Some years ago Michael Chauvistré,a German filmaker, was a frequent visitor of Russia’s first Ikea store. The director of “To Moscow with IKEA,” a documentary, Mochael Chauvistré spent months following the launch of the Swedish furniture store in the Russian capital.
But since inheriting his German farmhouse seven years ago, he has been relieved of both personal and professional trips to IKEA: The 200-year-old house came stuffed with family heirlooms and wood-burning stoves, which warm the rooms and even heat the kettle.
Michael. Chauvistré lives in the house in northwest Germany with his wife Miriam Chauvistré, a filmmaker from Italy, and their children, Giulia, 13, and Angelo, 11.
The house was originally part of a larger farm complex owned by the family of Michael Chauvistré’s mother, the Vonderbanks, going back several generations. They rented it to local farmers and used it as a weekend getaway and, when necessary, to escape wartime bombs. (His father’s family, the Chauvistrés, arrived during an earlier war with Napoleon.)
In 1983, the elder Mrs. Chauvistré sold the farm’s cottages and stables and, in 1984, moved into the main house, which measures 230 square meters (2,475 square feet).
Michael Chauvistré began renovations in 1984, including the conversion of a stable into a kitchen. “I don’t think the farmer kept animals in here while he lived here. But there is evidence that there were animals here at some point,” said Michael Chauvistré, presenting a bucket full of animal bones he dug up during renovations.
The animals are long gone, and the spacious kitchen is now filled with antique equipment including an old butcher’s block, a manual bread-cutting machine and an iron stove, used from time to time by Mrs. Chauvistré. The family bought the stove and butcher’s block at a flea market in Belgium, which borders the city limits. During the 1984 renovations, Michael Chauvistré used 11 tons of sand to return the house to its original red-brick exterior. “The farmers had covered the building in chalk and then chemicals, which had deteriorated,” he said.
On the first floor, there is a two-room office/living room on one side of a wide wooden stairwell that runs through the center of the house, and a large guest room on the other side. The guest room has a bed that the elder Mrs. Chauvistré bought from a local antiques’ dealer, and an old typewriter that the family found in an abandoned tennis stadium.
Both the office and the guest room have ornate wood-burning stoves, which Michael Chauvistré’s mother installed in 1984 before adding central heating.
At one time, the only neighbors here were the workers from the now defunct Hochbruecker water mill, which stands between the old stables and the nearby Wurm river.
“It looks idyllic but there’s now a sanitation plant down the road, a prison over the street, and a motorway just a bit further along,” said Michael Chauvistré, whose home is now sandwiched between a main road full of warehouse-type stores on one side and farms and country lanes on the other.
Michael and Miriam Chauvistré were opposed to recent plans to build a parking lot in a nearby field, and took action in the form of a documentary (Friede Freude Eierkuchen) that, they say, led to the plans being vetoed.
Still, the family has retained plenty of the countryside. There are eleven sheeps that Michael. Chauvistré bought from a local farmer to keep the lawn cropped and a lone scarecrow that stands guard over the apple trees, the raspberries, lavender, strawberries, and Michael Chauvistré’s shiny Volkswagen Beetle.
Liza Foreman for the New York Times
Nearly private Guestroom. Our son has to use the piano one time daily. Breakfest extra 5 EUR. Common bathroom. Free parking. Garden with sheeps, chicken, ducks and a cat.
The World Equestrian Festival CHIO is very close. Ten minutes by bus into the city with the Route Charlemagne. 2014 Aachen will celebrate the 1200th anniversary of Charlemagne's death with three extraordinary exhibitions: Places of power, The art of Charlemagne and Lost Treasures.
Free Parking. WiFi
Wann immer ich wieder nach Aachen reisen müsste, ich würde zuerst nachschauen, ob es den beiden gerade pässlich ist.
Von Frühstück und Zimmer, über die guten Gespräche, bis hin zu Ihrer ungewöhnlich einnehmenden (Lebens-) Art, habe ich mich sehr wohl gefühlt, es war von Anfang bis Ende meines Aufenthaltes eine sehr schöne Erfahrung, Michael + Miriam kennen zu lernen.
(Selbstredend entspricht alles im Profil den Tatsachen....)
Miriam and Michael are very good Hosts, I enjoyed very much to stay with them for some days. Highly recommended !
Michael und miriam haben mich sehr herzlich empfangen und in ihre Familie aufgenommen als Gast. Das Zimmer ist sehr gemütlich und in echt noch viel beseelter und schöner, als es auf den Bildern ohnehin schon ist. Auf dem Weg in den Tag zwitschert einem der Kanarienvogel munter einen Gruß, abends schnurrt der Kater mit unmerkbarem, meldoisch- italienischen Namen und die Haushühner legen die Eier fürs Frühstück. Das Haus ist voller Kunst und liebevoller Details. Man spürt, dass man willkommen ist. Wer Idylle auf der Durchreise sucht, der ist hier in der Soers (ja, auch zwischen JVA und Autobahn!) völlig richtig. Ich hoffe, eines Tages kreuzen sich die Wege erneut und dann mit ein wenig mehr Zeit meinerseits.
I really enjoyed my stay with Miriam and Michael family. They are both lovely hosts and interesting conversation partners. I am really happy to have found this unique accomondation. The breakfast was fantastic.
This airbenb is a very nice stay. the family Chauvistre do everything that you feel yourself at home. They are intrested in you if you want, and because of the openmind of the family it is cosy.
The bedroom is like a castel, the beautiful textiles makes it warm and rich, the bed is of best quality. I felt myself so good by them that I like to plan more nights there another time, only to be there.
It is the best place to have a nice stay.
Had a very quiet, short stay at the farmhouse. A beautiful room. In the morning I had a hard boiled egg from the family's own chickens for breakfast. Only stayed a night, but it was very restful.
Ich habe die ersten beiden Wochen meines Forschungsaufenthalts in Aachen bei Miriam und Michael verbracht. Die beiden sind ein gastfreundliches und herzliches Ehepaar und das Zimmer ist ebenfalls sehr stimmungsvoll. V.a. das hundert Jahre alte Bett ist extremst gemütlich. Insgesamt habe ich mich sehr wohl gefühlt und es war ein sehr angenehmer Auftakt für meine Zeit in Aachen.
they made me feel very welcome. Lovely house and great people.
A great place to spend your time, you wake up to see a nice calm view from the window next to your bed ! Such an amazing place, lovely and friendly people i'll definitely recommend it
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