Let’s Snoop around the former French Riviera home of Coco Chanel

By

18th Apr, 2013

Today I thought we could make a quick stop at Villa Pausa on the French Riviera, the former residence of none other than Coco Chanel, between 1929 to 1953. It’s on the market for the second time in just two years for a cool $52 million through London real-estate firm Knight Frank [updated]. In 2011, the palatial home went up for sale through Sotheby’s and was even said to have been purchased by an anonymous buyer before pending litigation issues saw it pulled off the market. With the legal issues hopefully now all ironed out, Villa Pausa is ready once more for the bidding wars! I stumbled across the Sotheby’s photographs of the property as it is today…

(c) Sotheby’s

Of course I also went digging for some photographs of how the house looked when Chanel was living in it… (that’s her in a tree)

 

The house was built in 1929 after Coco’s then-lover, (the very generous) Duke of Westminister bought her a plot of land in Cap Martin after spotting it together while sailing around the riviera on his yacht (as you do).

Chanel at Villa Pausa

Coco had architect Robert Streitz take inspiration from the Cistercian convent orphanage where she grew up, but on the vaulted brick ceilings you would also find the crown from the Duke of Westmister’s coat of arms.  

Their love affair ended in 1933, ten years after they met in Monte Carlo, but as you might have guessed, Chanel kept the house. Talking about her separation with the Duke, Coco was famously quoted as saying, “There are a lot of duchesses, but only one Coco Chanel.”

]

Chanel’s original bed at Villa Pausa

In 2007, the house of Chanel’s perfume “nose”, Jacques Polge created a scent inspired by the villa and its five acre gardens planted with lavender and rosemary called “28 La Pausa“.

The likes of Igor Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Luchino Visconti all passed through this villa when they were accented with handsome pieces of Spanish and Provençal furniture chosen by Mlle Coco.

A dinner hosted by Chanel at the villa

After the death of the Duke of Westminister in 1953, Chanel decided to sell la Pausa and it was then bought by Emery Reves, a literary agent, author and art collector. Reves happened to be the literary agent of Winston Churchill. The British Prime Minister was a regular guest at the villa in the late 1950s. Reves also played host to the likes of Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly and Asistotle Onassis to name a few.

In other words, this house has serious history behind its doors!

Sources: Little Augury and Sotheby’s

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

 

 

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in Don't Be A TouristLost & FoundNostalgiaOff-Beat & Little KnownTime travel

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

SONY DSC

10 of the Most Fantastical Burning Man Creations

This week, an otherworldly gathering in the desert is taking place in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada. A celebration of life, earth and all the incredible things we're capable of building and...

Trending 4,553
johnies

Hollywood Ghost Diner

I've been on the lookout for a truly authentic 1950s diner since I arrived in California. I finally found it, driving down Wilshire Boulevard and screeching to a halt as soon as I locked eyes o...

Trending 5,814
featureclub

My LA Boogie Nights Bar

After 24 hours in the city of Angels, I had yet to find the perfect LA hangout I was looking for. I have this romantic vision of Angelinos hanging out on seventies lawn chairs in their backyards wi...

Trending 3,073
phantomlake

Unmasking the Parisian Phantom of the Opera

What if I told you there is a lake under the Paris Opera House, just like in The Phantom of the Opera? Down, down, down, deep underneath the Garnier Opera in a dingy room with a square-shaped hol...

Trending 16,289
mecaniquefeature

The San Francisco Antique Playground

This might sound odd, but I'm not really a museum buff. I generally find that if something is behind a barrier or kept in a glass box where I can't pick it up or touch it, I won't linger very long i...

Trending 4,201
featurebyron

Trespassing Hotel California

We heard a rumour that there was an abandoned 1930s hot springs resort hotel on the road to San Francisco, that may or may not still be there. Of course I had to go see for myself. We pulled up to t...

Trending 14,934