Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

In a Whiter Shade of Pale; HOMES & PROPERTY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

In a Whiter Shade of Pale; HOMES & PROPERTY

Article excerpt


CLEAN, minimalist homes - with their stark steel kitchens, hidden technical wizardry and polished concrete walls - may have plenty of style, they just aren't very comfortable.

All too often, their owners start to long for a sofa to sink into, a piece of floaty voile, a soft line here, a sensual curve there. And, says Jacqueline Morabito, out of this desire for a fusion of the present with a more sensual past, is emerging a new breed - the Modern Romantics. Morabito is one herself, she says, and the evidence is in her home in Provence in southern France, high above the most glamorous stretch of Mediterranean coast.

She came upon the house while out walking and fell in love with it in an instant.

Surrounded by olive trees, the building was a modest former shepherd's cottage but stood on a vast bundle of land belonging to a countess. The land had long since fallen into disuse and all Jacqueline Morabito is one of the New Romantics - interior designers who can offer a soft, sensual take on the stark white cube of minimalism. Claire Riordan discovered her on the doorstep of her ProvenAal cottage that remained of the cottage was its heavy stone walls now almost hidden on a terrace.

Three years later Morabito had painstakingly restored the building. "It gradually became more and more of a magical place. The ruins of the cottage fascinated me and I felt I had to work within the existing structure."

Blending modern and ancient, she created a spacious, open-plan house in concrete, steel and glass and painted in countless shades of white.

Morabito now lives her Modern Romantic's philosophy on a broad scale with an interiordesign workshop in La Colle, a boutique in the centre of Nice and shops selling her wares in Canada, Italy and London.

She began her career as a goldsmith, designing and making jewellery; she went on to make her name as a magazine stylist and moved into interior design many years ago making her name on the Cote d'Azure. …

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