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Archives for March 2018

Step Into the Fairytale of Chateau de Gudanes

In the Occitanie region of southwestern France, sits is an 18th-century neoclassical château in the commune of Château-Verdun that is not unlike a magical castle from a Charles Perrault fairy tale. Cinderella could have definitely escaped to Chateau de Gudanes with her beloved prince to live happily ever after.   Chateau de Gudanes is built on the site of a 13th-century fortress, and a castle that was destroyed in 1580. A chateau was built by Parisian architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel between 1741-1750 for the Marquis Louis-Gaspard de Sales, during the reign of King Louis XV. He would hold lavish parties and invited all the notables of the day. Ange-Jacques himself designed the L’Opéra at the Château de Versailles, main theatre and opera house of the Palace of Versailles, and the École Militaire (military school). He had the support of Madame de Pompadour, official chief mistress of Louis XV. He also designed the royal residence of The Château de Compiègne for Louis XV as well as extended and transformed the Château de Choisy, also doing other major projects for the king. In the late 1990’s, after an English consortium failed to restore and convert Gudanes into a luxury hotel containing 17 apartments, it fell to ruin. Being classified as a “monument historique,” the developers were denied the required building permissions. It wasn’t until 2013 that two brave Western Australian souls, Craig Waters, a surgeon, & Karina his wife, a former corporate and tax accountant, managed to acquire the chateau after two years of bureaucratic negotiations. Documenting nearly 5 years of renovations on social media, Craig and Karina first discovered the chateau on a French property blog and immediately fell in love. They purchased the 43,000 square feet property for £280,000 after viewing the Chateau only once. “Despite all the damage we could already see that there was so much beauty there,” says Karina. They started the arduous journey of renovating in the November of 2013, which they say will likely be a “lifelong commitment”. Unlike the previous buyers, Craig and Karina only wish to restore Gudanes to its former glory: “As the restoration journey progresses it becomes clearer to us each day that we need to learn to slowly adapt ourselves to the château, rather than forcibly demand her to adapt to us.” When they first started, the roof had caved in several places and the walls were crumbling, blocking access areas in most of the chateau. All the other areas were inaccessible because of water damage. “All we could do was peek around the corners to…

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A Clever Balance: Traditional + Modern = Transitional

In traditional Chinese philosophy yin yang is a complementary interrelated and contradictory dualistic force, often viewed as positive + negative, masculine + feminine, light + dark, etc. The two opposites don’t set out to dominate the other, instead they work to balance and compliment the other. Without this balance brings chaos. The concept of transitional design is like yin and yang setting out to highlight the beautiful qualities of each other in an interior setting, although you could use that philosophy in any design. Transitional itself was born from the marriage of contemporary and traditional design and has become an easy favorite for both designers and home owners because of its simplified sophistication, its timeless look and harmonious feel. Traditional is more inspired by the antiquated design steeped in a rich luxurious coziness straight out of the 17th century. Traditional is beautiful but can sometimes feel a little gilded, old-fashioned or overdone for me as I prefer a more relaxed “easier on the eye” look. Transitional incorporates the same concept as minimalism, that too much decoration is overwhelming for the senses and so therefore attempts to keep the look less busy and more serene. How do you get the look? This one’s quite easy….with its neutral undertones and understated ornamentation you’ll get your home looking stylish in few easy steps. Start with your natural earthy elements like stone, warm coloured woods like mahogany or chestnut, and leather. I love cows and would have hundreds for pets if I could so I prefer fabric, but I do understand that people love leather as a personal preference….. Walls should be in a neutral palette, so colors like ivory, tan, amazing creamy vanillas or grey should be used. Windows remain simplified. If patterned keep it sleek and not overdone. You’ll find that with transitional it adopts a more modern minimalist look and uses only one main flamboyant piece, and never really more than a couple.   Furniture itself will depend on the atmosphere. Do you have traditional architectural features such as an ornamental fireplace or trims and moldings? Then go for the straight, slimline furniture and neutral tone fabrics. Geometric patterns are a personal preference. If you have less ornamental features, then go for the more rounded, traditional furniture pieces to achieve that balance of masculine and feminine. When it comes to transitional kitchens the focus is still on texture rather than color.…

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