This 400-year-old rural French house is oozing authentic rustic charm

This 17th stone-built home in Burgundy, France, has been brought back to life with beautiful original features sensitively restored

beamed kitchen with white unit and rustic wooden dining table in a stone built french rural house
(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

When househunting, sometimes the perfect property can be the first that you see. This was the case for the owners of this dreamy property in rural Burgundy, in an area of the Beaujolais region known as les Pierres dorées – the Golden Stones. 

Owning an old stone house in South-West France had been the long-held dream of its owners, Anne-Charlotte and her husband Frédéric. ‘It was the first house we viewed and it was the right one! The sun was shining and I loved the charm of the place with its courtyard and its barn just waiting to be brought back to life,’ says Anne-Charlotte.

After renovating the 400-year-old property from top to bottom, repairing and replacing original features, and working hard to ensure the building was brought back to life in a sympathetic way, it is now their rural paradise, befitting to stand among the world's best homes.

They uncovered wooden floors, beams, stones, terracotta tiles, and many other original features found hidden behind false ceilings, plastering, and other coatings. ‘The work of successive generations meant that, in places, there were up to six layers of cladding on the walls,’ says Anne-Charlotte. ‘There were endless surprises, good and bad.’

Kitchen – where rustic meets modern

white kitchen with beamed ceiling and rustic wooden farmhouse table

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

Overlooking the courtyard, the kitchen, with its characterful original beams, occupies the main room in the house and is where the family spends most of their time. 

Among the kitchen ideas is the mix of contemporary kitchen units sitting in happy harmony alongside second-hand, rustic wooden furniture, for a wonderfully original and unique look.

Vintage-style pendant lights as a kitchen island lighting idea, and above the old farmhouse-style dining table, further enhance the rustic charm.

‘I prefer warm family home atmospheres, with a mix and match of my various finds. My style blends in with the spirit of the place,’ says Anne-Charlotte.

Living room – uncovering hidden features

beamed sitting room with neutral decor, sofa and wooden fire surround

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

During the six years of renovation, the couple focused on updating and refurbishing the house’s period features, such as its beams, parquet flooring, and stonework, which had been covered over by the home’s previous owners. 

Among the living room ideas, restored beams, brickwork and the wood floor provide a complementary foil for a mix of modern and antique furnishings in calming tones, an inspirational idea for decorating with neutrals

Pendant lights, artfully placed along the beams in front of the wooden fire surround help to draw attention to this beautiful feature, while a living room alcove idea is adorning it with the beautiful "Pimpernel" William Morris (opens in new tab) wallpaper.

Dining space – glass divides to let in light

glass partition wall between dining room and living room of a rustic country house

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

A great idea to bring light into the kitchen and the living room, glass partition walls were installed. These are the only structural modifications that were made inside the house. 

Children's bedroom – clever small room ideas

childrens room with white painted floors, wallpapered chimney breast and rattan swing seat

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

The children share a pretty bedroom that is brimming with creative and fun children's small bedroom ideas

White-painted wooden floorboards and walls are the perfect neutral backdrop for the fireplace adorned with Sandberg's ‘Magical Forest’ wallpaper as a children's bedroom wallpaper idea

A swing chair provides a lovely spot for the children to sit and read and is a clever solution as a small bedroom idea where floor space is more limited.

A mix of shop-bought furniture and flea market finds add even more personality and character to the space.

Home office space – creative use of a tiny corner

home office space with vintage furniture on the landing of a home

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

Demonstrating how to make the most of otherwise unused and 'dead' space on a landing, upstairs, the owner has created a pleasant small home office idea. The desk and chair were bought at a fleamarket so that this workspace is decorative, functional, and productive.

Master bedroom – styling a calming space

white bedroom with floral wallpaper, white pannelled walls and iron bed frame

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

A blissfully calming sanctuary, the master vintage bedroom design is furnished with secondhand finds, creating an interior full of charm with soft, retro tones. 

A bedroom wallpaper idea provides an uplifting floral pattern on one wall, while decorating with neutrals ensures a serene sleep space. 

Bathroom – incorporating rustic details

bathroom in a country house with double basins on an old wooden workbench and stone arch

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

Beams and a stone archway give character to the family bathroom. As a clever bathroom idea, twin wash basins have been placed on an old wooden workbench. Carefully positioned bathroom lighting enhances the space.

Outdoor dining – under the shade of a pergola

outdoor dining area under a wooden pergola of a country home

(Image credit: Julien Fernandez)

For the garden, the owners made a long wooden table with old planks of wood resting on tree trunks for an outdoor dining idea. The former village well has rediscovered its original purpose. 

In the shade of the pergola, family and friends from the neighborhood enjoy getting together around the long table. 

The owner shares her decoration tips and lovely family life on Instagram (opens in new tab), ‘I never thought I would have so many followers. I have come to appreciate this daily bubble of pleasure.’ 

And it seems her many followers all over the world appreciate it, too.

Rachel is senior content editor, and writes and commissions gardening content for homesandgardens.com, Homes & Gardens magazine, and its sister titles Period Living Magazine and Country Homes & Interiors. She has written for lifestyle magazines for many years, with a particular focus on gardening, historic houses and arts and crafts, but started out her journalism career in BBC radio, where she enjoyed reporting on and writing programme scripts for all manner of stories. Rachel then moved into regional lifestyle magazines, where the topics she wrote about, and people she interviewed, were as varied and eclectic as they were on radio. Always harboring a passion for homes and gardens, she jumped at the opportunity to work on The English Home and The English Garden magazines for a number of years, before joining the Period Living team, then the wider Homes & Gardens team, specializing in gardens.