July 24, 2012 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Every two weeks designer Catherine Op de Beeck scours the French Camargue beaches for driftwood to incorporate into her stylish, modern, and functional furniture collection, Baptized by Nature–a new made-to-order collection to be unveiled in Paris at Maison et Objet 2013.
The sophisticated blending of the raw natural textures of driftwood, untreated tree trunks, and logs with the smooth sheen of materials like epoxy painted steel results in a functional, affordable, eco-friendly furniture range that works both indoors or out.
“People are looking for distinctive individualistic features marked by imperfection, not perfection,” explains the designer.
One of my favorite examples from the collection is the Tree Bar, below, which incorporates two integrated ‘water sources’ to cool drinks and one integrated ‘food plate’ for serving small dishes like tapas or oysters.
Nineteen small hand-made ‘leaf’ plates hang on the driftwood “tree” ready for serving up snacks.
Mas de Bohème
With her husband, photographer Henk van Cauwenbergh, Op de Beeck operates the Mas de Bohème, a French farmhouse turned chic B & B near Avignon in Provence for which she did all the interior design, filling the farmhouse indoors and out with furniture from her collection.
The husband and wife duo offer weekend photography workshops and Op de Beeck will also share her furniture-making techniques with you right in her studio. For those interested in sampling the area’s gastronomic offerings, visiting top chefs from the region are on hand to demonstrate and prepare simple and delicious Provencal cuisine.