Behind the 19th-century chateau of Dick and Angel Strawbridge is a magnificent newly built winter garden, revealed in the seventh episode of the ninth and final series. Escape to the chateau.
Eight years ago, when Dick and Angel were looking for a house to buy in France, Château de la Motte Usson was perfect in every way.
Even when the sun is scarce, the back of the chateau is always bathed in morning light. Dick and Angel therefore always wanted to create a glass conservatory known in France as a Jardin d’Ivert or a winter garden.
But installing the new winter garden required removing the old window frames, cutting out the original oak thresholds, carefully removing the decorative wood panels, and replacing them with new double doors.
A renovation of this magnitude required a lot of planning. A whole new room had to be added to the chateau by not only knocking on the large windows, but by hanging a glass and steel winter garden about 3.5 meters above the ground.
Once the foundation was laid, the structure was placed. He’s one thing unloading 12 heavy pallets of glass and steel, but as Dick quipped, “This is like the worst flatpack you’ve ever seen.” It will be about 300 times of fasteners.
Aside from the actual green structure, the views from the conservatory were unmatched.
“Honestly, it’s fine as is, without windows. When we discussed flooring and her fascination with Victorian-style checkered black and white tiles, Angel said, ‘Checkered floors.’ is found in ancient Egyptian temples, but was especially popular during the Victorian era.
“Dick needs a coffee, so I know he needs a breakfast table. But do we want plants? There were plants everywhere in the winter garden, so I don’t think that’s exactly the case.
The original winter garden was where the wealthy grew tropical and subtropical plants, so Arthur’s home-grown avocado was the perfect choice.
Only once did the winter garden have a roof and a hard tiled floor. Angel was able to bring in soft furnishings to give the Glasshouse charm, and zoning the seating areas added a cozy living-his-room feel.
However, Angel decided to take a less is more approach. Not here. I don’t want to get in your way.
“It feels like a place that makes you want to put your feet up. It feels like you can come here and feel very, very inspired. When it’s so peaceful, why spoil the view?”
Dick agreed: “I like the fact that this is so quiet and peaceful. It feels like we’ve crossed the moat.”
Dick and Angel use this new space as a breakfast room, complete with a coffee station, as the winter garden catches the morning sun.
Once assembled and styled, Dick, Angel, and their children Arthur and Dorothy enjoyed their first breakfast in the suspended conservatory. “This place is going to be very special and your life will be here,” Dick told the children.
Dick and Angel not only brought the chateau back to life, they also opened up unused areas to create new rooms. A new glass conservatory now sits at the back of the chateau, suspended in mid-air, offering a special place to take in the views and enjoy breakfast at sunrise over the Straw Bridge.
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