Fool for France

This haunted house look is what we started with. Lots of rot, lots of mildew and boards that were just nailed up any old way. Clearly these rooms had not been used in years, except maybe for storage. They are the rooms in the wings, the ones that were tacked on later to make the house look more imposing. Inside they had no clear function or visual connection to the main house. You would come to a bedroom and then oh, look, there is another door and a whole other room. It was a little creepy. Jacques would come into these rooms and pee on the floor, every time. I don’t blame him.

But I was in mourning for a man with whom I had spent our wedding night in a bedroom that had just space for the bed and had windows very close, one on each side, just like here. I couldn’t bring him back but I could bring back these rooms and give them a purpose. So I did.

Above is the first floor landing. As I mentioned not long ago, we refinished the floors and stairs. We rewired, insulated, added new skirting board and painted. Then, those rooms. If you step through that doorway, just to the left is another doorway to what used to be the sad, old pink bathroom.

It now looks like this.

We did the usual hidden work, refurbished the radiator, replaced the window, upgraded the sink, put a toilet where the tub used to be and installed a shower, in which I am sitting. Obviously the shutters have not had their makeover.

Before you just walked into the bathroom. Then beyond that was the tacked-on room. So, what to do? There was a feeling that the tacked-on part should become the bath or a big closet. But really, no. I like privacy. I don’t want to step from a public space directly into my bedroom, just don’t, plus that space between the two doors would be circulation, anyway. So, bathrooms first,then bedrooms. The top half of the bathroom doors are glazed with ordinary Leroy Merlin cathedral glass. I put reflective surfaces on the walls; that mirror is destined for the hall. This keeps the corridors from becoming too dark.

And finally, you must be so sleepy, here is one bedroom. The pictures were brought from California. The headboard will be one of those linen-covered ones, just as soon as Caravane delivers it and its twin, which will be in the next room I will show you. Lamp from Couleurs & Co. The table is an old sewing table; my great-grandmother was a seamstress, so I am pleased by that.

To this point I had been a bear about preserving the original ceilings. The coving and rosettes were irreplacable. Well, we had some coving reproduced, but you get the idea. So the guys asked special permission, with all but a written justification, to take down those splintered, rotting boards. Of course once we all saw those beams it was clear that they had to remain exposed. So we killed a lot of bugs, gave them a finish coat and painted around them.

And here is a corner of the other bedroom, like the first but in the opposite wing. The Mongolian rain cape came here by way of Berkeley. The pillows are from Jim Thompson in Bangkok. One day my headboard will come and I will find the right side tables and all. I don’t know which day but if it involves a return to Bangkok, I can’t wait!

21 Replies to “First Floor, Part One”

    1. Will disintegrate? We are afraid to open them. They’re gone. If it’s any comfort, the new ones will look weatherbeaten in no time. We don’t get a mistral or Brittany-force gales but we get real wind, no question. One of my next steps is to find the right trees for a windbreak.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our shutters are currently opened and shut using a very cunning shoe lace device as the “espagnols” as I think they are called have come away due to rot. It’s charming for the moment but how the mighty have fallen- sniff!


  1. What I love, really love about your house is not just the undoubted elegance and grace you have revealed and imbued but the fact that it truly reflects a life lived, loved, celebrated. The sadness you carry, the heartbreak of loss has purpose and becomes new breath in this beautiful landscape you are painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True. I come from poor too, so I keep only what talks to me and soothes my soul. sadly I am still probably in that category as far as most folk’s reckoning goes.
    We were in comfortably off territory once…..briefly…..when we both had proper jobs.
    Cue violins


    1. What is this “proper job” thing? Does that mean somebody else pays you? From what I have seen you both have way the hell proper skills — I think the technical term for that is “journeyman level” — and you are building up a fairly decent business. A proper business, you might say. Assuming you don’t have a lot of debt — and if you do, PM me, no point in telling the world — I think you’re going to be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. The money is the main thing, of course, but I actually liked the job. I was working at home, going in once a week or less. It was fabulous. My poor niece was working her butt off at two jobs while she put herself through school. Then she’d come home and find me in my sweats, all the while making about four times what she was pulling down. Even though I was picking up her food, housing, car insurance, etc., it drove her nuts.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you like that gray. I love it and love the way it feels like a neutral but has that nice celadon green shade, too. It is Little Greene’s Pearl Colour, #100. There are places where it may be too green but at my house it is just a nice, soft, neutral.


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