the story behind the home that
will be YourS for 10 days!
How it all started
In 1936, Dr. Canivenq hired a well-established architect from Rodez to design his house that got built over the years 1936 and 1937. Dr. Canivenq was the first medical doctor to practice medicine in the quite large area coming the end of the First World War. Although he had a medical practice at home too, he was often seen riding his horse—later on in his car—to attend patients in remote hamlets and farms. He passed in the mid-60s but lots of (older) folks still remember him as an excellent doctor and a local notable figure.
His wife and my grand father were brother and sister.
Dr. Canivenq's daughter, Henriette—their only daughter left after their oldest daughter died of meningitis at 18—was single and never got any children.
When I, Véronique, was only a couple months old, there was a bad children sickness outbreak in the south of Aveyron where my parents and siblings were living. So, it was decided I would be taken care of by Henriette for a few months. It turned out I stayed over 5 years under Henriette's care!
After these founding years, I would come back every single holiday to see and spend time with Henriette. In the 90s, although I had close biological parents Henriette decided to legally adopt me to make sure I would inherit the house.
In 2007, Henriette passed in her 94th year.
As Henriette died I felt a lot of pain and confusion.
However she left me a superb old house. So, after some reflection I thought, “Why not restore this exquisite house and share it with others, that way I can enjoy and visit my old home too.”
So, the first private tours started in 2011...
The house itself
Considered by locals the most beautiful house in the village back then, my goal was to bring its splendour back.
It took over a couple years of refurbishment. A few key features of the original art-déco style home were kept.
Typical of these years are the very large room volumes, high ceilings and lots of natural light. We tried to keep as much as possible these along the renovation process.
Were kept all the original outside walls, the roof, the two fireplaces, as well as the central wooden staircase and some inside decorative elements such as furniture and all of Henriette's drawings. When I emptied the house I discovered she had this hobby before I was born although never talked about it. I found dozens of her drawings tucked away in a piece of furniture.
Everything else in the house has been refurbished to the highest standards with the help of the best local artisans.
There's even a separate room just for a jacuzzi for two people.
The house is entirely all above ground. It has three stories as well as another level—the lower level containing mechanical rooms and garage. This lower level can't be seen from the street but the garden side.