Decorating & Design

September 16, 2013

Fine Bordeaux Chateau

I’ve got a soft spot for Bordeaux — not the wine, necessarily, but the city. It’s a place where the old is made new again: a sleek new tram glides across the 18th-century Place de la Bourse, and decades of grime are being scrubbed off the beautiful old stone buildings. And this $7 million hôtel particulier in the middle of the city is part of that renaissance. Let’s take a closer look.

The Neoclassical home was built in 1840, probably out of the same gorgeous beige limestone used to build the city’s churches, bridges and wine merchants’ residences. But it’s clearly been restored since then — those second-storey windows are far too smooth to be original — and embellished with modern touches like this swimming pool.

The front door opens to an airy foyer lined with what the listing calls a “double revolution” staircase inspired by the one in Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre. Whether this is strictly true or not, it’s an undeniably stately look. Behind the camera, a set of mirrored doors reflects the light from the entrance, keeping this little seating area from feeling too tomb-like.

In the living rooms, classic high-ceilinged spaces are filled with modern touches, like an oversized lamp on a mini Tulip table and tiger print-trimmed sofas.

Dark wood panelling gives this salon a more intimate feel, and the luxe, inlaid details in the floor speak to the city’s wealthy history as the hub of the wine industry. The listing promises that all three reception rooms and eight bedrooms have been restored, but (rather tellingly) doesn’t mention anything about modernizing the kitchen or baths.

And indeed, one wall of this bedroom has been stripped to the original limestone, while the hearth gets an ultra-modern black matte finish. I could do without the giant heaters under each window, but I love the pairing of the long drapes with the contemporary take on the classic director’s chair.

Does this hôtel particulier pique your interest?

Photo credits:
1–5: Emile Garcin Properties