Thursday, March 15, 2012

LA MAISON








When we first decided to spend the winter in France, we played with the thought of staying for good if we'd like it enough.
You know, find a country home, garden, pool, some space for rent to holiday makers and lead the dream french life we read in books such as a Year in Provence, or read on Blogs about.

Well after having looked at dozens of those country properties over the course of three month, both renovated or still in their raw stages, we quickly realized that in the end, life for us is in town, not down some country lane, 5 miles from the nearest grocery shop.
 Many people do like it though and I have to be honest, Victoria realized it way before me. And like a good commercial she kept chipping away at my subconscious mind with her "Let's look at town homes" comment almost daily.

One day, after looking at yet another acreage property in a big field with a realtor who's office is based in Jarnac, we walked the streets of that town discussing the last miss of a property. Will we ever find one we can agree on? What if not? Back to Canada? 
At which moment Victoria pointed out a For Sale sign in a shop window in the middle of town. But I am not looking for a shop, I am not looking for a townhouse, I want a pool. Keep walking.
Women have a tendency of being persistent to an annoying point, but what the heck, the listing realtor's office was only a few hundred yards down the road.

A french Realtor....who as if waiting for Victoria, happened to have the keys for the property. Yes, he even would have time to show it to us, if we want.  The rest is history.  We told the realtor we'd get back to him soon if we would want to see the property again.
The ride back to Villenouvelle was unusually quiet for the first 30 minutes, normally we'd quarrel about Victoria's refusal to see my point on the last property she'd refuse to even consider, though it was a perfect place for me.

Could it be, that a four story townhouse with a commercial space and an attic to develop into holiday apartments is what we'd want? Yes, the floors are amazing, 10ft ceilings are nothing to sneeze at, potential upside at an attractive price? But where am I going to have my afternoon swim with Isabella? In the public pool with my Speedo?

We decided to lay low for 24 hours and then go back for a second look later in the week. And yes, it turned out to be the property it shall be for us.
So as of today, March 15th, we own a property in France. Exciting times, plus plenty of stuff to blog about. 
Renovations and all it's pitfalls,  a new kitchen for experimenting, an apartment for you to visit and eat gluten free dinners with us. 

Stay tuned.






LA MAISON



THE FACADE FROM 1849 IN THE SUMMER

AT DUSK



THE SHOP DOWN BELOW


THE ALLEY WHEN WE HAVE LUNCH OUTSIDE

WELCOME MAT

ENTRANCE DOORS


ENTREE

WALNUT STAIRCASE


LOOKING BACK

WITH A DIFFERENT DECOR





A CRYSTAL BALL TO PREDICT THE FUTURE


GREAT ORIGINAL TILE WORK

LOCK THE DOOR, OPEN THE WINDOWS. PERFECT AIR CONDITION


ORIGINAL STAIRCASE
 ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP FLOOR


VIEW FROM THE TOP

WELL SIZED ROOMS

WOOD PANELED DINING ROOM


WE KEPT THE ORIGINAL CLAW FOOT TUB


STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

ORIGINAL FIREPLACE FROM LATE 1800'S

BEFORE

AFTER

COMING IN FROM THE OFFICE



THAT BRONZE


ONE OF FOUR WORKING FIREPLACES

NOW WITH A COZY WOOD BURNER (IN THE DINING ROOM)


THE KITCHEN DOORS

THE KITCHEN BEFORE RENOVATIONS

THE KITCHEN DURING RENOVATIONS



THE KITCHEN AFTER RENOVATIONS



METRO TILES BACK SPLASH

A PERFECT SET UP FOR ENTERTAINING 



CHANDELIER


BEST APPLIANCE IN THE HOUSE

A SMALL COURTYARD OUTSIDE THE KITCHEN

BIG ENOUGH TO HAVE DINNER AND RELAX IN THE SHADE



OLD AND NEW


 DINING


A TABLE!

1877 LINEN INVENTORY LABEL INSIDE A CABINET

MY FAVORITE ROOM


LOTS OF ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS

FESTIVE AT CHRISTMAS


 THE MASTER



WALK IN CLOSET EMPTY


WALK IN CLOSET FILLING UP


LE TUB POUR MADAME



AND THE SHOWER

VICTORIA FOUND A BIG SINK


ISABELLA'S ROOM

SO MUCH LIGHT IN ALL THE ROOMS

ISABELLA'S BATHROOM

SHE HAS THE BEST TUB IN THE HOUSE.


AND A VIEW FROM THE TUB


LANDING FIRST FLOOR

LANDING SECOND FOOR


THE LIGHT SHOW  COURTESY IKEA


WE USE THE SPACE AS AN OFFICE



BEDROOM FOR THE OTHER KIDS



A FAMILY WITH 8 KIDS LIVED IN THIS HOUSE 100 YEARS AGO




http://theceliachusband.blogspot.fr/2013/06/a-transformation.html

THE GUEST SUITE


PERFECT FOR TWO

FULLY FURNISHED

IT'S ALL THERE FOR INDEPENDANCE

GUEST BATH ROOM



VIEWS ACROSS THE ROOF TOPS

AND MORE VIEWS

LOOKING TOWARDS COGNAC


LOOKING  OUT OVER THE PEDESTRIAN STREET OF JARNAC




THE CHARENTE RIVER




THE HEAD OFFICE OF COURVOISIER IS IN JARNAC

COGNAC BARRELS


130M2 ATTIC SPACE TO BE CONVERTED

FLOOR PLAN PARTERRE

1ER ET 2ÉME ÉTAGE

FIRST CHANGES

NEW SHOP WINDOW FACADE TO MATCH ORIGINAL FROM 1910


THE HOUSE, 100 YEARS AGO


8 KIDS IN THE FAMILY

ALL THE ADVERTISING ON THE ALLEY SIDE


IT WAS A HARDWARE STORE

ALMOST 1000 SQFT OF RETAIL

RETAIL STORAGE

90M2 UNFINISHED BASEMENT

WOULD MAKE A GREAT WINE & COGNAC TASTING ROOM



9 comments:

Allison the Meep said...

It looks wonderful! Congratulations on being homeowners in France!

Ken Broadhurst said...

Félicitations! It does look amazing. How many sq. meters in all? What will you do with the commercial space on the street level?

H.Peter said...

Thank you Allison. Long road of renovations ahead.....

H.Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristen said...

It's beautiful! I'm jealous, but in a good, inspired way :0). Is this in Paris?

H.Peter said...
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Francesca said...

Absolutely fabulous before, but the after is stunning. I can't even dream of such a place, but I love to read about others who can actually do it.

As for me, I am perfectly happy in my rented room in the home of a friend on Blvd Raspail in Paris. It works wonderfully for this older single woman who goes back and forth to the US for visits to grandchildren, etc.

Francesca
New York and Paris

H.Peter said...

Thank you Francesca.
Come and visit us some day. 2 1/2 hours by train from paris

Starr said...

I really need to renew my passport! What a wonderful place! Have fun setting up the shop.