September 27, 2022
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(CNN) — Discovering himself at a free finish on a wet day in France, triathlete Jeremy organized to view some homes in the old fashioned community he’d been staying in.

Firstly from Wales, the father-of-two were residing in Paris for a number of years, however after going via a separation, he changed into set on the thought of transferring to the French geographical region.

He learned he’d struck gold when he used to be given a excursion of a home in Courgent, a the city situated in the Île-de-France area, about a 45-minute power from the French capital.

On the other hand, it wasn’t simply the area that had him brimming with pleasure. It used to be the shocking, however closely disregarded swimming pool that got here with it.

Pool of doable

The renovation procedure took round one year, however Jeremy is delighted with the finish outcome.

Jeremy N

Whilst the pool had fallen into disrepair, it used to be transparent that it had as soon as been an outstanding construction and may well be once more — with a lot of labor.

“I used to be completely amazed,” Jeremy, who has requested for his complete identify now not to be used, tells CNN Shuttle. “As a result of the doable to redo the swimming pool and create a phenomenal undertaking used to be the whole thing I may just consider. I simply concept ‘that is the position.’”

Jeremy, who has labored in actual property for a few years, quickly found out that the home had as soon as belonged to French actress Danielle Darrieux, who gave the impression in over 100 movies all over her eight-decade occupation, all over the Fifties.

After talking to locals, he realized that the swimming pool, concept to had been constructed in 1938, had as soon as been a fashionable hangout spot, and many recalled being taught to swim there.

Some even despatched him pictures of Darrieux, who died in 2017 at the age of 100, swimming in the pool all over her time in the area.

Darrieux, who gave the impression along Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in the 1938 Hollywood movie “The Rage of Paris,” is assumed to have lived there for smartly over a decade.

“That made me much more motivated to do the undertaking,” he admits. “This position has were given a historical past. It’s were given a tale.”

Well-known former proprietor

The pool is alleged to have as soon as belonged to French actress Danielle Darrieux, who died in 2017.

John Springer Assortment/Corbis Historic/Getty Photographs

As soon as he’d weighed the whole thing up, Jeremy says he cautiously put in an be offering that used to be “about 30 or 40% not up to the asking value,” and waited for what he believed could be an inevitable rejection.

“I didn’t assume he [the owner] used to be going to settle for,” he admits. “However to my marvel he did.”

Whilst Jeremy has labored on a number of lodge renovations, this could be his first swimming pool. The undertaking additionally took place to price round 5 occasions his unique price range.

“It hadn’t been used for over 35 years, so it used to be a damage,” he explains. “We had to get started the whole thing from scratch.”

When it changed into transparent that the price of restoring the pool wouldn’t essentially be economically viable in phrases of including considerable price to the home, Jeremy started to glance into alternative ways of recouping a few of the renovation prices.

Noting that there used to be no pool of this sort in the space, he determined that he would rent it out for a few days a week, whilst maintaining it for his personal non-public use the remainder of the time.

Jeremy says he controlled to persuade the proprietor to permit him to start paintings on the pool prior to the sale used to be whole.


Made up our minds to set the wheels in movement as briefly as conceivable, Jeremy did his perfect to persuade the proprietor to permit him to start paintings on the pool prior to the sale had long gone via.

He then began negotiating offers with other firms to start the restructuring paintings, together with a specialist swimming pool corporate, in order to grow to be it into “the most lovely heated lagoon in France.”

Jeremy signed the contracts in September 2020, all over the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. He says through the time he formally changed into the proprietor in February 2021, nearly 4 months of labor on the pool used to be already whole.

When it got here to the design, Jeremy opted to move as “over the best ” as he in all probability may just.

Fantastic transformation

A few of the locals who first swam in the pool when it belonged to Darrieux have popped in to appreciate its transformation.


“I sought after top rocks, LED lighting, the complete works,” he says.

The undertaking concerned putting in new infrastructures to accommodate electrical energy, fuel and water — the water had come immediately from a within reach river prior to — in addition to putting in new electrics, growing stone rock, and putting in pipes, evacuations and feeders beneath the pool.

Jeremy says the complete renovation procedure took round one year and price 500,000 euros (about $500,000), with round 330,000 euros spent on the pool, and the leisure on external paintings, together with the infrastructure, crops and terracing. He says he’s delighted with the ultimate outcome.

“It truly feels such as you’re in a herbal lagoon, excluding you’re inside one hour from the greatest town in France,” he provides. “There are waterfalls and you’ll leap off the rocks from two meters top. You don’t get the affect that you just’re in a swimming pool.”

Jeremy used to be surprised to unearth an outdated stone tiled trail main from the lagoon to the within reach river, with a fountain close to its heart, all over the renovation procedure.

“That used to be a whole discovery. I guess I will say I’m the most effective individual in Paris that owns a personal island,” he jokes, including that he plans to renovate the trail inside the subsequent 12 months.

Whilst the pool, which is 24 meters lengthy and 9 meters large, with a intensity of over two meters, is no doubt the major appeal, Jeremy is delighted along with his new home, which fortunately wanted little or no paintings prior to he moved in.

The town lifestyles

He’s since imported and renovated a 1974 American Airstream caravan overlooking the lagoon.


Since relocating to Courgent, which has a inhabitants of round 400, Jeremy says he’s settled in somewhat simply and has been receiving nice comments from locals about the pool.

If truth be told, a few of the villagers who first swam there when it belonged to Darrieux have popped in to ask if they may be able to take a take a look at its transformation.

Darrieux had a lengthy affiliation with the the city and it seems that returned to the space later in lifestyles, residing simply a few kilometers clear of her former home.

Whilst Jeremy says he’s gotten a lot of make stronger from the the city corridor since transferring to Courgent, he’s been making an attempt arduous now not to “step on somebody’s ft.”

“You’ve gotten to watch out,” he explains. “You don’t need to make an excessive amount of noise, or have an excessive amount of construction paintings [going on]. However it’s labored out beautiful smartly.

Completing touches

The triathlete says he nonetheless feels beaten when he is taking a dip in the pool at evening time.


“One among the neighbors got here to me a bit apprehensive as a result of she heard I used to be making plans to have events and anyone had mentioned we have been going to put a DJ in the bushes.

“I informed her, ‘now not this week, however inquire from me subsequent week.’”

Willing to maximize his 1.5 hectares of land up to conceivable, Jeremy determined to import and renovate a 1974 American Airstream caravan, which overlooks the lagoon, and could also be to be had for rent.

When he’s now not playing the pool himself, website hosting his daughters’ buddies, or having the native faculty round for a consult with, he rents it out for approximately 250 euros for 2 hours, or up to 3,000 euros in keeping with day.

Even if it’s been getting rave critiques from consumers, in addition to onlookers, who occasionally pop in to ask if they may be able to have a nearer glance, Jeremy is eager to upload in some extra particular touches.

He plans to put in an electrical energy line in order that he can illuminate a few of the bushes, and upload a rose tunnel over the bridge and an out of doors kitchen.

“I’ll most effective be glad when all the main points are completed,” Jeremy admits, explaining that it’ll most likely be some other 12 months or two prior to the pool is totally whole.

In the intervening time, he’s making the maximum of getting a gorgeous pool, or lagoon, with such a lot historical past at his disposal.

“Even now, I’m nonetheless beaten whilst swimming at evening,” he says. “When it’s totally darkish, you’ll see the moon and the stars, and it’s simply you, nature and the water.

“I all the time say it’s the similar to being in Costa Rica with out the airfare.”

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