It takes two days to put up a pelmet in France?

Renovation, restoration, frustration



wpid-wp-1410533641389.jpgIt has taken two days to put my antique wood pelmet up.
First there was my announcement that it must have a pole for voiles and a track for curtains (curved at the ends of course) that made Trevor’s eyes glaze over.


The pelmet is hand made  and carved and very decorative, but Trevor does not care about that, he cares that the wood is b****y hard to cut and drive screws into, that it has to be mounted on  a literally rock hard stone wall and that there is only one choice of “flexible” curtain track in M. Bricolage, and sadly, it is not very flexible.
Screws provided with this track will not even consider going into this hardwood (oak  I think). So, then we manage to snap our only  appropriate drill bit  and then we trail back to M.Bricolage for better screws, then we break to eat my pot-au-feu and drink wine and then it goes dark and we have no light in the salon yet, so we may as well sit on terrace and stargaze ….
Then we get up the following day and put the damn thing together.Then we argue about whether it is straight or not.

This is a constant point of contention as nothing in the French house is straight or level. We try the spirit level but straight according to that looks wrong. We decide to go by eye( my eye as I am only person likely to be gazing at pelmet in awe).
By now Trevor is on point of mutiny……

Does anybody else live like this or is it just me?


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to It takes two days to put up a pelmet in France?

  1. Lynda says:

    We live like this. I look at a thing and can tell the measurement/level by eye, he has to grab the tape and level before he will act. After 35 years of being married he now just looks and says: “What do your calibrated eyes say?” 😉

    BTW, you may have solved a mystery for me. The hard wood! I have been going under the assumption that the floor transition from the hall to my studio has metal in it because everything I have tried to attach a threshold breaks or snaps off when I try to screw it down (screws, drill bits, etc.). I finally just gave up and glued it in place!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We clearly are of the same clay.
      Trev now accepts that I can level by eye (and also set a level that works in that space) WE found out last month that one of our spirit levels is no longer level anyway . Yes I crowed a bit….
      And as for very old hard wood and very old stone, it takes hardness to a new level & may as well be metal!!
      Tref says trying to make any holes in this stuff has been the toughest challenge at the house to date

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Clair says:

    Oh, my gosh, I see what you mean. Guess I’m not the only one with a “curtain kerfuffle”, lol!


    • AAARRGGHH Clair I can’t decide, so many beautiful fabrics, so many treasures stashed away, only a finite number of windows!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clair says:

        You have a collection of trims and tassles, right? Maybe a way to narrow down the options might be to choose your favorites, and then pick fabrics that will show them off.

        I saw a picture in a magazine that made me think of you. It was a light and airy aqua paint in a room styled with New Orleans French decor. I may be able to screen shot it. Have an email I can send it to?


      • It’s the curtain options I can’t narrow down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        So far the choice for salon is between very pale straw coloured creased velvet, white linen or making them from a vintage Indian bedspread with gold, blue & red threads on black ground (but this is quite dark and a lighter option would maximise light coming in from the smallish window)
        I am congenitally incapable of choosing a favourite and unfortunately I have been picking up vintage textiles and trimmings for forty years!!!
        email is


  3. bizzyella says:

    Don’t you love old houses? My last one had a wood frame. We used car jacks to hoist it up to level. The bad old days.


    • Love them when all the work is finished and you can actually enjoy them!
      Our last house was a mid-century modernist box with straight lines and 90° angles and I yearned for an old project..hahahahahaha


  4. Sounds like you two take the same approach as Damon and I: my decision is final. Works for me. Damon sometimes seems less keen. Hey ho.


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