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A LOIRE VALLEY FIXER-UPPER

La Socelière, a 17th-century chateau in the Loire Valley, is 9,000 square feet and is home to nearly 20 acres of forest, gardens and pasture. In the summer, four generations of the Laviani family call it home.

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The main dining room seen from the front of the castle, with a view of the park beyond through the windows. The old wooden cachepot to the left of the door once held boxwood saplings.

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The Lavianis’ goal in restoring the chateau, was to “give dignity back to the house without overdoing it,” said Mr. Laviani.

“When we crossed the threshold of the property the first time, we were catalyzed by the beauty and proportions of the house — she was beautiful, perfect,” he said.

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The main living room is furnished with a 1940s Italian rococo sofa and armchairs, upholstered in their original purple velvet, and an 18th-century French Savonnerie wool rug. A 19th-century crystal chandelier hangs above.

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In the living room, a Louis XVI console sits under a gilded mirror.

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The chateau is filled with antiques the family has collected over the years.

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The breakfast room on the ground floor has a Carrara marble mantelpiece. Italian XIX Empire mahogany gondola chairs upholstered in striped silk surround an English-style walnut table. The chandelier is 19th century.

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The stainless steel hood is from Alpes Inox, an Italian company that makes kitchen fixtures.

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The main thing was to make it ours as much as possible, to feel at ease, as if it was something that had always belonged to us,” Mr. Laviani said of restoring the chateau.

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An antler chair sits on a staircase landing. The rough stone wall that frames it is painted white and the window frame is covered in pale butter lacquer.

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To the left of the bust that sits at the foot of the main staircase is a small, white-painted door. It leads to a guest bathroom. The floor is white Loire Valley stone and black slate.

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The humble is mixed with the high-end, and “the layering creates an intimate place,” Mr. Laviani said. “If we had furnished the house in a ‘style,’ the result would be fake and showy.”

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A bathroom, one of the modern amenities that make life in a 17th-century chateau more comfortable.

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Furnishings throughout the chateau are a mix of Italian and French antiques and a few 20th-century sofas and chairs.

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Ferruccio Laviani, Giuseppe’s son, oversaw the project working with various family members who agreed on what needed to be done. He is known for designing the 2003 Bourgie lamp, among other things.

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The ram on the far right is Lambert, who was adopted by the Laviani family from an organization that rescues abused animals. He is as sweet and affectionate as a dog, Mr. Laviani said.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013/08/22/greathomesanddestinations/20130822-LOCATION.html#9

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