Life in Ventabren is sweet for Alexandre Reignier and his partner Aude. With their two little girls, the young couple have built themselves a made-to-measure dream. A life-changing thing for the designer, who wanted to bring about a radical change in lifestyle with this project. Alexandre undertook this quest for the ethical and for simplicity with Atelier Ordinaire. A very personal, self-sufficient creation. Whether you’re talking about its geometric lines, the volume of its rooms or its big windows – everything in this green oasis on the outskirts of Aix-en-Provence is designed to induce serenity. With wood as his material of choice, Alexandre is certainly working miracles. His home also houses some of his creations as well as made-to-measure pieces, designed specially for the occasion. From the child’s bed to the kitchen, a Scandinavian-looking style emerges, close to the Japanese wabi-sabi that the slightest thing would seem capable of disturbing. Here, detail is king. Enhanced by the extraordinary light for the which the region is famous, Alexandre’s work is stunning.
Wood is the ideal material for me. It's beautiful, it's warm, soft, tough, lightweight and ecological. There's virtually no downside to it.
Alexandre, could you introduce yourself, please?
My first name is Alexandre, but everybody calls me Alex. I’m a designer and father to two pretty little girls and I share my life with Aude from The Little World blog. For the last year, we’ve been living in a wooden house in Ventabren which is very near to Aix-en-Provence
Was it you who designed this house?
It was a childhood dream to build a wooden house. When I came across the work of Atelier Ordinaire on Instagram, it just had to be, I wanted them to build mine. We worked our socks off to make it happen. This project is much more than just a house. First and foremost, it was a great meeting and a wonderful friendship that started with Atelier Ordinaire. Then, it brought about a radical change in lifestyle for me and my family, a move to a more laid-back, respectful and healthy life in the countryside. Lastly, it meant a change to my working life and wonderful prospects for the future in the making.
How did you furnish and decorate it?
The house itself is already an important part of the interior design. Its lines, the size of the rooms, the untreated wood and the big windows bring serenity and wellbeing. As for the rest, nothing could be simpler. You’ll see some of my designs and made-to-measure pieces that were created specifically for this house, for example, the kitchen, the child’s bed and the storage cupboards. There are also a few new or vintage pieces in the Scandinavian, boho or Japanese-inspired styles.
Professionally speaking, why did you decide to work with wood in particular?
Wood is the ideal material for me. It’s beautiful, it’s warm, soft, tough, lightweight and ecological. There’s virtually no downside to it. Generally, I like untreated materials, the look and the feel that they have.
It was a childhood dream to build a wooden house.
How would you describe your style?
It’s hard to describe one’s own style! I just like things that are simple, beautiful, efficient and minimal. I like my work to be appreciated for its simple value.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
My life in general is a source of inspiration. I take inspiration from everything that’s around me.
Could you tell us about Atelier Ordinaire, the agency that you design projects for?
We’re now working together with Atelier Ordinaire on wooden villa projects. We both bring our vision and experience to the table. This offers the client a made-to-measure home, designed from A to Z, from the structure to the furniture.
Can you recommend any good places to go around Aix-en-Provence?
There’s a café called Mana Espresso, a pâtisserie called Maison Weibel, Magasin Général Plus is a great place for shopping and a walk around Sainte-Victoire to recharge your batteries.
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily