Bright Cottage in France
December 20, 2018
Lifestyle blogger Stephanie Brubaker wakes up daily to a view of a castle next door. “It’s surreal. I don’t care too much the church bells ring at 7 every day. The opinion over makes up for it,” she states. She fell in love with Beynac, France, along with the rustic cabin, La Maisonnette, nearly immediately. “It might sound strange, but we felt more at home in Beynac than we did nearly everywhere else in the world.”
It’s been four years since its love affair with the area and the house began, yet the small-town appeal of the village is still going strong. “All it took was 24 hours and my spouse was already making arrangements to see La Maisonnette with the regional realtor,” says Brubaker. “And there’s only one in this very small village.”
in a Glance
Who lives here: Stephanie Brubaker, her husband and their children
Location: Beynac-et-Cazenac, France
Size: 1,100 square feet
That is interesting: The cabin is located in a protected heritage place within first medieval city walls, which means the Brubakers would need the approval of the chief architect of France should they opt to change the exterior.
La Maisonnette is your gable-roof cabin on the left of this picture; next to it’s a well-maintained chateau built in the 12th century.
Lush vegetation gives the front entrance a vibrant punch of pink and green while providing privacy.
A basket of groceries stays by the door. The bread and create were all purchased from the city’s farmer’s market. “The Monday marketplace is the best time to look for components. But if you need a simple item or 2, the little convenience shop is the place to go,” says Brubaker.
This exact same kitchen area used to house the village town oven, where village serfs would pay their lords a charge for use of the oven when baking bread. Brubaker, an avid baker and cook, loves this historical component of the cabin.
Pendant lights: Titan 1, Design Within Reach; hardwood kitchen cabinets: village carpenter; counter tops, backsplash: Pierre de Burgogne
Tolix chairs paired with what used to be an old church pew make an eclectic ensemble complemented by a live-edge dining table. The mix of chairs along with the roominess of the bench are ideal for the family members and their guests.
Brubaker maintained the limestone walls along with also the beam ceilings on the floor level of the cabin; the home’s exteriors and floor level blend perfectly with all the other historic houses in the village. But the rest of the cabin has been upgraded to reflect the contemporary needs and global travel patterns of their household.
“The sideboard [this picture] came with the home and dates to the 17th century — we can not bear to move it,” says Brubaker.
This picture shows the master suite on the third floor, a converted attic. The practice of “squeezing the furniture up the narrow stairs” required knocking down a little area and building the whole floor round the bed — and round the claw-foot bathtub, which Brubaker really desired in her bathroom.
“Placing the bed and bathtub on the third floor — and installing an air conditioner required efforts of epic proportions. No wonder only a couple individuals have AC here,” says Brubaker.
The claw-foot bathtub sits by the window, making an ideal soaking and also reflective nook. The view outside the window looks out on the lush, castle-dotted valley. Just one house throughout the valley is observable from the bathtub, so privacy is not a concern.
Terry-cloth bathrobes along with the day’s clothing usually hang coat hangers by the bath. Walls are stored bare and free of pins.
“I could finally breathe after the bath and the queen bed were in their rightful places. There’s no turning back now,” says Brubaker.
The Brubakers, that travel through the entire year, live here on and off. Vacationers who lease the area on a weekly basis ensure that the residence is always occupied.
Here the guest bedroom comes alive with a bright summertime quilt folded by the foot of the bed.
Twin beds in the guest room optimize the room and make space for a shared finish table; the ‘ beds’ placement also gives easy access to the window. Brubaker points out that most of the armoires, tables and wood furnishings in the house were purchased in antique stores around town.
“I sometimes crack open the window and allow the breeze out of the valley go through the space within an owl hoots nearby. It’s incredibly calm and peaceful here,” says Brubaker.
Every corner of the house can inspire your inner artist, Brubaker says. The town has served as an artists’ mecca, hosting artists like Camille Pissarro and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
The home’s picturesque location means the Brubakers often find themselves exploring little paths round the village, dining al fresco on regional cuisine or even touring a nearby castle or 2.
So Your Style Is: French Country