Do you know what a Datcha is?

Maison de campagne en bois Datcha

A dacha (дача in Russian) is a second home in the countryside of Slavic countries. Its name comes from the verb ‘to give’ (дать), as it was originally a summer guesthouse offered by the Tsar to members of the court. During the Soviet era, during the summer months, they were a way for their city-dwelling owners to leave their cramped apartments and cultivate a plot of land, a significant way of improving their diet and daily lives. The more modest ones are built of wood, sometimes without water or electricity, but are never devoid of charm. And it’s because these houses evoke for usauthenticity and the idea of travel that we’ve named our design studio: Datcha.

Datcha russe en bois maison de campagne

In 1989, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé had a dacha built in the grounds of their Normandy home, Château Gabriel in Deauville, and entrusted the design to their decorator friend Jacques Grange. Initially intended to be Moroccan, the pavilion became Russian on the designer’s return from a trip to Saint Petersburg. To create the set, Jacques Grange drew inspiration from Russian ballets and painter Léon Bakst, the country house of Ludwig II of Bavaria, 19th-century orientalists, and Josef Von Sternberg’s film “The Scarlett Empress” starring Marlene Dietrich (1934). Raw pine panels stand alongside Moroccan-style stained glass, hunting trophies, Danish, Belgian, Austrian, Turkish, Swedish and Provençal objects and furniture. Here, elegance, opulence and the evocation of a fantasized elsewhere reign supreme.

Datcha d'Yves Saint Laurent à Deauville

Famous dachas include the “White Dacha”, the house built by Anton Chekov in Yalta (Crimea) in 1899, where he wrote some of his most important works. Writer Ivan Tourgueniev‘s dacha in Bougival (France) welcomed such famous guests as Guy de Maupassant, Georges Sand, Alexandre Dumas, Frédéric Chopin and Emile Zola.

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