25 January 2010

Restoring an 18th Century French Farmhouse

France is the perfect place for creative types- for people who are able to look at an old, dilapidated farmhouse or ruins and see its potential. It is truly miraculous what people can create out of what seems like a heap of junk due to years of neglect and misuse.
Just over 30 minutes outside the center of industrial Toulon lies endless stretches of fields,
with great, old farmhouses plopped down amongst the now hibernating crops.

We took a drive out to visit our friends Jill and John- who purchased one of these old farmhouses with the intent of creating a paradise...and they are well on their way.
The name of the house is La Peyrardiere, dating back to the 1790's.
Their property has 17 olive trees, which they usually harvest, take to a co-op,
and then wait for a few months to receive the olive oil.
Imagine floating on your back in the pool with this view!

This outdoor oven is going to be perfect for pizzas in the summer...mm mmmmm

Neighbors in the distance- not too close, not too far.
The pinkish and green of the house is very similar to John and Jill's place.

They have a spectalar view of the mountains from their windows.
The vineyard is owned by another farmer, but it fits right in.

The kitchen, wood-burning stove and all, was the only thing already completed when they bought the house- and man is it lively!
Jill is very knowledgeable about copper, and shops the markets and
second-hand stores for good finds. They compliment the yellow setup nicely.

The pigeonnier(pigeonry) sits just to the side of the house,
along this massive circular design of flagstones.

Apparently it was used as a place for wheat farmers to gather and have
wheat-threshing parties. Only one house in an area would have this stone work since
it was expensive and covers a large area.
Before Jill and John moved in, the back door to the house opened onto dirt.
They put in the this beautiful porch with a roof themselves and now have a nice area for grilling.
(And yes, it still kind of opens up onto dirt but that's only because they're in the process of landscaping!)

The house is just amazing. They are still very much in the process and are actually living,
with their 1-year-old twin girls, in only two rooms upstairs...but it's getting there.

Kudos! Jill and John-the house is looking great.
I can't wait to see it when it's all finished.