A charming nineteenth-century house in the Mame valley in France is where a well-known New Zealand artist lives and works, in a setting that is not so very different from her rural homeland. Admittedly, though, nobody in the Antipodes built houses like this – A charming bourgeois brick-and-stone mini chateau with numerous tall timber-framed windows screened by grey-blue painted shtters.
Described as a ruin inside when bought, the interiors nonetheless still contained typical terracota floor-tiles, old exposed beams and some cupboards, but within the restored shell a quirky mix of partitions has been added, designed to fulfill the owner’s very spesific requirements.
Fitted within the formerly empty first floor is plywood structure that divides the space into a bedroom, a sizeable library, a bathroom and an office. Much creative work has gone into enlivening the tired old rooms: painting, of course, but also collections both decorative and unusual abound.
The garden is a constant source of joy and produce, while the house provides an inspirational backdrop to artistic endeavour.