before and afterinterior design

before and after: la maisonette du coteau

by anne

i’ve been living in paris for just over three weeks now, and after lots of bureaucracy and running around in circles, all i have to say is i have the utmost respect and admiration for today’s before and after meets sneak peek from stephanie of stephmodo. last year (american) stephanie and her husband (along with three young children) got the idea to renovate a house in france. they absolutely fell in love with this 400 year old stone cottage in beynac-et-cazenac in the dordogne region of southern france. i mean who wouldn’t fall in love with this jaw droppingly gorgeous place (see it here!), especially made famous for serving as the backdrop for everafter and chocolat? stephanie has been chronicling all the adventures and heartache on her blog, and today we’re thrilled to be unveiling the finished “la maisonette du coteau.” i know i’m already planning my own getaway to stay in la maisonette! there are many more pictures and rooms here and stephanie will surely will be updating her site with many more to come. {thanks, stephanie!!}anne

[above: Kitchen + Main Level: What you see in this “before” image is how the kitchen looked when the real estate agent took us to La Maisonnette.  We couldn’t believe it…no staging here folks!  Needless to say gutting the kitchen and starting from scratch was definitely in order.  First we knocked down the plaster walls cutting off the kitchen from the rest of the living space on the main level.  This turned out to be more of a project than initially planned on since many of the walls were made of reinforced concrete and rebar.  They don’t make ’em like that in the US! ]

Wrapped around the large table (which is made of one plank of wood!) are three Tolix chairs (anyone who knows me knows I am a major fan of all things Tolix) and an antique pew from a local church in the area.  I loved mixing both old and new and felt these two looks complimented each other nicely.  We created a sitting area next to the Medieval sink and early 18th century buffet.  The beautiful stone work throughout this level is due to the extensive sandblasting my husband did over about 10 solid days.  He used a few tons of sand throughout the cottage as he restored all of the stone to it’s original condition.  The results are incredible as you can see from the images.  You can see some fun pictures from the sandblasting portion of the renovation here.


Master Suite (Attic):  This is my husband’s favorite part of La Maisonnette and while I truly love it all, this space is very tranquil and it does boast some incredible views.  When we bought the home there was excessive wood paneling throughout the attic.  The ceiling hung low, hiding that adorable top window from view) and felt very claustrophobic.  Thankfully we had a vision and knew it could actually be the perfect place for a master suite.  We added new plumbing and created a full bathroom [below], complete with a claw foot tub overlooking the village and the valley.  Because the master suite is on the third level and the beams and slanted walls do not allow for an armoire, we found an attractive portable rack for hanging clothing at Habitat [more images here].  On the opposite side of the suite is the sleeping area complete with a large, comfortable bed (somewhere between a Queen and King–beds measure differently in Europe), two nightstands + pillows from BHV in Paris, lights from But, and an antique etching that is about one hundred years old.  The little window overlooks another grove of trees and on some nights you can hear the local owls hooting to each other…it’s so magical to fall asleep in such a beautiful place.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the before & after images after the jump!

We gutted the entire kitchen down to its bare bones before calling in local professionals to redo all the electricity in the home and the plumbing.  We wanted everything up-to-date and the mantra, “do it once, do it right” became the focus of the renovation of La Maisonnette du Coteau.  Having a blank slate was a lot of fun and slowly creating what is now an amazing kitchen was very rewarding.


Since the cottage used to house the town’s oven, we created room in our budget for a high-end stove.  We liked the look of the La Canche better than the La Cornue so we opted for a mocha-colored stove with nickel hardware.  It is exquisite!  We also equipped the kitchen with a dishwasher, subzero freezer and refrigerator drawers–all considered luxuries in Europe.  After a day at the market it is a lot of fun to come home and utilize the kitchen to create a nice meal.





We added new plumbing and created a full bathroom, complete with a clawfoot tub overlooking the village and the valley.  This is a real highlight of the master suite and we can’t get over the killer views from the tub.

We added new plumbing and created a full bathroom, complete with a clawfoot tub overlooking the village and the valley.  This is a real highlight of the master suite and we can’t get over the killer views from the tub.

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