The glorious centerpiece of the building is the beautifully crafted original stone spiral stair. Generous in proportion, it has unusually wide treads and comfortably low risers for ease of ascent and descent. Each luminous stone landing leads to a series of rooms beyond, and small details delight along the way. For example, with deep incision marks as indication, a piece of sandstone is sandwiched into an otherwise granite support, presumably for the sole purpose of sharpening one's knife or sword!
On the ground floor* is a charming bespoke kitchen with a heated stone floor, exposed beams and space for dining. All modern conveniences are provided for, to include an elegant French brass-trimmed Godin stove with double ovens. Adjacent to the kitchen is a laundry and cloakroom that provide access to the lower dining terrace and protected walled rock garden. Additionally, a "powder room" is conveniently located at this level.
Ascending the stair to the first floor level, one finds a generous salon with an impressive original stone fireplace embellished with a carved coat of arms. The room is illuminated by casement windows with transoms above and there is an arched door leading to the rear terrace and rose garden. The exposed wooden beams, richly finished wooden floor, unusual period stone details and ironwork speak to the level of craftsmanship in the building. Also located on the first floor is an additional sitting room with large casement windows accessing direct views across the river. This is a space that is comfortable at all times of day, but is particularly delightful in morning light. The room could also serve as an additional bedroom, if desired.
The entire second floor is given to a lavish master bedroom which is served by an en suite bathroom fitted with a tub/shower and a separate generous walk-in dressing room. The hand-crafted wooden walls for both of these spaces were cleverly designed in a style reminiscent of the late Gothic period with elaborately carved details. Iron sconces in the forms of dragons and fleur-de-lis were designed to illuminate the room. The west wall is dominated by an original stone fireplace stylistically similar to the fireplace in the salon below. In addition to the south-facing casement windows, French doors lead to an iron-railed balcony, which, as in the sitting room directly below, has the advantage of elevated panoramic views. A door in the north wall leads to a room located above the rear stair tower. This space is wrapped by a clerestory, thereby providing generous north, west and east light in all seasons. The room would serve well as a small study or sitting area and offers perfect light for a painting studio. An additional possibility would be to install a child's crib or small bed. The master bedroom itself is of such grand proportions that consideration could be given to dividing it into an additional bedroom or sitting area.
The third floor is also dedicated to a large bedroom with a dressing room and en suite bathroom. The comfortably proportioned bathroom offers abundant daylight and views over the property and beyond. The largest window in the bedroom overlooks the formal rose garden. As the third floor has window openings on all four facades, it offers an unusual amount of cross-ventilation in warmer weather. Adjacent to the built-in bookcase is an ingenious collapsible wooden stair which leads to the fourth floor turret room with its elaborate original wooden conical framing system. Currently used as additional storage, it could easily be finished into a small sleeping area or study, as it is provided with both heat and electricity. Further storage may be found in the small attic which is located above the sleeping area the bedroom.
Restored under the direction of a preservation architect, all major mechanical systems, to include electricity, plumbing, heating, security, WIFI and international television reception were installed. The floor plan was reorganized to more respectfully speak to the original building proportions and create a sense of internal hierarchy, but without sacrificing modern conveniences. The walls were rendered in lime plaster and wood was refurbished and replaced as required. The kitchen and bathrooms were finished with cabinetry, tile and fixtures appropriate to the historic nature of the building. Particular attention was given to creating an extensive lighting system, which lends itself to many levels of modulation. The property is served by public water, sewer and refuse removal. The state of the art boiler is fueled by oil, and heat is regulated on a room by room basis to better enable responsible fuel consumption.
All aspects of the building and grounds are meticulously maintained and are in good working order. Property taxes are low. Tour Saint Laurent is an excellent property for an individual, couple or family, who, perhaps, has neither the time nor the expertise to manage a large restoration project, but would derive immense joy from the opportunity to own a truly extraordinary historic property. With approximately 250 m2 (2,700 sf) of interior space and 128 m2 (1,375 sf) of finished dining terraces, plus an expanse of gardens, one would have the advantage and luxury of providing enchanting living and entertainment opportunities without the obligation and complications presented by ownership of a typically larger château. Should they be desired, gardening and housekeeping staff is available.
* Throughout the text, floor levels are referred to using the European convention of naming the entry level as the ground floor, with 1st-4th floors above. The North American convention would refer to the entry level as the 1st floor with 2nd-5th floors above.