Blog by Beebe Cline

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Charming, Bright Country Home in France

It was the barn that sealed the deal for Alon and Betsy Kasha. When the Parisian couple was searching for a family retreat in Normandy, France, they fell in love with a home that was part of an old village rectory — the gardener's house and the attached barn. Although the barn was in poor shape, they were drawn to its high ceilings and exposed rafters. As the owners of a + b kasha designs, they had plenty of experience renovating turnkey apartments in Paris and couldn't wait to try their hand at a country home of their own. 

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Alon and Betsy Kasha
Location: Eure Valley in Normandy, France
Size: 2,500 square feet
That's interesting: When the Kashas first purchased this house, the barn still had its original dirt floors and mud walls.
Most of the exterior of the house was preserved in its original style, with the gardener's house and the barn still connected. The barn now holds a family room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The living room is on the ground floor of what was once the gardener's residence. Two antique Le Corbusier leather chairs and a 1930s leather and metal club chair create a casual seating arrangement around a zinc-topped coffee table. A French artist made the floor lamp with recycled materials.
The exposed ceiling beams in the gardener's house and the barn are some of the Kashas' favorite features. Although some original details were maintained, the couple changed both structures' layouts to reflect a more modern lifestyle. They removed several walls to open up and connect the kitchen, dining and living room into a single great room. 

Light fixture: made of silicon chip boards by a French designer
The family wanted a practical and organized kitchen that would reflect their casual lifestyle. Simple white lacquered cabinetry is easy to wipe clean, and a butcher block countertop adds a rustic counterpoint. Open shelving houses serveware and dishes, and upper cabinetry stores food.

Dining chairs: 1960sItalian leather and chrome; table: Mario Bellini for Cassina
The couple chose their light palette for the walls and trim from Farrow & Ball. The different white shades draw attention to the home's clean lines and play with the natural light that floods the south-facing home. 

Wall paint: Wimborne White, Skimming Stoneand Elephant's Breath, Farrow & Ball
The family used a lot of existing furniture from their previous home, but in different rooms and different ways. A walnut commode, used for food storage in their old kitchen, now holds games and puzzles in the family room. 

Desk: custom; sofa: Habitat
The all-white walls create a relaxing and serene atmosphere, much like the surrounding village. There aren't many windows in the upstairs portions of the house, but the white hallways pull the light from one side of the home to the other.
A guest bedroom on the ground floor of the barn looks onto one of the home's many gardens. Embroidered bedding from Paris mimics the engravings on an antique light fixture.
Alon and Betsy chose their master bedroom based on its unique architectural details. "Its pitched ceiling with beautiful old beams creates a tranquil and calming space," Betsy says. The table holding a portion of their book collection is an antique Chinese daybed. The couple cut the legs down and used it as a coffee table in their first house.
A daybed in another bedroom takes advantage of a cozy nook created by the home's sloping rafters. Youthful pillows contrast with a more traditional rug — a perfect example of the couple's signature style. 

Bedding and pillows: Le Bon Marche; light: Ikea; daybed: Habitat
This bedroom is one of the only rooms in the house with a nonneutral color. 

Wall paint: Borrowed Light, Farrow & Ball; rug: Saint Maclou; bedding: Caravane
The house's gardens and yard were a huge draw for the Kashas. Although much of the property was wild and overgrown when they first purchased it, they tamed it into a large outdoor space they can enjoy nearly year-round.