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The library on the wall in the living room
The library on the wall in the living room
1/17 PHOTOS

Les Ormes

Le Couvent des Ormes

In the heart of Burgundy, a 19th-century former convent with a monastic spirit

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Let’s head to Burgundy and its countryside homes to reconnect with nature! Leading the way is The Couvent des Ormes: a 19th-century former convent for nuns that teaches us a lesson in minimalism.

In the heart of Burgundy, a 19th-century former convent with a monastic spirit

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A relic from the 1820s, the Couvent des Ormes is a former religious school turned vacation retreat and later a family home. Its historical past adds an extra layer of character to this rental property, catching the eye of architect Alexandre Deshayes and his partner, the current owners. “We were especially drawn to the cross on the façade and the unfinished fresco in the old classroom,” they share. These architectural details imbue the house with a unique charm. Spanning three floors and 450m², the couple opted for a minimalist approach. Everything here is white, from the walls to the linens. This commitment to minimalism is also reflected in the very limited selection of furniture, evident in the living spaces: bedrooms with just a bed and small bedside table. Why clutter when simplicity suffices? The monastic spirit of the house honors its former convent use, reflecting the desired lifestyle: “Living moments of simple sharing, in the sun, in the forest, or by the fire with a book. It’s the little things that make life real!”

"House policy: Embrace simple living in the convent and enjoy the outdoor spaces."

Burgundian way of life

In this tranquil village of the Puisaye area – a region with its own distinct charm where forests and ponds thrive – at the end of the road to Château de Bontin, thrives the Couvent des Ormes. “Legend has it that the Bontin family, planning to place their daughter in a nearby convent, built this house with that purpose in mind.” While the truth of the legend remains a mystery, the charm of the place is unquestionable. Surrounding the house is a lush terrain where the owners have concentrated their efforts to create a space for leisurely strolls.

Spanning 7000m², the south-facing landscaped garden reflects the sun in several water features. Ponds, a small lake, and a small pool are complemented by a fifteen-meter-long swimming corridor. All around, lush vegetation provides a refreshing touch once the warm weather arrives. Centennial lime trees, pine trees, laurels, and further away, an orchard with plum and apple trees complete the scene.

The south facade of the former convent.

The south facade of the former convent.

Minimalism at its peak

On the first floor, a living area with a wall-mounted bookshelf.

On the first floor, a living area with a wall-mounted bookshelf.

In this space, simplicity reigns supreme, allowing the natural beauty of the existing elements to speak for themselves. In its 450m² spread across 14 rooms over 3 levels, connected by 2 staircases, Alexandre and his partner chose to preserve the materials that have gained patina over time. From raw wooden floors to cement tiles in the dining area, which exudes a rustic grandmother’s house vibe that is impossible to ignore.

But what truly stands out in these spacious rooms with soaring ceilings is the prominent role played by light. Especially with the immaculate walls and furniture reflecting the sunlight. “The light surprises us at various moments: in winter, it’s diffuse, in summer, it’s softer as it filters through the foliage and old tiles, creating almost a vibration on the floor,” share the two owners, who were captivated by the house’s ideal orientation from their very first visit.

The 3 things

we love the most

The decor with a monastic spirit
The bucolic garden and its water features
The light penetrating every room of the house

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Destination Les Ormes

Transports

Joigny train station

21 min

Orly airport

89 min

Restaurants

Le Roncemay (gastronomic)

5 min

Le Côte Saint Jacques (2 Michelin stars)

24 min

Shops and Craft workshops

Toucy market

14 min

Joigny market

23 min

Domaine la Gemiere

80 min

Nature, Culture and Heritage

Centre for Graphic Arts La Métairie Bruyère

18 min

Saint-Fargeau castle

31 min

Guédelon castle

35 min

Pontigny abbey

43 min

Vézelay basilica

73 min

Le Couvent des Ormes

89110, Les Ormes, France

Featured in

Turn it up!

Get inspired!

1.

Rice paper lantern

2.

Linen household linens

3.

Garden chair in metal

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