Hi, we’re John & Anne – the proud owners/operators of The Barn at Vijon. We arrived in France in 2005 and for many years ran a successful Chambres d’hotes business “Chez Thomson” in the Creuse. In 2012 we moved to Vijon and started to renovate our house – originally the old butchers shop in the village.
Once we had made our house comfortable we turned our attention to “The Barn” and after 2 years of intense renovations we opened our doors in July 2015. Since then we have been pleased to welcome hundreds of guests from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A. and Canada as well as from all around Europe.
Everybody looks forward to their hard-earned holiday and we appreciate that. We are always available to make sure our guests get the most from their stay but we are also respectful of their privacy – we want everyone to experience their own “Serenity for the Soul”
Please, have a look below and let the slideshow take you through our renovation story.
We hope you like what you have seen and we would love to welcome you to The Barn at Vijon soon.
Moving from our Chambres d’hotes (Chez Thomson) in the Creuse we arrived in Vijon in March 2012. The house had been the butchers shop in the village but closed many years ago. Although some renovations had taken place we had a big job to do when we arrived. Some people must have wondered why on earth we bought the place but the setting, the views and the potential sold it to us and with Anne’s vision we knew that we could make it our home.
First, wearing our hard hats, we attacked the house with lump hammers bringing down walls and chimney’s, we laid new floors and fully renovated and decorated. In the garden we spread over 20 tonnes of gravel in the courtyard and pathways, we knocked down various lean-to’s, cleared the garden and added planting, lawns and a vegetable plot.
By the summer of 2014 we had “done” the house and decided to start on the barn. Up until then it had merely been a useful place for storage and we had never really looked further than the ground floor.
After beginning to re-point the barn on the outside to “tidy it up” we decided that we would approach the Mayor of Vijon with our plan to open the the barn as a Gite.
We needed to draw up plans for our design and to approach the local authorities for approval. Once they were approved we needed to source a suitable Fosse system and arrange all the necessary groundworks. A new roof was desperately required and we had to create openings in the walls for the locally sourced oak-framed doors and windows. New floors were required on all levels and we would have to construct the gallery, the bedrooms, the bathroom and the kitchen. A full plumbing and electrical installation had to be planned and implemented to coincide with the installation of the fosse.
Using a local artisan for the major building and electrical work the rest was achieved with the help of a good friend and many, many hours of hard work. While all the work was continuing in the barn, Anne set about creating a garden where there had been nothing and, in the months leading up to our opening, had to arrange all the planting to cover the areas where diggers, cranes and trucks had been coming in – it was a huge task.
We finished the final decoration 1 day before we welcomed our first guests who arrived in the July of 2015.