French retreat highlighted | Interiors

HAfter spending three decades traveling the world, enjoying a nomadic lifestyle, the Franco-Belgian photographer Serge anton finally felt the need to settle down. And he found his personal oasis of peace in a house he inherited, a retreat called My Desir. Built by his great-grandfather about a century ago in Sedan, in the heart of the French Ardennes, the house stands in a landscape full of calm – millions of kilometers from all stress, with trees and verdant views wherever you look.

“At the beginning, the name [which translates as “my desire”] didn’t particularly inspire me and it wasn’t until later that I found out how appropriate it was for me. After 30 years of traveling, I realized that the house embodied a pure and strong desire: to settle down and come back to my roots, ”says Anton.

Singing the Blues: one of the spacious bedrooms, each painted in colors inspired by the surrounding nature. Photography: Serge Anton / Living inside

Of course, the house was in need of some major updates: the windows were narrow, which made the rooms look dark, and it also lacked that flowing sense of space typical of contemporary taste, which Anton wanted, making everything to the interior a little dark.

“When I took possession of the house, imagining it differently was a difficult exercise,” he explains. “I sat on a stool for long hours trying to understand the spirit of the place, to grasp its potential, but also to consider its limits and constraints.

Anton produced his own initial designs and then oversaw the entire renovation process, down to the smallest detail. The first decision he made was to open everything up and create a friendly, cozy and hyper functional space conducive to cooking, receptions and relaxation, so the entrance now opens onto the living room and the dining room. to eat.

Another key idea was to maximize the relationship with the natural world that surrounds the house: including a 1000 m² garden, and – icing on the cake – a poetic view of Lake Sedan. The old screened windows that blocked the view have been replaced with single-leaf glazed structures, which allow sunlight to fill interior spaces and provide a broader glimpse of the surrounding landscape.

Lines of research: the kitchen, with worktop and personalized cupboards in bronze finish.
Lines of research: the kitchen, with worktop and personalized cupboards in bronze finish. Photography: Serge Anton / Living inside

Anton is passionate about natural materials with living patinas and raw textures, so he turned to the company L’Ocrier, by entrusting them with the work of cladding the walls with hydraulic lime. The floor was poured with a micro composite concrete, with the walls and floor finished in a chic gray shade.

L’Ocrier’s know-how was also used for the design of a worktop and kitchen cabinets, personalized with a bronze finish. The round kitchen table (Apollo XXL, from Heerenhuis), is constructed of metal and oak, while the rattan chairs were designed in 1958 by Yuzuru Yamakawa and come from Wellness conceptions. The thin metal shelves, covered with micro-concrete, were designed by Anton himself, and the crockery was found on trips or selected from an antique dealer. Atmosphere Elsewhere.

In terms of furniture, Anton has opted for a selection of contemporary furniture with clean and minimalist lines, some of which are made according to his own creations.

Upstairs are three spacious bedrooms, each in painted colors inspired by the surrounding nature: one is earthy brown, the second is green and the third is a deep sky blue. Anton designed the paint colors himself and worked with Adeline Halot to create them. He was also involved in the design of some furniture – a bedside table that extends under the cabinet was custom designed in collaboration with Dirk Cousaert.

Beyond the bedrooms, a metal staircase leads to the attic, which has been transformed into a cozy extra sleeping area to complete the whole.

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