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Spring has most definitely sprung at our beautiful Chateau home, and we’ve felt blessed to watch the gardens come to life with beautiful daffodils and birdsong.

We still have a long way to go before our vision for a stunning wedding venue is a reality, but as the weather improves and the evening gets lighter, we feel a step closer every day.

Our ambition is to create a fairytale wedding and events destination with 9 gites for guest and holiday accommodation. There’s a LOT to do, but we’re relishing the challenge.

We also feel so fortunate to finally be able to put our talents and passions to use for our own benefit! Zion and I loved helping our clients bring their visions for beautiful homes and businesses to life through our interior design and construction businesses. Now we are so grateful that we have the opportunity to do it for ourselves!

The first project to focus on was getting some of the key Chateau rooms ready for Zion’s 60th birthday party at the end of January, to be shared with two of our dear friends, Tony and Ian, who were also celebrating turning 60.

Our plan was to use the three main salons on the ground floor of the Chateau for the party. The ‘painted salon’ for serving food and drinks, the dining room for dancing, and a third salon we have nicknamed the ‘speak-easy room’ for chilling.

The speak-easy room was a particular challenge as it had been flooded when we had the catastrophic roof leak back in September (before we had moved into the Chateau). We were faced with the horrors of water damage, plus decades of cobwebs and dead flies. The wallpaper was hanging off the wall in one corner, the parquet floor was matt and lumpy, and the built-in furniture was lacklustre all thanks to the flood.

So, over the winter we rolled up our sleeves and really hit these rooms hard.

We started with the speak easy room where Zion painstakingly repaired, sanded and varnished the beautiful parquet floor, which was a lot of work, but well worth the effort. We also restored the fitted shelving using wire wool (and lots of elbow grease!)

The wallpaper had really suffered in the flood which wasn’t a particular problem because we didn’t like the colour of the paper but, with the deadline of the party, we couldn’t afford to spend time stripping all the walls and the original paper had an interesting, embossed surface texture so, having found a spare roll in one of the attics, we replaced the damaged areas and painted over the top in a different colour..

As a finishing touch, all the chimneys were swept, so we could light fires in each of the fireplaces to welcome our guests.

And then my favourite part! It was an absolute delight to dress the rooms with sofas, chairs and tables, lots of beautiful cushions, books, party balloons and candles. In the end we were so pleased at the result and it made a very fitting birthday present for Zion! You can follow the transformation of the speak easy room and join Zion’s birthday party on the next series of Chateau DIY.