Window seat made with reclaimed materials

Long term followers may remember that we rescued a 19thc side table from a chapel on the point of demolition. Would have ended up in the skip if my brother-in-law and sister hadn’t spotted that we could do something with it!puginesque church/chapel table

Made from Paraná pine; which isn’t actually pine but was used a great deal for church and chapel furniture until it’s export was banned as it’s popularity threatened to wipe the species out.parana “pine”. It is a truly strong, characterful wood. Trev has basically remade the piece as window seat  and storage in the terrace bedroom.

Painted in ecume/foam “Charme”  paint ( my current favourite for wood) which you will note looks NOTHING like the colour card! The lid stripped and waxed. Lined with left over floor boards and the three decorative arches lined with old natural linen panels cut from vintage curtains( Thanks E & M!) See below.

PERFECT example of Trev and I working together to create  a piece that looks like it has been in our house forever. And that is the point, exactly.
















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Apéritif Samedi Soir

We hosted last night.

I am ridiculously apprehensive about putting on a full dinner party for our French neighbours but a cosy candlelit  apero is fine.

Note the Very Good French Dog who did NOT check out the eats even when we left her alone in the salon.

Blanquette, a fine Fitou and chicken liver pate with Sauternes (yum)

Really, it was a good excuse to put out our new, classy wooden nibble boards and my very beautiful crystal bubbles glasses. Sadly down to only five as one was casualty of the big move. It was also an excuse to put something decent on, I have been paint spattered for most of the week.

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A different Thursday Three- Painted walls, ceilings and beams

Super busy today, but in the middle of a restoring a handpainted piece my mind slips to the wall and ceiling paintings that I plan to execute here at the French village house.

Look at this one –left-JP!

painted ceiling Alsace

This simple ceiling from Normandy is very appealing, though I am struggling to find the original link- sorry if it’s your photo

link image Normandy ceiling

Might well inspire the tulip room ceiling design.


An alternative to painting on the walls or ceilings themselves is to mount prepainted panels in wood (ceilings) or paper (walls). Peter Korver does this  Peter Korver

This-bottom left- from Drottingholm Palace; perfectly illustrates with it’s tree of life motifs the kind of imagery that I plan to paint onto the long wall in the cave. Link is a little dodgy, sorry. The three other walls will be the original stone, untreated and raw.  link painted wall panels

I have got as far as deciding that the tulip room ceiling and cave wall will have their designs painted on in neutral shades & no bright colours. Believe me, at my speed, this is a fast and significant decision!

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Morning- Campagne-sur-Aude




Now and then the phone camera gets it right. The one above left might very well inspire a painting at some point.

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Hiding an eyesore. The surface mounted debate

salon – kitchen walkway

I know why old French houses have surface mounted pipes and wires.

It’s far easier and therefore cheaper to install your plumbing, electrics, drainage etc if you don’t chase out those thick stone walls to conceal these modern “neccessities”.

It is one of the basic “old house” issues. Do you or don’t you?

We paid our Electrician extra to hide our wiring. I am very glad we did. There is a distinct line between a simple and sympathetic, modest restoration and living with a complete eyesore; Some can live with looking at their pipes. Their choice.

I have established that I cannot live with pipes on show (except, bizarrely, the copper pipes in the shower room) End of.

We have more to hide than most, of course.There was only one solution to bringing down waste from the second floor. It has been necessary to rework almost all the spaces in this patchwork hovel that was never designed for living. We have much to conceal.

Trev was working on this project of designing a panel over the salon-kitchen walkway. It’s all his own work. I just lightly knocked it back. Note his use of the classic diamond motif so prevalent here. All waxed up now. Very pleased I am.





Made from recycled or scrap and “imperfect”  wood. Our wood-pile has reduced considerably this year and I anticipate virtually no waste or stuff to dump when we are done. New or old.

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Snow in Campagne-sur-Aude

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Beautiful crisp snowy morning. Will it stick. Je sais pas……….. but as we are on a mission to find the Perfect Pale Powder Pink Paint for The Bride we hope not.

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Three more old rooms

I have a need to gaze upon enticing old rooms; so here are three more. Just because.

Laserow Blogspot

mystery site (the link to which has been “deleted and purged”!) That sounds very terminal.







Paint, in deft hands, creates magic.

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