The Beachouse is managed by Jane, the Owner.
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 The Beachouse is fully booked
 from 18 July - 5 September 2015 

— Jane: “As William Morris said: ‘Have nothing in your house you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful!’”
Interview By:
— You are from the UK originally. How did you end up in the Medoc?
Jane: “You wouldn’t believe the story, but I was actually on holiday in the Dordogne with my 6-year-old son. He was bored so I phoned a friend in England and she said, ‘Just drive west, go to the beach.’ I stayed in a little hotel and started to ask around for a cheap little ruined holiday house. A little ruin for £11,000. It sounds mad, doesn’t it?

That is how we ended up here, it was completely unplanned. Then I suddenly thought, why do I want to go back to England? I might as well be doing work on this. I literally walked into the local mayory and said, ‘Look, I’ve got a son who has to start school.’ They brought in the headmaster from next door and he started the next day.”
— Bedrooms
— What have you been doing before? Are you coming from a creative area?
Jane: “Yes, very much so. I come from a family of artists and I have renovated houses for twenty five years including two Georgian houses in Covent Garden, which were complete slums. That is really how I supported my children. Before that I used to be an antique dealer. I’m passionate about that, so it seemed a logical progression. I just love property and decoration, so I hope my clients will enjoy them too.

As a spin-off quite unexpectedly Paul Getty Images found me and rented the Beachouse to photograph images of the Medoc and this year a Swedish company stayed here to shoot 13 half hour cooking programs with celebrity cook Leila. The also photographed the Beachouse for her new cookery book ‘Cupcakes’. It was a wonderful new experience for me and I learnt a lot about continuity and dressing the house for films and TV.”
— Veranda
— What is the history of the beach house?
Jane: “The beach house has got quite an interesting history. It is a huge wooden house, and there is not really anything you can do to change it, thank goodness. I thought it was just a 1930’s rich Bordeaux person who built it here at the seaside. But lo and behold!

This year I was scrubbing some floor boards, trying to make those better and we saw in English “Keep Out” in that kind of militia writing. There are boot marks, which I had been trying to scrub or sand out, and there were some places where they must have thrown the cigarettes. We suddenly realized this must have been some sort of office room during the war.

When I asked around a bit, they said it was built by the Americans in the war. I am still researching it a bit. There is one 90-year-old man who knows about it and I will have to talk to him to find out more.”

— How would you describe the furniture at the beach house?
Jane: “Well, most of it is 18th to early 19th century furniture with some decorative bits I liked and just fitted in really well. I just bought things that I thought would suit the house. I have always done that because I don’t really like new stuff and am in the habit of buying and selling. I have learnt that it is much better to have antique things because you can always sell them.

And I do combine quite a bit, you know, especially in the kitchen. I hate fitted kitchens. Unfortunately, I have got one at the big stone house, but that was there already.”
— Blue bedroom
— Are you happy with the result?
Jane: “Sometimes I think, ‘Oh, is my sort of shabby-chic style going to cut the mustard?’ But after two or three years, I’ve just had the most wonderful creative clients that deliberately choose the houses because of the way they look. So that shows that people love my style and eventually you get the clients you want. I think that is true of everybody.

I do get a lot of people who say, ‘I prefer to go on holiday somewhere where I find it attractive, rather like it is at home.’ I think in all those 10 years, I have only had a couple of clients that completely freaked out because they found a spider’s web or a mouse or something. But now I have slightly altered my copy... well, I think I’ve even put, ‘if a spider is going to ruin your holiday, this isn’t the house for you’.”
— Beach house veranda
— What feedback do you get from your guests?
Jane: “I get a lot that say, ‘Wonderful house!’ The dressing up is also a big success with the kids… I’ve got a lot of children, so I have many dresses. They send me photographs of their children ‘All my sons are cross-dressing now...’ (laughs)

I’m trying to think what most touches me... They just send photographs and tell you what a fabulous time they had. And that is very fulfilling. A lot of them say, ‘Oh, we really hope to be back. We had such a wonderful day yesterday. We had dinner and did a tour of the chateau. We just had a lovely day and it really worked out well.’ That sort of thing…”

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