The Romance of the Raw – mixing it up in the salon

wp-image-1033776276jpg.jpgIf you have been following this blog you will know that I have been doing my best to preserve the old lime plaster walls and ceilings we still have at the French house .We have to accept that some walls have areas of plaster missing ( the upper staircase) and a decision on how to run with this is yet to be made.

It may be thought  that the best way forward would be to uniformly plaster the walls, damaged and sound alike, to present a homogenous surface in each space;

Gill the Perverse is, of course, not going down that route!

As we start to add back or add in old architectural pieces and structural features, and carefully chosen new (but traditional) materials, we see the coherency these are bringing to the project.

Locating these pieces has taken me over a decade of sourcing materials-some blindly intuitive, some obviously authentic, most a mad leap of faith on my part- but now we see that our organic way of restoring is working with the house’s old bones in a good way.

PS the pound shop sequin spattered nets went up as a joke. They are so gratuitously ironic I may have to find them a spot somewhere.

The walls? well, I have studied each one individually to see where we can preserve the original and the truly old that we still have. In the two spaces where, between us and the neighbour, we have a breeze block wall overlaid with hideous paper & no lime plaster to carefully preserve, I consider that I have a free hand in deciding how to treat these areas.Paint and wax is the way forward.

Doing things this way means we will have more than one wall finish in each individual room  and that is absolutely fine by me , though Trevor and many of our friends have grave doubts about whether this is the sensible approach.

window corner after

window corner after

Trevor is coming around; he almost always does (he recently announced that he thinks he is developing L.O.C (Late Onset Creativity) The fact that he stands back and lets me indulge in my flights of decorative fancy just underlines the fact that he is basically a saint to put up with me.

I was told a while back that I am approaching this project like a decorator; I don’t think that’s quite right; a decorator would be more organised and more assertive.
I think I’m approaching our house as I would a large canvas, organically, with an artist’s palette . Part long, slow and contemplative. Part spontaneous.

I’m not unique, see below.. from and





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 Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Romance of the Raw – mixing it up in the salon

  1. Osyth says:

    I actually think the shock of something entirely out of place like the pound shop glitzers is helpful to the whole. But then I’m as perverse as you are! It’s looking lovely 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. poshbirdy says:

    Very envious of those lovely lime plaster surfaces. The walls are in great nick, aren’t they? Mix ‘n’ match always more interesting than uniform in my book. Baz is much like Trev – very patient, if a little sceptical at times – and sensible is just a thing of the past. Guess that’s what French houses do to/for us x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha
      I think personally I was a bit off the wall before we had a French house anyway….and acquiring one has just given me the perfect opportunity to indulge myself.
      And whyever not? we are worth it!


  3. francetaste says:

    I think you are doing the right thing. If you wanted a new house with identical, immaculate walls, you could have bought one in a lotissement.
    I love the concept of Late Onset Creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynda says:

    I think you are doing exactly enough to preserve the original and only replacing what is non-functional.
    If we wanted it to look new, then we should BUY it new. There is nothing that infuriates me more than to see young kids buy a true gem of a home and then gut it to make it modern.

    Examples: Mid-century Modern and/or any home from the early 1700s to the 1900s. Yes, make it functional and safe. Yes, repair or replace damaged portions of the home, but keep within the style of the time!

    Off my soapbox.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s coming together very nicely – as I knew it would with you in charge, Gill.

    Liked by 1 person

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