La Cressonnière: The Exterior

March 22, 2011

It’s officially Spring! I thought it would be fun to commemorate the day with a photo tour of the exterior (and some of the landscaping) here at La Cressonnière. It’s gorgeous now and I’m imagining it will look even more lovely in just a few short weeks as all the greenery fills in.

This is the oldest part of the house. Two of those pretty dormer windows are attached to bedrooms. The little window in the middle is above a big clawfoot tub in the bathroom.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

This door goes to the kitchen. During the winter, it’s blocked up and curtained off to help keep the house warm. But as the weather heats up, we’ll open it for easy access from the kitchen to the outside.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

Every single fixture is interesting to me.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

This section of the house was built about a century after the first. The atelier and study/TV room are on the bottom floor of this section. And there are 3 bedrooms on the top floor. In France, all shutters are working shutters.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

This pretty faucet sits just down from the kitchen door.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

The biggest of the outdoor lights hangs over the middle doorway. It’s the main entrance into the house and welcomes you into the living room.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

If you stand at the front door and look left, you’ll see a gravel-lined parking area surrounded by two big barns. The barns have all sorts of fun-to-look-at-doors. In fact, every time I see this barn wall I am charmed by it. I still can’t believe how lucky we are to get to enjoy this house for a whole year.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

If you stand at the front door and look to the right, you’ll see the wood pile and the green gate leading to the great lawn and the tree house.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

Here’s the other side of that same green gate.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

Tomorrow, we have plans to set up the trampoline. The kids are so excited they can barely contain themselves.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

There’s a vegetable garden in one area of the yard with some pretty leftovers from last season still growing.

It’s time to prep and sow the land for this year’s vegetables but I’m not even sure where to start. I have no idea what grows well here. I think I’ll stop by the local nursery and see if I can get some advice.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

Ther atelier/studio looks out onto a little courtyard.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

I love the courtyard. It’s full of textures.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

And here’s another charming water faucet. I’m not kidding about the fixtures — every single one is interesting.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

I can’t wait till everything is in bloom.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

One last shot. One of my favorite things about architecture in France is the rooflines. It’s especially charming in Paris, but I think the country houses have beautiful lines as well.

French farmhouse exterior La Cressonnière

Thanks for taking the tour. I hope you enjoyed it!

P.S. — Click here if you like to see more of La Cressonnière.

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara March 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I just cannot get over how beautiful and charming this house is! Thanks for sharing!

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2 Summer March 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Gorgeous! I’m just imagining what Restoration Hardware would charge for fixtures like that. Thanks for sharing!

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3 aubrey March 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

What a cool place to live! You just can’t find that kind of history or character in the U.S., even in New England. I love all the exposed stone and rustic metal and wood. What an adventure!

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4 JourneyBeyondSurvival March 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Oh. Wow. I love the red. I love working shutters, I also love how they never seem to have screens, and simply use the curtain liners as screens. I also adore the fixtures, which are fascinating and functional.

It seemed to me that Germany had about the same growing season as SLC, UT (probably Denver), or perhaps NY. But I would think that France is a little warmer due to the closeness of the water and so much coast. Also, it depends on what you want to grow. If you want French food, then I think you are in luck! Italian, Mexican, etc. you may need to visit local cultural markets to get special seeds. (cilantro is particularly difficult to get)

Look at me blabbing on and on. I’m sure you’ll have fun!

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5 sarah March 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm

i really am loving my stay through your lens!

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6 Camille March 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Oh how lovely!! Thanks for sharing so we can all dram that we live in a beautiful French Country house. :)

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7 Alli March 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

gorgeous!
I would have to pinch myself when i woke up if i lived there!
xo

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8 sara stubbert March 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Unbelievable…you have truly found the most exquisite home in all of France. I’m not kidding :)

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9 Linda March 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm

There is not a photo of this house that I do not love. Either you are an amazing photographer or this house is my absolute dream house. (Maybe a lot of both) I know the owners are artists and have an impeccable eye for beauty. That being said is this house atypical or are there other French dream homes near there? Be careful how you answer – you might suddenly get more”neighbors” than you need! ;)

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10 Claire March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

What an amazing house. Thanks for sharing these photos! I can’t wait to see more. It looks like a great place to explore with all the different little features and nooks around. :) You were so lucky to find such an amazing house and to be having this wonderful experience – I hope to do something similar in the future!

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11 Erin Defoyd March 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

dream home!

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12 LCR March 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Awesome and amazing!
You must know you are living some of our dreams:)!

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13 lauren angert March 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm

This house is so charming! I would love to live there for a year. Or forever :)

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14 Michelle March 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Your house is amazing, such charm! I hope I can have an experience abroad with my family sometime in my life!

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15 heather m March 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

And I continue to live vicariously through your year in France. The house and property are so perfect, like from a movie. Keep enjoying every moment. And see if you ever want to move back stateside. After that house and all the experiences, who knows? :)

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16 Lindsey Stewart March 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Wow, the house tours are my favorite. What a dream. It’s like living in a story.

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17 Deborah March 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I have a feeling you will love this year so much that you’ll want to extend your stay. (Or perhaps try a similar stay in another country!)

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18 Meagan March 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Is that grapevine trained against the walls in the first few photos? I’m thinking of training grapes against the garage but trying to decide if it would be too unmanagable.

I know this isn’t a possibility since you’re rentin, but I always live the trampolines that are dug into the ground so they’re flush with th grass. Have you seen that?

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19 'rachel March 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Gabby, if I remember correctly most of Europe’s artichokes come from France but I’m not sure which region. Wouldn’t that be fun?

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20 Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures March 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Now I positively want to move to France!! What an exquisite place!

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21 Robin March 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Gorgeous, Gabby.

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22 Sherry March 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Love it!! So proud of you for making a dream come true for your family.

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23 k a t y March 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm

It makes me miss it so. Eat it up and then lick your fingers.

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24 Joanna March 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

very nice exterior. i always think of France. Thanks for sharing.

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25 Nicole March 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Wow, you must have just gasped when you stepped out of your car and saw it. Such beautiful luck!

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26 Sabrina March 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

J’ADORE!!!! ;)

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27 bdaiss March 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Amazing. Just…Uh.May.Zing.

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28 Claire March 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

This is gorgeous. Houses in Europe, and especially in France, are so beautiful. But we have an older house stateside, and so one question that occurs is: how is the maintenance situation? A pain? Or are these old and gorgeous houses also just really well made?

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29 JILL March 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I think it will be so interesting to hear your take (in years to come) how living in France, in this home, will affect your design/decorating sense in future homes. I know travel changes me and living in one place that is so different from home for a long stretch will be life altering for sure. Thanks for sharing!

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30 Leslie March 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Oh my goodness, how will you ever leave? It’s so charming, I’m so glad you’re showing us the tiny details!

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31 Ren Lady Of The Arts March 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm

what lovely images- are those lily of the valley that are growing- one of my favorite scents in the world.

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32 the sleepy time gal March 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

what an incredible experience you and your family are having there!

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33 Treva March 23, 2011 at 2:00 am

Honestly, you have been completely ruined for normal houses. How will you ever leave this place?

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34 Kholisa March 23, 2011 at 2:15 am

The features of the house are amazing, thank for sharing this. I LOVE the house tours!

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35 Denise Laborde March 23, 2011 at 4:19 am

So beautiful! I hope you’ll post photos when everything blooms. What a cheery place it will be (not that it isn’t already).

I have come to just love shutters (for dark sleeping quarters and safety) and wonder how I lived without them stateside!

Bises
D

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36 Sara March 23, 2011 at 5:36 am

Thank you for transporting me out of dreary, rainy, cold Michigan this morning! Just what I needed!

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37 Pamela March 23, 2011 at 6:01 am

Can we rent it when you’re done?? :) It’s beautiful!

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38 Kristen E March 23, 2011 at 9:19 am

This is seriously the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen. I’m really enjoying all the photo tours! Please don’t stop! :)

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39 Barchbo March 23, 2011 at 9:21 am

I am so enjoying the tour of La Cressonniere! I can imagine the wonderful memories your kids are building together and your family is obviously thriving in the new environs! Thanks for sharing your home and experiences with us!

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40 Julia March 23, 2011 at 9:34 am

WOW! What a lovely place to live; it would be hard to pry me out of there. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experiences. I’d love to do a similar “live-abroad-for-a-while” sabbatical with our family.

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41 maria bailey March 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

Awesome. What a great experience for your family.

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42 r8chel March 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

You’re the ideal person to live in this lovely home. Not only do you enjoy and appreciate it, but you share it with all of US!

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43 caru March 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

the last water faucet is really pretty!

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44 Kaylin March 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos, I can’t wait to see more! I absolutely love the water faucets, they have so much charm!

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45 Lisa Mackin March 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I’m so jealous.

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46 Jen in TX March 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Absolutely beautiful! I’m tempted to ask if they have renters lined up for after you leave. I mean, we homeschool, and my husband works from home, so we could do something like this too, right? :)

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47 Aimee March 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm

It is as if you have stepped into a fantasy, a dream. And it is a dream that I covet but I am so grateful that you are sharing it.

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48 Bettijo @ Paging Supermom March 24, 2011 at 1:53 am

THIS is the post I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been dying for a good look around the outside of that beautiful home. Thanks so much for sharing. Enjoy what I’m sure will be a Spring you’ll always remember!!

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49 julie r March 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

heaven on earth, gabrielle. what an amazing house, inside and out!

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50 Sarah March 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Beautiful! The front shots remind me a lot of the Bennet house in the BBC Pride and Prejudice, you know when they show it slowly changing through the winter…That could be because I just started re-reading it today, so it’s on my mind.
Lucky, lucky, lucky Blair family! Can’t wait for the spring tour.

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51 Quinn March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Wow, Gabrielle! It’s absolutely breath-taking! What an incredible adventure your family is on right now! Amazing! Love the photos!!! I just sat here thinking, “I can’t believe they’re living in such a beautiful space!” How heavenly!

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52 Michelle Paulson March 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Love the Ooo-la-la adventure you are all on! And I especially love your observations from a design perspective. I am a public relations consultant working with a wonderful company in Connecticut who handcrafts period lighting (it’s the website I included in my submission) I’m mentioning this because several of your pix showed gorgeous lighting fixtures similar to the ones my Scofield clients make. Many of the designs are 17th and 18th C European inspired. In fact they just completed a project for the New York Botanical Gardens where they installed about 15 or so French Station Lanterns with this amazing gold leaf sea-shell flourish. Thought you might like to know. I am so impressed and inspired with what you are doing with your family. I am a mother of two elementary age boys and its all about creating experiences. Bravo to you!

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53 LLH Designs April 2, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Wow! I’m trying to picture six little people in this gorgeous and charming French home! Did the owners have any reservations about a large number of children? Though I’m guessing they aren’t as protective of their beauty as we are. After all, look how it’s stood the test of time!

Hppy weekend!
Linsey

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54 Caroline April 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

It’s GORGEOUS!!!!
Just what the movies are made of!

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55 Lisa June 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Wherein France are you, I’ve been to the Normandy region 6 times now- my partner is French, from Rouen – are u close ? I miss it soooo much!!

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56 Diane June 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I watched you on HGTV House Hunters International…love this wonderful home with all it’s special details…you are so blessed to have this amazing experience! Thank you for sharing it with us!

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57 Tracy Van Weelden April 7, 2012 at 6:10 am

You said that you only get to live there a year. What a shame. Is there any chance they will sell you this beautiful home?

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