In French, a maisonnette is a “little country house”. Florence Choux and David Duncan Livingston are the homeowners of La Maisonnette with their son Luca and dog Nougat. Florence is a French interior designer who has lived in the Bay Area for eleven years. MaisonFlo is Florence’s firm name, her work much like our home mixes an old world aesthetic with freshness and simplicity. David is a seasoned interior photographer who shoots the best of design for magazines and books. Together Florence and David shared their ideas, their memories of wonderful places they had been and the feeling they wanted to create.
The story from David:
A house becomes a home. A few years ago we adopted this home on a quiet and secluded cul-de-sac twenty minutes east of Napa. We loved the home’s setting with its large oaks wrapping around the house, we loved the framed views of the hills making the home feel like a treehouse. We loved the warm breezes that come in the afternoons, the warm evenings outside in the summer and the pastoral drive that brings us to the home through pristine farmlands. With only a few other homes on the street we like how each is set apart from others and we liked that the neighbors are quiet, kind and helpful when needed. The house is a simple “salt box type” it was well built many years ago on solid ground yet on the inside the house needed a complete remodel.
The story from Florence:
It was all decided over lunch in Big Sur! At an eclectic and rustic cafe amongst the redwoods, David and I started sketching on napkins. Our Maisonnette in the beginning had a sound structure and great outlook but what it was missing was a good outfit. We sought ways to fix the flow of the house and pretty soon all the walls were moving! The new floor plan you enjoy today created a grand hall and many areas to settle in. Now the open feel gives the impression to live amongst the trees. Ultimately, we placed the kitchen to the view, extended the terrace and touched every surface with new materials.
David and I travel frequently to Paris visiting family and friends, we stroll the shops, take in the markets, shop for antiques and breath the sprit. For me the aesthetic of our Maisonnette just feels right, others see my “Frenchness”. Many pieces of furniture and found objects come from our travels in France and Brussels, some just as they are and others have been repurposed. Each has its own story for us. The wide plank white oak flooring reminds me of old store boards yet we recycled them from old barn beams. The gray concrete countertops are at once modern and rustic. The soft white linen drapes brighten the grays, the rough wood touches add soul to the home.