Saturday, 31 August 2019


It's been two months since I lasted posted on our barn conversion, at that stage we on a deadline to get some basics done (bathrooms especially) in anticipation of family arriving. Since that point work has been sluggish. There was a celebratory family holiday to enjoy in the Lot et Garonne as well as friends visiting us. France is 'en fête' during July and August with so much to see and do - more of that in my next post! We also realised we were worn out, more mentally than physically and just needed a break from large restoration projects - in the back of our minds was the realisation that just because the barn was nearly finished our work wasn't, we have the main house to tackle next. So it was a few easier weeks for us, I even managed some hammock time!

Kitchen in La Grange
Progress did continue though, finally the kitchen and dining area were completed. Regular readers may remember that we were aiming for a Mid Century Modern vibe to these areas and I think we're getting there, although I still have some furniture to source. Andrew has done a terrific job (as always) even when I go all designery on him, insisting that the oak work top wraps down each end of the units. And the large format tiling for the splash back meant nearly every one had to be cut, and not just simple vertical cuts but holes for sockets and around the hob upstand.

One of the reasons for the U shaped design was to take advantage of the view, I wanted guests to see across the valley while making breakfast. It's really hard to take a photograph as it's always bright so apologises for the poor quality, but it is followed by a close up so you can get feel for it.

View from the kitchen

Better photograph!
Originally we were going to have panels that matched the kitchen doors for the back of the peninsula but I changed my mind. I did think about painting a MCM design but really didn't have the time so I found some wallpaper that worked. It had a bit too much contrast with the wall tiles so I made up a paint wash and gave it a couple of coats to tone it down.

Originally the wallpaper was more intense in tone so I gave it a paint wash

Planning the ceiling lighting was quite tricky in the open plan space. We wanted to maintain the light and open feel to the room but also create three zones - kitchen, dining and relaxing. In the end we chose a selection of black wire shades, they complement but are different in each area. Over the dining table I managed to find a vintage suspension which works perfectly.

No escaping a napkin shot!
I've completed some upholstery projects and am particularly pleased with a pair of 1970's furry chairs a.k.a. the bunny ear chairs. No longer covered in a faux fur that sparked when you sat on them but a vintage style tweed.

We did a little more styling in the bedrooms although I'm still on the search for decorative items for the Phileas Fogg suite.

Bedroom of the Phileas Fogg suite

Exotic animal bedroom
Apart from some snagging jobs there are just two things to finish in the barn, the guard rail at the top of the stairs is just a temporary one and needs a permanent solution and we need to create a small terrace. Next year the barn will be a vacation rental and our guests will have full use of our park garden but we also want them to be able to enjoy their own space for that early morning coffee or evening apéro.

Thoughts have turned to the main house, we've drawn up the plans and have started to pack things away in anticipation of the 'move' into the barn and work starting. Meanwhile Andrew is getting back into the swing of things by creating a terrace overlooking the river. Everyone gravitates to this part of the garden so we thought it would be nice to create a proper seating area.

A before shot of the new terrace area

As always you can follow our progress, and life in France on Facebook. If your particular interest is French barns then why not join this group.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Post

Sweet was the walk along the narrow lane...

 is the opening line of William Wordworth's poem about walking and it's so relevant to our region of Corrèze. When we bought the hou...