Owning an old stone house in South-West France had been the long-held dream of its owners, Anne-Charlotte and her husband Frédéric. ‘It was the first house we viewed and it was the right one! The sun was shining and I loved the charm of the place with its courtyard and its barn just waiting to be brought back to life,’ says Anne-Charlotte. After renovating the 400-year-old property from top to bottom, repairing and replacing original features, and working hard to ensure the building was brought back to life in a sympathetic way, it is now their rural paradise, befitting to stand among the world’s best homes. They uncovered wooden floors, beams, stones, terracotta tiles, and many other original features found hidden behind false ceilings, plastering, and other coatings. ‘The work of successive generations meant that, in places, there were up to six layers of cladding on the walls,’ says Anne-Charlotte. ‘There were endless surprises, good and bad.’

Kitchen – where rustic meets modern

Overlooking the courtyard, the kitchen, with its characterful original beams, occupies the main room in the house and is where the family spends most of their time.  Among the kitchen ideas is the mix of contemporary kitchen units sitting in happy harmony alongside second-hand, rustic wooden furniture, for a wonderfully original and unique look. Vintage-style pendant lights as a kitchen island lighting idea, and above the old farmhouse-style dining table, further enhance the rustic charm. ‘I prefer warm family home atmospheres, with a mix and match of my various finds. My style blends in with the spirit of the place,’ says Anne-Charlotte.

Living room – uncovering hidden features

During the six years of renovation, the couple focused on updating and refurbishing the house’s period features, such as its beams, parquet flooring, and stonework, which had been covered over by the home’s previous owners.  Among the living room ideas, restored beams, brickwork and the wood floor provide a complementary foil for a mix of modern and antique furnishings in calming tones, an inspirational idea for decorating with neutrals.  Pendant lights, artfully placed along the beams in front of the wooden fire surround help to draw attention to this beautiful feature, while a living room alcove idea is adorning it with the beautiful “Pimpernel” William Morris (opens in new tab) wallpaper.

Dining space – glass divides to let in light

A great idea to bring light into the kitchen and the living room, glass partition walls were installed. These are the only structural modifications that were made inside the house. 

Children’s bedroom – clever small room ideas

The children share a pretty bedroom that is brimming with creative and fun children’s small bedroom ideas.  White-painted wooden floorboards and walls are the perfect neutral backdrop for the fireplace adorned with Sandberg’s ‘Magical Forest’ wallpaper as a children’s bedroom wallpaper idea.  A swing chair provides a lovely spot for the children to sit and read and is a clever solution as a small bedroom idea where floor space is more limited. A mix of shop-bought furniture and flea market finds add even more personality and character to the space.

Home office space – creative use of a tiny corner

Demonstrating how to make the most of otherwise unused and ‘dead’ space on a landing, upstairs, the owner has created a pleasant small home office idea. The desk and chair were bought at a fleamarket so that this workspace is decorative, functional, and productive.

Master bedroom – styling a calming space

A blissfully calming sanctuary, the master vintage bedroom design is furnished with secondhand finds, creating an interior full of charm with soft, retro tones.  A bedroom wallpaper idea provides an uplifting floral pattern on one wall, while decorating with neutrals ensures a serene sleep space. 

Bathroom – incorporating rustic details

Beams and a stone archway give character to the family bathroom. As a clever bathroom idea, twin wash basins have been placed on an old wooden workbench. Carefully positioned bathroom lighting enhances the space.

Outdoor dining – under the shade of a pergola

For the garden, the owners made a long wooden table with old planks of wood resting on tree trunks for an outdoor dining idea. The former village well has rediscovered its original purpose.  In the shade of the pergola, family and friends from the neighborhood enjoy getting together around the long table.  The owner shares her decoration tips and lovely family life on Instagram (opens in new tab), ‘I never thought I would have so many followers. I have come to appreciate this daily bubble of pleasure.’  And it seems her many followers all over the world appreciate it, too.