Famille sur leurs escaliers blancs chez Maison Acacia à LA Ciotat

Maison Acacia, Hybrid Living
Space in La Ciotat

“Our house, your house”, a generous maxim that sets the tone at Maison Acacia. A singularly charming address that defies all definitions: neither hotel, nor bed and breakfast, nor gîte. A hybrid living space that its happy owners, Léa and Thomas Lecointe, like to call “a place that is evolving”. A delightful Provencal haven where the couple welcomes their guests with open arms, eager to share with them the rewarding lives they experience by the sea. It is like a generous and spontaneous invitation from this endearing family that we are getting to know today. The former Parisians are the proud parents of two little sisters, India and Java. After fleeing the greyness of the city to embrace the Mediterranean climate and its lifestyle, the couple and their children first made their home in Marseille in a charming building, La Pinède, and then finally settled in La Ciotat. A city they chose after falling in love with this 18th-century building on a street corner. An opportunity that presented itself to them as a natural choice. So this gem in the historic town centre has become their sunny home, as well as home to the lucky ones who come to stay for a weekend or even a week. Four rooms with poetic names – La Cabane, Le Rendez-vous, La Bibliothèque, and La Tribu – which they have tastefully furnished little by little with objects that suit them perfectly. Finds gleaned from travels and chance discoveries at flea markets and second-hand shops. Comfort and well-being are the order of the day in this friendly place filled with precious objects that the eternal bargain hunters bring home with them and which are also for sale! Most of the pieces are sourced from local producers to showcase the Provençal region. Honey from the rocky inlets of La Ciotat, handmade candles: the two designers carefully select items to recreate unique ambiences to take home – and why not? A sense of detail and emotions distilled from one place to another to create a unique atmosphere. Experience an idyllic interlude in the South of France, alone or in company!

Maison Acacia – Curiosity & Town House. 24 Rue Gueymard – 13600 La Ciotat. Guest rooms to reserve and private areas to rent. Email contact@maison-acacia.com or visit www.maison-acacia.com.

Salon lumineux avec coussin terracotta et chauffeuse en laine bouclette crème chez
Décoration avec lampe à poser et miroir chez chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Maison Acacia, Hybrid Living <br>Space in La Ciotat
Statue et livres anciens chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Salon avec canapé capitonné et palmes en bois de bateau chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat

Léa, Thomas: could you introduce yourselves, please?

Léa & Thomas

We are a couple of creative souls, constantly on the go. I’m a photographer, and Thomas is an interior designer. We’ve been together for 10 years, and we have two little girls, Java, who is five, and India, who is one year old. Between the four of us, we create living spaces that are an invitation to travel, inspired by our numerous escapades all around the world. We design our living spaces as the ideal experience for ourselves above all, and we want our guests to enjoy them too. These are projects that we undertake as a family, assisted by people who share our values and our way of life. We’ve always known that we would work together. By bringing all our expertise to bear, we can carry out our projects completely autonomously.

You were the happy owners of La Pinède in Marseille. Now, three years later, we find you in La Ciotat, with Maison Acacia. What was the motivation behind your choice?

Léa

La Pinède was our first hotel project. A wonderful way to train ourselves and learn a profession around the design of a single room. Maison Acacia is the logical next step in our journey. This is a new phase in our family life that we hope will one day lead to opening a hotel. Our choice was motivated by the ambition to expand this first location. That wasn’t an option in Marseille. So we packed our bags and came to open a bigger and better place here in La Ciotat. Our family has also grown with India’s arrival. It became imperative to move. We like challenges and adventures. So it was only natural that we had this idea in the back of our minds. We needed to find the ideal house to make this happen. It was during a walk in Ciotadenne that we discovered that this 1750 building was for sale. As soon as we opened the door, it was obvious this was the place.

Tell us about your new project. Is it a continuation of the storyline you sketched out with La Pinède?

Léa & Thomas

The Maison Acacia project is the continuation of the framework we outlined with La Pinède. It’s based on the same foundations, the same guiding principles and the same values: generosity, sharing, kindness and consistency.
When you arrive on our website, it says: “Our house, your house”. A maxim that is really no more complicated than that. You come to our house, but the aim is to make you feel at home. We’ve carefully thought out the common areas and the bedrooms down to the smallest detail to achieve this feeling! It’s not a hotel, nor a bed and breakfast, and it’s nor a gite. It’s a real living space that doesn’t have a name to describe it yet, because it’s still evolving. People come here to stay, but above all for the experience. That of living in the heart of a dynamic historical pedestrian centre while, at the same time, being in a small haven of peace with exotic, unique decoration.

Enfants sur les marches du salon de Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Cuisine blanche et verte avec balance et suspension à franges vertes chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Corbeille à fruits en rotin chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Salon avec escalier en béton, chauffeuse et table en rotin chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Cuisine avec crédence en mosaïque, horloge et fleurs chez
Livres Assouline Ibiza chez Maison Acacia

Tell us the story behind the name: Maison Acacia.

Léa & Thomas

We wanted the word Maison, house, to be at the heart of our project for all that it represents. Here it is a family house that we share daily with about 10 people. A historic building in the town centre, a place where people live. These are all definitions of the word “house” that embody our place very well. Why did you choose “Acacia”? Because we’re lucky enough to have a huge one in the patio that runs the full height of our house and is visible from every window. As we did at La Pinède, it was important for us to integrate a plant signature into our project.

“Our house, your house“. In addition to the four studios, there is your home. Why do you like this concept so much?

Thomas

We live at the top of Maison Acacia to better watch over our guests. Our family is the very embodiment of our place; we don’t see our projects in any other way. It’s a genuine pleasure to share this house and our lifestyle with those who want to experience a little bit of our daily life. To strike the right balance and to respect our privacy and family life, we planned the house as two separate spaces so that we could be at home in a totally private area.

Léa

This space is rented privately from time to time for photoshoots or filming. However, we like to keep it to ourselves the rest of the time as our little family bubble perched on the rooftops of La Ciotat. The girls are growing up with this project. Java loves our life and understands very well what we do. She helps me with the bedrooms at weekends, goes around the house to meet the mini-guests, and willingly lends them her bikes to ride around the pedestrian areas. As for India, she comes along with us on our adventures and daily chores. She is the sunny side of our project with her mischievous smiles.

What is your favourite space?

Léa & Thomas

Our living/dining room is our favourite space. A room flooded with light on the top floor of the house. If someone had told me one day that my living room would be so big, I wouldn’t have believed them! The high ceilings and the light that pours in throughout the day make this space really pleasant to live in. Our living room is adjacent to our terrace, perched above the rooftops, where the sunset is magical. It’s a family room, always full of life, music and our happy clutter.

How did you reinterpret the spirit of this 18th-century townhouse to make it your own?

Léa & Thomas

We have rekindled the spark of this house. It already had some very nice features, such as high ceilings, floor tiles, mouldings, and that spectacular stairwell… We repainted everything white to bring in light, cleaned up the rooms and restructured some of the spaces to make the rooms really fit our target. Then, 330 m2 had to be furnished and decorated. So we went bargain hunting for lots of things and brought back crafts from Mexico. As inveterate bargain hunters – not to say collectors – we had a multitude of curiosities brought back from our many travels, all of which found a place in the house. The rooms we rent have been decorated with as much attention to detail as if they were our own living spaces. It was important to us that our guests felt at home. A feeling achieved through beautiful accessories and, above all, the presence of unique pieces that make our four rooms very different, but with a common thread.

The four spaces are an invitation to share your lifestyle. How did you achieve that?

Léa & Thomas

We share a lot of our lifestyle as it has really evolved over the last few years by leaving behind what we had. We’re happy we made this move and love to share our still fresh look at this adopted region. It makes our life so beautiful! To this end, we’ve put together a series of very precise guides referencing our favourite places, our inspirations and, of course, our favourite tips. We also provide an iPhone in each room with a town map showing all our addresses. And if all this isn’t enough for our guests, we invite them to talk to us and ask us things during their stay, so we can make their time here really enjoyable.

Table basse en rotin tressé chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Cuisine avec suspensions à franges oranges et table à manger en bois chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Porte de frigo en inox avec photos chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat

We design our living spaces as the ideal experience for ourselves above all, and we want our guests to enjoy them too.

Pot en céramique et blés séchés chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Chambre à coucher avec tête de lit terracotta et miroirs en rotin chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Plantes et dame-jeanne dans chambre à coucher chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Fauteuil vert en velours et sol en tomette dans la chambre à coucher de Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Chambre d'enfants avec guirlande lumineuse et parure en lin chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Enfant devant sa dinette dans sa chambre chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat

As in your previous projects, everything can be purchased in the spaces you offer for rent. How do you make your selection?

Thomas

For us, the most important thing when we create a place is to respect and take advantage of the rich environment that surrounds it. We try to work locally as much as possible. This means that the products and objects on sale in the shop and the grocery shop are primarily sourced in La Ciotat. As for the rest, including the furniture in the house, it comes from our various travels, numerous flea markets, and finally from our endless visits to Emmaus second-hand shops.

Léa

For example, we fell in love with a ceramist called Corinne from “l’atelier bestioles”. We immediately wanted to create our first collection of cups and mugs with her. We want to develop this initial collaboration into a complete table service and decorative items. Maison Acacia’s candles also come from a small boutique with its own workshop, Quel Pot!  And we have created one with a special label that is exclusive to us. Another star product in our selection is honey from the La Ciotat inlet. When we discovered this activity, we immediately contacted the beekeeper and added pots of their honey; it seemed the obvious thing to do! Most of these auspicious encounters take place on Instagram but also in the market here in La Ciotat.

You have been living in the south for a few years. How does this location influence your work and projects?

Léa

Obviously, the context of the south is an invitation to a gentle lifestyle, well-being, living well and, above all, to the contemplation of what it offers us! The sea, the creeks, the cicadas, more than 310 days of good weather, the climate… An idyllic setting that we first imagined for ourselves and the children and that we are now introducing to our clients. In purely “photographic” terms, this obviously influences us because the light here is very special. It was no coincidence that the Lumière brothers chose to come here to shoot their first images.

Thomas

First of all, the permanent contact with the sea and the rocky inlets influences our inspiration, our choice of colours, choice of materials, and our desire to get away from it all. Not to mention that we benefit from all this every single day. We take the best of what we have, to offer our guests the most relaxing and attractive experience possible!

As ambassadors of the town of La Ciotat, can you tell us about some of your favourite places?

Léa & Thomas

When we arrived here, we got used to our new rhythm of life as time went by. We decided to make a small guide we called our 24 hours in La Ciotat. It’s simply a summary of our favourite addresses, which we produce and visit almost daily. For a day spent here, we recommend a good coffee at the “café de l’horloge”, a place not to be missed! Don’t hesitate to wander through the small streets nearby to find little gems, small ceramics shops and even a mini Emmaüs in a street overlooking the sea. Then enjoy a dish of the day from the ” coin de la rue ” restaurant, which you can take away to eat on the church steps facing the harbour. On the legendary Sadi Carnot square, you will also find the “carré noir” pastry shop, one of our favourite spots. Finally, “l’écume des glaces” offers homemade ice cream, made here in La Ciotat, that we love to enjoy in front of the fountain with the children!

Chambre d'enfant avec berceau à baldaquin chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Terrasse terracotta ensoleillée avec assise et parasol chez Maison Acacia à Paris Ouverture avec persiennes sur la terrasse terracotta chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat

For us, the most important thing when we create a place is to respect and take advantage of the rich environment that surrounds it.

Table en bois et palmiers sur la terrasse terracotta de Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Clé sur serrure chez Maison acacia à La Ciotat
Plantes suspendues dans la cour chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Jardin avec bananier et parasol chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Terrasse en bois avec chaises pliantes et canoë chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat
Porte d'entrée en bois chez Maison Acacia à La Ciotat

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