French country houses are designed to flow easily to the out of doors. French doors instead of windows compel you to wander out . Breezeways and pergolas provide shelter, allowing you to watch the moon rise, thunder strike, rain pelt or just watch fireflies in June.
Our Lady Banks Rose in the courtyard is a marvel!! This was the best year ever for our favorite spectacle. It gets's knocked back a bit in a tough winter but is always a welcome portent of spring.
A New Dawn Rose from the back of the house was transplanted to the front courtyard. A great adage to remember for all climbers is: "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap. This was a mature climber so it immediately embraced the space.
One of my favorite diversions is the container garden in the Spring. I came up with this Cleome/Plumbago combo and it is my favorite. As the heat goes on, they just get more wild and woolly, which is always gratifying to the gardener. The Hydrangeas through the door came in small pots from the grocery store. I enjoy them indoors, but they thrive and grow in the garden, when they've stopped blooming.
We like the Christmas Tree in the dining room and open our gifts over breakfast strata on Christmas morning.
I would say our happiest times start in the kitchen and end in all the different areas we have decked out for our feasts.
The terrace off of the living room/dining room areas draws guests out for conversations. I have occasionally set up for dining out there as well, but notice that guests love an almost desperate proximity to the kitchen. In winter, it is a great spot to gather with a blazing fire.
The house was designed with 3 master bedrooms, one down and two upstairs. The fourth bedroom has built in shelves and a desk area as an optional office, but we have used it as a 4th bedroom, as have the preceding owners. There is a man's paneled office downstairs as well with dressing and bath areas adjacent. There are 3 separate energy zones, which make the house energy efficient. When I am the only one home, I turn down the living, dining, halls, and upstairs bedrooms.