The hunt for Le Petit Château began in the summer of 2016 while I was having breakfast with my husband, Richard, at our house in Bucks County, PA. I was reading the New York Times and saw an article about House Hunting in France stating there were 40,000 châteaux for sale! I immediately said to my husband, “We have to do this!” We decided on the spot to sell everything and move to France. Why wouldn’t we?
Reimagining a château is about the challenge. Being an interior designer for the past 40 years, I’ve done just about everything and have been challenged in every way. Designing with the history, the limitations, the scale and landscape of a château invite a new way to challenge me and explore new ways of designing.
We took our first châteaux-hunting trip to France in the summer of 2017 to view a total of 8 chateaus across the Loire Valley – a particularly beautiful area that boasts the best-growing soil in the whole of France. Together with my husband, my assistant and two friends, a tight schedule, and three Air B&B’s, we set out what would be 1 of 4 trips until I found my perfect le petit chateau.
Many of the châteaus were beautiful but did not intrigue me. The floor plans were often complex, circulation lacked any sensible rationale, some were too pristine or too run-down.
The floor plans were often complex, circulation lacked any sensible rationale, some were too pristine or too run-down.
Finally, in January 2020, after endless viewing of chateaus in Le Mans, Angers, and Tours — success! We came across an unexpected gem that made me immediately fall in love with it. But that’s a story for another time!
Stay tuned for more on reimagining a French chateau.