Step Inside a 12th Century Home in the French Countryside

29.08.2017
Interior & Design, Voyeurist
8 Comments

Drive through the countryside of Charente, France and you might just stumble upon this quaint little village surrounded by vineyards and fields of sunflowers. Beside the old church is a beautiful country home dating back to the 12th century. It looks like something out the set of a movie, but it’s actually the home of Guillaume’s mother. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may recall “Mamie Annie” when she came to visit us in New Zealand.

The home, once a presbytery, has been lovingly restored over the years by Annie and her husband, Georges. They made sure for any refurbishments to be in keeping with the charm of yesteryear.

Over the European summer holidays, we spent a few weeks in France visiting friends and family. One week of it we stayed here. I’ve stayed here with Annie and Georges a number of times before, but somehow this time was kind of different. Perhaps it’s the age of our children now. It was quite surreal for me to watch them run around in this setting, so rich in history and beauty. To think that this is the home of their grandparents…

Annie has such an artistic flare for decorating. As you spend time in her home, you soon gain a sense of her personal style. Vintage pieces are effortlessly mixed with tribal art and trinkets, a testament to her love of travel to far and exotic places. In fact, Annie spent her late teenage years living with her parents in Senegal, a time that left such an impression on her life and no doubt influenced her to incorporate this into her interior style mix, which includes objects from her time visiting us in Australia.

While each room might have it’s own particular style, it all marries together so beautifully. Around the corner from this more traditional dining room with her collection of vintage jugs on display is the staircase leading upstairs. Here she plays with an artistic boho vibe. There are so many points of interest to discover around and it all works!

There are a few stand out places for me in the home. The staircase with the hats and hammock that you see at the beginning of the post is definitely one of them. Then there is Annie and Georges’ bedroom. A crack in the wall behind their bed is left untouched almost as a nod to the age of the house. The scene here with the chair and lone frame placed in perfect symmetry to that crack, it’s a piece of art in itself.

I don’t think that I’ve met anyone as passionate about cooking as Annie. Her walls are stacked with frypans, the shelves lined with french ovens and all of her knives are so impeccably sharp. This is definitely her happy place and she would happily spend days here preparing various dishes, some of them to freeze and some to eat that day. All of it so perfectly organised so that no food in her garden nor fridge goes wasted. All of it is of course, so delicious.

Around the outside of the house is another room. Well it’s not exactly a room, it’s more of a utility room and it’s where Annie places her more sensitive plants during the cold winter months. While we were here in the summer there was only a few inside, however I just fell in love with the charm of this room with its raw walls, stone basin and rustic objects.

The kids will probably hate me for putting this image up of them in their pyjamas. It was actually a spontaneous photo of everyone outside talking to Mamie Annie through the window. I of course saw the opportunity. The shutters, the wall and the vines too perfect to not capture with everyone.

I hope you enjoyed stepping into this beautiful French home in the countryside. Thanks so much Annie and Georges for having us!

Mel xx

P.S. While on holiday, I found out that I have been nominated for best Interior & Lifestyle blog in the AMARA Interior Blog awards. I would love it if I could go through to the next round for the final judging. Could I ask you a favour to take 30 seconds to vote for me by clicking here if you believe that I should be in the running?

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8 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    What a beautiful and enchanting place. I fell in love first sight. Those old walls, theses beautifully furnished and decorated rooms…
    Your parents in law are so lucky to live in a place like that. And who deserves to if not people like them who know how to preserve the beauty of the given?
    Thank you so much for sharing this tour on your blog, it’s such an eye-candy.

    xx, Steph

    Btw, lucky you to be able to spend your holidays there. I so understand you when you say that it’s a gift for the kids to spend time in these buildings that date back to the Middle Ages.

    Reply »

    Mel replied:

    I’m so glad you liked it Steph. I feel very blessed that we get to spend time in this incredible location and home. xx

    Reply »

  2. Jennifer Burgess

    Thank you so much Mel for sharing this incredibly charming home. You captured the warmth and personality of the house and your family so evocatively with your words and beautiful photography I felt like I was actually walking through the rooms with you.x

    Reply »

    Mel replied:

    Oh thank you Jen! It was an easy subject to capture though. Have a great new week! M xx

    Reply »

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