For Basil Kavalsky and Nopporn Khaewpong, owners of Côté Jardin Antiques, it was a mix of chance, circumstance and inclination that led the former banker and biochemical engineer on their paths to becoming collectors. “It started out as a hobby,” explains Kavalsky. “Then it became an obsession, and finally the only way to continue was to open our stores.” While decorating their new home in Gordes—an epicenter of French antiquing—they began to acquire an enormous array of contacts and inventory, focusing on one-of-a-kind French wares, which would prove popular in their West Palm Beach and Washington, D.C., shops.
With an emphasis on decorative objects from the 18th and 19th centuries, painted French and Continental furniture, industrial pieces, hunting paraphernalia, ceramics and a notable selection of original and reproduced garden accessories, they manage a collection replete with hidden historical gems. “We’re attracted to the patina and aesthetic of each piece,” says Khaewpong. “If something has an aspect of the unusual, then we know it’s meant to be.”
LX: Describe your home.
BK: Our patio in Provence overlooks the Luberon. We have a wonderful set of antique wood and metal garden furniture that we bought from Hervé Baume.
NK: Designer Frank Randolph helped us decorate our Georgetown house using his characteristic cream shades and furnishings with gently rounded shapes.
LX: Treasured keepsake:
BK: An extraordinary Turgot wall map of Paris that covers most of our living room wall. It was struck from the original plates that were housed in the Louvre since it was first made in the 18th century.
LX: Favorite restaurant:
BK: The China Kitchen in the Hyatt Regency in New Delhi. The décor, food and staff were brought in from Shanghai and it’s the best Chinese cuisine we’ve eaten inside or outside of China.
NK: Le Jardin du Quai in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Daniel Hebet, the chef and owner, prepares a single menu every day depending on what’s best in the market.
LX: Dream collaboration:
NK: I wish that some of the great Provençal garden designers, like Michel Semini, would come over and show our clients how to blend faux bois furniture and stone garden decoration into American gardens.
Côté Jardin Antiques