Inside the Revival of a Forgotten 18th-Century French Château
August 24, 2015 - To be the keepers of a grand French château is a thing of dreams, though few will truly live it, and even fewer have the vision and wherewithal to toil to make this dream a reality. Enter Karina and Craig Waters, an Australian couple who in 2013 purchased what amounted to an eightenth-century neoclassical ruin—albeit a Class 1 Historical Monument ruin—in the village of Château-Verdun in the South of France.
Uncovering Long-Forgotten Treasures in an 18th-Century French Château
September 29, 2015 - In the following years, floors have been rebuilt, walls replastered, and recently the ancient plumbing was repaired to prepare the Château for the impending winter. All the while Karina has been living on the property, documenting it all and sharing the progress with Vogue.com. Herewith, the latest dispatch from Château de Gudanes.
Hand Painted Wallpaper and Forgotten Postcards: New Finds in an 18th Century Château
November 5, 2015 - And the magic of the 12-acre Château grounds can be rivaled only by the Château itself. When Waters and her husband, Craig, first purchased the property, there were holes in the roof, the floors in several rooms had collapsed, and green mold covered the walls “like wallpaper.”
New Discoveries and Roaring Fires: Inside the Renovation of an 18th-Century French Château
December 15, 2016 - Just as each season takes its turn, the Château now prepares to fall into winter. Everyone is puffed up in woollens and jackets, nudging indoors, except for the forest ravens silently perched on long, leafless branches. Only the sound of church bells can be heard echoing on each and every hour, and the village talk is that it will be a long, cold winter.
Christmas Trees and Thousands of Lights: Preparing for Noel at an 18th-Century French Château
December 22, 2016 - The holiday season began with the merry of making the Château Advent calendar, and with the opening of our Christmas Château boutique. Each parcel was wrapped with love and care, and in the spirit of giving, in support of the Château, these little treasures found their way to homes all around the world.
Freezing Rooms and Secret Gardens: Inside the Renovation of an 18th-Century French Château
January 26, 2016 - While looking for a “small secondary home” that “required minimal work,” Karina Waters and her husband, Craig, promptly fell in love with, and purchased, Château de Gudanes, an 18th-century French estate in dire need of repair. Since then, the couple have undertaken a complete renovation and restoration of the property.
Hidden Murals and Stunning Fireplaces: Inside the Renovation of an 18th-Century French Château
April 5, 2016 - It’s these moments that have attracted the attention of restoration and conservation experts from around the world, including two who traveled from Paris to join Karina on site. They were able to inform her that what looked like a fountain would have actually been used to keep cool drinks—“I’m thinking champagne!” she muses—and ice cream chilled on hot Pyrenean summer days.
Louis XIV Decor and Spring Roses: Inside the Restoration of an 18th-Century French Château
June 13, 2016 - “In the cycle of seasons, spring takes its turn,” writes Karina Waters, the owner of the Château de Gudanes, an 18th-century property in the South of France her family has been thoughtfully restoring since 2013. She continues: “The Château gardens have sprung into all variegations of green, and spring flowers bloom reminding us they are precious moments of the present.”
A Summer Spent Restoring A Forgotten 18th-Century French Château
September 13, 2016 - I first met the Château in summer. Remembering that first day we met, there was a sense of romantic enchantment from the great charm of a Château—one could easily believe that they had been transported to an old manor straight out of a Jane Austen novel. She stood imposing and rectangular 100 yards behind grand iron gates, on a remote site filled with birdsong echoing from its thick woods, and surrounded by mountains arising in all directions.
In 2013, the Australian couple Karina and Craig Waters bought an abandoned castle in the French Pyrenees. They dreamed of restoring and renovating an estate in poor condition but they struggled to find something in the right conditions and with great potential.
When signing up to one of the inspiring workshops at Château de Gudanes, located at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, you’ll not only sleep in a fairytale castle, you’ll also help to rewrite the story of this magical place by lending a hand in its ongoing restoration.
No. One can merely be its “keeper”; an apt turn of phrase that can be credited to Virginia Van Zanten in her Vogue article accounting the renovation of the Chateau de Gudanes, located in the southern French village of Chateau-Verdun.
There’s also a part of me that was holding off on writing about my trip to the Chateau because writing about it meant that it was really, truly over and I wouldn’t miraculously wake up back in the Chateau tomorrow morning. And I so want to wake up in that chateau tomorrow morning. Because here’s the thing. That place is magical.
Ever dreamed of renovating a French chateau? Australians Craig and Karina Waters admittedly hadn’t, but the couple have spent the past four years in the beautiful Midi-Pyrenees in the South of France working on this fairytale project...
I divide my life into BC and AC; before château, after château. BC I was a tax accountant. I’d worked for a firm in Perth, Australia, for 20 years, then taken time off to look after the children. I guess my life was comfortably played out...
Dating from the reign of Louis XIV, the Château de Gudanes, a Class 1 Historic Monument, was discovered in crumbling disrepair in 2013 by an Australian couple, Craig and Karina Waters, who fell in love with the property and began a painstaking revitalization...
In 2013, when the Waters family purchased the 18th-century Château de Gudanes in the French Pyrenees, the roof had collapsed in several places, a bat colony had taken up residence under the eaves, and trees were growing indoors...
When an Australian couple found this French chateau on the internet, they fell in love. The Chateau de Gudanes had been on the market for four years when Karina and Craig Waters saw it listed for sale...
This chateau was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the same architect who designed Marie Antoinette's personal mini-chateau, the Petit Trianon, and parts of Place de la Concorde in Paris. Beautiful, right?
La montagne. Les Pyrénées ariégeoises, partout où le regard se pose, reines d’un exceptionnel panoramique à 380°. Le point de vue saisit Karina et Craig Waters, accompagnés de leurs deux enfants Jasmine et Ben, quand ils passent les grilles du château de Gudanes ce beau jour de 2011...
Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and many families will spend a few hours doing minor fix-ups on their homes to spruce them up for the summer months. Karina and Craig Waters, meanwhile, will spend theirs continuing the renovation of a breathtaking château in rural France...
The story starts like this: Karina and Craig Waters were toying with the thought of buying a rural farmhouse in the the South of France. After years of casually searching, they came across an 18th-century abandoned château for sale online that was the deal of a lifetime. But, there was a catch!
It takes a certain type of bravery to purchase a fixer-up, and Karina and Craig Waters have lots of it. The Australian couple's 2013 purchase isn't your average home improvement job -- it's a study in reconstruction, rural living and Europe's 18th-century religious wars.