This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Karen McCartney's Dreamy, Rustic French Farmhouse

Interiors

Sydney based Karen McCartney is sort of a LEGEND in the Australian interiors / publishing world. Best known for being the founding editor of Inside Out magazine, Karen has also authored seven amazing architecture and interiors books – the most recent of which we featured late last year.

Today we share Karen’s latest project – her own family holiday home in Duras, South-West France. This passion project has been a labour of love for Karen and her partner, stylist and writer David Harrison. A dream outpost for two of Australia’s most respected design aficionados!

15th February, 2019

The French home of designer Karen McCartney and partner David Harrison. Photo – Ian Wallace.

French rustic meets clean modern living. Photo – Ian Wallace.

A clean neutral palette. Photo – Ian Wallace.

The outdoor area is a perfect place for a G+T. Photo – Ian Wallace.

The interiors mix eras and styles in an understated fashion. Photo – Ian Wallace.

Small ceramic details in Karen’s French home. Photo – Ian Wallace.

Handmade details in the living room. Photo – Ian Wallace.

White daub walls and fresh French linen. Photo – Ian Wallace.

The house is set in a dreamy French garden. Photo – Ian Wallace.

French provincial, with a modern and personal twist. Photo – Ian Wallace.

After years of being in the family, Karen and David jumped at the opportunity to make this place their own. Photo – Ian Wallace.

Lucy Feagins
Friday 15th February 2019

‘The house is just outside the village of Duras, overlooking fields of sunflowers, and has the rusticity of a barn combined with a mix of vintage items and contemporary’ – Karen McCartney.

Author and editor Karen McCartney and her partner, writer and stylist David Harrison were presented with an appealing opportunity when a home that had long been in her family in South-West France was up for sale. Despite being based in Sydney, the Duras property was too good to pass by, and Karen explains ‘we put our hands up – refusing to see the distance as an obstacle.’

The house overlooks fields of sunflowers – basically a scene of Van Gogh paintings in their own backyard. Karen describes the aesthetic within as a ‘rustic barn’, combined with a mix of vintage items by designers Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, items scoured at the famous Parisian antique markets and Clignancourt, and a touch of home with lights from Angelucci in Melbourne. An antipodean flourish, in rural France!

Karen explains how she and David drew upon their previous design experiences to pursue a strategy here that avoided perfection. Rather, they mixed eras, materials and encouraged surprises to create a space that feels ‘authentic and comfortable.’

Favourite corners of the home include the terrace featuring geometric tiles by Popham as a space for an afternoon book and evening G+T. Prized possessions include the 1970s tile-topped Roger Capron coffee table, and 19th-century pewter vessel.

While the tyranny of distance prevents Karen and David from living full time in their French retreat, this does open the opportunity to share the space with guests. Karen explains ‘we are delighted to do this. We can only be there some of the time, so for other people who appreciate the same things as we do, is part of the reasons we are doing this.’ If you think you might appreciate this space – then this dreamy European getaway is yours for the booking!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Interiors

A Suitably Fashionable Home, From Two Brilliant Creatives

Interior designer/stylist extraordinaire Simone Haag revamps a Victorian Terrace in Armadale.
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

Getting The 'New French' Look

Our interiors columnist Lauren Li shows us how to channel a distinctly French sense of style at home.
Lauren Li

Interiors

The Trés Chic Paris Apartment Of Kenzo’s Design Director

Melbourne-based interior architect Pip McCully of Studio Wonder teams up with French architect Lauren Soler on this trés chic Paris apartme...

This Week

Architecture

A Contemporary Farmhouse In Suburban Melbourne!

MRTN Architects design a farmhouse suitable for suburbia in Melbourne's Fairfield!

Gardens

A Suburban Backyard Transformed Into A Lush Garden Retreat

Mud Office complements a modern Ivanhoe extension with this magnificent green retreat!
Sasha Gattermayr
  24 hours ago

Art

This Sculpture Collaboration Is A Match Made In Heaven!

Artist Kate Florence and sculptor Lucas Wearne of Neighbourhood Studio collaborate on a collection of hand-painted, one-off sculptures.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Home Purpose Built For A Woman And Her Cat!

A heritage cottage in Fitzroy North carefully restored and renovated by Atlas Architects.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Voluminous, Contemporary Home Behind A Modest Heritage Facade

A heritage weatherboard is extended and transformed by Tecture, future proofing this home for a family of six.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

An 'Upside Down' Family Home Floating Among The Treetops

A tired 1980s residence in Sydney has been transformed into a serene family home, at the hands of Nobbs Radford Architects.
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Major European Designer Furniture On Sale Right Now At DOMO!

Craving a home spruce? DOMO has got you covered with up to 70% off selected furniture + homewares collections.
Sponsored

Shopping

Krof Cutlery Brings The Elegance Of Fine Dining To Your Home

A design expert and restaurateur join forces to launch a sleek, high-quality Australian cutlery brand.
Sasha Gattermayr

Art

Paul Maher’s Paintings Dwell On The Fringes Of Urban Wilderness

The Newcastle artist paints calm, reflective scenes of life on the edge of human habitats, for his second solo exhibition at Saint Cloche.
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Fresh Courtyard Garden In Paddington With Californian Vibes

Garden Life update a tired inner-Sydney courtyard with a textured, elegant design that begs for a sunny afternoon Spritz!

News

A Free Virtual Art Fair Is Coming!

Melbourne Art Fair unveils a digital program of free exhibitions, studio tours + panel events!
Sponsored

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s 1930s South Yarra Home Is Up For Sale!

One of South Yarra’s tightly held 1930s homes has hit the market, featuring a masterful renovation by its interior designer owner.
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

Giveaway

Sounds Like Home - WIN The Ultimate Home Sound System From Sonos!

To get you through winter we’ve teamed up with Sonos, with a huge prize worth $2936 – Including Sonos' new premium new soundbar, Arc!

Homes

A Waterfront Home In Sydney That Defines 'Approachable Luxury'

The 1880s sandstone home of interior designer Linda Habek and family in Hunters Hill, faithfully extended by Campbell Architecture.

Times Like These

Times Like These... With TDF Editor-In-Chief Lucy Feagins

Our very own founder and editor shares some of the ups and downs of the last few months.

Similar Stories

Interiors

A Suitably Fashionable Home, From Two Brilliant Creatives

Interior designer/stylist extraordinaire Simone Haag revamps a Victorian Terrace.
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

Getting The 'New French' Look

Our interiors columnist Lauren Li shows us how to channel a distinctly French sense of style at home.
Lauren Li

Interiors

The Trés Chic Paris Apartment Of Kenzo’s Design Director

Melbourne-based interior architect Pip McCully of Studio Wonder teams up with French architect Lauren Soler on this trés chic Paris apartme...