A charming French Guest House raising from Ashes…. Part 1

DSC_3929We are back again after a hot summer – work wise & weather wise – but it was worth the effort. As mentioned before we dealt with various obstacles from injured artisans to boiling hot weather conditions but at the end everyone was delighted with the outcome. The little building is coming into its “prime time” after approx. 300 years of having served as a storage building for a small farm house.

Let’s review what happened:

We started off with a bland little outbuilding which had been renovated half-heartedly about 16 years ago – unfortunately, not respecting the style of the region or the use of appropriate materials. There was electricity but no plumbing or heating.

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Before (street left hand side)

The owner decided to turn it into a guest house. We started the design by creating first a small annex serving as today’s bathroom. The entry was moved to the street side, a little roof over the entry was added as well as a terrace and a lovely little front yard. To make the design more interesting as well as practical, old wooden beams were embedded in the ground as additional separation to the driveway and parking. It was decided that no stone walls should be built but plastered walls constructed in and finished in  the ancient style.

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After (street side, facing South)
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After (street side, facing South)
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Olive trees, various bushes and turf was planted as well as an automatic watering system was installed.

Now let’s have a look at the garden side. The plain, little stone building was used for music/piano playing  by the ex-owner. It has a lovely view over the valley, but was not versatile or inviting as a space. Overall, it had a funny “Swiss look”, not blending in with the style of the region.

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Before

A spacious terrace has been added and the lower part doubles as storage. A summer kitchen, and a covered BBQ terrace has been installed on the garden-level.

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After
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After

As already mentioned the wood covering of the gable had been taken off and replaced by stone, and an “Epi” made of Terra Cotta was put on the roof.

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“Epi”

The terrace offers a beautiful view of the pool and the valley. It is made of stone and covered with exotic wood which will turn grey shortly – when not treated permanently. It’s up to the client’s taste but many prefer the grey colour as it goes nicely with the stone.

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The handrails were made by the local smith of rusty steal and sealed. It’s a great rustic look and perfect for its purpose.

The lower terrace (presently covered by a tent) will be replaced by a wooden structure with ancient roof tiles shortly.

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Lower terrace

We will be back with more picutres of the stunning interiors!