A Renovation Breathes New Life Into a Thatched Cottage in Brittany

A Renovation Breathes New Life Into a Thatched Cottage in Brittany

By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
A thatched cottage on the French coastline gets a second chance with a stunning renovation that blends past and present.

Paris-based studio Le LAD was recently tasked with renovating an 18th-century thatched cottage set in a nature reserve near Saint-Malo, France. Although the cottage had suffered years of neglect, its thatched roof and stone exterior were in relatively good condition and required only a few updates. French interior architect Guillaume Terver led the project, and he decided to maintain the thatched roof in order to preserve the home's traditional identity—a theme that ran throughout the entire project. 

Le LAD intentionally designed the asymmetric windows on this gable wall to give the impression that they've been added over time.

Terver played with volume, texture, and muted tones to refresh the interiors. The bright and airy, multi-layered, open plan features designated zones for cooking, dining, and relaxing. The thoughtful renovation also provides ample, discrete storage to maximize the space. 

Terver added several new windows—including a large bay window with bench seating in the kitchen. Inspired by medieval windows, the design brings natural light into the kitchen while framing the bucolic view. Terver blended elements of both the past and the present to create a light-filled modern home that respects the context of its original vernacular design.

The kitchen is located just a step down from the living space. 

Kitchen storage is hidden away behind wooden doors that run the length of the space. The step down provides additional seating. 

Shop the Look
Fritz Hansen Ant Chair
Arne Jacobsen helped shape design history when he accommodated three different bends in one piece of plywood, simply by narrowing the center. The resulting Ant Chair (1952) has a back with a gentle give and comfortable curved seat.
Acacia Wood Top Canister
Practical and elegant, this glass food storage canister is outfitted with a rustic acacia wood top.
West Elm Anderson Solid Wood Expandable Dining Table - Caramel
Designed to suit any style, the Anderson Dining Table's exaggerated, angular legs add a modern edge to its clean-lined form. We love how the rich grain of the acacia wood comes through the finish. Plus, its expandable design seats up to 10, meaning making room for extra guests is no problem.

The dining area features a limited-edition lamp from Habitat. 

The large bay window provides natural light and additional bench seating. It was inspired by a study of medieval windows.

Wood slats divide the space while providing additional storage. 

The light-filled shelving. 

The row of storage continues into the living area. The sofa and ceramic coffee table are both from French designer Christophe Delcourt. The gray wall lamp is from Le Corbusier and the paper lantern is by Isamu Noguchi. 

Le LAD whitewashed and preserved this stone wall to serve as a reminder of the building’s heritage. 

The renovation sacrificed some of the upstairs floor space to a create a mezzanine. 

An upstairs bedroom nook. The wood slats help visually integrate the space with the lower level. 

The facade of the cottage beautifully blends both past and present. 

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Le Lad / @guillaumeterverarchitecture

Interior Design, Cabinetry: Guillaume Terver, LeLad


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