This is a very personal interior design project. In search of the “perfect” house with my family, we came across a former rectory in a very peaceful village in the Empordà region. It needed somebody to restore it, otherwise it would have gradually fallen into ruin.
That’s when my husband and I decided to embark on this experience. We wanted a refuge for us and our children, where we could have some peace and quiet, as well as making a home to be with friends as we like entertaining a lot. Comfort and warmth was our initial premise. And that it would serve as both a winter and summer home.
It has a ground floor of 280 m2, a porch, an entrance hall, a dining-living room, our kids’ play room, and the kitchen and utility area.
We wanted to recover the existing doors to preserve the character of the house. We painted them and although they do not close properly, we customized them with new handles in aged brass.
We had to change all of the windows and outside doors, and put on new latches in wood-finish aluminum to obtain the rustic look that the house was crying out for.
We found that we would have to redo all of the utilities: heating, water, gas and electricity. It was totally uninhabitable.
The flooring we chose for the entire house was parquet-effect tiling in a walnut color, with 150-cm slats by Marazzi. So in one fell swoop we managed to get flooring that could cope with the kids, and people coming in and out.
The kitchen is where the old one used to be. We also found an old kitchen cabinet in it that we completely restored and painted to be able to store all of our tableware. We choose green and gray flooring, kitchen units with gray lacquered doors and rustic iron handles, and a wood-effect laminate worktop to give it a warmer feel.
The pendant lamp over the island area gives us very warm lighting when we are in the kitchen, whilst the rest of the lighting in it had to be wall sconce lights as the kitchen ceiling is arched.
In the utilities area is a pantry, a guest bathroom, a room and a boiler room where we keep the garden tools.
We wanted to fully recover the staircase that leads to the first floor. We were able to salvage the country-style risers and covered the rest with the same tiling. We were also able to fully recover the handrail.
There are three double bedrooms on the first floor. The master bedroom in whites and natural linen fabrics has a very peaceful feel to it. There is a door leading to the main bathroom, where we were able to recover a stretch of exposed ceiling, but this was not possible throughout as it would have meant compromising on the house’s general efficiency. This is a bathroom full of natural light with a gallery of arches, which is the perfect spot for reading in summer and relaxing.
In the children’s bedroom, I let myself be carried away by a cottage look with flowers as the main motif and cast iron beds to give it a more rustic touch.
The guest bedroom is very versatile as the furniture can easily be moved around depending on the number of guests we are expecting. It has a very small bathroom, but at least the guests have a separate one.
All of the rooms have a great deal of natural daylight, and it is wonderful to wake up to in the morning.
The porch area with its views of the church and garden is amazing with a large table for long after-dinner conversations.