what I'm doing, what I'm seeing, what I'm thinking

19/02/2010

Found Interior: Armagnac, France

More Rural Minimalism.............(see previous post on Le Clapier)
This house is in the tiny hamlet of Mauleon-d'Armagnac in the Gers department of France (SW). We rented it a few summers ago through Gites de France and it was one of those brilliant surprises - a maison de famille which hadn't been restored beyond recognition.


It had been in the same family for many generations and was originally a small farm and blacksmith's workshop. Of course it had been modernised in recent years but the family had kept all the original furniture and added some (I assume unintentionally) quirky decoration.


This was the 'blue room' - it would never have occurred to me to paint beams in this colour because I'm sure some of us are conditioned to keep original features authentic. But the best part of these unassuming houses is that people haven't got all wound up about what to do and just done what they felt like - non-design is sometimes the best design I think. It was probably just an instinctive thing to do to paint the beams blue and 'lighten' up the room and by doing that the owners went where the rest of wouldn't dare!.

I call this style 'rural minimalism' because the rooms only ever contain a few pieces of traditional country furniture all of which, as well as being simple, beautiful and solid, is purely functional - nothing extraneous. It's very nice to spend time in simple rooms like this and made me regret all the clutter I seem to accumulate in my own house.


The old floors are always beautiful with different width floorboards and the kind of gleam which comes from years of wax polish.


The 'pink' room. Dark wood, white linen, a gold mirror + pink beams! Get the look!





The pink door surround is great touch. The door leads to a massive landing which was once a hay loft. The bedrooms are original though as in houses of the period - I'm guessing 18th to early 19th century - living quarters, animals and farm paraphernalia were housed in the same building.









The 'rose' room. I couldn't believe this room - the wallpaper must have been on the walls since the 1940s or 50s. Why change it??


And the matching chair................fantastic.



When I showed these pictures to some non-visual friends after out trip they thought this room was just 'old fashioned and dreary' whereas I loved the fact that it hadn't changed for decades but was still so well looked after, with polished floor and furniture and old lamps and mirrors. Well it takes all sorts.






The living / dining room. I found this 60s (70s?) vase in a cupboard upstairs and stuffed it with cow parsley.




The shape seemed to relate to the black fire back- 1970s v 1770s



Front of the house.



The hamlet



Back of the house.



Having the chance to stay even briefly and these wonderful old French houses is nearly the best part of my holiday trips!

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure you didn't paint those beams and that door frame? :)
    Beam me up Scotty!

    ReplyDelete

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