Andrew purchased La Chaumiere Miand, his romantic farmhouse deep in the South West France countryside in 2012. The 300 year old stone built property had been the holiday home of a Parisian family for the previous 50 years but had been lying empty for a long period and required a complete and extensive restoration.
The French interior design and restoration process was a thrilling one, involving the uncovering of many original features which had long been covered up by renovations made by the Parisians over their years of ownership. These included the magnificent solid oak beams evident in the ceilings on both floors along with the original stone walls, more than two feet thick. Both these rustic elements were incorporated into the final design which fuses the long history of the house with a clean and uncluttered aesthetic, quite unusual for a French farmhouse. Many cosmetic walls were removed, creating a bright open plan space spread over the two floors.
Outside, a double heighted open barn was converted to an outdoor dining room while an adjoining area was turned into an outdoor living room featuring full grown olive trees and bordered by ancient stone walls. Elsewhere the garden beds are planted exclusively in French lavender and are bordered by expansive areas of the beautiful golden sand coloured gravel which is quarried locally. This gorgeous colour, so typical of the area was used on the external walls of the house with the window shutters painted in a bright French Blue.
The closest market town to the property is Confolens which was built around a fortress in the eleventh century. It still has picturesque remnants of its medieval past, including city walls and several houses dating from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. It also features a bridge first mentioned in the fourteenth century. In the nineteenth century, Confolens developed itself as the administrative center for a considerable agriculture area, due to its role as sous-prefecture and the distance of all other major towns (Angoulême, Limoges and Poitiers are all about 70 kilometres away). It has several handsome nineteenth century administrative buildings, some of which were built by Paul Abadie, who was very active in the region.
A deep labour of love, Andrew continues to evolve his French hideaway, spending a part of the Northern summer there each year.
Contact Sydney interior designers, Andrew Loader Design for your residential or commercial interior design needs.