The Restoration of This French Château Is Our Favourite Instagram Account Right Now
From Normandy in the north to the sparkling Côte D’Azur in the south, the French landscape is dotted with hundreds of stunning Chateauxs. The enormous cost of maintaining these historic properties has seen many of them fall into serious disrepair, though, which is why some are (surprisingly) attainable — maybe even more so than a property in Sydney, TBH — which brings us to the Instagram account we're obsessively following right now: @chateaugudanes.
In 2013, Perth couple Craig and Karina Waters fell in love with their own slice of French history — the 18th-century Château de Gudanes. Dating from the reign of Louis XIV, it was a Class 1 Historic Monument in need of restoration.
The couple took a 21st century approach to tackling the revitalisation of their 18th century gem by documenting every detail of their progress on Instagram, and honestly? It takes property-flipping to a whole new level.
When the Waters' got the keys, all rooms in the home (palace?) were uninhabitable, besides for three, and every ceiling was on the border of collapsing.
As you can imagine, the restoration has been a painstaking project; but the Waters' are determined to preserve or reinstate as many of the original features as possible. Now? You can bathe, dine and sleep in reinvigorated spaces of centuries passed. Take this beautiful bedroom, for example:
This salle de bain:
And this spot for a casual afternoon snack:
(You thought your dining room was clad in French Provincial wares.)
Impressively, the project has managed to restore the main staircase by putting back the original stone tiles with the helps of local artisans, while antiques have been up-cycled and restored in order to conduct a sustainable refurbishment. What's remarkable about this project is that the end goal isn't a museum, but rather a living, breathing tribute to the original majesty of the château.
If you visit Château de Gudanes, you can expect to see a work in progress. The finished rooms won’t be extravagantly dressed but rather minimalist in style to produce a stripped back, living tribute.
Visit the ChateauThis season, the chateau will open its doors for the second year, and guests are invited to help with the restoration project during their stay. Cooking classes are on offer, too, with locally-sourced ingredients sourced from the French countryside (lush, we know) as is relaxing by the pool. The 3, 5 and 7-night stays promise to deliver unique experiences and enable guests to contribute as much or as little as they wish to the restoration effort, and as for the photo opportunities? Countless.
(We're on our way.)