Sotchi Winter Olympics are in full force and we have seen many beautiful pictures of Sochi and its surroundings, from the majestic mountains to the palm tree boulevards. Because of the Olympics all things Russian have been very fashionable lately. I especially love the way Russians use colour and adornments on their traditional buildings (The Winter Palace in St. Petersburgh being the prime example) and accessories like the Russian dolls. Fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent’s and his partner’s Pierre Berge’s Russian style dacha (dacha= holiday home in Russian) called “La Datcha” is like opening up one of those Russian dolls and finding a small jewel of a holiday home.
La Datcha is a small cottage on the grounds of a larger home the pair owned in Normandy, but after Yves Saint Laurent’s death, Pierre sold the bigger house but could not part with the adorable holiday cottage. The cottage was so small an annex had to be built for 2 bedrooms. Even from the outside the dacha looks like a gingerbread house from Russian fairytales!
The custm built doors look like genuine Russian antiques and the stained glass doors and windows bring to mind beautifully designed Faberge eggs or stained glass windows of a Russian Orthodox monastery.
On the weekends Pierre Berge flies a helicopter from Paris to Normandy, travelling with his dog to their countryside retreat. Pierre hired his long time friend and one of the most famous French designers Jacques Grange to work on the interiors of their Normandy retreat. Jacques Grange returned to design the bedroom annexe, which now has a master bedroom and a guest suite. The bedrooms almost look ascetic compared to the main house.
Jacques took inspiration from Ballet Russe (The Russian Ballet) for his initial designs and let his imagination take over. Samovars, horn chairs and chandeliers all under a beam ceiling make it all look very rustic and glamorous at the same time. I’m not sure about the bear skins on the floors, those I could do without. It is very oldy-worldy to have bear skins and such, but in today’s world, I would’ve hoped such decoration ideas would be passé by now.
This small eat-in kitchen with its Moroccan inspired tiles and the wood and turquoise chandelier is my favourite room. I could just imagine sitting there in the quiet of a summer morning with a steaming cup of coffee as the fresh morning air filters in through the open window. I imagine the heady sweet smell of the hydrangeas (my favourite flower!) from outside to mix with the rich coffee aroma, and there would not be a sound anywhere, except for some quiet birdsong once in a while. Now, that’s what I call a getaway.
More in the web:
Things Yves Loved- the extraordinary legacy of Yves Saint Laurent