French website The Socialite Family chronicles how the “smart and cool”—and privileged—live in Europe. This is not the realm of inherited chateaus but of modernist taste applied to old Paris apartments and hipster vacation huts. One fave TSL fixation falls in the latter camp: British kids’-wear designer Louisa Rowland’s vacation cabane in Cap Ferret.
Not to be confused with glam Cap Ferrat on the Riviera, Cap Ferret due west of Bordeaux, is known as the Cape Cod of France. Situated on a piney 11-mile-long spit that runs between the Atlantic and Arcachon Bay, the beach enclave is a stylishly laid-back nature escape that attracts creative types. Join us for a glimpse inside one of its down-home-luxe cabins.
The interior is all about wood. Rowland furnished the living area with inviting upholstered pieces, Welsh throws, and midcentury designs. “My style is eclectic, textured, rich and colorful with very strong influences from my travel, my childhood in Mexico, and my husband’s Indian heritage,” she told the Socialite Family. Rowland grew up mostly in London but attended a lycée, and she and her children speak French at home. Fashion runs in her genes: Her sister Anda runs the family’s Savile Row tailor shop, Anderson & Sheppard.
Inspired by the area’s oystermen’s shacks, the first of these Craftsman houses was built in the early 1980s by French businessman and local activist Benoit Bartherotte for his own family. He went on to create an enclave, and his sons Hadrien and Martin now run Cabanes Bartherotte & Frères, specializing in what they call “made-to-measure, ecological” cabins. Working with a crew of local specialists, they build no more than four to five houses a year and say, “We are close to haute couture.” See the Socialite Family’s post Hadrien Bartherotte, a Force of Nature.
Louisa says she surfs in the mornings and caps off each day with a swim: “While the house is in the forest, the beach is at the end of our lane and the village is a two-minute walk away.”
N.B.: This post is an update; the original ran February 14, 2018.
Here are three more standout rustic-luxe houses: