Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Village Inn


I follow a couple of bloggers who from time to time serve up some wonderful interiors inspiration either from their own apartments or curated from difference sources (see Pink Bow and Penny Dreadful Vintage).  I love getting a peek into other people's houses to see how they are decorated so I thought I'd share some French rustic interior inspiration with you.

These photos are not lifted from the French edition of Homes and Gardens, but are in fact pictures of Mr V's parents holiday house in Alet.  Just over twenty years ago they bought the old village inn, a building dating from the 13th century and still marked on maps as l'ancienne hostellerie.  When they bought it, the interior was a complete wreck and over the years they have lovingly restored it to its current glory.  Mr V's mother is a woman of impeccable taste with an amazing eye for beauty and simplicity.  She managed to furnish the house with market finds and discarded antique furniture that complemented the character of the house perfectly.

Original characteristics of the building were restored like the stone mullioned window (fourth picture) which was completely blocked up when the family bought it.  The tower dates from the 13th or 14th century and houses a wonderful granite spiral staircase and an ancient dovecote.  There are still some of the original painted terracotta floor tiles in some of the rooms as well as the original fireplaces.  The window shutters still have little cast iron figures of French soldiers to hold them in place once they are opened.  The top floor of the house is an old granary which features wooden beams in the ceiling.  A foundation stone in the back of the house suggests it was rebuilt during the time of the French revolution.

It was lily of the valley season while we were there and on the mantle piece you can see a vase of these tiny bell shaped, creamy blooms.  Just behind this you can just see an old black and white photo from the early 20th century which features Mr V's great great grandfather, a descendant of French Huguenots who migrated to East London to escape persecution in the 17th century.

And in the vase by the window is a posy of mountain wild flowers.  

16 comments:

  1. Hi there-wow, what a stunning and beautiful property, it would be so nice to live somewhere like this with so much history, beauty and uniqueness. Thanks for sharing, it is truly lovely xx

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  2. Oh it is absolutely beautiful what a wonderful place!

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  3. What a beautiful place, I absolutely love the rustic simplicity and those ocre walls. It looks the perfect place to escape to. xxx

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  4. Wow. Ethereal, absolutely beautiful... honey, I demand [yes. demand :) ] photos of you in your Flamenco finery in the space between the 2 windows... or against the stone walls... or sitting in that chair, back to camera, gazing out that window... sigh... please!

    Have you ever visited 'The Selby'? It's all too cool for school and may be bordering on hipsterish but... wow! the abodes and personalities he photographs... amazing!

    [supposedly the Romani originated from India.... they supposedly took Kathak with them to Spain through various routes and what emerged was Flamenco. I see the similarities between Kathak and Flamenco, the filigranas movements, the footwork, the pivot points.. we regularly do collaborations with our sister Kathak school and I'm fascinated with the melting pot beauty of it all!]

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  5. What a beautiful home they have restored. The photos are beautiful.

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  6. In my dreams I'm going to retire to a place in France just like this!

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  7. These are beautiful photos. Mr V's mother certainly has a wonderful eye! Such a fantastic place to have to visit :)

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  8. I am most impressed by the tall, tall ceilings.

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  9. So pretty! Looks like you had a great time :)

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  10. Seriously, this is my dream home! It's like something out of a fairy tale! It makes me want to go home and get rid of anything that I don't LOVE and surround myself in pretty! ~Serene

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  11. My god, that is beautiful. They're so lucky to be able to escape to such a haven, dotted with memories... She does indeed have impeccable taste!

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  12. Wow, breathtakingly simple and beautiful! She is certainly a woman of impeccable taste, what an eye! xx

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  13. These are amazing photos of a beautiful place. You are so lucky! Dying of jealousy here! Thanks for sharing these, as well as the history of the building. I especially love the French soldier holding open the window shutter. What a wonderful peek into the past.

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  14. How very beautiful, thanks so much for these xx

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  15. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh qué delicia de fotos.
    Gracias por compartirla,corazón.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  16. I'm utterly stunned that such beautiful retreats exists for your holidaying pleasure! The fact it belongs in the family and you can spend time exploring its history is so very special. What beautiful photos you take Miss V:)) xo

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