We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The lower terrace (presently covered by a tent) will be replaced by a wooden structure with ancient roof tiles shortly.
We will be back with more picutres of the stunning interiors!
It may not be surprising to many people who renovate or build but obstacles always appear when you expect them the least – and that’s when also interior designers reach their limit of influence. The painter suffered from an hernia, a week later the joiner from a lumbago, and last not least the plumber had a loss in his family….I guess that’s what you simply call life.
Things like this (unfortunately) happen but we tried to reschedule works so not to lose too much time.
The garden side of the house used to be fairly plain and had more the look of a Swiss cottage than a farm outbuilding in the South-West of France as already mentioned earlier…
We decided with the client to add a spacious terrace of stone with a rustic ‘rusty” look balustrade. Stone stairs are planned which lead down on the ancient cistern and make a 1/2 turn to lead further to the garden level, which will look more interesting and playful than strait stairs. The wooden covering of the gable was taken off and replaced by stone, more in keeping with the style of the region.
Fortunately, by now everybody in our team has more or less recovered and works continue at pace. We have decided to go for Lamp Room Grey from Farrow & Ball for the window and door frames, as well as for the shutters. It is a congenial and soft colour which beautifully marries with the warm tone of the stone but it is neutral enough to give us more freedom for further colourful additions of accessories…
The tiler, who is so far in good health has finished the tiling of the bathroom. In this room the tiles we have chosen are Antic Blue from Porcelanosa. These tiles are an interesting match with the rustic style of the property, a bridge between old and modern, and will certainly always be classic.
The bathroom door has been made by the local joiner in the typical farmhouse style.
That’s it for now from the beautiful Lot Region of the South-West of France.
This ancient little storage for agricultural machines was badly renovated about 15 years ago. Neither the style of the region was respected nor were suitable materials chosen.
The new owner and Brussels Interior Designers have put all their efforts into this small but very detailed project to create a stunning, little guest house. Follow the extensive works executed by skilful professionals of the Lot region in the Southwest of France.
The entry has been changed and is now facing South and the small village street. An extension for a bathroom was added with handcrafted corner stones. Its walls will be plastered the ancient cottage style way which means an uneven surface is desired. The plaster itself will contain natural pigments. One of the main issues was also to remove the wooden panelling of the pediment which made the house look like a Swiss cottage.
The roof has been adopted to match the region’s style.
The new entry has been made of stone. An old beam found in one of the side buildings has been re-used as a connecting element between the existing part and the new annex.
Voila! The first step has been finished. Follow with us the terrific changes of the building’s garden view as well as – most important – the carefully chosen and most exciting interior design.
We have found this very interesting little workshop by pure chance in Portugal. The manager Luis is not only very skilled but also extremely helpful. They do bespoke handmade tiles with motives from the 16th, 17th and 18th century from Italy, Portugal, Spain, France and Dutch. Colours and sizes can be adopted to the client’s requirements. Although the communication was not so easy language wise, we managed to order a beautiful wall panel for a client with 16th century Italian motives. It has come out just wonderfully!
Luis and his team did a great job on it by bringing the brightness of the colours down and make them look really ancient!