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These classic French interiors will have you redecorating immediately

PUBLISHED: 11:15 07 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:25 08 August 2017

The clasically French interior of Maison de l'Arbre in Aveyron © Suki Stuart

The clasically French interior of Maison de l'Arbre in Aveyron © Suki Stuart

Archant

Exposed stone walls, wooden beams, brocante finds, period furniture and finishing touches... These stunning interiors will make you fall in love with a classic French style

Maison de l’Abre, Aveyron, Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées

Who lives here?

Elaine and David Morgan bought the property in 2009 and it needed extensive renovations over 2 years to turn it into a lovely home.

The library at Maison de l'Arbre in Aveyron © Suki StuartThe library at Maison de l'Arbre in Aveyron © Suki Stuart

Tell us about the house and the interior style

Maison de ‘Arbre is the corps de ferme of a traditional farmhouse and during the renovation it was designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. They have kept the character and features of the farmhouse, including exposed stone walls and wooden beams, and added their own personality with a handmade balcony in the shape of a tree designed and made by Elaine’s cousin Laurent Mellor.

Read more about Elaine and David’s renovation project in Aveyron

The beautiful attic at La Gozinière in Auvergne © Agent BritishThe beautiful attic at La Gozinière in Auvergne © Agent British

La Gozinière, Allier, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Who lives here?

Carolyn and Peter Bear bought 18th-century manor house La Gozinière in 2000. They spent several years renovating the property and now welcome guests to their gîte.

The music room at La Gozinière in Auvergne © Agent BritishThe music room at La Gozinière in Auvergne © Agent British

Tell us about the house and interior style

La Gozinière is an 18th-century rural French manor house located in the heart of rural France. The Bears have bought it back to life with period furniture and finds from local brocantes.

Why do you love it?

“The tall windows, the tower and the gardens were all just as I envisaged. On our first visit, it was impossible to be objective; I was so convinced we’d finally found our home,” says Carolyn Bear. “We climbed a stone spiral staircase and emerged into an enormous attic where the owner threw open the shutters; I looked out over this incredible views, the snow drifted in, and I was sold.”

“Initially, living in a property that was so bare, it became terribly easy to imagine what it must have been like in the 1750s, and to wonder who’d lived there through the centuries. As we continued to work on the house, we discovered hidden portraits and artefacts that led me to research the families that have lived here over the last 300 years.”

Read more: Beautiful B&Bs set up by expats in France

A bedroom full of character at Bastide AvellaneA bedroom full of character at Bastide Avellane

Bastide Avellanne, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Who lives here?

Steve and Valentina Dixon bought Bastide Avellane in 2010. They spent 6 months renovating the property before opening as a chambres d’hôtes.

The cosy living room at Bastide AvellaneThe cosy living room at Bastide Avellane

Tell us about the house and interior style

Bastide Avellane is a fortified mas (farmhouse) built from Provençal stone and dating back to 1616. It is nestled in 3 acres of grounds near the village of Besse-sur-Issole. The property is full of character with exposed stone walls, arched ceilings and open fires. “We had difficulty buying furniture because it is such a big property. We looked locally and we couldn’t find anything. In the end, we found a company in Italy that sold Provençal-style furniture,” says Steve.

Why do you love it?

“As soon as we arrived, we wound the windows down and just sat in the car for a moment. There was no wind, and it smelt of the Mediterranean – pine trees and wild herbs. Within minutes of arriving, Valentina said: ‘This is the place’,” says Steve.

Read more: These stunning properties will make you want to move to France right now

The colourful dining room at Logis de BellevueThe colourful dining room at Logis de Bellevue

Logis de Bellevue, Marais Poitevin, Deux-Sevres, Aquitaine-Limousin, Poitou-Charentes

Who lives here?

Anthony and Marylyn Kusmirek bought Logis de Bellevue and moved to France in 2008 to run a B&B in their retirement.

One of the gite bedrooms at Logis de BellevueOne of the gite bedrooms at Logis de Bellevue

Tell us about the house and the interior style

Logis de Bellevue is a 19th-century lodge with outbuildings, a five-minute walk from the village of Coulon in the Marais Poitevin. The couple have enhanced the character of the property with colourful furniture and period pieces.

Why do you love it?

“We were absolutely mesmerised by this lovely park, and the huge property with amazing outbuildings,” says Anthony. “The skies are so blue here and the stone is so white; it’s scintillating. We call it the ‘Green Paradise’ – that’s the name the locals give it. Not many people are familiar with this area, but it one of the hidden treasures of France.”

Read more about Anthony and Marylyn’s gîte business in the Marais Poitevin

The modern yet classic salon at Meze MaisonThe modern yet classic salon at Meze Maison

Mèze Maison, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées

Who lives here?

Rob Budden and his partner Jason Clifford moved from London to Mèze in 2013 and opened a boutique B&B business.

Breakfast in the stylish dining room of Meze MaisonBreakfast in the stylish dining room of Meze Maison

Tell us about the house and the interior style

Mèze Maison dates from the 1800s and was originally a maison vigneron (wine producer’s house). It hadn’t been touched since the 1970s and Rob and Jason completely renovated the house, bringing back the original period features that had been concealed or removed over the years. They then added period pieces found in antiques shops and brocantes with more modern accents to create a luxurious and stylish home.

“We exposed a lot of beams that were hidden under square-tiled ceilings, added a marble fireplace and put in some parquet flooring on the main sitting room floor. We didn’t want to put in anything that wouldn’t have been in keeping with the building’s history” says Rob.

Why do you love it?

“I first came to the village of Mèze with my family when I was about 6. We were living in Belgium at the time and when my parents saw a little one-bedroom house for sale, they decided to buy it,” says Rob who then visited Mèze most summers. “When you live somewhere, there’s always a house you like the look of and this was the one I’d always admired, so I couldn’t believe it when I saw a cardboard ‘à vendre’ sign hanging off one of the balconies.”

Read more about Rob and Jason’s boutique B&B

Stylish and classic French bedroom at Manior de Malagorse © COCHISEStylish and classic French bedroom at Manior de Malagorse © COCHISE

Le Manior de Malagorse, Lot, Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées

Who lives here?

British expat Anna Congratel and her French husband Abel bought Manior de Malagorse in 1999 and now live there with their children and run a maison d’hôte.

Light and airy reception room at Manior de Malagorse © COCHISELight and airy reception room at Manior de Malagorse © COCHISE

Tell us about the house and the interior style

Manior de Malagorse is a 19th-century manor house set in 10 acres of woods and gardens with 3 barns and adjacent outbuildings. They spent 12 years completely renovating the house, barns and outbuildings to create a charming home and business. The properties have light, airy rooms, exposed wood and stone and original features along with luxury bathrooms, walk-in showers and comfortable beds. Anna designed the interiors and took inspiration from the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the simplicity of life in Lot, and tried to keep a French feel to the property.

Why do you love it?

“We just came here on holiday,” says Anna. “We weren’t particularly thinking of coming here but we fell in love with the area and spent most of the holiday looking for houses. We found this house on the last day.”

Characterful bedroom with period features in Charente-MaritimeCharacterful bedroom with period features in Charente-Maritime

Le Cognassier and Le Cerisier, Charente-Maritime, Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes

Who lives here?

Sue and Simon Paine bought the property in 2003 and now live here with their two children. Although the main house was ready to move in to there were 2 old barns that they converted into gites which they now rent out.

Finishing touches make a classically French interiorFinishing touches make a classically French interior

Tell us about the house and interior style

The property is a farmhouse and both of the barns are 18th-century and have now been converted into stylish gites - Le Cognassier and Le Cerisier. The Paines describer their style as ‘eclectic’, with vintage French finds nestling against modern furnishings and beautiful hand-painted kitchens and bathrooms. Much of the furniture was sourced from brocantes and the Paines run an online business where they sell French antiques and brocante finds.

Why do you love it?

“It wasn’t originally what we had in mind, but we fell in love with this property – and it finally seemed as if we could make our dream a reality,” says Sue.

Read more about Sue and Simon’s gîte business

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