We are renovating!
After 12 years in this Provence-style house, we’ve decided to renovate so as to upgrade it, both aesthetically as well as in energy performance.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that the builders have recently started. In today’s article a little summary of the what and the why.
Following this post, I hope to be able to write regularly on the building advancements, our inspirations, the constraints, our life during renovation work and the surprises (and I’m crossing my fingers that they’re emostly positive ones).
Welcome to this new series: | Creating the home of my dreams |
* photo above: view of the living room on our entrance with at the bottom the room which served us in office
We bought this house in 2007 when we moved to the south of France for professional reasons. It was not our first move (rather the 6th or 7th) so we were used to moving into a house with a look that wasn’t to our taste. Better still, having moved several times and knowing we were only to live there for a limited time, we had become rather clever in decorating around existing features. And it always worked for us.
But this house, or should I say, this region, turns out to be the right one. We are happy to stay here. After 12 years in the same house we are finally letting go of the notion that we do things in the house thinking of the next owners. Do you recognize that feeling; Adapting everything you to in our home to accomodate the following tenants/owners?
Our house was originally a small ‘Bastide’ of the beginning of the 19th century and was made much bigger about 50 years ago. Since then, it has not been updates a lot.
The decision to stay in our region led us to ask ourselves a rather important question; move or renovate? And well, now you know the answer.
To summarize the work in progress and the project, here are the 4 parts that it contains:
1. We’re changing the lay out of our entrance to move the living room towards the sunlight.
Since the house was enlarged in the 70’s, the living room and kitchen are oriented west and, even more still, north. In the south side of the house, where thesun comes in, you find bedrooms. Obviously this is quite nice in summer (especially here in the south of France) but then during the other 3 seasons the sunshine manages to come in only in the late afternoon and doesn’t warm up – or brighten up the living area.
This is one of the two main purposes of our renovations; Bringing the light and the warmth of the sun into the living room.
To achieve this we will change the lay out of the entrance and the small office. The entrance will be moved and the veranda of the entrance will become the new living room with a fully glazed wall.
2. The fireplace has to go. In its place a project around a wood-burning stove.
Our very, very, very huge fireplace will disappear and to take its place we were inspired by an idea seen in home photographed by Living Agency. It’s a project to include à new way of having a fire, with a wood-burning stove.
Here we find the second purpose of our renovations; Improving the heating of our large home.
We never understood the meaning of a fireplace that’s only decorative and that is 3m50 wide and 2m high. It only warms those who get really close up (but in no way the rest of our home). It’s a very dominant feature in the living and I have never been able to integrate it in my interior design.
I’ll tell you more about this smaller project and the inspiration that is at its origin. But the replacement (for our huge fireplace) will be a black wood-burning stove from a Danish brand with a minimalist style. This time, the flames will not only be useful but ALSO efficiant!
3. We close the mezzanine with a glass wall.
No need to elaborate on that notion. To thermally and acoustically isolate the mezzanine, we want to close it. To keep the light and for it to keep its aesthetics, it’ll be done with a glass wall.
Our cathedral ceiling (so very trendy in the 70’s) will be mostly gone. Yay! To be able to close, it was necessary to make the mezzanine a little bigger (so as it could align with the ceiling), this has already been done. We are waiting for the glass wall to be installed in December, I can’t wait!
4. Installation of floor heating, with a concrete floor finish.
The floor heating can be justified with our 2nd renovations purpose (see above), an improvement of the heating system. This is obviously for more comfort but also to replace the very old oil boiler which was very bad for the environment and had high heating costs.
And as for the concrete floor, I can almost hear my friends chuckle as they read this.
All those who know me (and who know the house) know that I really don’t like our floor. It’s a Salernes tiling and apparently it’s so beautiful. So to our guests who exclaimed ‘Oh you have a beautiful floor of Salernes!‘ I asked if they would like to have it in their own home. ‘Oh well no, ‘it’s not my style’! There you have it, we can agree on that. What to do with this red and shiny floor when you don’t want the Provençal interior style in your home?
I will finally have a beautiful bright and neutral style floor, girls!!! (and it’ll be warm as well)
And so this is our project in a nut shell.
The only thing to do now is to observe the work going on to make sure it goes well and to wait.
How do you like it?
In my next article of Creating the home of my dreams, I’ll tell you the amazing demolition works where the builders broke down a large part on the south side and found a 19th century surprise!