Not being to the manor born, I have sometimes felt intimidated by Lescure.
I was so new to houses of this size and history, that when we arrived here, I approached everything with a fair bit of trepidation. From the main stairs up to rooms that had not seen daylight in many years, further up to the dusky attic, and then back down the servant’s staircase. It took time to understand the awkward floor plan. That larger enfilade style spaces had been divided into smaller rooms, that walls and corridors had been added. And how to decide what to keep and what to change?
Inspired by the wabi sabi aesthetic, we try and embrace the marks left by former use and adaptation of the house, so we stick mostly to work that is essential to the building’s survival. At the same time, we feel this beautiful manor has not always been understood and repaired well. Also, we have personal tastes and modern needs which require new work. There is so much to learn and our thoughts evolve as we grow with Lescure.
LE PETIT SALON
In this light, let me present to you le petit salon.
This modest garden parlour is all doors. A door to the hallway, a door to the living room, a door to the future library (currently, the workshop where Thomas works his DIY magic) and double doors to the château terrace. We found the room with the fireplace long gone, the oak wooden floor sinking, and the walls and ceilings crumbling down. We had no choice other than to rebuild. For a long time, I felt unhappy with the result. We were able to save the doors and the floors, but the ceiling and walls were so perfectly covered with new stucco that they lacked soul. Old walls always whisper, but these had gone silent. As if the echoes of what was before had been erased.
My discontent turned into creative joy as I began to see the too-perfect white emptiness as a blank canvas. We have turned the room into an in-house art gallery where anything goes. Ingo Maurer’s Zettel’z pendant where guests leave notes, drawings and poems. An antique bench, upholstered by Thomas. An ever-changing art wall with works from friends as well as objets trouvés. A mini altar with things I have found on the estate: a tiny piece of animal bone in which I saw angel wings when I needed to believe angels exist. A porcelain fragment of a virgin Mary figurine.
The walls are no longer silent. They now echo our creativity, my magical thinking, and the voices of artists, friends and the woods.