Prive` Français vous devrez

French provincial you shall be.

Everything over the top, ornate, luxurious, trimmed, moulded, warm, inviting, comfortable & beautiful. That is the french style home to me. Authentic french country is what I would love to see emerging out of Como House as it transforms when we proceed with this renovation.

When we were looking at display villages looking for inspiration I couldn’t help but notice some of the poor little confused houses out there. Hamptons would have to be one of the most abused styles in my opinion. A shaker style kitchen with a slap of Benjamin Moore’s ‘Gray Owl’ on the walls and some beach themed decor does not make a house ‘Hamptons’. The only Hamptons house I have ever seen done beautifully and true to the theme of elegant, relaxed coastal living belongs to a girl friend of mine. Otherwise, these days Hamptons sometimes tends to be a fusion of your run of the mill modern project home with a little country influence painted white and grey with a ‘beachy’ feel.

If I had demolished Como house I may have put a true Hamptons house on this block but here I sit in a somewhat confused house looking at how to extract and accentuate the french, while trying to work with the rest of it and tie it all together to give it an authentic french provincial feel.

From memory, after visiting Paris and the french countryside on a number of occasions, french homes have a certain character. There is definitely a monumental feel to the french country home. Castle like with high a pitched roof, ornate balustrades leading onto shallow balconies, french double doors, stone driveways, arched windows and doors. Not to mention turrets, ornate lamp posts and wall lamps, inset ceilings with ornamental cornices, raised skirting boards, country style cabinetry, country gardens, wood, built in cabinets, oak floors, fancy chandeliers and wall sconces.

Como house ticks a lot of these boxes so that is where I just accentuate and refresh.

These are the beautiful external wall lamps and fluted edge facade hoods. I will get these powder coated along with all of the balcony balustrades.

Where it doesn’t tick the box is in the balconies. The balustrades are a bit geometric, they would actually fit right into a Hamptons style house. The balconies are too deep and long. They are perfect for keeping the sun out of the house considering our hot QLD climate so I can understand why they were built in such a way and wrap around the house as they do. This I am going to have to work with as I want to do as little as possible to the structure of the house. I love the square pillars.

Really this is my only major obstacle externally so I am happy with that. The only other thing that I would love to change externally is the paving around the house to natural stone but that is not an option due to budget constraints. I want to win the lotto!!! It works for now but when the house is finished I may run a masonry stain over the top to darken it. We will see.

The house has an amazing glazed terracotta roof that I was determined to paint over when we initially looked at renovating but I have come to my senses thanks to my friend Merryl who basically told me I was crazy to paint it. I have been known to do some crazy things. Well that and the fact that no one really wanted to touch the roof as it really isn’t a good idea to paint over glazed tiles. In any case, it is a deep red and I can work with it.

Currently, I am working on a colour palette so check back soon.