Our villa used to be an old farmer's house. Three highly qualified architects worked together to renovate the house in such a way that it combines modern comfort and at the same time with respect for the authenticity and the origins of the house. The house used to be split up in different, small dark rooms with an attic where no light came in and heating was non existent. The house is now rebuilt in such a way that the ceiling of our dining room ends all the way in the top of the attic, high walls go all the way up, where a wooden cross beam forms the roof. A tunnel of light has been placed in the top of the roof, to enlighten the house even more. We have lots and lots of large windows, that overlook our garden. Since we love nature and peace, our house is embedded in our beautiful garden of 5000 square meters, where trees are growing, birds are singing and are building their nests. There is also a natural pond, on our territory, that is demarcated with a wooden fence, and a gate with a lock, so a child can not enter without the assistance of a parent. At the pond, there is a wooden bench, where one can enjoy the activities of insects and wildlife or reading a book, etc. We also have lounge chairs in the garden and two hammocks dangling between the trees. Our garden is well maintained but not in a manicured way; we like flowers and trees to grow freely. One can swim in the natural pond (which is about ... deep and ... wide); this is why we choose not to have a swimming pool. Provided in the garden is a big and stable trampoline, for children and adults, with a safety fence; there also is a wooden house, 'Villa Kakelbont' -as a reference to the character of Pipi Langkous, written by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren- for children to live out their fantasies. In our roofless tree house children can have a different perspective at the garden. Adults can have a cup of tea or coffee amongst the tree leaves, after climbing the wooden stairs.:-) A small dining table stands under the shadow of an old and gigantic willow tree (overlooking the pond). On our terrace there is a bigger and more comfortable table, also in wood, with white design chairs.
Since my husband likes to cook, we have a big, fully equipped kitchen, that has been newly installed when we renovated the place. We also have a spacious dining room. We have a separate playroom for the children, where our television is also installed. Downstairs one can also find a second kitchen, that we re-used as wash room, where the washing machine and a dry machine is installed. Underneath is a small cellar.
Our house has three bedrooms upstairs, two toilets, one bathroom, beautifully equipped with a shower and a bath. We also have quite an extended library. Behind this library, on open guest room has been installed, which offers space for two more guests. Upstairs an office can also be found, where I write; downstairs, the office of my husband overlooks the kitchen.
Attached to our home (beside our home and the stables) there also is a small, private apartment, fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, dining room and one bedroom. 4 guests can stay over there. Our au pair is currently staying in this cosy apartment but there is a possibility, if needed, to swap this place as well, with the rest of our home.
We think it is important to get to know the people that will stay in our home, and vice versa. Therefore we prefer to mail each other, so later on, we will get to know each other and there will be no misunderstandings. Children are very welcome, but as we expect our own kids to behave - especially in someone else's place- we consider it important that children are well behaved and educated: thus treat our home with care and respect. We strongly dislike arriving back home to a dirty and messy house. (We have had this experience before.)
We live 7 kilometers from Ypres, which is known for its historic beauty and cultural inheritance. Also Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, and Brussels are easy to reach.