From the day the estate was officially ours, Thomas wanted to take up residence in the château. But if you remember, a hornets’ nest sabotaged that idea. We set up camp in the more modest maison de chasse and never looked back. With the exception of enjoying drinks and candlelit dinners, all we did in the big house was work. Until now.
We chose two beautiful rooms on the first floor as our private quarters in the chambres d’hôtes. In preparing to attack these rooms – think emergency cleaning, getting rid of hundreds of dead flies and bees, remnants of nests, years of dust – I tried to look at this task as a way to get ideas on how to decorate. It also made me wonder about the wabi-sabi aesthetic. How do I walk the line between beautifully weathered and tattered and shabby? When do worn things and decayed walls take on their magic?
It’s clear the house can’t harbour bugs or grime, and of course we’re stopping the roof from leaking and we’re putting further deterioration to a halt. Things become less straightforward when deciding what to do with stains or cracks in ceilings and walls. They’ll look stunning against the shiny oak floors once we’ve sanded and refinished those, but they won’t do if they bear the signs of a messy and unloving restoration attempt in the past. The more I read and learn about wabi-sabi, the more I realise it’s not about decorating, but about a mindset. The true luxury of living in the moment, acceptation and being content. When I feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of our project (it happens often, I can assure you), I now sit down in our room and revel in its beauty. I enjoy how the sunlight caresses the walls and I feel re-energised. Because everything is exactly as it should be right now.