Summer 2009-We take a break from work on the house as there is absolutely no point doing any further plastering, panelling or decoration or constructing new floors or ceilings until the rewiring can be done. This is frustrating for me, but Trevor is more philosophical, as living in France full time just isn’t an option yet.
So, we decide that it would make more sense to work on the apartment and get it looking good for the guests.
I would like to enjoy a bit of seaside living too, but all I seem to do is iron sheets and pillowcases when I am there! Trevor however manages to find the best bits of the stunning seven kilometre blue flag beach which is just a short walk away (the clue is in the name, Boulevard de la Mediterranee!).
The apartment isn’t awful, just basic, bland and unloved. It is the typical mid 20th century double shoebox one bed apartment design found all over Europe, consisting of a little entrance area with shower room off, a separate bedroom and a decent sized sitting room with “coin cuisine” (corner kitchen).
The apartment has to pay it’s way so needs a very different approach taking to it than the house, which will be a home.
The walls are beige, which has to go, Creams are fine in context but I am looking at the seaside location and a crisper palette than that which I have planned for the house is called for as the apartment is totally different and requires a different interpretation of French style.
I go for matte white with a feature wall in a clear sea green in the sitting room and as the whole place is compact and bijou, it seems sensible to use the same shades of white with blue/green accents and a sprinkling of complementary taupe/brown throughout. The apartment has a very sixties character and I decide to keep this feel with a hint of seaside chic and a touch of Moroccan style.
We paint the bedroom and sitting room and I task Trevor with retiling the kitchen area.We find perfect tiles in the end of line bin at the local Weldom DIY market; & he panels in the pipes serving the boiler and varnishes with a beech finish that works brilliantly with the tiny touch of taupe in the tiles. The original kitchen drawers are still in place and add to the vintage style so I decide to to replace the grubby and chipped old gloss finish with a tough distressed matte paint finish in a deep blue/grey.
The apartment comes complete with the original 1960’s twin beds,. These are generously sized and made from solid wood in a beech finish and although we briefly consider putting a double or king size bed in here we decide that twin beds are more versatile for guests who may not be a couple!
I buy lots of towels and bedding in our chosen colour palette so we have plenty of spares for changeovers. I also measure up the two sets of French doors to the balcony so that I can make curtains when we get back to the UK.
I have to admit that, after the chaos & delays back at the house, being able to consider finishing touches here is just fantastic!