I’ve always fantasied about living in the French countryside in a gorgeous stone Chateau or farmhouse. I was thrilled and further inspired when I got to visit this dream lived through friends Hugh Hamrick and David Sedaris. I still live it vicariously through House Hunters International. This post however is about another couple that took that dream to another dimension.
Karina and Craig Waters, an Australian couple, bought an abandoned 18th century neoclassical French chateau in a small village called Chateau-Verdun in the South of France. The couple has made it their mission to renovate and restored this neglected and ruined chateau.
The couple is currently working on the renovations and documenting it along the way on their blog – http://www.chateaudegudanes.org . Even during the renovations they hope to offer tours and a café as soon as possible. And by 2016 they would like to also offer accommodations, a gift shop, facilities for weddings, music festivals, local fêtes, workshops, conferences, seminars and courses. See pics after text.
Words from Karina and Craig Waters –
“Our aim is to tread lightly and gently – to preserve the atmosphere and authenticity of the Chateau and region as much as possible. She will be renovated but her rawness, wear and history will not be erased, but instead integrated. In keeping with this, we also plan to use energy efficient principles and sustainable refurbishment. This means up cycling and recycling as much as possible, including building materials, design features and decor.
The Chateau won’t be a pretentious museum piece, but rather, a place to visit, reconnect with the earth and people, and restore the senses, just like she herself has been restored. It won’t be about overcrowding the walls with paintings or overflowing the floors with furnishings, but will be relatively minimalistic – a place to simply rest, breathe and enjoy the calm.”
This set designer, event designer, interior decorator and gypsy can NOT wait to go! I LOVE the passionate DIY vitality. The spirit of preserving the past in a true form with its amazingly beautiful bumps, bruises and scars. This project is an endless spectacular visual and verbal story that is being shared and preserved. Truly impressive – Bravo Karina and Craig!