The stylish York house with more than a dash of French glamour

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale The Mount, York Price: £1.2m Contact: Ch­ester­ton Hum­berts,york, tel: 01904 611828, www. chester­ton­hum­

THIS Re­gency prop­erty might be quintessen­tially English on the out­side, but inside it is typ­i­cally French with a decor that ranges from chateau chic to sim­ple coun­try style.

The love af­fair with French fur­ni­ture and fur­nish­ings be­gan when Stephen Hazell, a prop­erty de­vel­oper spe­cial­is­ing in his­toric build­ings, bought a sec­ond home in France.

Friends asked him to find pieces for them and he re­alised that there was a mar­ket. His busi­ness, The French House, was born in 1997 with a shop and a restora­tion work­shop in York run by Stephen and a store in Lon­don run by his son Marcus.

There is also a stor­age ware­house in Sancerre, where Stephen and his part­ner Kathryn have a hol­i­day prop­erty.

The cou­ple, who make reg­u­lar buy­ing trips across the Chan­nel, visit auc­tions, house sales and bro­cantes and bring home ev­ery­thing from beds and fur­ni­ture to mir­rors, lights and glass­ware. Their York home fea­tures many of their finds, in­clud­ing the huge cop­per bath from a chateau in the Loire val­ley and the Art Nou­veau bed.

“Al­most ev­ery­thing in here is what we have col­lected in France. We own The French House and we live in a French house,” says Kathryn.

“For­tu­nately, we had a large col­lec­tion of lights, which we’ve used. We knew this house needed some spe­cial lighting and the French do beau­ti­ful light fit­tings and not just chan­de­liers. There’s noth­ing English that com­pares.”

They moved to the house, which needed mod­erni­sa­tion, six years ago af­ter Stephen fell in love with the stair­case. It is an exquisitely crafted can­tilevered spi­ral that winds up through three storeys re­ward­ing you with a spec­tac­u­lar top to bot­tom view when you reach the fi­nal land­ing. The walls bor­der­ing the stairs are a trompe l’oeil, which look like huge slabs of sand­stone. They were painted by Mark Ib­sen, part of the French House restora­tion team. Other ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures in­clude sash win­dows, moulded plas­ter­work cor­nices and arches, door­cases with ar­chi­traves, work­ing shut­ters and deep skirt­ing boards.

The house has a hall, cloak­room, first-floor draw­ing room, sit­ting room, din­ing room, kitchen, walk-in pantry, two gal­leried land­ings, two prin­ci­pal bed­rooms each with en­suite, a house bath­room, third bed­room with dress­ing room and a fourth bed­room. The lower ground floor has a spa­cious hall, of­fice, laun­dry, store room, wine cel­lar, coal store and log store. Out­side, there is a walled rear gar­den with gar­den room and a de­tached dou­ble garage with bil­liard room above.

Stephen and Kathryn are sell­ing to buy a prop­erty with a self-con­tained apart­ment for a rel­a­tive.

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