Vivez Bien * Live Well

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Laid-back local style

I posted previously here about a restaurant that I went to where the decor was so appealing. The restaurant is owned by a Capetonian interior designer by the name of Salome Gunter. I have found some more images of her work to show to you. She has a very relaxed French eclectic style and creates such unpretentious and livable interiors.

These slipcovers look as though they are made from old French tea towels or mangle cloths. I love the humble old school bench paired with the Persian carpet.

This setting is wonderful in its simplicity

A bedroom with a very French country flavour

I love the soft green of the island, the ceiling and hanging pot rack.

The muted colours in this bedroom are so peaceful

Chequered floor, striped bench cushions and cafe tables make a very inviting combination

This rustic French farmhouse style is just perfect (via Elle Decoration)

The bathroom of the same house and ....

...the kitchen. Aren't those rustic beams and exposed attic amazing?

This picture and the few following are from her weekend cottage. So simple and pared down. (via SA House and Leisure mag)

Pictures via Salome Gunter Interiors

I hope you are all having a lovely and relaxing weekend.

Till next time

Sharon x

Monday, April 25, 2011


I dream about owning a home in France, probably somewhere in Provence. I dream about the house itself, what it will look like on the outside and the inside, and what it would be like living the French dream. I imagine every room, the placement of every piece of furniture, the curtains, the wall colours, the balance between rustic and elegant. It is sometimes quite exhausting trying to get it just right! These are some pictures that resemble the images in my head.

The entrance has a beautiful table adorned with interesting bits and pieces. The floor is original stone. (Source unknown)

The Salon. I'm not sure exactly what happens in a salon, but I'm sure I need one! (Via Eclectic Revisited)

The Living Room. These sofas are so comfy and I love the rustic coffee table, armoire and  mirror. (Via My Beautiful Disaster)

The "salle à manger" has beautiful slip-covered chairs paired with a robust table. (Via Cote de Texas)

This is a corner of the kitchen with a beautiful table for food preparation. (Via Euroitalia)

The breakfast room forms part of the kitchen (Via Under Spanish Moss)

This is another corner of the kitchen. Yes, its a huge kitchen! We are in Provence after all - it's all about the food. (Via House Beautiful)

This is a room I call the solarium. This is where I sit with the latest "Côte Ouest" or "Art and Decoration" or maybe my laptop catching up on all your blogs. (Via The Hairstylist that loves Home Design)

This is my bedroom, the colours, the chaise longue, the armoire, the doors - all perfect. (via House Beautiful)

Yes, I have to have a fireplace in my "salle de bains" and a beautiful slipper bath. (Via Marie Claire)
My guestroom. Would you like to come and stay? (Via Full Bloom Cottage)

This is where we have our al fresco meals (via Lynne Rees)

No Provencal home would be complete without an olive tree. (via French Inspired Living)
And finally - a beautiful and welcoming facade (via Provence Rental)

So, how do you like my French dream house? Could you live here?

Till next time

Sharon x

Saturday, April 23, 2011



I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
"At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!

 ~ Edna Dean Procter


Wishing you all a wonderful Easter with your families and friends!

Till next time

Sharon x

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"I had a farm in Africa"

My parents owned a large farm in South Africa and which is where I grew up. We lived in this Cape Dutch style farm house which was built in 1846. Our lifestyle was very colonial. Think "White mischief" or "Out of Africa" without all the decadence! My father employed a number of farmhands to work on the farm and they lived there with their families. Their wives were very keen to work so my mom used to employ as many of them as she could. So we grew up with cooks, laundrymaids and housekeepers. As I said, it was a very colonial lifestyle! I was the youngest of five children and we each had our own nanny until we went to boarding school at the age of 6.

Oil painting of the farm house with the lake in the front

The beautiful stone outbuildings

The reason for this bit of backgroud is to introduce you to my favourite piece of furniture in my home. It is an antique mahogany linen chest that I inherited from my parents. It stood in the sitting room of our house on the farm and my parents used it as a drinks cabinet. Every evening one of the housekeepers used to bring a silver tray with a silver water jug, ice bucket, slices of lemon and so on and place it on the slide-out shelf of the cupboard. We would all have to get clean and tidy for the evening and gather in the sitting room for pre-dinner drinks. We would then move through to the dining room for a candelit dinner.

Of course, my life nowdays is very different from those days! We do try to have dinner together as a family most nights and I do light candles, but there are no servants to whisk away the dirty plates and wash the dishes. The mahogany linen chest is still used as a drinks cupboard and is well stocked thanks to my mother-in-law. (When she emigrated to New Zealand, we inherited the contents of her drinks cupboard.) However there is no silver tray with ice bucket placed there every evening. The cupboard only gets opened every once in a while when being mom, taxi-driver, laundry service, cook and cleaner for my 4 boys takes it's toll and my husband decides that I need a whiskey! LOL.

I almost forgot - well done to Pamela @ French Buttons, Ange @ Chair-up, Jessica @ The Velveteen Rabbit, Lynn @ Dreams on 34th Street and Sherry @ No Minimilist Here. You guessed it! My dining room in my previous post was E. You are a very intelligent, intuitive and/or observant bunch of bloggers!

Till next time

Sharon x

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Divine Dining

Whether its big and elaborate, small and intimate or rustic and relaxed, a dining room or dining area is an integral part of our lives. This is the place where we usually gather with family and friends, sharing meals and special occasions. My dining room is one of my favourite rooms in my home.  I have included it in the mix of pictures below. I wonder is you can guess which one it is. (I will give you some clues - small budget, big family, messy children, warm climate)












Wishing you all a wonderful week

Till next time

Sharon x

(Pictures via House Beautiful, SA Garden and Home, Tumblr,  Atlanta Homes,Magazine and me)