Wherever I travel, I make a point of noticing and appreciating different design styles. I just returned from a visit with friends who are renovating and furnishing a beautiful old Farmhouse exactly 100 kilometers from Paris, in the town of Chevannes. This house completely amazed me with its many old architectural details, timeless construction & charm, and with the simplicity of the interior design.
The owners have taken a “less is more” attitude in renovating and furnishing this house – with a focus on complementing and highlighting the many architectural details, such as:
the simple, solid farmhouse aesthetic, while adding a contemporary flair
beamed and sloped ceilings
elegant curved fireplace mantels
classic tall outside shutters framing multiple long multi-paned windows and doors
simple but elegant panels and moldings on doors
beautiful wrought-iron detailing throughout the house, including curved bars on the outside of some windows, iron brackets on shutters, and elegant door-latch plates
iron brackets on shutters
window panes with circular glass insets
unusual triangular door headings that accommodate the 2nd floor sloped ceilings
My friends Noë and Hervé bought the house only eight months ago, and have been hard at work painting the doors, ceilings, beams, and stairway railings white, which makes the soft beiges and muted tones of the walls “pop,” the ceilings look higher, and the whole house appears bright and uncluttered. On the main floor the owners chose poured and stained concrete floor in most areas, an increasingly popular look in the United States, that effortlessly complements wood and tile floors elsewhere in the house, yet fits the simple, solid farmhouse aesthetic, while adding a contemporary flair.
The Parisian elegance of curved, detailed wood chairs, traditional oil paintings and a black-shaded & glass-based lamp, blends seamlessly with French-blue upholstery on rectangular wood-framed modern, yet comfortable couches. What makes everything work well together is the unpretentious combining of white slip covered chairs, contemporary bed-frames and crisp white bedding with red cross stitch accents (all from Ikea) – with an eclectic mix of mostly traditional furniture in different finishes and a few sophisticated, yet classic, accessories. The house looks like it was lovingly furnished over time with different pieces, but with the anchoring underlying theme of clean, classic, simple and elegant. “Simple et de bon goût” as my friend Noë would say. In the end, it feels like home to family and guests alike!