‘Ev­ery day is a hol­i­day,’

Living Etc - - HOMES | ETC -

says in­te­rior de­signer Sylvie Lan­gaud of the house she has de­signed and shares with her hus­band Alain, her par­ents and twen­tysome­thing chil­dren Bastien and Laura, who reg­u­larly visit from Bordeaux. Ev­ery­thing about the house, from its At­lantic coast lo­ca­tion to its sea­side fish­er­man-hut vibe, com­plete with clap­per­board façade, white­washed in­te­ri­ors and pops of deep-sea blue, res­onates with the mood of les va­cances.

‘When we first vis­ited, the real at­trac­tion wasn’t the house – an old, haçienda-style build­ing of no in­ter­est and too run­down to ren­o­vate – but the lo­ca­tion,’ says Sylvie. ‘We walked into the gar­den and re­alised that be­cause the house sits on top of a dune, we couldn’t see any­one else around,’ adds Alain. ‘It was very ex­cit­ing.’

The cou­ple have built or ren­o­vated more than eight houses over the years. ‘Each time, we’ve sold the fur­ni­ture too, be­cause it suited the space so well,’ says Alain, giv­ing Sylvie (who works for in­te­rior de­sign com­pany Paule-m) the op­por­tu­nity to start anew. With this house, she took its sea­side lo­ca­tion as her aes­thetic in­spi­ra­tion.

Sylvie and Alain briefed ar­chi­tect San­drine Mer­cu­rio, re­quest­ing ‘a wooden house based on the tra­di­tional oys­ter farm­ers’ huts in the area,’ says Sylvie, and em­barked on the task in hand. Work­ing with builders spe­cial­is­ing in the wooden houses indige­nous to the area, the painted cladding, slat­ted win­dows, beamed ceil­ings and sweep­ing ve­ran­das all re­flect the lo­cal am­bi­ence. ‘We didn’t want a house that was too im­pos­ing,’ Sylvie ex­plains, ‘which is why it’s spread out hor­i­zon­tally rather than over mul­ti­ple floors and the break in the pitched roofs helps to soften the out­line.’

This is Cap Fer­ret liv­ing at its best – just an hour and a half’s drive from the city of Bordeaux, sur­rounded by blue sea and sky and fine white sand – pro­vid­ing the Lan­gauds with a home that’s not just for hol­i­days but for ev­ery­day fam­ily life. The brief was clear – three gen­er­a­tions must be able to live to­gether. ‘We’re a close fam­ily and there are peo­ple com­ing and go­ing all the time,’ says Alain.

The house has been de­signed with three dis­tinct spa­ces to al­low the fam­ily to eas­ily spend time both to­gether and apart. The ground floor has a large liv­ing room at its cen­tre, lead­ing into a spa­cious, prac­ti­cal kitchen that’s made for en­ter­tain­ing. Also at­tached is a spe­cial wing for Sylvie’s par­ents, giv­ing them di­rect ac­cess to the gar­den. The first floor is Sylvie and Alain’s do­main, with a large bed­room open­ing out on to a ter­race with mag­ni­fi­cient views of the sur­round­ing coun­try­side. In the grounds, Sylvie has cre­ated a cabin for Bastien and Laura, where they each have a bed­room and share a bath­room.

Sylvie has brought a sooth­ing neu­tral back­drop of white, blue and grey to life us­ing coastal touches such as wo­ven ma­te­ri­als like rat­tan and wicker, rough solid woods and tex­tured linens. There are lamp shades rem­i­nis­cent of fish­ing nets or cray pots, and clever high-street finds from Ikea and La Redoute sit along­side pared-back de­signer pieces by Paola Navone and lo­cal ar­ti­san Fabrice Pe­zon. ‘The over­all feel is “chic and re­fined”,’ says Sylvie.

Over­sized win­dows and ter­race doors al­low the light and ocean air to fil­ter through, draw­ing in views of the out­door pool and lush gar­den. The one thing that’s miss­ing is a home of­fice. ‘No­body works here!’ says a laugh­ing Alain, now re­tired from his ca­reer in in­sur­ance. ‘It’s a place to es­cape, rest and re­lax. We thought when we moved here we’d spend a lot of our time at the beach. But we like stay­ing here. Our house has be­come a life­style!’

To learn more about Sylvie’s in­te­rior de­signs, visit paule-m.fr. See Stu­dio San­drine Mer­cu­rio’s port­fo­lio at san­drine­mer­cu­rio.com

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