A Global Aesthetic for Village Life
Down a medieval cobblestone lane in the market town of Issigeac in the heart of the Dordogne, Marc and Deb’s hybrid design store/café Bien Chez Soi Ameublement- on the site of the former Café de France, showcases the very best of European lifestyle, contemporary design, home décor, furnishing craftsmanship and design consulting services.
So much more than a store, the space is inviting and inspiring, showcasing a philosophy that curates heritage design brands from across Europe with art, textiles and restored furniture to inspire and enhance modern life. A relaxed and authentic approach typical of the Southern French alfresco lifestyle so coveted by décor lovers across the globe.
In the medieval setting, owners Marc and Deb showcase their love of hybrid design and contemporary style, where the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and an eclectic mix of European home decor and ethically sourced treasures entice shoppers to explore this Aladdin’s Cave of home design…
“We want to demonstrate that mixing your existing furnishings with contemporary design in heritage spaces can create a truly modern and customised aesthetic that is unique to you and your way of life. That the collected and the contemporary can sit side by side in harmony to enhance any space.”
The duo’s eco-conscious buying philosophy ensures that shoppers can browse knowing that brands featured have been vetted for eco-credentials. That Bien Chez Soi Brand partners and artisans also hold ethical sourcing and sustainable practices as key values in the operations of their businesses.
With careers luxury fashion retail and marketing across South Africa, the United Kingdom and France, Marc and Deb’s journey to Issigeac spanned multiple countries. The journey- and experiences along the way, influencing their global/local design philosophy that blends the best of contemporary and heritage aesthetic with a down-to-earth Southern French flair.
With a background in premium fashion, Deb is always on the lookout for quality pieces, textiles and designs that reflect the essence of the South of France and a stylish but relaxed European aesthetic
“Whether it’s a well-loved vintage chair, a minimalist Scandinavian piece, or a timeless piece of Belgian linen. If we wouldn’t have it in our own home, we won’t buy it.”
The curated selection of products would all feel at home in a French chateau or old stone farm house. But equally, can be taken home to enhance the environment no matter where you live.
“All our pieces are chosen to enhance the quintessential French Maison, and reflect a modern Southern French lifestyle, but they also standalone as beautiful items that transport the relaxed chic of provincial European life to homes no matter where in the world they are.”
Deb’s experience in luxury retail is evident with beautifully styled inspiration corners, while Marc’s love of vintage design ensures a distinctive curation of old and new products; one that balances restored vintage furnishings and mid-century pieces, with contemporary design, refined home textiles and minimalist home decor. It’s a space that effortlessly inspires meandering shoppers with décor that at once looks contemporary, but also completely timeless. Marc stresses the values of sustainability as part of the product selection in store;
“Ethical production is such a big part of our values as a retailer- we always strive to source products and brand partners who believe in the same qualities of craftsmanship, design and ethical values as we do.”
The pair’s passion for artisan craftsmanship is reflected in the services offered; artisan upholstery, custom framing and home textile consulting. And let’s not forget the delicious aroma of freshly brewed organic coffee and locally sourced gourmet treats that invite shoppers to linger, explore and relax as if in their own beautifully styled Maison in Southern France. And, well, we don’t mind if we do…