Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Little French Warmth

I don’t know about your corner of the world, but it seems like everyone I talk to is having a little wintry weather today.  I just finished walking Honey & Biscuit in the rain, and as I sit down with a pot of Kusmi tea, thought you might enjoy a few more photos of my friend Rachel’s home and especially her massive limestone fireplace with blazing fire~


I have yet to meet a French House that doesn’t come with many beautiful stories of its history and development.  Rachel and her house, known in the village as La Saboterie, are full of stories, including the salon fireplace.  If you look carefully at the firebox, you will see it looks to be split perfectly down the middle, can this be?  Why yes, it is: 


It seems that when the Clog Maker-owner of the house passed and his two daughters inherited the complex of buildings, the daughters could not agree how to share the central house, and so they split it down the middle.  Precisely down the middle, with a wall dividing the salon and its fireplace perfectly in half.  The large limestone mantel was removed and cast off into the garden, to be excavated many decades later, by chance, by Rachel.  In its place, the sisters installed two smaller mantels, one for each half of the house. I am sure it was odd to have the fireplace right next to the wall in each side of the house, but that was the way the real estate was carved up….and of course the fire was more for heat and less for aesthetics.

Rachel was able to locate the remaining original stones in the garden, and had her masons reconstruct the mantel.  I can’t imagine wanting to dismantle this beauty, but it was done.  Thankfully, Rachel put the pieces back together for a beautiful result.  Here she is happily in her salon in front of the fireplace; you can now imagine it’s wonderful size~


Here is Rachel and her son Sebastian, sitting in a pair of wing chairs which belonged to her Grandmother and made their way to France from Canada~

IMG_0553We took a lot of photos at Christmas this year in her home; here is the stairway with beautiful thick stone walls and a large basket of walnuts gathered from their walks in the forest; more photos of Rachel’s home later~


Wishing you a toasty evening wherever you may be~


  1. I love her home. Love those floors and that fireplace.

  2. Andrea it is simply wonderful. I love the story about the fireplace! The thick stone walls are amazing!

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  3. Hi Andrea!
    I love it all. I am so inspired when I visit you. This post just erased a whole day of work stress! Sipping a little Cab! Salute, my friend!

  4. What a lovely home ~ that fireplace is so warm and welcoming. I would love to have such a stairway!


  5. Such a beautiful and cozy home and I love the story behind it~ xoxo

  6. I love that fireplace and the rustic charms...the tea light lining the pretty.

  7. It's the inspiration I need. I'm having a bad week at work......when you deal with the public there are always a few unreasonable, demanding people ....... and I arrived home today to find that the mason and roofer can't start work on My French Folly until June & July respectively. So much for our quite holiday in the French countryside. Am I allowed to say merde?

  8. Dreamy. I miss having a fireplace, though I've never had one that majestic - it's fabulous. Can't believe those girls almost destroyed that lovely home - seriously they tossed the mantle in the garden?! Glad Rachel rescued it. My favorite thing is that basket with the walnuts.

  9. A beautiful home, so warm and inviting.

  10. I'm a little jealous that you have a staircase. There's something about stairs that makes a place seem larger to me. Love all the photos. :)

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