After Aix-en-Provence, we find the signature style of Thomas Walter and his Atelier Ordinaire in Beaune in Burgundy. Working alongside Camille and Guillaume Boillot, wine growers who are passionate about the region where they live, the architect has created a truly unique work. It represents a new, bespoke lifestyle with nature at its forefront. To ensure that the property where the house was to be built from pine – a hundred-year-old vineyard called Mon Caprice – would retain its character, the couple allowed their idea to mature over an extended period. What they had in mind: a timeless architectural style, with flowing spaces bathed in light. As far as the layout was concerned, there were no restrictions other than an absolute desire to ensure that everything was as open as possible. This way of working was essential to the lifestyle of the family, who love to spend time together more than anything else. All five of them. The Strasbourg-based studio achieved this balance thanks to Camille and Guillaume’s thorough and precise searches. Tiles and muted pastel tones contrast with the wood, with fabric being incorporated including linen and coarse cotton. Nothing in the living space – which is intended to become a showroom over time – is left to chance. By contrast, the furniture is much more eclectic, collected from the couple’s travels or simply inherited from their previous home. Exceptional pieces that naturally found a place in this vast space where the omnipresence of the rural landscape blends with children’s laughter. The Socialite Family is delighted to present an interior with a powerful voice of its own – in which it resembles its owners very closely!
Camille, can you tell us about yourself? What’s made you the person who you are today?
I am a mother of three children: Paul, who’s ten, Charlie, who’s nine, and Joseph, who is two. I was born in Beaune and I grew up on the family vineyard in Pommard, and I also married a passionate wine grower whom I met at school. I came back to Beaune to live when I was 24 after travelling a lot, and we got married. I’m someone who is very sensitive to beauty, harmony, and authenticity. I like plain materials like wood, linen, ceramics, zellige and stone.
Can you tell us about your house’s story? Why did you choose the very pronounced style of Atelier Ordinaire?
We had a house that was typical of the Burgundy region, surrounded by vines, and we wanted a change. “Mon Caprice” is a plot that is absolutely adorable, as well as full of history. It first opened in 1906 and remained in the same family until 2015, which is when we took over. We wanted to leave it as it was, with an English garden, and build a house that would blend perfectly with a language. We had started with a different architect and a design in wood, but it didn’t work out. When I discovered Thomas Walter’s work on Instagram, I immediately started working towards this style of house, where the material gives you a sense of calm and warmth.
How did you work together to come up with the design?
Thomas was very attentive to what we wanted – a wooden house with a holiday spirit – and he respected them. We were aligned from the very beginning. It started with discussions over the phone and then, after an initial visit and our first meeting, the initial design for the southern façade appeared. We then exchanged a lot of reference images to define what would become our personal aesthetic for the wooden house.
Did you have any particular wants or needs to fulfil?
Yes, several! A timeless, classic architectural style and a simple shape. A large space where the children could meet and play, read, or watch a film. A house that would be bathed in light. An open-plan kitchen that reflected our lifestyle, because we host lots of friends and customers. I enjoy cooking, but also taking part in the conversation! A fireplace and lots of storage. The house was also designed to be a showroom. My company, a consultancy which also sells decorative objects, now bears its name: “Mon Caprice.”
We were very familiar with the area and knew what needed to be included in the scope. We started with the large windows and designed the house to draw the light and the landscapes into each of the rooms. We wanted the house to flow with a clear sense of purpose. On the ground floor, in reality there is only a single, large space that runs from the kitchen to the living room, culminating in a large staircase that leads to a space envisaged as a kind of chapel, and a room in the attic that overlooks the trees where the whole family can come together.
How did you select your furniture?
The majority of the furniture was custom-made with a few spaces left bare to show off furniture that we found in flea markets or the like, or simply bought off the shelf.
Our main source of inspiration is the outdoor vegetation which is like a canvas backdrop when you're indoors.
What inspired you in your interior decoration?
We only moved in a few weeks ago, so at this stage, the only things that are here came from our old house. We are taking our time over everything. The all-wooden house is something new for us! Touches of colour will come shortly, but in the meantime, my main source of inspiration is the outdoor vegetation which is like a canvas backdrop when you’re indoors.
Do you have a favourite colour, item or combination of the moment?
I have always loved all shades of green but I have a bit of a thing for chalky white and terracotta at the moment!
Any destinations in Burgundy where you can go searching for accessories or furniture to make all the difference to a room?
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily