mindful living and our january/february magazine

As I flick through our January/February edition of the MFCH Magazine, it strikes me how many of the subjects tie in to my current obsession, namely ‘mindful living’.

Last year seemed to go by in the blink of an eyelid and this year I am determined to live more mindfully. To pay more attention to my special peeps; to declutter and restyle my home; and to continue to grow the garden as an extension to the house, a place to rest and enjoy, in harmony with the growing constraints of our changing climate.

Here at my home in Normandy, we try to do several things to reduce our impact on the environment, and to live mindfully. In the garden we compost religiously and we never use any chemical treatments. In our daily lives, we drive hybrid cars, we work from home, we turn off the lights in rooms that are not being used and we prefer to add a sweater rather than turn up the heating. All the simple ideas that I’m sure a lot of you also adhere to.

The interiors we show in the January edition are all renovation projects. Homes that have been created from old buildings, even repurposed. Created with care and respect for the building and the environment. From the quiet palette of a former caretaker’s apartment that is now a weekend home;

to the old stone house near Menerbes, which is built around a stone courtyard;

Maison d’hôte La Nuit est Belle. La Roque sur Pernes

to a former farmhouse above Aix en Provence, filled with provencal sunshine. Each property has been thoughtfully restored, redecorated and adapted to today’s living without losing its original soul.

The gardens we share in this issue are also a call to meditation. First the divine Jardin de Cadiot, captured by photographer Eric Sander and to be found in the Dordogne region. I visited this garden myself last summer for the first time and immediately fell under the spell as I wandered along the paths and was drawn from the rose garden, to a topiary maze, to a beautiful Italian style parterre behind a stone wall. This labor of love is the creation of a family who still cares for it today and it is most definitely worth the visit.

The second garden is quite different in style, but also encourages the visitor to pause for thought. On the coast of Normandy, Les Jardins d’Etretat were revived by designer Alexander Grivko. Using the existing garden with its century old trees, he planted thousands of box bushes; large yew trees and hundreds of privileges. The result is a property which comprises seven main areas: a veritable ode to meditation. In particular the Jardin d’Émotions which includes a large number of ‘living sculptures’ nestling among the box topiary. They alternatively smile, sleep, gasp and watch as visitors wander past.

Voila! A short round up of the content of our current magazine. On sale here, in digital or print version. And if you already received your copy, I’d love to know which is your favorite subject! Mercy!