Atelier Vime in Brittany: An 18th-Century Childhood Home Lovingly Updated

Our story begins in the early 1960s with a hot tip in a doctor’s office: “My father was a dentist in Paris and a patient told him to have a look at this little hamlet lost in the valley—he had heard from his Breton family that the farmer wanted to sell,” Benoît Rauzy tells us. The hamlet in question is near Audierne in Brittany, and the late 18th century compound became the Rauzy family summer retreat: Benoît has been making pilgrimages here since he was born.

With his partner, Anthony Watson, Benoît is the owner of Atelier Vime, purveyor of France’s loveliest rattan furniture, new and vintage. The two went into business on a whim in 2018 when they were remodeling a hôtel particulier in Provence—after discovering it had been the headquarters of a once-thriving local rattan business that had all but vanished, they set up shop and learned along the way. Anthony and Benoît’s home became a much-celebrated showcase for their creations, and they went on to restore the 18th-century house next door: it’s now the Atelier Vime summer emporium.

Meanwhile, these historic house whisperers have also been resuscitating the Rauzy farm—their work got jumpstarted during the pandemic when the couple stayed put in Brittany and did the labor themselves, from clearing brush to laying tiles. “Benoît’s family was surrounded by painters, sculptors, and poets who used the outbuildings as work spaces,” says Anthony. “The place was untouched and still has many creations from these friends.” The kitchen and bath required major work, but seeing these rooms now, you’d never know: “the goal,” says Benoît, “was to keep the atmosphere and poetry.” Of course, there’s now a lot more rattan in residence. Come see.

Photography courtesy of Atelier Vime (@ateliervime).

the exterior of the whitewashed house was left as is with one touch up: the shu 12
Above: The exterior of the whitewashed house was left as is with one touch-up: the shutters are newly painted Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue. The couple re-created Benoît’s father’s garden and planted a now-thriving field of a special thin wicker for use in their own designs. The backyard slopes down to the sea arm, the tidal Goyen River.

When the family bought the property, this part of Brittany was “not so famous because it was a very long drive from Paris, they were no real estate agencies, and all of the the farms were still active,” says Anthony. Benoît’s parents were able to buy by word of mouth because the resident farmer was about to get married and move to his wife’s nearby farm.