Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Must See in the Luberon: Mathieu Lustrerie


Ever since I visited them roughly two years ago, I've been wanting to blog about Mathieu Lustrerie, a one-of-a-kind lighting atelier in Gargas, in the heart of the Luberon. They design and create the most elegant, distinctive, remarkable lighting...and repair chandeliers for royal palaces, prestigious hotels, spectacular private residences and clients such as the Louvre, the Elysée Palace and Versailles. The showroom is open to the public; they also have a lighting museum with rotating exhibits and pieces dating to the 15th century. While the on-site workshop is not open to the public, you can watch the meticulous goings-on through large windows. And it's all located in a re-purposed 19th-century ochre processing facility with many original architectural elements intact. This place is so special! But for one reason or another, I just haven't been able to get the story done. And then last week, I saw that another blogger, Deborah MacNeill, had done an exquisite story about it, calling owner Regis Mathieu "possibly the world’s premier creator, collector and restorer of magnificent chandeliers and lighting artworks" and illustrating her piece with gorgeous, original photos. So I reached out to her and asked if, rather than write my own story, I could just share hers with you...and she replied immediately mais oui

A Canadian commercial and editorial photographer, Deborah first came to Provence with her husband Arnold in January 2013 "in search of sun and inspiration"--both of which they found in abundance in the Luberon. That November, the couple bought an 18th-century mas in the small hamlet of Saint Véran, just outside Goult. Originally named Villa Goult, they re-christened it "Mas Belle Source" for the freshwater springs on the property which have fed their fountain for more than three centuries. 

"As our dream of Provence has taken shape," Deborah tells me, "we've had such pleasure improving the property, gardens and décor with antiques and ideas we find in the treasure troves of Provence–its lively fairs, brocante markets and ubiquitous vide greniers." Today the couple splits their time between Vancouver, B.C. and Provence. They typically spend spring, fall and winter in the Luberon...and welcome guest rentals at Mas Belle Source from June to September. Read more about the house here and see all the rental info here.

Deborah's blog, Provence by Design, was launched in 2013 and celebrates her passion for beautiful homes, talented artists, gardens, food and the Provencal lifestyle. Her latest project is a book inspired by creative women in Provence titled Les Lubertines; she expects to finish it this summer. As one would expect, the blog and the book are both heavily illustrated with Deborah's luscious photography. 

“I've always sought to use photography as narrative--to tell a story," she says. "It's a joyful way to explore the world. As an anonymous sage once said: 'To write about it (or photograph it) is to live life twice.' We have something wonderful and completely out of our predictable lives happen to us every day in Provence that contributes to my work. Living here has rekindled and continuously inspires our creative souls. We are bewitched!"

To see Deborah's story about Mathieu Lustrerie, click here.  

To inquire about renting Mas Belle Source, click here

You can follow Deborah on Instagram here and then subscribe to--or follow--her blog with the links that follow every post. 

To contact her directly: deborahmacn@gmail.com. 

Photos: (1) Regis Mathieu and (2) his chandelier called A Cube, made of rock crystal and amethyst, produced in a limited edition of 8. These two photos courtesy of Mathieu Lustrerie; all other photos courtesy of Deborah MacNeill. (3) The workshop produces “the art of light in all its facets" for royal palaces, prestigious hotels and spectacular private residences...like yours! (4) Fitting polished fins together on a chandelier for a Russian client. (5, 6) In the museum, a chinoiserie cabinet and glittering antique chandeliers. (7) This sculptural "astrolabe" lamp made of black rock crystal was one of my favorites when I visited. (8) In the workshop. (9) The intricate task of wiring. (10) Deborah photographed in the museum. (11) A lamp designed to resemble a sea urchin. (12-14) At Deborah's home Mas Belle Source, the main entry, the dining room and the en suite bedroom called "La Rose."  (15) Deborah at home in Provence.

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