July 13, 2007

Details Details Details

Details, details.... As some of the things get wrapped up I thought I would share the fruits of the labor. This is the kitchen, we are sad to be leaving behind our stove, so we are attempting to recreate it in the new house. The "4 front burner" approach. The brick arch is actually a functioning chimney that we uncovered. We plan to use the space for indoor barbecuing if the chimney draws adequately. The hardware inside the arch is the latest find at this seasons brocantes, it ought to have a rabbit hanging from one side and a sausage smoking on the other, but we will probably settle for a bag of shallots and well, probably a gnarly looking sausage. The oven will fill the empty space below the stove. What are those counters anyway? Who knows? For now we decided to go "temporary". In lieu of dropping thousands of Euros on granite, we are going to take our time and consider the options. Perhaps trying to fall upon a more creative solution....(Zinc? Copper? Silica and epoxy? cement tiles? shattered glass?) For the next year or so it will be this MDF board, 1.25" thick, with 5 coats of polyurethane. It has a nice warm feel to it but durable???? The brick arch in the back of the shelves will unfortunately be obscured by all the stuff that will reside there; it used to be the back of a large fireplace, long since lost to a remodel of the floor plan decades or centuries ago.
This is a view up the stairs from the front entry. The lower handrail was there and we had a cabinetmaker recreate the upper handrail to match it. The wall has been reworked into a pair of doors which house the washer and dryer on the landing, solving the question of whether the laundry room should be upstairs of downstairs? Notice the "mustache hinges" recuperated from doors at the other house, centuries old and they polished up beautifully. Adding windows to a stone house is difficult, and when the walls are two feet thick it's to be avoided. Both of our bathrooms use "borrowed light" from adjacent windows. This image is in the "house bath" and we reused some very old shutter hardware to create a means to secure the window in a partially open (or closed) position. If you are sitting on the toilet and look just the right way you get a narrow view of the setting sun over the center of Martel (but this requires good timing).
Old wood. We rescued two doors from the house and reused them in the master bedroom. When we stripped (and stripped, and stripped) the green paint (and brown, and grey) we found beautiful walnut doors underneath. Every pockmark adding to the antique charm...right?
More as it happens, I need to be careful not to lose you in the details... but if a house gets remodeled in the forest of France and no one is around to hear about it....has it even happened?? Your vicarious participation is paramount!!



seth said...

The counters look great! You can't even see that big ugly gap I left where the two pieces butt....

Alex Wise said...

Fantastic inside peek into the renovations. Wish I could enjoy that bathroom view this morning! Is the house already sold and if so, when do you move out? (perhaps I missed this in a previous post)...

Jerry and Nina said...

It is amazing what 1.5 years and a maniac with a mission can do to a 14th century house--bravo. It must have been difficult leaving the old one with all it's charm and the terrific memories you three had there. Kisses and hugs to all three of the POD's.
Love, Jerry and Nina

bridget shore said...

What a pleasure it is to get yet another glimpse into your current stage for you fabulous life. Hey,.. when you are "done" with the house ...write a book..about anything you love- you have the gift. Then travel to Seattle to promote it :) XXXOOOOO

Anonymous said...

Well, looks like this project is pretty much wrapped up.
Soooo... which maison are you targeting for the next project?


OK, OK - you're French now so you get Aug. off as well.