We finally hauled ourselves after the long hot summer into the Farm House to start renovations. Somehow a trillion excuses manifested to keep us from mustering up the courage to tackle opening up this lovely property and get some order into the rooms.
With no rear access to the house, the kitchen off the bedroom and a hall used as a bar, the place felt topsy turvy. No good, the quick renovation has extended to a year long one and our plans are as follows:
- Kitchen will be changed to a cosy parlour room off the bedroom. Good for midnight snacking and insomnia moments!
- The side storage building will become a large kitchen leading to the cellar. So no getting wet when you need a tipple or two.
- The hall bar will go and a new staircase installed to the gallery above. The previous owner must have had tiny feet. My huge plates of meat mean I have to unceremoniously go down sideways!
- The gallery has been closed above the lower snug. A huge coffin like structure sits over the stairway below to the old kitchen. Ugly, ugly. Opening brings in tonnes of light and heat too.
- The gallery gets some lovely French doors out to a new terrace to view the beautiful French landscape. With thousands of trees round here, the mornings and evenings are breathtaking.
- A long colonial style terrace will run the length of the rear of the house. Rocking chairs have been purchased and just need somewhere to rock!
- Finally the old storage room will become a utility room and cat sleeping quarters. With 7 new kitties, we now have a space for beds, food, poop trays and they can drop whatever mice they find in there and not under my bed!
True to all our projects, we start with pets. No matter we have no comfort, the other guys come first. Luckily we have a working bath here. This week we had our first blissfully hot bath in over three years! Showers are ok but a long muscle soak can’t be beaten. Heaven has arrived.
So first task the cat room. The resident spiders had to go and the loose mortar repaired. It was a cow barn in a previous life and the concrete feeding stall blocked access to the utility room and hallway. After a bit of grunt work we salvaged a huge oak beam and the rest headed for our rubble pile.
Back in the old shoes and lime mortar again.
Now to tackle the gloom. Making a window larger always seems daunting but it transforms a room. We have such lovely views and can’t understand why the French insist hiding behind closed shutters and tiny openings.
However here you have to cut through a foot of stone. Luckily it comes out fairly easy and with a bit of propping I am ready to rebuild.
A few odd stones that couldn’t be removed became qwerky angles. As my husband says very tactfully, you can’t see it from the sky, or it’s countryside. My mother-in-law says it’s unique and no one will ever have one like it. She is so right!
Here are the monsters…