My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

Mid-March in Mazamet. Sold, sold, and please don’t sell that!

It seems we’ve arrived at the hot-cakes stage of the market. The Reynes house sold for asking price, approximately one million US$. I don’t know who bought it.

The park house (below), Villa Brenac-Vidal, was apparently sold to Canadians. It’s similar to the Reynes house but substantially larger. I’m very glad that house was taken because some places benefit from having a new set of eyes on them to take them to their full potential.

I don’t know if they decided they want it or not, but I know a couple who liked the Molinié Villa. The big Montagne Noire complex which we know well also sold. And speaking of sales, I’ve just seen a fabulous chandelier go up for sale here in town:

I restrained myself from emailing the owner to say DON’T DO IT!!! It looks to me like it was made for the space. Pieces of those proportions were often specifically commissioned by architects/designers for the rooms they were put in. Carefully measured, carefully thought through, and designed to be an integral part of the architecture. Removing a chandelier is like taking down panelling, destroying a fireplace or hacking into a parquet floor. I know it’s tempting to modernise sometimes, and other times we don’t have a choice. Bathrooms and kitchens, for example, often need work that’s unavoidable. Chandeliers on the other hand, you can just add appropriate led bulbs, little shades if you want a more modern or colourful look, and leave it in place. The future custodians of your period home will be eternally grateful. Trust me!

32 comments on “Mid-March in Mazamet. Sold, sold, and please don’t sell that!

  1. clubschadenfreude
    March 16, 2022

    lovely chandelier. The pointy bitts at the top intrigue me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2022

      I’ve seen similar contraptions to stop pigeons on windowsills, but I imagine this is just decorative 😀

      Like

      • clubschadenfreude
        March 16, 2022

        now I have this mental image of pigeons on a chandelier. Actually a bunch of lovebirds would be so colorful and cute!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Ruis
    March 16, 2022

    Gosh, a million dollars US will get you a fixer-upper in Southern California. I assume some “fixing-upping” will need to be done on these new purchases, but then the owners will have a fracking mansion, instead of a Southern California ranch house.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2022

      Or, for that matter, a tiny apartment in Paris 🙂 In matters of value for money, rural France is very hard to beat.

      Like

  3. Bizzy
    March 16, 2022

    Wow. Your neighborhood is so much farther upscale than mine. Houses like mine, so already not as nice as yours, are scattered all over. We have chateaux large and small, again scattered around, but a whole subdivision of gorgeous houses, no, we don’t have that. But of course Vendee was and is agricultural. Was Mazamet a trading center?

    On one hand I agree with you on the chandelier. If something like that had come with my house, I would have kept it. But all that was gone when I got here. I think everything was gone when the previous owners bought it. The seller told me stories of ivy growing through broken windows, that kind of thing. And honestly, I was a bit relieved. I love the rosettes and was happy to insist that we save those. And the original owner was from Paris, so maybe the chandeliers would have, too, and would have been gorgeous. But you never know.

    Chandeliers need a lot of space to look right; that’s one reason they often work well in lofts. It’s hard to say, without being in the room, whether the one in your photo has enough breathing room. Beaux Arts-trained architects followed rules about proportions, so it’s probably right. But still, I’d like to see it in the space.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2022

      I think there’s nothing quite like Mazamet in all of France. It combined being small, somewhat isolated, but also exceptionally successful in industry. It was the world capital of fellmongery for quite a while, and with that there was huge trade in leather, hides, wool and secondary products from those items. This was amazing for local architecture. We could draw the parallel with the gilded age and Rhode Island, albeit on an obviously smaller scale. There were probably 15 to 20 extremely successful families in town and that was enough to create a feel that sets the place apart 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bizzy
        March 17, 2022

        Lucky you, to have found it. Had I known, I might well have bought there, rather than here. Too late now and besides, I’m pretty happy here, but I do love your pictures of that neighborhood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 18, 2022

        Each corner of France has its charms. Your end is much more practical for access to Paris, Bordeaux or the Loire. That adds a hefty premium to prices.

        Like

  4. Kris
    March 16, 2022

    Chandelier is gorgeous! It’s so easy to get bored by certain pieces in our own homes (esp lighting). But seeing it in someone else’s home it seems so perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2022

      I love it, and fell in love immediately with the unashamed extravagance. But of course, our rooms aren’t very big, so something that size would be too much. The biggest we have is in our dining room.

      Like

  5. Diana MacPherson
    March 16, 2022

    1 million US sounds like a steal for a house like that. You get crappy homes here for that. 9000 sq ft houses go for around $600,000 Cdn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diana MacPherson
      March 16, 2022

      And I mean 900 sq ft. I always have issues with decimals. I know what I mean but type or say the larger or smaller number.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2022

      Considering the condition, it really is. It was ideal if someone just wanted to move in and do no work at all. On the other hand I think the most recent average sale price per square metre is around 1750€ and that first house sold for around 3000 p/metre. Of course you have to adapt the formula to consider pool/garden/architectural features. So I think if the Canadians (picture 2) are willing to put in the work, they’ll come out of it with even better value for money.

      Like

      • Diana MacPherson
        March 16, 2022

        Yes as long as you have put aside the money. Houses like that require the work to put into them but I’m sure if someone has taken the time to look at houses they know what they are doing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 16, 2022

        You couldn’t be more right! That’ the problem I see most often with these places. People who extend themselves to buy the house and then there’s too little left to do the restoration. That was the problem with the Molinie Villa I visited recently. Astoundingly, the owners only restored one room, the living room.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen Devries
    March 16, 2022

    When we bought the last house in France the contents were being sold at auction. We were only allowed a brief tour the day before and noted the chandeliers in the three main rooms on the ground floor. On the day there was no catalogue…perish the thought…and no chandeliers! We tracked down two of them but the other went to the local senator who was not parting with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2022

      The French sense of Napoleonic laws of division is in direct competition with the sense of preservation and conservation.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Devries
    March 16, 2022

    It, I mean!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. acflory
    March 16, 2022

    I know you and Mike discovered Mazamet before prices began to sky-rocket, but what’s actually caused the prices to jump so much? I would have thought that with the pandemic, sales and prices would have stagnated or gone backwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 16, 2022

      Me, obviously!

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        March 17, 2022

        lmao – how silly of me to forget. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 17, 2022

        Historically, the gays find all the best places. San Francisco, Chueca, the Costa del Sol, the Village — and after we do the work finding it, everyone else comes flooding in.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        March 17, 2022

        lol – that’s very true. Is it just because you have good taste or is some other factor also involved?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 17, 2022

        There are many factors involved but I think good value is one of the more important angles. Also, many of the gay people I’ve known have a special sensibility when it comes to finding beauty and bringing out the best in things. I guess it’s a skill many of us had to develop to survive in a world that was often hostile.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        March 17, 2022

        That does make sense. You’re creating your own world in a way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        March 17, 2022

        In the past we didn’t have a choice. We had to get away from home, form our own communities and so it happened organically.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        March 17, 2022

        As an outsider looking in, I never thought of it in those terms, and yet, of course that’s what happened. Sometimes I feel very sheltered and middle class. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  9. C
    March 26, 2022

    I can’t believe they’re selling that chandelier! I wonder if the proportions would work in the grand salon in Villa E – it would be nice to keep it in Mazamet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      March 26, 2022

      I’m fairly certain it’s from that huge house facing the park, the one covered in ivy. It would definitely work in your room, but in a really very, very grand way. It depends on the look you’re going for. I’m all for grand myself 😀

      Like

      • C
        March 29, 2022

        100% here for grand. I’ve saved the link, just in case.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Judi Castille
    April 27, 2022

    That has to stay. Beautiful piece.

    Like

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This entry was posted on March 16, 2022 by in art, design, Mazamet and tagged , , , , , , .
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