Last month when we visited the Chateau de Candé one of the things that impressed us was it's "live-able" feel. The rooms were of a size you could imagine using and given it isn't too enormous you could envisage living there -- if you had won a lottery jackpot and so had the squillions needed for the upkeep of course!
|One of 8 bathrooms: green mosaic above moving to a blue palette below|
Much of this "live-able" feel has to do with the renovations and refurbishments undertaken by the couple who bought it in the 1920's, the French-American Bedauxs. Charles Bedaux undertook a series of modernisations, installing central heating, a telephone, a gym/fitness room and bathrooms for each of the 8 bedrooms. His wife Fern's is the most spectacular.
|Fern Bedaux's ballroom sized bathroom|
|Black marble sink unit in Fern Bedaux's bathroom, fireplace on the right|
The bathrooms don't just have beautiful Art-Deco style interiors; they also have, for the time, state of the art fixtures and fittings which were imported from Canada, including heated towel rails. The system installed for filling and emptying the bath tubs came from the USA and each bath can be filled or emptied in 30 seconds - to our minds an impressive feat, even now!
All the bathrooms are tiled with mosaic glass tiles in a fantastic range of blues or greens, as you can see in the two photos above. They are beautiful and were made locally by a company in Tours [Novello]. One can imagine that guests, even those at the top of the social tree and used to every luxury, would have been fairly impressed! We certainly were some 90 years later!
|Another guest bedroom's bathroom, heated towel rail on the left|
With thanks to our friend JEH for most of these super photos.
These bathrooms are worth comparing with the contemporary and super elegant affairs at Upton House (Lady Bearsted's oriental and aluminium leaf confection) and Eltham Palace (Virginia Courtauld's gold leaf covered wonder). On first appearances, Fern Bedaux's bathroom seems less luxurious, and it is in terms of glitter. But it would be interesting to know how functional the first two examples are. The Bedaux bathrooms, true to Charles' background as a time and motion consultant, are super efficient and modern technology. The glamour is there, but it is secondary to functionality, and that is what makes this place special.
As an aside, I was discussing this with a friend who is a curator at the National Trust and an expert in orientalism. He made me realise that all these places show a taste for the oriental. The more you look at Candé the more you see -- it isn't just Charles' opium den bed and the lacquered suitcases, but quite a lot of the furniture has an oriental slant. Much of the rest is an homage to the 18thC, a mix that is typical of these interbellum interiors.
And by the way, not just a telephone, but 60 (one for every room), plus an exchange in the basement. It was the first private house in France where you could make a direct call (as opposed to being on a party line and going through a central exchange in the nearest town).
Love those tiles. And loved the colours of the rooms....made them feel very lived in.
30 seconds? It's ten minutes here and that's on a good day.
The mosaics are really beautiful. The work that has gone into that.
Oh my goodness! Beautiful... And not a plastic bathtub in sight!
Love the mosaics and the colours, but possibly not all together!
Want those mosaics...
really want those mosaics....
all of them.
Last but one pic is the one that did it....
Make mental note....
visit Chateau de Candé...
but can I get enough tiles off the wall for ours?
@ ALL - apologies for not responding as we normally do to each of you but we've had some computer issues this week...
... happily they are now solved :-)
@ Susan - knew it was the 1st place to have a direct line but hadn't realised that there has a phone in every room. Impressive!
@Vera - it's the colors that do it for me too. I'm always a sucker for blues/greens.
@ Rusty - we were amazed we found out. It may be 2014 but our bath doesn't fill that fast and the tubs at Candé aren't shallow little ones either!
@ Broad - no they are 'proper' deep tubs.
@ Gaynor - oh I don't know .... if someone created a bathroom like that for me I wouldn't complain ;-)
@ Tim - it really is a lovely and fun place to visit. Do go!
Am again able to comment....Google thought I had stolen my own laptop while I was in Spain.
I like the style...sparse but beautiful, while the tiles are just magnificent.
I shall be showing these photographs to Leo with the new house in mind ...but who am I kidding!
Gosh, they are gorgeous, more ballroom than bathroom in glamour as well as size. :) I too love the mosaics.
N & A,
We drove from Thenay to Monts to especially see this unique Chateau. We drove up the tree lined road to be faced with closed gates. They had closed for the season. Bugga!!!!
@Leon - so sorry to hear you missed out.
@Fly - They are simply to die for and I just want to steal them :-)
@Perpetua - you could hold a decent sized party in Fern's!
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