It seems that everything French public relations executive Sophie Douzal decides to do gets done with flourish, style, and a smile. Thanks to some good luck and a few high-profile clients in the luxury sector, she founded her own communications agency 25 years ago. “It was easier then,” she admits of starting her enterprise, which in addition to handling media relations also plans events, such as a pre-lockdown dinner for 300 people at the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris. “It just seemed to happen.” 

It goes without saying that this energetic and friendly Parisian also loves entertaining on an intimate scale. And her innate sense of style and knack for decorating comes across loud and clear in her provincial country house. Though she didn’t find the home quickly. “My husband gave me carte blanche to find the house, but he did have three criteria,” Douzal says. It had to be less than 30 minutes from the nearest TGV train station, the ride less than two hours from Paris, and he did not want to see the neighbors. “I went to see 17 houses and was giving up, until I saw this place,” she recalls of the process five years ago. Douzal’s 18th visit brought her to an enormous piece of land with an 18th-century farmhouse that, fortuitously, had not been touched by the previous owners.

<div class="caption"> In the living room, two blue sofas from <a href="https://www.axel-vervoordt.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Axel Vervoordt" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Axel Vervoordt</a> stand opposite one another, while a small blue sofa in the background is covered in <a href="https://www.pierrefrey.com/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pierre Frey" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pierre Frey</a>. The other fabrics are from <a href="https://www.osborneandlittle.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Osborne & Little" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Osborne & Little</a>. The two white American armchairs and the coffee table were found at the Paris Flea Market at Saint Ouen. The lamp is from the <a href="https://www.charles.fr/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Maison Charles" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Maison Charles</a>, and in the back room the wall fabric is from <a href="https://www.julesetjim.fr/?lang=en" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jules & Jim" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jules & Jim</a>. </div>
In the living room, two blue sofas from Axel Vervoordt stand opposite one another, while a small blue sofa in the background is covered in Pierre Frey. The other fabrics are from Osborne & Little. The two white American armchairs and the coffee table were found at the Paris Flea Market at Saint Ouen. The lamp is from the Maison Charles, and in the back room the wall fabric is from Jules & Jim.

Once the family found the perfect spot, Douzal set about installing a tennis court and a pool with a pool house and began painting the seven-bedroom, six-bathroom house pink. “I wanted a pale pink house, but it ended up looking like Disneyland [at first]!” she notes, laughing. “It took a few years [of weathering] and is really pretty now.” She kept the original red tiled floor, painted the existing wooden doors, and infused the interiors with special finds. Finishing touches have just been put on the final addition, a guesthouse—a place for the couple’s four kids and their friends.

Douzal ends up going every other weekend in the spring and summer, leaving right after school on Fridays and arriving in time for dinner in the garden by 8 p.m. “We don’t generally go in the winter but always celebrate Christmas there and have Christmas dinner outside!” she notes. The house, she adds, is usually full of friends and family: “ ‘Buy a house in Provence and you will have a lifetime of friends!’ This is true!”

<div class="caption"> Douzal strolls the grounds with her nine-year-old daughter, Athina, carrying cut flowers planted with help of Benoit Hochart of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Home-Decor/Roseraie-de-Chateaubois-Benoit-Hochart-101102128290801/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Roseraie de Chateaubois" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Roseraie de Chateaubois</a>, famous for his roses. </div>
Douzal strolls the grounds with her nine-year-old daughter, Athina, carrying cut flowers planted with help of Benoit Hochart of Roseraie de Chateaubois, famous for his roses.

With the guesthouse now finished, her attention can be devoted to enjoying her real passion, the garden. Douzal worked on it with landscape designer Alexandre Phelip, who is from Corsica, and a local gardener, Benoit Hochart, who is a rose specialist.

One fairy-tale, provincial country house down, Douzal already has her sights on her next project. “I’m on to my second life! I want to buy a traditional French lifestyle brand and develop it to showcase the South of France with pretty napkins, plates, tablecloths,” she shares. “I want a piece of the sunshine!”

Tour This Picture-Perfect Villa in Provence

<div class="caption"> The cozy and colorful TV room in Paris PR maven Sophie Douzal’s weekend home in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. </div>

The cozy and colorful TV room in Paris PR maven Sophie Douzal’s weekend home in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France.

<div class="caption"> The kitchen, which gets lots of use by the entire family, was designed by decorator Francois de Marigny. </div>

The kitchen, which gets lots of use by the entire family, was designed by decorator Francois de Marigny.

<div class="caption"> In the living room, two blue sofas from <a href="https://www.axel-vervoordt.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Axel Vervoordt" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Axel Vervoordt</a> stand opposite one another, while a small blue sofa in the background is covered in <a href="https://www.pierrefrey.com/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pierre Frey" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pierre Frey</a>. The other fabrics are from <a href="https://www.osborneandlittle.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Osborne & Little" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Osborne & Little</a>. The two white American armchairs and the coffee table were found at the Paris Flea Market at Saint Ouen. The lamp is from the <a href="https://www.charles.fr/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Maison Charles" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Maison Charles</a>, and in the back room the wall fabric is from <a href="https://www.julesetjim.fr/?lang=en" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jules & Jim" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jules & Jim</a>. </div>
In the living room, two blue sofas from Axel Vervoordt stand opposite one another, while a small blue sofa in the background is covered in Pierre Frey. The other fabrics are from Osborne & Little. The two white American armchairs and the coffee table were found at the Paris Flea Market at Saint Ouen. The lamp is from the Maison Charles, and in the back room the wall fabric is from Jules & Jim.
<div class="caption"> A Charles Eames lounge chair recovered in <a href="https://www.svenskttenn.se/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Svenskt Tenn" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Svenskt Tenn</a> fabric. A Roger Capron lamp and a photo by Bettina Rheims. </div>
A Charles Eames lounge chair recovered in Svenskt Tenn fabric. A Roger Capron lamp and a photo by Bettina Rheims.
<div class="caption"> An exterior view of the house, which Douzal had painted pink. The hue has mellowed over the years. She designed the terrace furniture herself. </div>

An exterior view of the house, which Douzal had painted pink. The hue has mellowed over the years. She designed the terrace furniture herself.

<div class="caption"> The pool was one of the first things put in by Douzal after closing on the property. The furniture is from <a href="http://www.herve-baume.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hervé Baume" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hervé Baume</a>. </div>
The pool was one of the first things put in by Douzal after closing on the property. The furniture is from Hervé Baume.
<div class="caption"> Douzal’s bedroom with curtains from <a href="https://www.osborneandlittle.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Osborne & Little" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Osborne & Little</a>; the bedcover is from <a href="https://simrane.com/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Simrane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Simrane</a> in Paris. The light is by French artist Roger Capron and the commode was found at the flea market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. </div>
Douzal’s bedroom with curtains from Osborne & Little; the bedcover is from Simrane in Paris. The light is by French artist Roger Capron and the commode was found at the flea market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
<div class="caption"> In Douzal’s bathroom, the towels are from <a href="https://dporthaultparis.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:D. Porthault" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">D. Porthault</a>. </div>
<div class="caption"> The bedroom of Douzal’s daughter, Athina. The beds are from the Paris Flea Market at Saint Ouen, and all fabrics are <a href="https://www.libertylondon.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Liberty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Liberty</a>. The duvet is from Bloom. All sheets are from <a href="https://www.visavisparis.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Vis-a-Vis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Vis-a-Vis</a>. </div>
The bedroom of Douzal’s daughter, Athina. The beds are from the Paris Flea Market at Saint Ouen, and all fabrics are Liberty. The duvet is from Bloom. All sheets are from Vis-a-Vis.
<div class="caption"> The Blue Bedroom with a <a href="https://www.casalopez.com/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Casa Lopez" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Casa Lopez</a> bedside table. All fabrics are from Manuel de Lorca and the sheets from <a href="https://www.zarahome.com/us/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara Home Collection" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara Home Collection</a>. </div>
<div class="caption"> The gardens were put in by Douzal with landscape architect Alexandre Phelip from <a href="http://www.entrecieletvert.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Entre Ciel & Vert" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Entre Ciel & Vert</a> and the rose specialist Benoit Hochart. </div>
The gardens were put in by Douzal with landscape architect Alexandre Phelip from Entre Ciel & Vert and the rose specialist Benoit Hochart.
<div class="caption"> In the guesthouse, named the Orangerie, the wall fabrics are from <a href="https://www.casalopez.com/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Casa Lopez" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Casa Lopez</a> as are the bedside tables. The lights are from the Avignon flea market and the Danish desk from <a href="https://www.christies.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Christie’s" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Christie’s</a>. The bedcover is from <a href="https://simrane.com/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Simrane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Simrane</a> in Paris. </div>
In the guesthouse, named the Orangerie, the wall fabrics are from Casa Lopez as are the bedside tables. The lights are from the Avignon flea market and the Danish desk from Christie’s. The bedcover is from Simrane in Paris.
<div class="caption"> At an outdoor dining table, the napkins are from <a href="https://www.jeanne-bayol.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jeanne Bayol" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jeanne Bayol</a> in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and the plates from <a href="https://www.casalopez.com/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Casa Lopez" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Casa Lopez</a>. The glasses are from Murano. </div>
At an outdoor dining table, the napkins are from Jeanne Bayol in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and the plates from Casa Lopez. The glasses are from Murano.
<div class="caption"> Douzal’s nine-year-old daughter, Athina, in the rose garden. </div>

Douzal’s nine-year-old daughter, Athina, in the rose garden.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest