Monday, July 9, 2012

Decorating our house in Normandy

I'm back home in Duluth after a wonderful year of traveling and posting on my travel blog, I am settling in back at home again. I've done some knitting this year, but this post is going to be about the decorating I did in our house in Normandy. While we were there in May and June this year we converted our empty attic space into a bedroom. I posted lots of pictures of that project on my travel blog. (link on right)

I decided it made more sense to post these pictures here, because this is really more about my decorating hobby than about travel.

This is how we left the attic:



We did find some light fixtures that were the right color and inexpensive, so we installed two hanging lamps with plastic shades. The name of our company that owns the property is RS Property in France, thus the R and the S. Also we had two pieces of plywood cut to fit the tops of the little end tables, so now they will support lamps and other things.  Those lamps are too small, but they came with the house, so we had to put them somewhere.


We bought that little stool at a Conforama, where we've bought other items for the house.  We assembled it. Conforama is a lot like IKEA, but a smaller store. I can't quite reach the skylights to open and close them, so the stool is helpful for that.







The futon can be folded down into a double bed. It also came with the house, but with an ordinary mattress, so we didn't realize it was a convertible sofa until we finished this room.  This space makes a nice spot to sit and read when it's not nice enough or light enough to be outside.


Nothing in this corner yet.  I measured the window and may make a curtain for it to take over next time we go.



The bathroom on this floor.  The pictures hanging there are ones that came with the house.  I just moved them into this room.



If you saw the attic renovation pictures on the other blog, you saw this window, which was removed from the attic.  I painted it and we put it over the mantel in our bedroom. As I think you can see the fireplace has been blocked off. Someone must have had a wood-burning stove in it at one time.  And it is off center in the section of wall that protrudes.  It was very weird-looking.  I thought about it for a long time and finally decided to try painting it like this to sort of accent the asymmetry instead of trying to hide it or ignore it. I haven't decided what to do with the rest of the walls.  They all have a textured paper on them, that is very hard to paint.



Another note about the fireplace: One day Jim was working in this room. His desk is here, though it doesn't show in the photos.  He started hearing a lot of scratching in the fireplace and realized a bird was trapped in there.  It became clear the bird was not going to find its way out without help, so  we closed the doors, opened the window and then cautiously opened the panel at the bottom of the fireplace.  It wouldn't open more than a couple inches, but I knew that would be enough.  The bird ducked under and flew out the window before we barely had a chance to see what it was.  It was a Choucas. A grey/black bird that nests in chimneys.



One more photo showing the bed and window.  Jim's desk is just on the right here. Those canvas and wood clothes storage units also came with the house.  Some day we would like to replace them, but for now they serve the purpose. The bird prints were in the other bedroom, but they seemed to go in here, so we moved them. You can't tell in the photo, but the mats are teal-colored.


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Because this is a Rosemaling blog, I'll include another photo of the panel I painted to hide the very ugly fireplace in the living room. We finally got it hung.

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And this photo shows the front window and door. I bought those drapes from Country Curtains and took them over with me in my luggage. I think they suit the room. I couldn't find anything with such a traditional or old-fashioned print in France.  Not that there is a lot of selection near us in rural Normandy.  But everything I saw was either solid color or very modern.

The house has another bedroom and bathroom, but they are just functional and not decorated, so no photos of those spaces just now.



Ken Stanley said...

I love the window and the painted scenery behind it. You are so creative. I wouldn’t have had any idea what to do with a window.

Randi said...

Beautiful! I love your style of decorating. Is the quilt on the sofa knitted or pieced fabric? I thought it might be knit.

Cécile said...

Ken, thanks!

Randi, it's crocheted. my mom made it years ago. It's an unusual design, but she liked things like that.

Thank you.

L. P. said...

I would call this house a *Study in Blue*. I live the simplicity, so much different than here in the US where we have too much. The window and the quilt and the rosemaling are beautiful touches. I am now analyzing where I could put such a window.

Cécile said...

L.P. Thanks for your kind comments. My house here in the U.S. also has too much. But I don't know how to pare it down. :-) I try other colors, but I keep going back to blue.