The best DIY ideas from Escape to the Chateau

As owners of a crumbling 19th-century chateau, Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree have mastered plenty of DIY projects over the years.

Since buying their 45-room chateau in France's countryside three years ago, Dick and Angel have dedicated their lives to restoring the Disney-like castle back to its former glory - and they've done it all themselves. With Angel, a designer and husband, Dick, an engineer, the two have combined their extensive skillset to not only restore the chateau's beauty, but to also function as a modern family home and wedding venue for their new business. Here, the crafty couple share their best DIY ideas from the series.  

Van de vin

In season three, Angel buys a rundown 1960s Citroen van that she wants to convert into a bar for weddings, but it's quite the project. Decrepit, messy and without a working engine, Dick goes to work and restores the van by hand - even the engine. With the van now in working function, Angel paints a vintage design over it and the vintage wedding business gains another asset.

Butterfly wall 

To liven up a bare wall, Angel ordered hundreds of real butterflies and delicately pinned them in a sweeping pattern on the wall up the stairs. Now, as people walk up the staircase, they are met with a colourful installation of butterflies seemingly flying in front of them, as if guiding them to the next room.

Helter skelter

While all their time was spent restoring the living quaters of the chateau, Angel and Dick made sure their young children didn't get forgotten. And so, following Angel's quick drawing on a piece of paper, Dick handmade a full-size wooden Helter Skelter for the children's playroom. Safe to say, the kids loved it. 

Meat smoker

In season two, Angel and Dick's home, Chateau de La Motte Husson hosted its first external wedding for their new business. Being crafty as ever, Dick not only cooked the food for the wedding, but also created a smoker for the rotisserie lamb out of an old oil drum. By welding a stand, cutting out a lid from the top, welding a handle and adding coals inside, the guests were treated to a hand-smoked feast. 

Kitchen tiles

In the early days of the chateau's restoration, Angel began designing her own tiles for the 19th-century kitchen. Using her own printing machine, Angel created five tile designs that incorporated the chateau's history and its new family. 

Vintage wallpaper

When rummaging through some cupboards, Angel found original rolls of hand-painted silk wallpaper from the 19th-century and decided to bring them to life in the walls of the chateau. Using the material that was salvageable, the designer cut them into diamond shapes and stuck them in an art-deco pattern to the wall of the tower. 

Catch up on Escape to the Chateau series 3, with every episode available on Foxtel On Demand.

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