(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Thursday, October 30, 2008


We have been hard at work this week on the new kitchen. I decided to move the kitchen during my renovation to a larger downstairs room with more light, a larger fireplace and access to the sunroom and garden.

Included in the move has been the addition of two new windows, facing the garden, which open up the space to more light and better views of the garden.

Thank goodness I have someone who not only knows how to cut windows in 2+ foot thick walls, but also knows how to do so without the upper floor caving in. Jean Yves located ancient beams to support the new window frames. He has also exposed one stone wall and sandblasted the large fireplace to expose the buttery yellow finish of the stone.

New wallboard and electricity has been installed. This week we have directed our attention to the ceiling. The ceiling had box beams in a dark wood. We have sanded and primed the ceiling, and now have begun the color application. The beams are a light grey with touches of ochre yellow which have then been lightly sanded to achieve an aged patina. The result is a ceiling straight out of the Renaissance. J'adore! Once the ceiling is complete, the walls will be next (one grey, one ocher). The remaining 2 walls are stone.

Then the plumbing finished, cupboards built, the floor sanded and varnished and the appliances moved and installed.

I have 'man hands' (covered in various paints, plasters and silicone) as we have worked side by side, ladder by ladder, to complete the work.

Check out the flickr.com link in my sidebar to see more pictures of the process!


La Framéricaine said...

Congratulations, Kim! It looks really lovely. And you must feel an enormous sense of satisfaction to see it come to fruition beneath your hands and those of J-Y.

Randal Graves said...

Thank goodness I have someone who not only knows how to cut windows in 2+ foot thick walls, but also knows how to do so without the upper floor caving in.

Boy, you sure do live on the edge. What's a caved in floor or two?

In all seriousness, ha ha, the place is shaping up to be quite groovy. It's hard to beat stone walls.

La Belette Rouge said...

Wow!! It is really coming along. You must be so happy. Now, go slater your hands in cream!

Utah Savage said...

Be proud of those man hands. Great work. And what a good decision to move the kitchen. So when can we start arriving?

misschris said...

I love, love love the beams painted. It looks beautiful! I'm going to show this to my husband to convince him to paint the beams in our place.

Our Juicy Life said...

looks lovely. JY is sure a great find. I can't wait to see the place in person. So, what are you going to do to seal those beautiful stone walls so you don't freeze in the winter. Everyone here laughs because they say the british come over and remodel a house and expose all these beautiful stone walls and then freeze in the winter because they don't hold the heat. I say - FREEZE if you must, the can't cover these stone walls with plaster, but most french do. I checked out your flicker and i'm sending you a picture we took in Perigeaux (sp?) last year and I swear it's at the same location as one of yours.

Michelle said...

btw, I added you to my flickr list in case you are wondering who that random 'adder' is.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

LF- yes .. je suis trés contente!

RG- grrr.

LBR-my entire body is like a sponge, I need shares in Nivea. Must be the wood heat.

US-bring your work clothes and dig in!

Miss Chris- welcome! and thanks, I love them too.

OJL-nothing else is done to seal them (that I am aware of), they aren't freezing at all, I have a large wall of stone in my bedroom, been sleeping there for over a month - no prob. and my bed is against the stone wall.

I think a lot of older french just think of stone as old and poor and wallboard as fresh and modern.

Michelle-love your stream, gorgeous habitat you've got there ... and pics of Paris make me nostalgic.