Update update!

Argh – I have neglected my blog. I feel bad about this as I was so passionate about keeping it up to date for so long. I think the problem is two fold…

  1. I was playing catch up, telling our story room by room with historical photos and tales. Now I am in essence updating in real time so have much less to work with.
  2. The changes we are making now are much less seismic. We are even re-renovating things we renovated when we first moved in.

But just to get you all up to speed on progress – here are some pics from this summer. A summer where we were visitor free for the first time since we bought the house so in theory we should have had loads more time. Our first project was to redecorate the kitchen.

Here is how our kitchen looked when we first bought the house, complete with Flintstones grotto..


yabba dabba do!


And here is how it looked once we’d painted and added in a kitchen.


overtly olive in 2011

But this summer we decided to give it an overhaul. It was the first thing we decorated when we moved in and as such it was looking a bit tired. And I’d also tired of the Overtly Olive walls that we’d plumped for when we first moved in.

So I headed to B&Q and bought myself many tubs of Valspar Smoky Lashes and some Dulux Egyptian Cotton. And voila – add in a metal sign we found in a Vide Grenier and we have a brand new kitchen. The ceiling still needs to be painted but we both feel a it sick at the prospect of forty or more in between beam sections.

Next visit I am replacing the floor but may stick with a black and white theme as it feels like part of the house.

And I simply can’t part with the ‘ugly chair’ I bought after a fight with a woman in IKEA’s bargain corner. It was one of the first things we got when we bought the house and just needed anything to sit on. It has housed the bum of all our guests who sit in front of the fire checking their emails or reading a book and despite stains, burn holes and general wear and tear, I think it has to stay.

image image

My french house – before and after pics …

I think it’s a good idea to do a quick recap. Sometimes even I forget just how awful our French house was when we bought it. So this blog post is a simple before and after round up. No, you’re welcome.



Our kitchen on the day we moved in – nice huh?


Varde units from Ikea and crockery from my parents and local brocant markets.

Master bedroom


This was where we slept for about six months – the futon I bought in Australia when I was 24 and living there – its travelled to here via LA, Newcastle and London.


Mirror from ebay and light fitting was here originally! Wallpaper is Laura Ashley Josette.

Downstairs bathroom


er yuk!


Still one of my have makeovers. Walls Cornforth White from Farrow and Ball and bathroom from a local discount bathroom supplier. Extras from local Brocante.

Downstairs guest bedroom


This is actually ‘after’ quite a bit of cleaning up and painting. Don’t have a truly ‘before’ pic but you get the idea


Ta da! Bed from Ikea. Curtains made by me! Everything else brocante or local market.

Kids sitting room




The kids have a room of their own! Sofa was found in a skip and recovered with John Lewis fabric. Walls are Farrow and Ball Parma Grey.

Dining room


Can you see why we bought the place? nope, me either….


Because I knew it could look like THIS! Walls are Earhbourne Paints Bandstand. Lights from BHS and everything else from local brocante markets. Table from our friend Steve who has a great Brocante in Aignan.

Kids room


Again this is a mid way makeover pic – don’t have true befores. Our friend James’s stripped the wallpaper from the walls in here as it was too disgusting to even go in with it on apparently. Thanks James.


The boys chose the colour – its a Dulux red can’t remember the name. Bedding is Cath Kidston.

Small bedroom


My dressing room/spare bedroom


Ready for the arrival of my god-daughter! Bed Ikea and towels from Matalan!

Upstairs bathroom


Letting the rain in….


Paint is Earthbourne Bandstand (leftover from dining Room) Tiles are from Topps Tiles and called Henley

Grand Salon

Our 'rat run' home to lots of furry friends

Our ‘rat run’ home to lots of furry friends

Not yet finished but looking better right? Walls are Calamine by Farrow and Ball and lights are Graham and Green.

Not yet finished but looking better right? Walls are Calamine by Farrow and Ball and lights are Graham and Green.

So there you have it. We do also have a few ‘sub rooms’ which are small bedrooms attached to the other rooms which we’ve painted and thrown some beds in plus we have a very basic utility room. ANd then we have two of these…..


Attics – one day will be two VERY large bedrooms with ensuites!

But that’s definitely for another blog post. How do you think we’re doing so far?