We were looking at Architectural Digest – a French glossy that doesn’t just reflect fabulous style, it seeks it out and shares it. Well, we’ve just seen a property that ought to be in its pages…. It’s a property that has everything …. Flooded with light, huge, airy living spaces that lead on to a series of terraces, each hand built with massive local stone. It is an utter work of art. But, unlike some of the top end properties one sees in magazines, this is wonderfully welcoming, livable, and reflects the warmth of it owners – originally from Denmark..
We don’t mention Denmark just because it is a beautiful country, but also because it’s COLD. (Capital letters used because it does cold to a degree we can only begin to guess at.)
The current owners have imported all their skill and know how from Denmark to produce a property that is not only a joy to be in but has heating that, frankly, knocked our socks off.
Imagine a log burner that burns so efficiently that you burn pine in it and it heats your entire house 24 / 7 on less wood than you would normally use in just a morning! It hardly needs cleaning or emptying because it is just so efficient. Add to this a double glazing system that is effectively two sets of windows (Denmark again) and, so of course, hugely efficient. Note to selves: when looking at economic, easy heating – ask someone from a very cold country…..
Result? A property with cathedral ceilings, huge open living spaces, a hand-built curved wooden staircase that keeps the open feel if the home but is remarkably efficient. Amazing….
The main living space made both of us think ” loft ” – open, incredibly stylish, clearly defined areas for cooking, eating, relaxing, and all lit by natural light that floods through the made to measure glass doors which were forged by an artisan here in France – twice as tall as we are at least – leading onto the first terrace. Seriously double glazed, they are totally beautiful. The view is uninterrupted, the first terrace flows out before you.
Outside you realize that this is just the first of a series of terraces to the side and upwards – the final terrace before it meets the woodland above has a dramatic, mature palm tree punctuating the view. Look out over the river to your right in one direction, over the roofs of the village to the hills beyond in the other. Fabulous!
As you approach the property you will have no clue what lies behind the facade – originally two houses ( both roofs have been replaced – huge bonus ) which are now seamlessly joined. At ground floor level you enter through a garage / barn area that could house two cars easily or be translated into even more living space.
Stairs going up lead you to the living areas. There is another large barn to the left and a smaller barn to the far left at ground floor.
At first floor level of the main house are two generous bedrooms, a lovely salle de douche with beautiful tile mosaics, underfloor heating and is complete with its toilette (WC). Connected to this space, above the first separate garage, are two additional bedrooms, a second salle de douche with toilette and a lovely salon. All of which could be turned into a charming income producing gîte or left simply to provide overflow guest accommodation or private creative work space.
At second level, up the gorgeous staircase, is the open concept main living area. Yet attached to this space, again above the separate garage, is another open loft space that could double your already generous living space or take on an identity of its own – studio / master bedroom suite – whatever you choose. This is a second unfinished space that could provide an income stream if you chose to create chambres d’ hotes or gites, each of which could have their own private terrace. We worked out that 3 units could be easily achieved in this wonderful property !!!
An added bonus is that the property is in a village with shops, a fabulous restaurant, services and very easy access to skiing, Andorra, the coast, Carcassonne and Toulouse airports. The outside space takes in this lovely village nestled in the hills and can become the most fabulous series of gardens. There is certainly space for a pool or jacuzzi if that is your dream.
Priced to sell – the current owners want to spend more time with their grandchildren – we feel that this is a fabulous buy. All the hard work is done – the interior is utterly stunning, the rear terraced gardens are the stuff of dreams …. We met the neighbour when she brought round apricot conserve from her own apricots …..and thus we can vouch for nice neighbourliness.
A very unusual property in its eco consciousness, wonderful heating economy in the main house, and its ability to be flooded with light all day. We really admire everything that has been done with this property – it’s a real case of ” I could live here ” … It is a super buy… What more can we say. Plan a visit, you’ll be enchanted.
DPE en course *Agency Fees Included * Taxe foncière approx. €650