a character property and its 7.5 ha of land
This house, typical of the Puisaye region, nestles at the bottom of the Ouanne Valley, surrounded by forests, not far from the French department of Yonne’s border. It is near to a historic, tourist town with a church dating from the 13th century, although it was later redesigned. Said church features extremely interesting murals, including one known as “Trois Morts et des Trois Vifs” (Three Living and Three Dead). A regional art and history museum, well known for its collections of earthen and stone ware, representative of a tradition of pottery and ceramics, attracts numerous visitors. The surrounding, undulating countryside is dotted here and there with traditional houses, featuring brick window framing and Burgundy tile roofs. The peace and quiet is broken but by murmuring water, that of the lazy river and numerous springs, feeding wash-houses and drinking troughs.
A circular brick sculpture, featuring two fish with bright blue enamel eyes, symbolises water - a pond is to be found in the garden -, as well as fecundity and wisdom. Animals show themselves in a wood from time to time.
The main house
The old barn was renovated by two renowned architects, Mr-Mouy, from the Association-des-Maisons-Paysannes-de-France (the French association for peasant housing) and Christian-Liaigre, who is also an interior designer in Paris. Light-coloured lime rendering enhances the many openings, with red or brown, local brick jambs, set in the facade. Only the sills of the first floor windows are still made of stone. Two big, large-paned openings replace the old barn doors, set in brick-framed, basket-handle arches. The overall decor has been carefully thought out with a picture in the top of the two large openings and a little decorative frieze at the bottom of the walls. Obviously it can but be bright inside. Two French windows are flanked by little windows which were previously used for airing the barn as it did not require natural light. The architect kept and enhanced them, cleverly and meticulously using bricks to surround their semi-circular shape. Small lanterns installed above some of the openings make it possible to illuminate the outside at night so that the architecture of the house and the French formal garden can be admired. The roof is covered with Burgundy tiles, like that on the guest house.
This level notably comprises a dining room and a contemporary, very functional, American-style kitchen, with immaculate, gloss units. Beige-coloured sandstone floor tiles reflect the light from several openings. A glazed door provides direct access to the swimming pool. A large bedroom, with a bathroom fitted with numerous cupboards, is illuminated via a large, small-paned, south-facing window. Underfloor heating, air-conditioning, double glazing.
Double, oak wood doors open into a lounge with a cathedral ceiling. An insulated fireplace, exuding contemporary originality, dominates the room. It comprises an open-hearth on one side and a closed-hearth on the other which does not block the view in the lounge. Raised regional bricks form a diagonal pattern on the chimney breast. The floor tiles are the same as those in the dining room. Some of the many openings feature light-grey coloured, indoor folding shutters. Oxidised bronze door handles are accompanied by hammered door plates. An ebony coffee table and two Christian-Liaigre sofas are in front of the fireplace, whilst a macassar desk is on the window side in the first section of the lounge. The second, large section includes a large square, light-coloured oak wood coffee table and “Brousse” settees covered in canovas fabric. A light-coloured oak wood picture rail covers an entire wall where several modern paintings have been hung. A contemporary light, adding the finishing touches, illuminates this interior.
A straight stairway, with black metal railings and a wooden stringer, goes up from the living room. A newel post at the bottom of the stairs is adorned with a copper ball and the architect has inserted glass panels between the black metal bars of the stairway to match the transparency of the fireplace. Christian-Liaigre has enhanced this area by making good use of the light.
Several steps go up to a mezzanine. Featuring black metal railings, just like the stairway, its floor is covered with oak wood parquet flooring. It looks down on to the lounge.
A sliding wooden door leads to two bedrooms, separated by cupboards. Some half-timbering is part of the original walls.
An ultra-contemporary bathroom features black granite, reflecting a refined, minimalist style. It is completed by a dressing room.
Former rural farm
The old farmhouse stands facing the French formal garden. A vine runs along the lime-rendered wall of the house. A small white stone bench stands in front. This residence spans two levels. All the openings have brick framing. And behind, adjoining the house, a small, covered area, which is extremely pleasant during the summer months, stands out courtesy of its original roof.
The entrance hall, with cupboards, provides direct access to a lounge. This room is enhanced by a wooden fireplace, with an open hearth. Sandstone floor tiles are to be found throughout. A bedroom, with its shower room, adjoins the lounge. A kitchen, opening into a dining room, opens on to the property’s vegetable garden.
This level is reached via a wooden stairway. A large room, with a sloping ceiling, is currently intended for children. Several beds could be installed to create a sort of dormitory. The floor is covered with solid oak wood parquet flooring and the windows all have indoor wooden shutters. A large, fully tiled bathroom is in a very good state of repair.
An outbuilding is used as a machine room for the swimming pool and for storage purposes. A spare 15.8 m² bedroom, with a sloping ceiling, is laid out upstairs.
Well-known interior designers have left their mark here. The prize goes to the contemporary monumental fireplace and its flue which achieve the feat of being a wall and an opening in the middle of the lounge, with its cathedral ceiling. Furthermore, old farm buildings, with openings adorned with warm-coloured brick, just like discreetly made-up eyes, have proved to be the perfect repository with refined lines and materials that do not lie: all the rooms have been enhanced. As regards contrasts, the French formal garden precedes a wood, still in its wild state like the animals that sometimes come to visit. The countryside here has been redesigned with a sure hand.
|Land registry surface area||7 ha 53 a 71 ca|
|Number of bedrooms||3|
|Main building surface area||244 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||150 m2|
Isabelle Ponelle +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.