Tag Archives: restoration

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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 … Continue reading

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Hiding an eyesore. The surface mounted debate

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 … Continue reading

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Reclaimed materials. Some thoughts

The views expressed in this post may be deemed provocative. I stand by them. To avoid any inference that I am pointing the finger, I will use the original shot of our French house. Well, about 2/3rds of it as … Continue reading

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Trevor’s limited editions 2017

You may remember this rack that Trev made for our small chopping boards. All recycled wood from the French house, apart from the dowels. The finish is my secret recipe for treating new and old wood to blend both together … Continue reading

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Restoration Meditation – is a totally cohesive style critical to success?

So, the question is, do you have to run the same style or colour palette from room to room to make a house restoration work?  Rustic or Refined? I’m with Frederic Mechiche again here Mechiche Hyeres He mixes both in … Continue reading

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The cracks are beginning to show…………and I am very happy about this

Lived in and heated full time for the FIRST time in fifteen years, the French house is settling into itself. The old bones and the careful new additions are getting to know each other. It’s a kind of rustic romance … Continue reading

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Lots of small things that make a big difference

I know I haven’t posted much re progress on the village house for a while, but Trev has certainly been working hard on a whole host of small but critical projects. This storage cupboard, left , was created from part … Continue reading

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Friday French Property P**n – two and one

These are the three Pinterest photos that I have looked at the most over the last couple of weeks. I love the decorative frieze on what I presume is a stone chimney piece left and the ceiling treatment https://pin.it/thxb3iram3zm5r We … Continue reading

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Renovating and Restoring in France, a broader view

As we walk around the village, I notice signs of renewal here and there. This is encouraging. I see new windows, new paintwork, a newly re-pointed little stone man-cave down by the river see below left. Houses that have stood empty … Continue reading

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Episode 161- the kitchen ceiling, inspiration from 13th century Domaine at Luc-sur-Aude

You remember the horrible kitchen ceiling?  The one I demolished and then started wondering about half way through if the insulation tile was asbestos? horrible kitchen ceiling post In common with most old and some new French houses, the ceilings … Continue reading

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Knock Knock- Qui est là?

After 11 years of not having a clue who is outside the front door; unless we are hanging out of a front window; we have finally mounted the door knocker. In deference mainly to friends who stand outside shouting up … Continue reading

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Episode 160- the penultimate bit of plasterboarding

This was the entrance to the kitchen when we bought the French house. You may struggle to see all the improvements but we can! Above and to the left of the doorway (in which there will be no door) there … Continue reading

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Episode 159- Working on the salon door

Do you remember the truly hideous door in the salon? This did not say “hello, I’m a French village house salon door” in any language. It’s sole merit was that it fitted, and adjusting reclaimed doors, or their frames, to fit … Continue reading

Posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Rideaux de porte- door curtains

I though you might like to see my  “new” door curtains. You may recall that we have a “Jack & Jill” shower room on the second floor at the French village house. We now have functional locks on the access … Continue reading

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Nous ne nous baignons pas aujourd’hui!

We have new leisure facilities  a mere stone’s throw away from Campagne. Fishing and sports lake, paddle boarding, boats, quad-bikes, play areas, swimming lake with beach, picnic spots, giant inflatables and these very quirky stone “chairs” all with amazing wrap-around … Continue reading

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Episode 158 – Whoops!

So, let’s admire the “new” old door from tulip bedroom to shower room. Let’s just show the family our amazing progress Chez Nous since May. Let’s bask in their admiration at our tireless efforts and   achievements( even though we … Continue reading

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In which I admit it . I mostly hate new things

Another day in which I wear so many different hats that I need more than one head. A morning of intensive day-job work; then Very Quickly painting the kitchen wall because Trevor’s Monster Fridge is arriving earlier than expected. Congratulations … Continue reading

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The Terrace Bedroom- La Chambre Terrasse

Never let anyone tell you that you can do nothing with a room 2.3 metres wide and five metres long, except perhaps turning it into a bathroom. Remember this painted door from an earlier post? That’s on the other side … Continue reading

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Episode 157 – In which I think that I may have pushed my vision more than a tad further than anyone would deem standard French house restoration

Nothing here is straight, or straightforward. We knew that in principle, but in practice the reality is that sometimes even more creativity and lateral thinking is required when finishing off our projects. Because I will not let Trevor demolish or … Continue reading

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Lovely building for sale in Limoux

Here is a business opportunity (G & D?) Lovely stone building with historic bones and large two storey space atop a former restaurant/cafe on the corner of the beautiful main square in Limoux, Occitanie, France. I cannot confirm if it … Continue reading

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I Troc therefore I am- Carcassonne

It is true. I love to Troc. We were driving around the industrial estate behind Casino supermarket in Carcassonne looking for the Orange Boutique. Googlemaps said that we were virtually sitting in it; then Trev suddenly remembered that Phil had … Continue reading

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La chambre d’amis. Guests at the French house

It’s not easy finding a battery operated light that is bright enough to steer you to the bathroom in the middle of the pitch black, light pollution free nights we have here. We have wiring, but it’s not connected up … Continue reading

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All manner of pretty things

You are going to see lots of posts like this. If you aren’t keen, look away now; I am not at all offended if you un-follow or un-friend me or whatever it is you can un-do. In the middle of … Continue reading

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The Thursday Three – velvet and verdigris

I will miss aspects of the cottage in the UK. Although the cheap white walls and dark brown carpet upstairs are not my choice, they are an OK backdrop for photos. As you might know, I have been sourcing curtains, … Continue reading

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More paint ideas

Back on the subject of walls, here is  an atypical French house I have seen featured in several interiors magazines in France. It has parallels with our project in that although the house is twice the size of our place, … Continue reading

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

If 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 … Continue reading

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Episode 151 Part 2 – “I name this bath…….”

I have actually named my long sought after bathtub. It’s practically a member of the family now. Though maybe I wouldn’t leave a member of the family all alone in a dark garage surrounded by junk. Trevor suspects  (not without … Continue reading

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Architectural ironmongery – and four more for Friday

Wise words for French house restorers, with a wider message I think. I am not of any traditional religious persuasion myself but I found this piece of embroidery from a Welsh Chapel; presumably it hails from a period when the … Continue reading

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Restore, recycle, reuse, relook it, relove it

I have been blog-chatting with JP at https://husifrankrike.com/ where he and his wife have been musing on restoring features at their medieval village house ( also in the Aude) and perhaps commissioning replacement features. JP has what looks like a … Continue reading

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Episode 150 – Go

Yes, this blog has been very quiet of late. I have had a lot of thinking to do. It’s tiring doing that, the day job, stock hunting, the finishing flourishes to Trevor’s furniture……. Last Wednesday  was Decision Day. We have … Continue reading

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La cheminée, le cœur de la pièce- or, why the fireplace is key

I’m not dictating what you should do Chez Vous, but for me, the fireplace in any room is key. Left-  from linen & lavender – lifestyle I have two woodburning stoves to fit at the French village house; but if … Continue reading

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Cold feet – and why just a few square metres of flooring is giving me another hovel related headache

Why do these small decisions choke up the narrative on these projects? The biggest decision is what property to buy, everything else after is relatively less onerous ; Right? Wrong! – and I am still “sweating the small stuff” here. … Continue reading

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Friday French Fix- Old and Bold spaces – Chambres anciennes et audacieuses

When engaged in old French property rescue, we should be bold and daring Yes? Let’s be Aude-acious in the Aude! http://www.weranda.pl/domy-i-mieszkania/rezydencje/rezydencja-w-kolorach-piasku-i-oceanu http://decoholic.org/2014/12/17/fireplace-styles-100-design-ideas/ http://wingsviewathome.tumblr.com/?og=1                

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More Friday French Property P**n- How to hang

I have around 100 pictures, paintings, prints & mirrors to hang at the French village house. Not all are huge, though some are almost wall-filling….. So I think about how to group and where to hang these a lot. To … Continue reading

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Qui n’avance pas, recule

I think we have bitten off more than we can chew. Photo by permission of The Grandson Is that a proverb? an idiom? an adage? weigh it up right here- http://www.smart-words.org/quotes-sayings/aphorism-proverb-idiom-saying-pun.html Anyway, my French neighbour V has decided that she … Continue reading

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Episode 149- Perceptions and the interception dance

I have been loathe to invite anyone into the French house whilst my vision for the whole place remains less than blindingly obvious in most areas. This couldn’t go on, so on our last trip we allowed in some curious … Continue reading

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Tread carefully part 2- an update on safer stairs stories

Looking through JP’s latest post on his wonderful blog here I had a strong sense of deja-vu. Trapphuset till vinden då och nu OK, students, compare and contrast JP’s photos with mine here- https://coteetcampagne.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/episode-36-safer-stairs-stories/ https://coteetcampagne.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/tread-carefully/ Although the room looks a little … Continue reading

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Episode 148- In which we can see the wood for the trees

Just in case my recent posts have suggested that we are galloping toward the finishing line, here is hard proof that we are not. This is the workshop ceiling. The big beam left to right used to hold up half … Continue reading

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Episode 145 part 2- Reflections on restoration, renovation and reconstruction in France

Our shopping lists in France rarely have any of the usual domestic requirements such as food on them. It’s more likely to be stuff for the house . I have no idea why I spelt “filler” with three “ls” . … Continue reading

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