This is a wonderfully special house – built in 1973 but using traditional building techniques… the result is a delightful, generously sized house, perfect as a family home but equally ideal for entertaining lots of friends… Built with a generous spirit, even the entrance hall and staircase use top class materials and are large and filled with light. A good test of design that really works is the staircase… if the treads rise gently, not leaving you feeling as though you’ve been doing step aerobics when you get to the top, if the banisters are not just practical but are also beautiful – ideally with detail to the wood – and if the stairwell is well lit as opposed to dark and dingy – you’re lucky enough to have found a house that has been designed to be ” livable “….and this is one of those houses.
The entrance hall on the ground floor is big and square with generous rooms leading off immediately to the right and left. To the right is a huge – approx 35 sq metre – games room in which the owners intended to put an indoor pool. To the left of the entrance hall is a generous office or accessible bedroom and bathroom. The “technical area”, central heating, boiler etc, is tucked away at this level as well.
Going up the beautiful staircase, the joy of this design really hits you – a total ” Wow ” factor. A vast, wrap around terrace leads off every room via French windows to the south facing facade of the house, curling round to give a smaller shady terrace under the lovely flowering trees just off the kitchen. This is not a terrace where you squeeze in a small table and a few chairs – this terrace is big enough to hold a dance… better still it has a lovely view – looking out over rolling hills to the mountains behind, with the lawns of the 6,200 sq metre garden sloping down in two terraced areas to the trees marking the garden boundary. Inside, the main drawing room of 40 square metres, complete with oak beams at ceiling level and gorgeous hearth, leads to the south facing terrace and behind it a corridor leads to the kitchen, which logically, leads to the shade terrace. The current owner said that she would have extended the kitchen into the existing dining room were she not selling due to a career move – Jennifer and I both agreed with her – the existing kitchen is lovely, light and bright, but by extending you could, really easily, create the sort of huge “Country chic” open plan kitchen that perhaps suits todays’ lifestyle better. A final corridor separates the living areas from the 2 bedrooms with en suites on this side of the house. The main bedroom with en suite is opposite the drawing room and leads onto the terrace via french windows. There is a final bedroom on this level at the front of the house with light and bright windows… which are double glazed throughout the house we might add.
Before covering the bedroom floors we are now going to go right downstairs to the garage that takes full advantage of the sloping site – we have only seen a garage this size in a Chateau or Manoir …. it is vast….split into three clearly defined areas, and cleverly lit by light wells from the terrace above it. There is enough space to park at least 9 cars and still leave workshop/ storage space aplenty… Jennifer suggested that it would be possible to put a couple of loose boxes in for horses – I think she was joking but, really, given the garden size and the ease of access , it’s actually a very practical idea… not really enough land for year round grazing but with some supplementary feed it is entirely possible…. then again , part of it could be a home cinema, studio or atelier for arts or hobby space..the choice is endless… and electricity is already laid on.
Jumping back up to the second floor, the flavour of the house changes again – mansarded windows, the huge roof beams left exposed, high ceiling, high enough for a mezzanine in the south facing area , there is a real ” loft ” feel gong on here, it is so big that it is almost a house in itself. There are currently three bedrooms and a big living area plus shower room at this level… it is a wonderful mixture of rustic and elegant. With a fourth unfinished room on this floor, it’s an area that has not been hugely developed by the current owner so is just waiting for the new owner to put their personal feel to it. Were this to be a family home we could both imagine this functioning as a children or teenager floor… with more than enough space to provide additional guest accommodation when required.
The house is privately sited, no immediate neighbours, and lovely, lovely views. To the front of the property there are established, mature plants, including one of the biggest, large flowered magnolias we have seen locally – which must be astounding when it’s in flower. Trees and shrubs ensure complete privacy, the garage walls have a froth of hyrangeas at their base and there is a gorgeous mix of planting as you step down to the secondary garage entrance.
To precis : a seriously big, very attractive house, beautifully designed and built with classic building techniques allied to every modern convenience. A large and established garden, a huge garage, set in the countryside yet only 5 to 10 minutes by car to a large village /small town that has all the shops, schools and services you could wish, plus the bonus of a Friday market that is one of the best locally. Wonderful skiing within an hour, the Mediterranean within 1 1/2 hours, and air access too is good… about an hour to Carcassonne and about an hour and a bit to Toulouse on good road networks.
We both feel that this property is priced to sell and offers exceptional value, additional value could be added by further developing the top floor. A real ” best of both worlds ” house – super buy!
DPE E – 231 GES F – 56
- Equestrian Potential