Cover The outdoor pool area offer spectacular views of the garden

This French holiday home in Saint-Tropez has been designed by Stéphanie Coutas to embody an utterly blissful sense of laid-back luxury

Situated in the picturesque coastal town of Saint-Tropez, France, this sprawling six-bedroom villa channels an effortless, coastal charm with sweeping views of the Mediterranean sea. The idyllic property—a holiday home to a couple with a baby and a dog—was brought to life by French interior designer Stéphanie Coutas

Originally built in the mid-1980s, the villa has retained some of its historical elements over the years, including chrome details and shiny handrails. The design team sought to infuse a contemporary edge into the home by counteracting such elements with natural tones and modern furniture.

“I wanted to maintain the spirit of the villa but give it a new lease of life and bring it into the 21st century,” says Coutas of her inspiration for the project. “The overall vision I had for the design was to ensure that all elements of the decor were in harmony with the beautiful Mediterranean surroundings.”  

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To start, the designer adjusted parts of the home’s layout to offer its occupants a better flow. The master suite on the ground floor was initially a kitchen, while the garage, also on the ground level, was transformed to be the kitchen.  

“The idea of the design was not to entirely revolutionise the space,” says Coutas. “The main design concept of the house is rather to adjust the layout and design the rooms so that they would overlook the stunning garden and the sea views. The client wanted to bring a sense of modernity to the villa and create multiple areas for outdoor and indoor entertainment.”  

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The main living room opens out onto the outdoor lounge area via large-scaled sliding doors, blurring the lines between the indoors and the outdoors and allowing natural light to flood the space throughout the day. The neutral colour palette, which consists of off-white walls paired with delicate sanded and brushed Crema Nova marble stone flooring and light beige furnishings, bring a sense of airiness and brightness to the room.

“I predominantly mused on a soft neutral colour palette with shades of sand, beige, greige, sea green and powder pink tones with accents of colour such as turquoise and yellow, to reflect the spirit of the surroundings,” Coutas explains. 

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A large plush sofa, sourced from Coutas’ furniture line, holds court in the living room. The sofa is accompanied by the elegant Doria swivel chair from Eichholtz, upholstered in an off-while bouclé fabric, as well as the travertine Vence coffee table by Parisian designer Michel Amar, with the table’s natural tones and organic shape echoed in the surrounding decor. 

The homely retreat forms a cosy space for the young family to lounge, relax, and bond. Coutas added a striped daybed by RR Intérieur for extra comfort within the space, while a Bruno Moinard wooden console in brushed elm and light tamo perfectly matches the custom-made cabinetry the designer crafted in order to provide extra storage space. Mirrors placed strategically throughout the room cleverly enhance the sense of space.

The decision to shift the kitchen to the former garage meant that the design team could emphasise on the landscape views. Large windows were installed to draw the eye outwards to the verdant tree-lined entrance path, while sliding doors allow easy access to the outdoor deck and pool. A pleasing myriad of textures found within the kitchen infuses the space with warmth and character, while rounded forms and curved elements lend a touch of softness and elegance. 

“Throughout the design of the villa, I wanted to incorporate a variety of natural materials and textures such as travertine, marble, and wood in a range of luxurious finishes,” says Coutas, on the material palette. “I also wanted to include a lot of curved elements in response to the original architecture of the villa which is very rectangular. I thought it was important to introduce a certain softness through the curves in order to balance the general look of the house.”

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The bedrooms continue the calming design narrative with tactile touches that create visual interest whilst emitting a relaxed atmosphere. “Each bedroom has a different colour scheme which is great to have in a holiday home so that each room becomes a suite with its own DNA,” Coutas remarks. “We played with textures through the fabrics—all the oak headboards were upholstered with beautiful fabrics to maintain a certain softness with tactile materials. Overall, comfort and softness are a priority.” 

Similar to the rest of the home, the headboards and doors within the bedrooms have rounded profiles that provide a natural lightness and a homely atmosphere. The master suite features bespoke doors custom-designed by Coutas with rounded arches in straw and oak. 

The bed is dressed in fabric from Hodsol McKenzie, which combines natural materials in delicate, subtle tones with intricate craftsmanship that’s rooted in sustainable innovation. Two side-table lamps, hand-made from light beige sand-stone by sculptor Hermine Bourdin, whose sculptural works are inspired by the forms of the female body, flank the bed. Each piece features a curvy profile with a circle at the centre “to represent continuity and life”.  

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The garden and pool area proved to be the most challenging aspects to design, due to the vast size and the lack of shade. Coutas took advantage of the expansive outdoor terrace to design a wealth of inviting gathering spaces. 

“The idea here was to create different spaces while ensuring the spectacular views were not obscured and the sea could be seen from everywhere,” the designer explains. “We created multiple seating areas that brought a warm atmosphere. Two convivial lounge areas, separated by an olive tree, became the main focus of the outdoor terrace. The area by the pool did not initially offer an inviting space to sit, so I used plants and greenery to introduce natural shade and to divide the huge volume of space.”

Coutas also highlights the lush greenery surrounding the home. “I wanted the garden to be very beautiful by the time the clients moved in, which meant I had to create an atmosphere that made it seem like the trees were already there,” she recalls.

“I visited a lot of different places to find the right greenery and trees for the outdoor areas, in order to ensure that the exterior landscape of the house looked as though it had been that way forever.” Although the process was challenging, the beautiful result turned out to be the part of the villa that Coutas enjoyed creating the most.

The result of nine months of hard work and dedication is a contemporary abode with a relaxed sense of living that ticks all the right boxes for the homeowners. On the  
homeowners’ favourite area within their villa, Coutas shares: “The outdoor seating area on the terrace was one of the most important spaces we created, and one that the client was especially happy with—they use it the most!”

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