GI know up until now I’ve written of my Catholic life, but I have an absolute passion for creating a warm, cosy, welcoming home by doing up old furniture and making soft furnishings and I really wanted to share this with you too. so I thought I’d start by sharing a walkthrough of our new home.
The house itself is in a little French village and used to belong to the doctor. Everywhere I go in the village when I give my address if they seem confused I say this and straight away they know; telling me about my own home’s features!
The house is on a hill and is in the place where a chateau used to be, in fact the stone from the house comes from the old chateau. I thought I’d take you on a tour of just a few of the rooms downstairs as they are now – the good, the bad, and the ugly – I won’t do them all as I wouldn’t want to bore you!
The back of the house is lovely and was used to advertise the property…..
However the front is not so appealing and looks like this….
I’d always dreamed of having a traditional French front door so I’m not going to lie to you, the front was a disappointment. However I think it would be impractical in cold, rainy Northern France (that description may not appeal to some people, but my Irish roots means my skin and I love it) and also possibly expensive. So I’m going to focus on giving the front door some wow factor in the coming months.
I’d also dreamed of a house with shutters and this can be far more easily replicated.
Going into the hallway I love the dado rail, although there isn’t a ceiling medallion to go with it. These glass doors are wonderful as they keep the light and the heat in. I really wish they had bevelled glass, but I can live with it. The colour is a little strong for me too, but easily changed. I love that the doors have panelling and brass door handles. I wouldn’t have chosen this stone floor, but actually the more I see it the more I like it.
As you go in through the glass doors its a little more…..bleugh. Carpeted walls (?), plain doors into the kitchen and laundry room and a polystyrene ceiling. However the wonderful wooden stairs with its brass features makes up for all of that. Over Christmas my family watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” and my husband made a comment about how our finial lifts out of the socket like there one does. I kind of think that he was watching the film and happily imagining a replication of the on and off screen scenarios; with the main character coming home and finding his wife busily doing up their old house and children happily playing.
As you walk up to the upstairs landing you find this wonderful, large window that actually goes up to the top, attic floor which give a beautiful view that meets you whenever you start to go downstairs. The landing has this beautiful stripped, wood floor which I love.
Even further up the turning staircase there are some original dolly light switches, a glass tulip light fitting and some paisley, victorian style wallpaper. The attic is big and spacious and a wonderful armoire was left behind – apparently it was here when the previous owners moved in 35 years ago.
On your left as you go in is the, for now, dining room. The wood panelling is gorgeous and is probably original from the chateau as I know lots of the original features are used in the houses around here. I also love these radiators and double windows. the big box shapes above the windows are part of electronic shutters and I plan covering them.
The living room has this amazing extension and is the most modern part of the house as a result. These black light fittings where here when we moved (in fact most of the light fittings remained, which is very unusual in France). I found them to be a little too stark for my taste and as I already had the purple lamp shades this seems like a good way to bring them in line with how the rest of the room is coming together.
When I was planning the decor of the house before we bought (you can follow me on Pinterest through the icons) I’d wanted something more French Country, but actually the very light grey shade on the paper in the summer room and slight shimmer in the main room seems to reflect pieces of furniture and decor I already had, so I’m changing my mind.
One thing I won’t be dissuaded from is making the fireplace more traditional as I hate the corner one (It’s not pictured here, I obviously hate it so much I forgot to photograph it). Although I love that the cupboards have internal lights, and they reflect the fabric artwork I have, I don’t like their plain structure, although other people love them. I think a little additional moulding might be in order!
Again, very unusually, many of the curtains have been left in the house and this set were one of such. I think the material is great but as I wanted curtains to go all the way round the bay and these don’t I won’t be keeping them. However they’re going to a good home so I don’t feel guilty – my mum loves them!
The room is slowly coming together. I’d done most of the re-upholstery on the lilac couch prior to moving and I’ve got material for the Queen Anne chair and the other large sofa to cover them too (They’ll be in gold and a striped lavender shade) – I’m so pleased as these go with the grey and off-white really well don’t they?
I’d actually gone of the paintings that have already gone up, but they’ve found a new lease of life here!
I’m hoping to have the higgledy piggledy nature of it sorted by the end of the year. Can’t wait to start some projects!
What do you think?