Now home to a mother-daughter wine-making team, this French 18th-century barn was protected from demolition by French architectural preservation laws. However, the neglected state of the near-decrepit interiors presented an opportunity for a creative intervention.
Jason Flinn and Serge Castella approached the project with a divide-and-conquer mentality. Flinn dealt with the architectural and structural matters, while Castella concerned himself with crafting a cohesive aesthetic for the new interior. “We are craftsmen of decoration,” says Jason, “the goal was to create a comfortable environment that harmonized with the surroundings—the space guided us.”
Jason Flinn and Serge Castella's 18th-century barn renovation in Southern France. Photograph by Manolo Yllera.
“Knoll is one of the few design companies that transcends periods: it is both classic and modern”
Looking to bridge historical periods in both the applied and decorative arts, Castella used a neutral palette of tonal woods and naturalistic surfaces to gloss over the stylistic variation among the furniture. When in need of a transition between antique and modern, Castella relied on Knoll’s timeless designs to serve as a bridge. “Knoll is one of the few design companies that transcends periods: it is both classic and modern,” Jason affirms before stating, “Knoll adds an elegant and cultured touch to any environment.”
During the excavation process, Castella discovered a complete vintage dining set, made up of a Saarinen Dining Table with accompanying Tulip Armless Chairs, in the barn’s attic. The ensemble immediately became the focal point of the newly renovated kitchen. “Not only did these pieces fit our desire for a "clean and modern” interior,” says Castella, “they helped us introduce elements of cultured class and family heritage, both essential to the project.
Architecture: Jason Flinn
Design: Serge Castella
Photography: Manolo Yllera