Tag Archives: village

Pimp my hovel

Well, we finally nailed the colours for the outside render and the shutters. So, taking advantage of the late Autumn sunshine, the Trevoracle started sanding down the flaky doors.   Aren’t those layers of colour beautiful? Yes they are . … Continue reading

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Onward and upward

After a summer of stasis when nothing got done around the French house, we have finally started to address the final work. Everything stopped for a number of reasons: Trev’s new French doctor put him back on a drug cocktail … Continue reading

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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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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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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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A Serious Step

A gloriously sunny day in the d’Oc so we had a long walk along the riverbank toward Esperaza. We like to walk, and we now have an excellent reason for getting out and about even more. Last week we went … 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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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

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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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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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Argeles-sur-Mer late spring cleaning #1

One of the many benefits of living here at the French house is that we can actually spend time at, or even have a holiday at the Argeles apartment! Many others have benefited, including family and friends, just NOT US.This … Continue reading

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The Thursday Three – and some thoughts on storage.

I don’t think you have seen these? The bug lamp, the Art Nouveau copper dustpan, this little painting? Actually you might be able to help me, I have been looking for a copper handled brush to match the pan, does … Continue reading

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Another old French village house

In my self appointed ongoing mission to bang the drum for Small Village Houses, here is another from Lost In Arles- see here I note the many common features shared with our place, inset cupboards, terrazzo stairs and modest dimensions … 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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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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À la fin de l’année- the end of a tough year

So we walk into our closest large supermarket (UK) & this bottle of crémant de Limoux is on the shelf with all the other bubbles. A bottle of Premiere Bulles rosé, with that toffee coloured tint that so many Southern … Continue reading

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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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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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Quandaries

The best laid plans of mice and men and French country village house restorers gang aft astray. They do. When I bought this heavily carved buffet de cuisine it was always intended to be the dramatic focal point of the … Continue reading

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Episode 146- Another retrospective- French house dining room- working with a narrow space

I am trying to remind myself that progress is being made at the village house, as well as giving newer followers the heads up on what we have actually achieved to date en France. The photo –left- is not exactly … Continue reading

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Episode 145- A retrospective. Renovation, restoration and reconstruction in the Aude

I think it’s time to look back and take stock. Quite a few new folk have started following this  epic saga of ours and must be wondering what kind of blog they have stumbled onto here. Some art, some antiques, … Continue reading

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The Wednesday One- Selfie with Footstool

It’s been a Trying Week and it’s only Wednesday! I won’t tempt cruel fate by postulating that the only way is up, but I really need a boost today. So. we picked up a repro mahogany demi-lune table for a … Continue reading

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The Thursday Three- Frontons

These fine “frontons” or pediments are found embellishing swanky doorways in many formal French interiors and grander houses from the early 18th century onward.   Embraced by a number of style revivals and generally made of carved wood or cast … Continue reading

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Episode 142- Decorative finishes update – mettre en valeur

You might remember that I posted about the first two stages of the process I have developed for stucco-stencilling walls. Check it out here in French house salon.   https://coteetcampagne.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/can-you-stucco-stencil-it-yes-you-can/ I have now completed stage 3 and it looks even … Continue reading

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French style signs & symbols #2 – Diamond Doors

I have noticed the preponderence here in the Languedoc of front entrance doors with the diamond motif; ours included. We even find this motif -right-on the huge doors on Limoux’s beautiful Église Saint-Martin de Limoux http://visitesvirtuelles.123.fr/eglise-saint-martin-a-limoux/ What I have also … Continue reading

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Woo-hoo! L’escalier is painted

In case you were all wondering whether my Refined-Rustic vision for the village house was edging dangerously  toward just refined ( i. e the chandelier, or ” the shandAYhlia” as Trev now calls it in  a lousy Cockney accent) I … Continue reading

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The Curtain Smuggler

Well, you know that I refuse to pay for hold luggage on Ryanair, unless it’s packed with antique textiles. So, I can pack  a fortnight’s capsule wardrobe and all associated necessities into  a cabin bag AND stay inside the weight … Continue reading

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The Thursday Three – la chance

This post was delayed out of respect. Many, many moons ago (maybe ten years?) I bought this slub silk and velvet cushion just because I liked it. For me, that’s usually sufficient reason to buy anything. Currently, I am trimming … Continue reading

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Making part medieval French village houses work

For those of you interested in the Demolition Derby clearly in operation on the last post, I present two earlier posts which explain. To clarify- the photo top left of first post below (with the weird wardrobes)  shows FRONT of … Continue reading

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Maison or Museum? Save or Skip? #1

Forget OCD. Those embarking on the giddy path of French House Rescue; and who have any sensitivity to the building they buy will have to wrestle with  a seemingly endless list of  OHD’s Old House Dilemmas Though, thinking about that … Continue reading

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Signs and symbols- traditional decorative motifs in the Languedoc #1

I had every intention of featuring some of the decorative motifs on this beautiful town house in Carcassonne, but Poshbirdy beat me to it, and with a proper camera, unlike my phone; So see her great photos here, thanks P!- … Continue reading

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Can you stucco stencil it? Yes you can!

              Yes sir, we can stencil. And we can handpaint motifs on our French Country Walls and Ceilings etc . Above are two fine examples and some more here https://husifrankrike.com/2016/06/08/dag-5-sondagen-aterigen-en-vilodag/     Thank you JP! I … Continue reading

Posted in Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

French village houses

Taking our promenade around Campagne one evening we notice that many of our neighbours are painting their shutters and walls. There are no colour restrictions imposed here; despite the historical buildings and yes, you can see the church from our … Continue reading

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Some you win some you lose

It’s a miracle! The last row of insulation batts going under the kitchen floor butted up perfectly against our crazy walls. REE….sult. The last whole plank of wood under the window is tough to get in as no room on … Continue reading

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