Chateau de Gudanes {Part 1}

Decaying stone staircase in French Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

Chateau de Gudanes is a breathtaking chateau in the charming
village of Chateau-Verdun and has graced the south of
France since the mid 1700’s. Find Part 2 here.

The Chateau is classified a Class 1 Historic Monument,
designed by Parisian architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel,
famous for neoclassical, architectural symmetry
(including the Le Petit Trianon and Place de la Concorde).

In 2013, Chateau de Gudanes was purchased by an Australian family who have devoted themselves to awakening
a neglected home they refer to as sleeping beauty. 

Just listen to how owners Craig and Karina Waters
describe their mission in restoring the Chateau:

“Our aim is to tread lightly and gently – to preserve the atmosphere and authenticity of the Chateau and region as much as possible. She will be renovated but her rawness, wear and history will not be erased, but instead integrated. In keeping with this, we also plan to use energy efficient principles and sustainable refurbishment. This means up cycling and recycling as much as possible, including building materials, design features and decor. 

The Chateau won’t be a pretentious museum piece, but rather, a place to visit, reconnect with the earth and people, and restore the senses, just like she herself has been restored. It won’t be about overcrowding the walls with paintings or overflowing the floors with furnishings, but will be relatively minimalistic – a place to simply rest, breathe and enjoy the calm.”

Stop the presses.
Did you read that last paragraph?
A most beautifully articulated design approach
so harmonious with my own.

A place to simply rest, breathe
and enjoy the calm.

YES, Karina and Craig.
YES, Chateau de Gudanes
YES, blogland.
HELLO to the LOVELY to that.

 

 

It would be wise to let your heart know

right now

it should expect some tugging

since the timeless romance of

a beautiful sleeping Chateau

in the south of France

is about to kiss you twice.

 

Behold.

 

Picturesque gate to Chateau de Gudanes in mountains of Verdun
Chateau de Gudanes
interior room of Chateau Gudanes with dusty rose and peely wallpaper
Dusty rose, peely wallpaper, and tufted goodness.
Exterior of Chateau Gudanes in mountains of Verdun
Chateau de Gudanes

 

French interior room with fireplace in Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
Foyer at Chateau de Gudanes with stone staircase
Good God, kill me now.
Black horse standing in decaying room of Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
Fanciful blue and gilded gold bed in decaying room of Chateau de Gudanes
THIS BED.
Exterior of Chateau Gudanes in winter with mountains of Verdun
Chateau de Gudanes in winter.

 

Lush green mountains of Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
Exterior of French Chateau Gudanes in winter
Chateau de Gudanes

 

French windows open in a decaying room of Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Stripped walls and stone staircase in foyer of French Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Craig and Karina Waters owner of Chateau Gudanes
Craig and Karina Waters

 

Exterior of French Chateau Gudanes in south of France

Decaying interior room of French Chateau Gudanes with windows overlooking mountains
Chateau de Gudanes
Close up detail of antique wood doors in French Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
Mustard wall color in stairway of French Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
French doors in Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Long hallway shot and room with stipped wallpaper in Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Stripped wallpaper in stairway of decaying Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
Paneled room and open window in Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Stripped wallpaper and antique wood doors in Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Detail of handpainted wood in Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Tall French windows stripped wallpaper decay Chateau de Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
Stripped green wallpaper and antique wood doors Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes
Detail of antique door hardware escutcheon in French Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Decay of interior Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

 

Stripped blue tufted wallpaper decay inside French Chateau Gudanes
Chateau de Gudanes

The Polish brand Brahman’s Home (exclusive

furniture and accessories) made its debut

in the interior design market in 2015, and

used the under-restoration Chateau de Gudanes

as the location for its lookbook photoshoot.

 

Photographer Sonia Szostak captured glorious

shots of the Chateau like the one below, and

I’ll be sharing Part 2 soon with more editorial

like this:

 

Models wearing white inside room at French Chateau Gudanes for Brahman's Home
Photo by Sonia Szostak for Brahman’s Home at Chateau de Gudanes

Did the Chateau kiss you twice and
steal your heart?????

Part 2 of Chateau de Gudanes is here.

Peace to you right where you are.

~michele

 

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13 Comments

  1. January 28, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    I can't wait to see part two! I could only dream about having a home like this!!

    • January 30, 2017 / 3:51 am

      i'm considering going this summer to help with the restoration and soak up the inspiration! thanks for reading, friend. xox

  2. January 28, 2017 / 11:51 pm

    Ahhhh. I feel like I was just on a little vacation during this post. Thank you!

    • January 30, 2017 / 3:52 am

      i'm so glad! thanks for reading, mary ann. xox

  3. January 29, 2017 / 12:37 am

    Michele, you're killing me! My husband and I just looked at this post and we're swooning. So amazing, this chateau!

    • January 30, 2017 / 3:53 am

      i know! i must raise my glass to this family for the spirit in which they are restoring this sleeping beauty! xox

  4. January 29, 2017 / 2:53 am

    I am beyond words…just beyond…what a magnificent work of art. I must go look through the images again…I can't stand it and will look anxiously for Part II! Thank you Michele – this is magical…

    • January 30, 2017 / 3:53 am

      aren't you dying to go and take photos of the beautiful decay?!? thanks for reading, friend. xox

  5. January 30, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    Oh my gosh …can you imagine the process?! Yesssssss;) dying to take photos of the beautiful decay. Gorgeous imagines (part 2;) ..also love the home that Tom and G owned (that kitchen!) I wonder where they live now? happy Monday!

  6. Mat
    February 5, 2018 / 10:58 am

    I am so confused about this place, which isn’t far from where I live.
    The owners say they live there part-time and are financing the renovation themselves. She was an accountant and he’s a doctor. Maybe they have a family fortune they’re using. Having done a smaller renovation of a historically protected building in France, I can tell you that each of those windows cost €2K, at the very least–probably more because they’re curved (and the Bâtiments de France had to approve the design of ours). Based on our renovation, I’d estimate the wiring work alone would cost €600K to €700K. The previous owners were a British investment group that gave up because the cost of renovation was just too much. The château was classed as a historic monument in 1994, but I’ve read that the current owner claims to have gotten it classed. Rather than hire local artisans, who do excellent work but who expect to be paid a living wage, they have “volunteers” who actually pay to stay there and work. It’s all a bit odd.

    • michele
      Author
      February 5, 2018 / 12:13 pm

      Hi Mat. I considered traveling to the chateau to volunteer with the renovations (and happily pay for lodging and educational opportunities there) since for me, it would be an unprecedented opportunity to contribute and not so much odd, as unique. As a DIY serial renovator myself, it’s not solely logic which dictates the decision to take on a particular project. Surely the heart speaks. It must be frustrating for local artisans who would love to contribute and need the work. Perhaps funds must be spent for materials and the essentials first?

      • Mat
        February 5, 2018 / 2:01 pm

        I am not so sure about helping out somebody who says, oh I spent a million (probably) on a château, and now I want help because I don’t have the 2-3-4 million to renovate it. If funds must be spend for materials, didn’t that enter into their planning before purchasing the place?
        Also, considering how strict the rules are in France, I don’t see how they manage with volunteers, as far as renovation criteria and as far as work criteria.
        People who play by the rules are less than thrilled when somebody comes along and breaks the rules. They have pretty photos and good PR, but they seem rather lawless.

        • michele
          Author
          February 5, 2018 / 7:27 pm

          These are important issues, Mat. It must be frustrating. Do you have a blog or site chronicling your renovation? The reality of renovating in France is a topic I’m sure a lot of folks would be attracted to. 🙂

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