Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lovely, lovely

Why do I do this to myself? I stop blogging for months at a time, then I have no idea how to cover everything that has happened in the interim. And so much has happened over the past few months!

People, we have a house. A wonderful, warm, beautiful, fully functional house that we’ve waited more than four years for. And, best of all, we made a certain addition to the house that really makes it particularly homey. Here,I'll call him Pup.

But back to the house itself. After all those troubles with picking a color, we finally went ahead and ahd it painted. We kind of didn’t have a choice. The painters (well, the masons, who did the paintwork) were insisting that they needed their scaffolding, so we had a make a decision or leave the house unpainted. So, here….drum roll, please….is our house:

It looks pretty good, no? But honestly? It’s not the color that we wanted. It’s too yellow, too light. But the good thing about restoring a ruin is that everything looks good compared to what you started out with. So, we look at our too yellow, too light house, and are happy. Admittedly, sometimes we contemplate it with puzzled expressions on our faces – exactly why couldn’t we get the color we wanted? Why did the painters/masons keep giving us every color except the ones we asked for? – but then, we stop thinking about it because it is just too baffling.

But look at this:

We can't really complain.

The outside of the house being basically done (except for the shutters and the iron window protector thingys, which will come later), we have turned out attention to furnishings, decorations and interior painting. Since we spent all our money getting the house in habitable condition, we’re moving really slow on the interior and spending lots of time at IKEA. Here, for example, is our living room:

Functional. Comfortable. Again, can't complain.

The one thing that we didn’t buy at IKEA was our bed. We wanted something really big and special, and we couldn’t at all find what we were looking for at any store. Then Dawg found a lovely wrought-iron bed of Italian design on the web, and it could be all ours for the low, low price of 2,000 euros! (In case you’re confused, I’m being facetious). So, what we did was take a picture of the bed to a blacksmith (gotta love France for still having artisans like blacksmiths!), and he agreed to make it for us for a fraction of the price. It was delivered in June and we love it:

We bought the mattress at IKEA (or somewhere) but it tickled us that the blacksmith offered to introduce us to a mattress-maker. Can you believe it? A mattress-maker! I love it!

Pregnancy/post-partum hormones made me declare with a great deal of vitriol that Pup would never see the inside of the house until the house was professionally cleaned and the bathroom painted. Our very, very kind and generous friends, Skip and Tollie, gave up a weekend to paint the bathroom with Dawg, and the results were amazing:

We also had an industrial cleaner come in to scrub the house from top to bottom. While someone not so familiar with the house might not notice – I did. No longer do I have to change Lil’Dawg’s clothes twice a day because he’s covered with dust from running around the house. The tiles in the front hallway gleam like they probably have never before. The glass in the windows is bright and clear. And the smell! Our house actually smells fresh and clean! The pigeon-shit smell has been long gone, but it never smelled truly clean until now. I can’t wait until it takes on other scents –like the smell of baking bread, or freshly-cut flowers.

Our last big outdoor project (besides the barn, which still remains an eyesore and hazard - oh, and repairing the wall...and replacing the gate...)is the garden. The future garden, that is. We just spent the weekend with, once again, our very kind and generous friends, doing the back-breaking work that is necessary when you’re preparing the soil to sow grass. But you can read about (and see pictures) of that experience at my gardening blog.


Omar said...

Oh my, that is just spectacular.. wow. :)

Tiffany@NOH said...

Congrats on the new baby. Pup is adorable. And the house looks spectacular even if you're not crazy about the color. The same has happened to us for the base around our house...we picked exactly the right shade above but somehow got something almost purple below. Oh well, we're living with it until next year :)

The place really looks spectacular. Hope you guys didn't forget to celebrate all you've done with a nice glass of wine (or three). Ok, not you cause you've got Pup to feed but you know what I mean :)

Lola said...

Thanks Omar and Tiffany! The color isn't so bad. We say that one day when we're feeling rich (ha!), we'll have it repainted. And Tiffany, I must admit, I did have a well-timed sip of wine to celebrate!

La Gare said...

Hi Lola,

I haven't looked at your blog in a couple of years - I think the last time was when you guys were still working on putting the floors in - so am AMAZED with the transformation. Congratulations! I really love the outside color, and you're making us reconsider the 'exposed stone' look we are currently planning on going with. What a difference some paint can make!

Best wishes,

Lara ('la gare' down by Poitiers)