SELLER: Catherine Deneuve
LOCATION: near Guainville, France
SIZE: about 13,000 square feet, 10 bedrooms, unknown bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Some of y’all may have already read on Luxuo or Habitually Chic or Domaine or Curbed that enigmatic French actress Catherine Deneuve hoisted her Directoire-style late 18th-century chateau near Guainville, about 75 kilometers west of Paris—that’s about 47 miles for all us metric system eschewing Americans—up for sale with an official prix of €3,990,000. (A quick consult with Your Mama’s handy-dandy currency conversion contraption shows that equals 5,506,400 U.S. dollars at today’s rates and 11,255.94 Bitcoins.)
Your Mama can’t resist having a go at Miz Devenuve’s chateau because this, buckeroos and pussy willows, this ain’t one of those frustratingly ubiquitous, crazy ass faux-chateaus we’re always dissin’ and discussin’ around here. Chateau de Primard is the real damn deal. This is how one does a French chateau, children, and some of those people in Beverly Park (and elsewhere) ought to take note.
Digital listings reveal the sublimey patinated chateau, about an hour from the Arc de Triomphe says one listing, was given a (probably insensitive) overhaul in the 1960s but has since “undergone significant restoration” of the chateau’s “original character.” Inside, the rooms appear generously proportioned without being vulgar and, although a bit dowdy here and there, we are certain Your Mama’s Euro-centric and eagle-eyed chum Adrienne The Greek would swoon dramatically for the original floor tiles and emphatically affirm the un-fussy day-core as “absolutely correct,” and/or “just as it should be.” What need, after all, does a cinema icon like Catherine Deneuve have to try to impress with, say, a perfectly calibrated multi-million dollar overhaul spearheaded by famously autocratic architect Thierry Despont or a quintessentially and chicly Frenchified decorative scheme by Jacque Grange? That’s right, none is the answer to that question.
Current digitally accessible marketing materials show the dignified and essentially symmetrical, four floor edifice sits on about 18 hectares—about 44 acres—up against the Eure river and contains a total of 1,200 square meters, somewhere right around 13,000 square feet. Ground floor living and reception spaces include a large sitting room, a sitting room-boudoir—whatever that is, a library, formal dining room, and a 50 square meter—about 540 square feet—kitchen.
On the second floor—more commonly known to Europeans (and others) as the first floor—encompasses a 700-ish square foot master suite, two more guest/family bedrooms with a shared bathroom, an additional guest suite, and an “annex bedroom, whatever that is.
There’s a second, approximately 700 square foot master suite on the third floor plus two children’s bedrooms, another guest suite, laundry facilities, and a “bathroom and a restroom,” whatever that means. Listing details also mention something called a “70 m2 sauna suite.” Your Mama’s just gonna assume that means a 750-ish square foot health and wellness suite complete with massage treatment space, fitness facilities, maybe a mani-pedi station and/or a built-in hair washing bowl, and, of course, a sauna. Tucked up into the eaves in the “Beautifully converted” attic there’s a “relaxation room,” whatever that is, and a “home cinema.”
The grounds, redesigned by celebrated landscape architect Jacques Witz, include sculpted hedges and trees, vast lawns, and stone terraces. Somewhere there’s some sort of farm component or petting zoo because listing photos include one of a group of farm animals, a couple of sheep, some goats, what looks like a miniature horse or pony, and a cute little big-eared ass. Next to the rectangular swimming pool that’s sunk simply into a hedge-girdled patch of lawn below the house is a colorful statue of Homer and Marge Simpson sitting on a sofa. Well, children, we’re not sure we can totally support that particular eccentricity but we live, hunties, for an unexpected and funny-freaky flash of any homeowner’s unfettered individuality on display in such a loud and proud way. Does that even make sense?
We have no idea what Miz Deneuve’s future real estate plans hold so let’s digress for a moment, shall we? One of Your Mama’s favorite and very probably not true stories about Miz Deneuve has nothing to do with real estate. Ages ago, back in the late 1900s, Your Mama and our charmingly loose cannon bestie Fiona Trambeau flew steerage to London to visit Fiona’s cousin—let’s call him Mister Crownfallsout, and his life-long man-friend who we’ll call him Freddy Fussbudget even though he really doesn’t figure much into the story.
After a thrilling week in London doing all the things one does in London and getting completely turned around on the Tube more times than we’d ever confess, Your Mama, Fiona and Mister Crownfallsout hopped on the Chunnel for a few days in Paris. It wasn’t our first time on the Chunnel, thank you very much, but it’s a feat of derring-do that never fails to impress this jaded property gossip.
Anyways, one cool February evening in Paris—it was cool and it was February—we haphazardly landed in a street-side cafe in the over-so-trendy Marais where we proceeded to tipple more than a few back. Mister Crownfallsout, a never ending fountain of arcane (and very probably not true) details about the lives of famous and not famous people, swore on his next door neighbor’s dog that Catherine Deneuve, already then a woman of a certain age, looked so damn good because she has gold filament running throughout her face. Whenever her this sags a little or her that gets to drooping she—or her physician or whomever—simply roots around in her hair until they locate the necessary filament and give it wee twist at its end. Voilá! Up go the fallen ramparts of Miz Deneuve’s face.
It’s horrible and probably enough to send a person to hell but, needless to say, we thought we’d died. Fiona spit up her escargot. She did! Who had ever heard of such a thing? Not us, at least. Of course we have no way of knowing if it’s true but the beauty of the thing is that as outrageous as it sounds it’s totally plausible in a Brazil sort of way.* Beauty—or “beauty” if you prefer—is such and ugly business, isn’t it? But anyways, there we go digressing into a booze-fueled nostalgia.
*If any of y’all didn’t understand that reference to the dystopian masterpiece Brazil, you’re probably young enough to be Your Mama’s grandbaby.
exterior listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty
interior listing photos: Winkworth
The Real Estalker