French Bed

The brief was to create more of a wow factor in the master bedroom at La Son. The large bed originally had a simple wooden headboard.

We found an old double bed at a Brocante which was made of Walnut and had wonderful carving. Of course it was too narrow for the width of the superking bed.

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We started by attaching battons to the wall. The footboard was used at the bottom, with the headboard (minus the curved top) on top of that. We made up the width with other timber.

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The finials from the ornate top were used on the sides as holdbacks for the curtains.

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The curved top of the bed was used together with the carved sides to make an extending canopy.

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The whole thing was then painted with layers of white, then hand tinted chalk paint and finally finished with a brown stain.

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And finally waxed. I am still searching for the perfect pair of old lace curtains but these work fine for now.

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About Us

Martin Collingbourne is an artisan carpenter, who, together with his wife (designer Angela Hope) creates unique hand made furniture. He specialises in kitchens, libraries and studies.

In his studio in the Languedoc region of France, he combines ‘found’ objects with new timber to create his unique pieces. Each item is hand painted with layers of hand tinted colour to create an aged patina.

Martin and Angela also run residential courses in France. Amongst the relaxing surroundings at La Son, guests can attend a French brocante and purchase an item of old furniture. During the following two days they can learn how to turn it into something entirely different with creative paint techniques.

To find out more about us and La Son you can email us at or visit our various sites:


Kitchen, La Son, France

The Brief

Create a socialable space to cook with a central island and units around the edges.  The units should be unique and reflect the style of the rest of the house.


Before starting the project we observed how the family used the house (and existing tiny kitchen) they have 3 children and often when they use the house they have guests. Our observations took into account the need for storage and the flow of the room.

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With all of our projects we up-cycle unusual old pieces and adapt them. We then combine these pieces with new timber and where possible, locally sourced hardwoods.

The drawer fronts on the dresser were an old French drinks crate. We recreated the central drawer entirely from new timber and distressed it to match the other two.

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The smaller drawers were found in a brocante and look like they came from an old garage. These were cut down to form part of the dresser.

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The light shades were found at a Vide Grenier. We also found a bunch of old brass kerasin camping stoves and some copper flasks. These were cut down and welded to old copper pipes to make the lights.










There was an old pine plan chest that was in one of the bedrooms but no longer needed. This was adapted for form the island.

We sourced the oak from a local timber yard for the worktop.

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