renovation, restoration, revelations
We use our two week summer break to work hard on the bedroom level.
Having decided that squeezing a mini-en suite and a wash room into barely 4 metres square is insane, we decide to use the newly created space between the two bedrooms as a single Jack & Jill shower room.
We already have an old basin and the shower in here already so it is a matter of working out how to get a toilet and associated pipework through two floors to the downstairs waste pipe. I have an idea and will discuss with our plumber.Meanwhile. I work on the newly created doorway from the terrace bedroom to the shower room. Trevor builds a new door frame here and also repairs the existing bedroom door frame that has a whole chunk missing .
This wall and the opening has been finished in cement. The stone spine wall here is not at it’s most attractive and has been patched with modern briquettes and blocks in places when the barn was tacked on so I leave two corner stones apparent at top of doorway and “boirofibre” the rest of the wall and the doorway alcove which is about two feet deep.
I like the higgledy piggledy bumpy slope of the wall and I just brush off the crumbly bits and apply the boirofibre , which is a mixture of plaster, paint and vegetable fibres, kind of a modern version of horsehair plaster, and gives a textured covering that enhances the walls underneath and a stone like finish.
This is our best find after the lasure revelation, but application needs to be careful and I eventually work out that for best effect I need to apply from the top down in a kind of smoothed herringbone effect then go over with large soft brush.
I have seen this type of finish in interiors books and often wondered how it was achieved.
The process is incredibly time consuming and labour intensive but I am thrilled at the finish and another magical transformation of a hideous area.
We discuss the new doors we will need for the shower room.The existing, old doorway from tulip bedroom to shower room is certainly not square , nor is it a conventional size so we decide to build two new doors in the local Languedocienne style to suit.(Trevor built me beautiful ledge and brace doors for my cottage in UK –see left- so should be a doddle for him!)
Languedocienne style has a large rectangular top panel, a slim rectangular middle panel and a small squarish panel at the bottom. As I do not want to lose the light we have introduced via the velux roof lights, I persuade Trevor that we should put obscure glass in the top panels. He is concerned re the privacy aspect ( I think we are having Fort Knox style bolts!) but I will hang lace/voile on stretched curtain wires over glass on inside which will look charming & appropriate. He finally agrees.
Weather is fantastic so work benches go up in courtyard and door one is constructed from Bordeaux pine. Not a big fan of stripped pine but these will be painted as is usual down here so not an issue.
We also look at original bedroom doors as I am keen to recycle and reuse where possible.
These are not old, only mid 20th century, and not pretty but they are good solid doors and they fit.
I come up with idea of emulating Languedocienne doors with mouldings and map out proportions to see if this works.
We paint new shower room door and the bedroom doors in what will be signature woodwork shade throughout house, very pale matte pastel French blue/green.
Of course, this is immedately discontinued at M Bricolage- I am clearly the kiss of death to any paint shade!
Fortunately our friend in M Bricolage saves our sanity by assuring me he can mix the shade with his magic machine.