Inspiring Beauty at Chateau Dumas

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,

places to play in and pray in,

where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. 

                                                                                                                   ~John Muir

(Note: There are many spectacular images capturing the amazing beauty of Chateau Dumas. Allow enough time for your computer to load the images so that you don’t miss any. This is the second in the series on a millinery masterclass held in southwest France. Won’t you follow along with me?)

outward beauty

The 18th-century Chateau Dumas is totally enchanting on scales grand and small. There is so much to see and take in on this breath-taking estate in the small village of Auty, France. The late summer afternoon interplay of color, light and texture of the Mediterranean region creates dreamy illusions of French Impressionism. I marvel at and feel priviledged to spend several summer days in such a superb setting whilst learning from a master English milliner and designer in the days ahead.

chateau dumas 3 under portico fav

I am a bit weary from the long travels. The magnificent gardens are beckoning me to sit with them awhile.

Would you like to select  a garden hat from the basket in the foyer and stroll in the gardens with me?

hats in foyer FAV

Monet-inspired weathered teak garden benches strategically placed throughout the Chateau Dumas gardens provide opportunity to reflect and soak in as much of the beauty as possible. The teak benches and French metal chairs provide numerous invitations for varied perspectives of the gardens and vistas. I am quite taken in by the setting, and am totally mesmorized by it’s beauty. I pause frequently along the garden paths, sit and try to absorb all that I see into my memory. The beauty is stunning. I am starting to feel refreshed in my soul.

Curved Teak Dumas FAV

French chairs and table

teak bench and lantern carriage house3fav 

french metal chair west side of carriage house2

Bench with lichen FAV

Blue stripe metal chair

Blue Stripe metal chair 2 FAV

The garden benches and chairs are bekoning me to sit awhile and reflect. I can’t resist–the tranquilityand depth of “old-soul” in the gardens are drawing me to linger under the French sky.

Won’t you sit awhile with me, too? There is room for both of us on the bench . . .

moss covered garden bench 2

My worldly concerns and weariness from the travels begin to dissipate with the warmth of the Mediterranean sun. I am feeling soothed from the intoxicating lavender oils perfuming and lingering in the garden air. Listen. The song birds serenade the garden repose with their afternoon revelry unlike those heard at Rose Cottage.

There is so much to see within the gardens…butterflies and bees dizzy from endless visits to the lavender blossoms, sweet soft pink and white roses reaching for the sun and rewarding the gardener for her caring efforts, and window boxes and clay pots with trailing pink geraniums–all with enough fortitude to withstand the warm, dry summers in southern France.

Lavender and Bee

climbing roses pink dumas

climbing roses white close dumas

climbing roses close dumas

The gardens at Chateau Dumas are a living and breathing tapestry of texture. The whisps of the lavender fronds provide the feather stitches between patterns of trimmed coniferous hedges, roses, speciman plants and the sweeping views of the patchworked valley just beyond the terra cotta brick walls and iron garden gate.

carriage house studio facing east2

Lavender and front of Chateau  fav 1

 chateau allee fav


Formal Hedges Facing South

gardens southeast

inward beauty

Feeling refreshed from garden lavender, vistas and bird choirs, I explore the Chateau. Guests usually enter the foyer through the double French doors that are flanked by large blue wood shuters. So French. Gorgeous gold gilded mirrors, a large foyer table, a grandfather clock, antique settee and chairs, woven market baskets and assorted vignettes accentuate the welcoming, but massive foyer. My footsteps echo on the large square tiles.

Painting of Dumas in foyer FAV

market basket FAV

foyer books7FAV

Through the foyer and past the stunning centuries-old marble staircase, is a light and airy dining room with expansive southern views capturing the pictureque valley and countryside. The black, white and red antique tile floor creates energy and lightness, and brings the outdoors into the Chateau. Simple–but stunning–vignettes throughout the room carry nature’s elegance even further.

eggs and bowls FAV2

Dinning room3

Dinning room4

dinning room tile

dining room chandelair FAV 1

Through another large set of double French doors is the outdoor dining terrace.  Off in the distance is the unmistakeable hum of combines and other farm equipment as hay and straw is baled from sections of the golden patchwork near the misty Mediterranean horizon. Other than the distant sounds of French farmers at work and the merrymaking of songbirds, no other distractions are heard. It is heaven. . . Fellow adventurers linger for hours after sharing meals while marveling at the incredible country setting.



Terrace View FAV

Terrace lingering

Christopher  and Naomi's antique mold

The moderate-sized–but efficient kitchen–is off of the dinning room for easy access for refreshments throughout the day. A lovely view of the valley is framed by pots of fragrant herbs at the bottom of the kitchen window. I am convinced that dishwashing would never be a chore with spectacular views such as these, and with the cheery serenades of the bird choirs! Please, may I help with the dishes?

kitchen shelves FAV 1

kitchen shelves FAV2

kitchen windowFAV1

view from kitchen window FAV2

Totally charmed by the hospitality, kindness and care of the Chatelaine de Dumas, I dream of  lingering at Chateau Dumas indefinitly.  I really won’t be much bother. Really.


My stay at Chateau Dumas is everything dreams are made of…the beautifully appointed Chateau, gorgeous gardens, rooms with spectacular views, lovely song bird symphanies throughout the day, and the millinery atelier in the fantastic carriage house–all is a invigorating, sensory feast in every way! I am delighted to have arrived.

We live in a wonderful world

that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.

There is no end to the adventures that we can have

if only we seek them with our eyes open.
                                                                           ~Jawaharlal Nehru

More about the Chateau’s amazing trompe l’oeil, upper floors, millinery atelier, one of the world’s great Estivales du Chapeau, a visit to a 1824 French hat factory and other sights of  a dream trip to France in the days ahead as they unfold.

I would love to know what you think of this amazing adventure using the comment link below.

à bientôt mes amis!

Read more at French Dreams at Chateau Dumas.

Visit The Inspired Room for others’ inspirations about creating a beautiful life.

You may want to take a morning walk over at The Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday posts.


Filed under France, Gardening, Home, Travel

12 responses to “Inspiring Beauty at Chateau Dumas

  1. Dear Debbykay,

    Thank you so much for sharing these gorgeous photos and your beautiful writings! I feel as if I am experiencing a bit of France! The Chateau Dumas and gardens are simply breathtaking! I can see how easily your cares can slip away surrounded by such beauty. I would love to go on a stroll with you sweet friend, I will take the straw hat with the lovely brown ribbon and butterfly. How wonderful there are so many pretty spots to sit down and take in the views. I would be delighted to share the bench with you… just look at those roses and lavender. Oh, I can almost smell them! I could spend hours in the garden, but wait, the inside, I see, has its own delights. I love how they have decorated. I do believe the old books, basket with wheels, and the eggs in the glass jars are my favorite. The white room is so peaceful, and the chandelier is amazing.

    How wonderful to dine out of doors with your fellow companions! The kitchen is lovely, so neat and clean just as it should be! I agree, dishwashing could in no way be a chore with view like that to enjoy. I am so happy it was all you dreamed of!

    I love the quotes you shared and look forward to seeing more of your dream trip to France!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Much love,

  2. what a BREATHTAKING place. I can SEE why you wanted to stay…. it is magical!


  3. Francesco


    Outward beauty can be only skin deep, but it seems as though you have found a place that is not only beautiful outwardly but on the inside –including a peaceful and gentle soul.

    I suspect that this peacefulness radiates from the current souls that care for the land and the guests that abide there, albiet for a short time, as well.

    The sturctures and the gardens are fabulous, as well as the adornments. It is wounderful that you are taking us along on this excursion. Thank you!

    Best regards,

  4. Mary

    I am so JEALOUS!! These pictures are breathtakingly beautiful and I can feel the peace you must have felt. Do you think putting on a hat can duplicate it?
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Oh, this is a dreamy post (I’m catching up on all of them now!)…you are so blessed to be enjoying this beauty! I spent some time in Europe (two separate times) and I was enthralled as you are. The quality, the history, the time worn beauty, the architecture and landscape, the uniqueness, it is all spectacular.

    Enjoy every moment and thank you for taking us along with you!


  6. Wow. What an incredible place to stay. I’m going to save this to my favorites and come back to visit!

  7. We stayed in a Chateau in Lyon, France. It was stunning like your visit to Chateau Dumas. It’s amazing all the work that goes into such beauties.
    Loved your post.
    Au revoir
    Love Claudie (Claudette)

  8. Thanks so much forinviting us to join you at the chateau. It’s quite beautiful and your photos allowed us to see it through your eyes. What a grand time it must have been.

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