to give’ , and the top part is a pitcher, the vertical part is water pouring out. This is my favourite painting. It may be strange to have it in the kitchen, but as you know, one does spend an awful lot of time in that room!”
Other favorites are “Elle et lui” in the living-dining room, and the red fish on a vivid blue background that sit directly opposite. Red fish, it turns out, are Alexandre’s mascot – but they seem to have settled in to Meilin’s home just perfectly. A wonderful coming together of two creative imaginations.