Bernt Heiberg and Bill Cummings’s South of France Getaway

Decorated with a variety of antique furnishings and accessories.

Previously featured in the January 2015 issue of NYC&G. Read the full story here.


What I remember most from shooting this charming 500-year-old house in the South of France is its diminutive stature: low ceilings, narrow rooms, a perilously rickety spiral stair. I’m six feet, and photographer Gaelle Le Boulicaut is one tall drink of water, so all I could imagine were bonked heads and lots of bumps and bruises as we maneuvered camera equipment from floor to floor. But somehow we escaped without a scratch—a testament, I believe, to the effortless perfection of homeowner-designers Bernt Heiberg and Bill Cummings. I think of them as space whisperers.

The medieval hilltop village on the Côte d’Azur—it even has its own well-preserved castle—is the antithesis of frenetic South of France. Yet it’s spitting distance from Nice, where I took the bus to the farmers’ market for fresh-squeezed orange juice and socca, the famous Niçoise chickpea crepe, and from the house where the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir lived and worked for the last dozen years of his life, now a museum. And if you simply must take un bain de soleil, a complimentary shuttle whisks visitors down the hill to the beach in minutes. What a town. During my short stay, I found myself poring over real estate advertisements,  dreaming the dream. —K.C.

The print version of this article appears with the headline: Aged Beauty.
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