Thursday, March 14, 2013


Humidity in Old Houses - part 5 

The  summer when the draining system of my little old stone cottage was installed wasn't an easy one. But it was so worth it! Even if it ate most of the kitchen budget.

L'été où le drainage de ma Petite Maison a été installé n'a pas été de tout repos. Mais cela valait vraiment le coup! Même si cela a mangé le budget prévu pour une magnifique cuisine.

But I survived that summer so here are miscellanous tips on how to make it through big renovations in your house.

Voici quelques principes de survie à la rénovation que je partage avec vous.

1. An other house! Une autre maison!

Before you believe I'm the wealthy owner of a second cottage, let me explain. Above is my parents' cottage. It was my haven during that summer.

Avant que vous pensiez que je possède plein de maison, j'explique. La maison au dessus, c'est celle de mes parents. Elle a été mon refuge pour les jours où ma maison était vraiment inhabitable.

When my own house was in its most awful state and on weekends when nothing was done in the house, I would drive and happily crash in my under-the-roof bedroom at my parents. It was so good to be able to rest a little.

C'était juste bon de pouvoir dormir dans un endroit qui ne sentait pas la terre humide.

 2. Survival box / La Boîte de survie

Once the new tiling was done, but every thing else still needed to be done,  I came back home. Every evening I carried the box from the garage to the house. It held very important stuff like extension cords (sometimes only one socket in the house would actually have electricity), pastas, cider and obviously chocolate! Every morning, I would carry it back to the garage so food wouldn't get any dust.

Une fois que le carrelage a été posé - et que tout le reste restait à faire - je suis rentrée définitivement à la maison pour surveiller. J'ai alors créé la boîte de survie: rallonges électriques (certains soirs les ouvriers ne me rebranchaient qu'une seule prise), pâtes, cidre et chocolat! Tous les soirs, je ramenais la caisse à la maison et tous les matins, je la rapportais dans l'atelier, à l'abri de la poussière.

3. Table and chair. Une table et une chaise.

There's nothing that says "home" like being able to sit at a table. So the table and chair also got carried in and out of the house every day. I insisted on eating every evening in my dining-room to be able to admire its gorgeous new floor, rather than in my bedroom which was as dustfree as possible under the circumstances...

Cela va paraître ridicule à certains, mais, moi, pour me sentir chez moi, j'avais besoin tous les soirs de ramener une table et une chaise de l'atelier. Evidemment, tous les matins, il fallait rapporter le tout à l'atelier; mais quel plaisir de dîner dans sa salle-à-manger et d'admirer le nouveau carrelage.

4. The Internet / Internet

Again it got carried in and out of the house every day. It allowed me to keep reading blogs about beautiful houses, dreaming of the day mine would look just a little bit like them.
Is it just me or does even wiring looks fine on THAT FLOOR?

Encore une fois, la box a fait de nombreux  aller-retours : cela me permettait de continuer à lire des blogs sur de magnifiques maisons en rêvant qu'un jour la mienne soit un tout petit peu comme ça. 
Mais est-ce moi ou est-ce que même les câbles paraissent beaux sur ce carrelage?

Please admire the awful baseboard I did not choose and that was glued in my dining-room... You can read why here and hopefully, in a few months, I'll be able to show you the new ones.

Admirez mes plinthes en bois de cagette posée à la va-vite par les ouvriers après la faillite de l'entreprise (perdu? Lisez ici)... J'espère que d'ici quelques mois, je pourrai vous montrer des plinthes dignes de ce nom!

5. The sea / La mer

Even if renovation was the most important thing in my mind at the time, it was very important to take some time off. I think it's pretty clear from that picture though that I did loose a little weight during the process... It looks like I'm wearing my big sister's jeans, doesn't it?

Prendre un peu de temps pour soi et pour admirer ce qui entoure la maison en rénovation est important.  Maintenant, avec cette photo, je ne vais pas pouvoir mentir... Le stress m'a fait perdre un peu de poids... Le jeans en témoigne!

6. Think ahead - decoration! Pensez à la décoration à l'avance!

Sometimes, you feel a little useless to your own house when such a big renovation is going on. So it's important to keep in mind, that one day, the decoration part will be there.

I had been dreaming of white chandeliers for my Little White House. It became clear at that moment that I wouldn't have enough money for the ones I had seen... So that's when painting began!

Quand la maison connaît des travaux aussi importants, on se sent un peu impuissant. Il faut alors garder à l'esprit, qu'un jour, on pourra enfin décorer. Les lustres blancs dont je rêvais me semblaient tout à coup hors de prix avec tout cet argent investi dans la dalle. C'est là que j'ai commencé à peindre.

Thank you so much for stopping by The Little White House today. Do you have any other tips you'd like to share in the comments?

Merci d'être passé par ici aujourd'hui. N'hésitez pas à  compléter ces conseils dans les commentaires si le coeur vous en dit.

I'm linking with:
       No Minimalist Here     French Country Cottage                                  


  1. I SO want to come spend a week in the summer with you Magali - it looks so gorgeous!
    AND I CANNOT BELIEVE you carried in a dining room table and chair every night - lmho - I would have ate in my bed - without a doubt - 100% - talk about determination!
    Big hugs.

  2. Hello Magali, what a wonderful post. Your parents cottage is gorgeous!! I LOVE your flooring, those tiles are beautiful, you chose very well. It is quite exciting reading your updates on renovating your lovely cottage. Thank you from me for sharing this amazing time in your life. I also would have eaten in the dinng room each night. Great idea packing a crate of goodies and essential items. Ann

  3. a gorgeous photo of you looking out to sea!
    love the chandeliers.

  4. I love to read about small home renovations since our home is small too. You have come so far with yours! We keep chipping away at ours. I think it is important to understand that "Rome was not built in a day." As long as we do something almost every weekend, eventually it will all come together! Your cottage of your parents is just lovely.

  5. Un des avantages de tous ces inconvénients c'est que tu as pu passer plusieurs jours avec nous et ça, c'était bien agréable. Alors j'attends les prochains travaux pour t'avoir un peu plus longtemps avec moi.

  6. Your parents' cottage is so sweet, I have a hard time believing it really exists in real life (pardon the repetition!). When I was in the process of tearing down walls, I kept decorating the place in my mind and this is what kept me going. And I didn't have the sea...
    PS: Your writing style is so warm and open hearted, I am now following you, so expect more visits soon!

  7. Love your place, floors and all! Such character. Your table & chairs are perfect! :)

  8. Your parents' cottage is adorable!!!

    Your chandeliers look nice and suit the cottage.

    You have come such a long way!!! It is such an accomplishment and so rewarding. I know that feeling of sitting and looking.

    The plumbing problems and the electrical ate up our budget; not too long after the move we lost all power to this place. We had to have the electrician put in a whole new panel. The plumbers made holes in walls and through the ceilings of three rooms while replacing the water heater and the plumbing in our only bathroom. I remember thinking how are we going to fix plaster!!! We did. TY You Tube.

    So I didn't replace my floors as initially planned. They grew on me and did some research to find out they were original. So we did our best to make them look nice. The ones that are original color everyone thinks is stone.

    So I guess my point is some things work out for the better like your gorgeous stone wall!

    1. I had electricity to redo as well... It's not easy to show that on pictures, though! And you're right sometimes, the house chooses for us and it can turn for the best! I didn't know about concrete floors being original to houses in your area before I began reading your blog... Now they are really growing on me: they look so nice in your house!

  9. Vita ljuskronor är hur vackert som helst. Själv blev min inte vit utan guldfärgad men vem vet den är inte uppsatt än. fattas lite prismor.
    Ha en fin fredag
    Kram Meta

  10. What wonderful tips for surviving a remodel you've shared, Magali! I've never been in a home that was being remodeled, so haven't had to deal with all that you did, but what a gorgeous floor you ended up with! And I love your white chandeliers. I am glad that the renovations are mostly done, and you can enjoy your home more now. I wish you a wonderful weekend--I pruned our fruit trees yesterday, and over the next few days (weeks??) will try to get the yard more cleaned up and remove winter debris!

    1. I need to work in the garden as well, if only it wasn't so cold outside... I don't like cold at all as I can't feel my feet and hands way too quickly.

  11. Oh Magali, it must have been so stressful, no wonder you lost weight! Love the survival kit, pasta, cider, chocolate, lol!
    Your parents cottage is so cute...

  12. The chandeliers are really charming and I just LOVE your parent's home. So cute!! Your flooring is beautiful. I can't believe you went through all that.

  13. Hello from Missouri, a state in the center of The United States. What a delightful discovery I made via your post to the French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday! Thank you for blogging about your remodeling experience in France! Love what you are doing with your pretty cottage! I look forward to more posts from you about France and your exciting remodeling adventure! Bravo!

  14. Hi...I'm coming over from A Little Knick Knack linky party! Let me say, I LOVE the photo of you looking out at the water! And I admire you for living through the renovations. It is never easy, but usually pays for itself ten fold when the project is done. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower.
    Pam @ The Patriotic Pam

  15. Found your blog thru French Country Cottage. I enjoyed reading thru past posts. Believe I am fighting off the fluette myself this weekend. See blogs ARE educational...I learned a new word! Can't wait to see more stories on the renovations and decorating at you charming cottage.

    1. I hope you're feeling better and the fluette is now only a memory... I must confess I came up with the word myself. I believe in inventing words when they are missing in a language. Thanks for your support.

  16. carrying at table back and forth, that is bravery! it is important to enjoy what you have, although there is so much lacking at times. That little extra time it took to cozy up gave you the strength to carry on. I am so excited to see the chandeliers up!

  17. Hello Magali, Marvelous transformation and I love the steps you take to survive the renovation - so very important - to sit at one's table, to enjoy the process and take what you have - make it what you want! Brilliant - gorgeous cottage your parents have - what a wonderful retreat! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  18. What a great post! What a disappointment with the border! I really like your painted chandeliers. I think you will appreciate them more since you added a little to them to make them lovely! Thank you for sharing at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  19. Your parents cottage is just as cute as yours.
    The survival box is a great tip. I wouldn't have thought of that.


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