Our Story

In 2001, Lydia and John Dean moved to Provence with their young family. A year later, they purchased a farmhouse outside of Aix en Provence, and with limited knowledge or local resources, began the arduous process of renovating their home. When the house was completed, they began renting it to foreigners visiting in the summer weeks.

After returning to the US six years later, John and Lydia established Only Provence in 2007, now a luxury villa rental leader, representing over 200 distinguished properties in Provence. During John’s years building the villa business, he previewed hundreds of properties, advising property owners concerning restoring and maintaining their homes and developing a keen sense for what foreigners seek in luxury properties.

Over the years demand to buy property in the region expanded. Yet, no agency offered the full range of services needed to navigate the complex process of buying, renovating, and decorating a home. In 2018 the Deans returned to the region to launch Provence Life.

The Deans have a unique love for the culture in France and business building, and they also have a deep desire to help the world become a more equitable place. While growing Only Provence, Lydia co-founded GoPhilanthropic, a non-profit supporting grassroots education, health, and human rights initiatives in 8 developing countries.

In 2015, Lydia published Jumping the Picket Fence,  an inspirational mixture of renovating and raising a family in Provence, soul searching, and non-profit building. She has recently published her second book, Light Through the Cracks, a continuation of their love affair with Provence and philanthropy.