We start renovations in earnest on the little river house this April. And because we ‘inherited’ so much antique, vintage and interesting ‘stuff’ with the house, we have got a great head start on the final ‘look and feel’ of the gîte. Yet still so much more work to do than we originally thought!

So we definitely have our work cut out to make this potentially pretty little cottage a comfortable and stylish place in time for Summer 2019 holiday rentals.

Our strategy is to renovate where possible rather than replace. Not only because the budget is very tight, but also because the property was once fitted out quite well already – and it has a certain classic French holiday home ambience which we’d rather like to keep (with some concessions to modern-day standards!).

These flowery wallpapers – whilst not to everyone’s taste – seem to be good quality and well-applied. And (I hope!) with some sympathetic and complementary furnishings and a fresh lick of paint on the woodwork could still work well – if done right.

We are being ambitious with our plan to get the property ready to rent out for Summer 2019 but even though the cottage was habitable and functioning, we had our work cut out for us for the first stage of renovations.

Our recent 3-week working visit this April saw the original but precariously extended balcony stripped back to the original footprint and timbers inspected and strengthened where necessary to give us back what would have been close to the original feature. It certainly feels loads firmer and oddly, we don’t miss the extra space of the later extension – probably because we didn’t want to stand on it too much! And now we can see much more of the pretty garden below.

The extended balcony which needed a robust ‘makeover’ (note the plumbing pipes used as a railing – so ugly! Now gone!)


Andrew and Graham ‘set to’, stripping out the dodgy and the wobbly!


The restored balcony – simple, safe and no old pipes blocking the view!

The other main progress we made this visit was starting to create the new kitchenette area by fitting a nice old ceramic sink – found at a local Vide Maison. Andrew – who helped us out for five long, hard days – said the sink was even heavier than the balcony! So it’s now set into the corner. In fact, it pretty much is the corner now!

Great finds at a local Vide Maison, including a heavy double ceramic sink

We also managed to plant in some shrubs grown on in the UK, cut back some brambles to reveal more of the stone garden wall and decorate the bathroom and what will be the dressing room.

And yet, the ‘To Do’ list is even longer than it was!

The cottage (2nd on right) seen from the lane above the village

4 thoughts on “Wallflowers!

  1. I’m glad you’re going to keep the wallpapers – they work so well with the vibe you’re going for. Can’t wait to see more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! A combination of quite liking them and not wanting the hassle of stripping them all and re-doing! Let’s see how it works out, deco-wise!! 😉


  2. It’s gong to look so gezellig, chuck. I love reading your accounts. You have such a lovely way with words ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dank je wel, chuck. Gezellig is exactly what we’re aiming for. Not sure of the French for that word yet! Mwah. Veel liefs Xxx


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