Friday, January 30, 2015

Good Girl

A Mantel And A Tablescape


No? Really? You bought it? You actually thought I was a good blogger with pretty mantels and gorgeous tablescape? I don't know if I'm utterly flattered or completely disappointed that you know me so little!

Bon, je vous explique un peu la blague du dessus : j'ai fait croire à mes lecteurs anglophones que j'avais fait une belle décoration d'hiver dans mon salon et dans ma salle-à-manger comme c'est traditionnel sur leur blog... Mouah-ah-ah! Pas du tout le temps de faire ça! 


Let me explain: I took a few pictures in my living-room just so you'd have something to look at while I tell you a little what's going on with Cottage. Because it's a little cold outside (here it means in the thirties), Milo (aka as Cat #2, aka as Teddy Bear) decided to tag along and sometimes to even lift an eyelid.

Je vous ai pris quelques photos de mon salon pour agrémenter l'article d'aujourd'hui (mais les photos n'ont rien à voir avec ce que je vais vous raconter) et comme il ne fait pas très chaud en ce moment, Milo (surnommé Numéro Deux ou Nounours) a décidé de poser pour vous au chaud à l'intérieur.


When I proudly showed you my freshly repainted loo (well, freshly in 2012), I also told you it was going to be torn down and some of you seemed very surprised: in the comments, many had very funny theories as to why...

Quand je vous ai montré mes essais de peinture dans les toilettes, je vous ai aussi dit que tout allait être détruit dans peu de temps. Vos commentaires étaient pleins de théories à ce sujet...

Here's the real reason.

Voilà la vérité.


A year after I met Cottage, I had all the electricity downstairs redone. I know, right now, you can't see how this is linked to the upstairs loo, but trust me, it is.

Un an après avoir rencontré Cottage, j'ai fait refaire l'électricité du rez-de-chaussée. Je sais, vous ne voyez pas le rapport avec les toilettes de l'étage, mais ça va venir.

While the electrician was working, we found out the electricity was a disaster. I have no doubt the upstairs in in the same dreadful state. The electrician actually forbade me to use the overhead lighting in my bedroom. Yes, I've been groping my way to my bedside table lamp every evening  for four years... And yes, every now and then, I go to school with unmatching underwear, because it's amazing how blue can look like black with only the dim light of the bedside table lamp on.

Lorsque l'électricien travaillait, on a découvert que tout était dans un état désastreux. Je n'ai aucun doute sur le fait que l'étage soit dans le même état. D'ailleurs, l'électricien m'a interdit d'utiliser le plafonnier dans ma chambre. Eh oui, depuis quatre ans, je tâtonne tous les soirs jusqu'à ma lampe de chevet et un matin sur deux, je pars avec des sous-vêtements dépareillés car c'est incroyable ce que le bleu ressemble à du noir quand dans la chambre il n'y a qu'une petite lampe allumée à l'autre bout de la pièce! 


After the kitchen was done, I knew it was time to take care of the  electricity upstairs. But you know how it goes when it comes to renovation: one thing leads to an other. I asked for quotes to redo the electricity. We need to see how the electricity is wired behind the drywalls... And then what's the point in patching drywalls that have zero insulation behind them in three of the four rooms upstairs? So I asked for quotes for the insulation. 

Bref, je savais que ce serait le prochain chantier quand la cuisine a été finie. Mais vous savez comment marche la rénovation. Une chose en entraîne toujours une autre.  J'ai demandé des devis à des électriciens. Pour refaire l'électricité, on doit pratiquer des saignées dans mes murs... Et quel est l'intérêt de reboucher joliment des trous quand le placo ne cache aucune isolation dans trois des quatre pièces de l'étage? Bon, du coup, j'ai demandé des devis pour l'isolation.


And how stupid is it to pay a huge amount for perfectly insulated walls when one of the roof window doesn't close very well and an other can't open at all? So I asked for quotes for new windows.

Et ne serait-ce pas ridicule de payer la somme exorbitante que représente l'isolation du toit alors qu'une de mes fenêtres de toit ne ferme pas hermétiquement et qu'une autre ne peut plus s'ouvrir du tout? Bon, du coup, j'ai demandé des devis pour changer les fenêtres.


I spent the last two months, December and January, to read quotes and try to see what I could remove from them to make the transformation less expensive. My dining-table has been turned into my renovation headquarters... 

J'ai passé les deux derniers mois, décembre et janvier, à étudier des devis pour voir ce que je pouvais enlever pour que cela coûte moins cher. Ma table s'est transformée en quartier général de la rénovation.


I'm not going to lie: this will be very basic decoration wise (translation: there will be no decoration at all). All the great ideas I had turned out to be too expensive. And even I had to concede that the most important thing right now was to stop not using the office/second bedroom in winter because it's too cold and to stop shivering in my bathroom and loo half of the year.

Je ne vais pas vous mentir: j'ai du enlever tout ce qui était purement décoratif des devis... Je ne dis pas que je l'ai fait le cœur léger, mais il a semblé assez vite évident que la priorité était de ne plus avoir à condamner la seconde chambre dès que l'hiver arrive - j'aimerais y faire un bureau - et d'arrêter de grelotter dans ma salle-de-bain et dans mes toilettes la moitié de l'année.


A few years ago, this project would have been enough to keep me occupied all year, but as I realise it won't be very interesting for you to see my plugs being rewired, I've decided I'll also start working on the dining-room. More on that as soon as days are a little longer!

Il y a quelques années, ce projet aurait suffi à m'occuper toute l'année, mais je me suis dit que l'isolation et le placo n'allaient pas intéresser beaucoup mes lecteurs et j'ai donc décidé de commencer à travailler dans la salle-à-manger. Je vous mets au courant dès que les jours rallongent!

 

See you soon,

A bientôt,





PS1: We will resume our Colour of the year series in the next post.

PS1: La série sur les couleurs en décoration reprendra dans le prochain article.

PS2: Chocolates on the renovation  planning headquarter table were a gift from my pupils. It seems that some of them sometimes the blog, so I'd like to say a huge thank you to them.

PS2: Les chocolats que vous avez aperçus sur ma table mon bureau d'étude de rénovation sont un cadeau de mes élèves. Comme il semble qu'ils passent de temps en temps par là, j'en profite pour les remercier.

PS3: I think I forgot to mention that the bathtub is currently against one of the coldest wall of the Cottage and we'll need to remove it to insulate... So right now I have bathtubs on my mind and any tip would be greatly appreciated.

PS3: J'avais oublié de vous dire: ma baignoire est contre le mur le plus froid de la maison. Il faut la retirer pour isoler... Du coup, je me renseigne sur les baignoires, toutes vos idées sont les bienvenues.



58 comments:

  1. Oh dear Magali, it's sounding like a mammoth job! You'll get through it with your good humour and entertain us along the way I know.

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  2. Dear Magali,
    renovation-headquarters? How funny (to read, only to read)! The mantle is pretty indeed, I don´t feel disapointed at all. About the renovation: It will be more complicated, more expensive, take longer than you thought. And in the end it will be gorgeous, just like the kitchen! I am really glad, to encompany you via the blog, as long as it takes.
    Have a nice and colourful weekend!
    Yours, Sarah

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  3. Bonjour Magali! WOW! J'adore ta salle à séjour! N'importe quelle pièce, ton cottage est charmante, même pendant ces rénovations! BON WEEK END! Anita

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  4. All very familiar!
    Insulation is so important, worth spending money on.

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  5. So kind of Milo to take a peek every now and the to critique your work! Good luck with your renovation. I hope it goes swimmingly!

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  6. Go for it, Magali ! We will all be right behind you with our long distance support ! It looks like a huge job but you can chop it up into little projects, that makes it doable. And when spirits are low... bake a cake and sip a cup of tea !! Grtz, Marcy

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  7. OK now this I know something about! My Shug and I are living in one room in the basement while we build our own house above us. I am 56, female, and I've been helping. I've done all of the insulation after he showed me how to do it. So, here's what I would do. I'd hire the electrical done. Then I'd do the insulation and the drywall myself. YOU CAN DO IT! I also helped with the drywall. You will need help carrying drywall but you can tape, mud, and sand it yourself. It might not be perfect but you will save a bunch of money. Windows...probably have to hire those done too. Go online and watch you tube videos on insulting and drywall. We bought the roll insulation because it was way cheaper and I could do it while he was at work. I've learned a lot through this process. I feel good about myself the first time I do it, and maybe the second....but honestly, I never want to build a house again!

    Cindy Bee

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  8. You can do more than you think you can! The exorbitant cost of hiring "experts" is what started me on my remodeling-by-myself journey.

    Take it step by step... xox

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  9. Quel travail !! et surtout quelles dépenses dont on se passerait bien, surtout quand on a hâte de faire la déco
    Pour les matériaux, Bricodép*t est plutôt bien placé, et certains produits sont tout à faite qualité pour un prix raisonnable, peut être aussi attendre les prochaines soldes des magasins de bricolage ?
    bon courage

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    1. Pour les matériaux d'isolation, je vais faire confiance à mon menuisier qui a fait du bon travail dans la cuisine et la salle-à-manger. Pour le reste, je traque les prix... J'ai déjà dit adieu aux portes dont je rêvais pour en trouver de moins chères... Le Bon Coin va encore sûrement m'aider!

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  10. Oh dear, where to start and how to do it all with never enough money! You have my sympathies, nothing is worse than a cold loo, except for a frozen one with no water (been there, done that). We decided in floor heat and went with an acrylic clawfoot tub. The walls were also insulated and new windows too. Happy to say it is now a warm relaxing room and the tub holds the water heat very well. It is the room I retreat to and shut the mess and noise of the continuing reno behind me. Best of luck as you tackle the upstairs. xo Patty

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  11. There is always so much upkeep and renovations owning a home. Some things have to be done and others can wait. You definitely need to get those things done and not worry about the decor. I love the stone wall in your photos.

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  12. I'm exhausted just reading about it all!

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    1. Don't worry! You won't have a speck of dust reaching you!

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  13. C'est l'effet papillon ton histoire !!!
    Tu devrais profiter pour aller acheter certaines choses tant qu'il y a encore les soldes.
    Attendre & trier les devis est déjà bien compliqué quand on ne veut pas se faire arnaquer.
    Passe un bon weekend. Caresses aux félins. Bises. Babette

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  14. lovely photos, to go with all the news of the mind-bending figuring... to figure out renovation upstairs.

    all this figuring, must have given you a bad headache, or 2, or 3... -sigh-

    but it will be wonderful, when done! and you can reclaim your upstairs!

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  15. I agree with Sue, I am exhausted after just reading about everything :) You are quite the lady and I admire your fiery spirit! I hope all goes well, my dear. Hugs to you!

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  16. Magali, I hope you can repair the upstairs, but I look forward to living room! I LOVE your projects. Finally, the two old front windows on our home will be restored, and hopefully, they begin next week and everything will go well. It's a rare rain day here. Hugs and a wonderful weekend.

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  17. Hello! Especially living near the sea, the dampness. Insulation and new windows will keep yours and the cottage bones warm. Wow! The electrical, first order I'm sure. Then you can start your day well coordinated! Beautiful tablescape. Love the candy, Kathleen in Az

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  18. Good luck on your projects. Homes always need so much upkeep. You do need to fix the electricity first - we don't any fires. I know you and Cottage will make the right choices.
    Have a great weekend - it will all come together.
    Mary

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  19. I hear you on the renovations! Getting the quotes, trying not to faint at the cost, the time involved...and then how one project leads to another. Hope you have a good weekend!

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  20. I just looked at the kitchen before an after..my goodness..cottage is going to be a beautiful..beautiful girl as she ages..the kitchen is so very charming..an oh how do I LOVE a plate rack.! DIY is the best way to go..it's hard at times but in the end..when you tell people..yes..oh yes I did do that myself..there is nothing like the feeling you get from those words..I've done my share..an have more to do..the lack of money is always the reminder that I should go ahead an try it..I too watch you tube videos..I watch A LOT of HGTV too..but they sometimes leave out important steps..like you need to have some type of rubber or cement floor under the tile in a shower..the grout really does not keep the water out..4 yrs later..a living room do over was in order..I am so looking forward to seeing cottage come into her own..hope you have a WonderFul weedend.!

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    1. As usual, I will take care of anything that is linked to decoration - I had quotes done for that as well to save me time, but they were too expensive. I will have the electricity redone by a professional, though! And by the way, I'm paying for a special floor under the bathtub ;)

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  21. It may sound boring to some ... but having lived for the last 5 years in an old house the thought of safe electric and a WARM bathroom sounds very appealing.

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    1. The words "warm bathroom" are the ones I repeat to myself before falling asleep: they makes me dream ;)

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  22. You've received a lot of good advice and encouragement here, Magali. It will be interesting to me to see the progress of this project. Proper electrical and insulation will save you money, and Cottage will be so happy with all you have planned. It will be wonderful!

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  23. Wow, Magali--that sounds like a big project you are undertaking, but well worth it! Best of luck with it all. And I am sure, once it is done, that you will come up with beautiful ideas for decorating your newly refinished living spaces.

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  24. I feel your pain. Home repairs and improvement seem to always lead to something else.

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  25. Gilda Radner played Rosanne Rosannadanna on Saturday Night Live and she always ended her skit with something like "it's always something". That is so true in our houses!

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  26. Bonjour Magali, je suis pour la première fois sur ton blog, mais vraiment je suis sous la charme de ta maison! Elle est belle! et j'adore ton chat :) Courage pour tes travaux .... !!!
    A bientôt et bon week-end!!

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  27. In an older home it is always something. Living in one I can attest to it, no project is simple and it's always more involved then we ever expected. It sounds like you are taking on a huge project, wiring an windows are not cheap. A large expense for us when we remodeled our kitchen was we had it entirely rewired and our laundry room. When i first moved her I coudnt't run the washing machine the same time i ran the dryer:-{. I'm confident in your decision that will be the best for you and the cottage.

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  28. I am new to your blog,so i have not been here long but, i wish you luck with all you decisions.

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    1. Thank you so much Marlene and welcome to The Little White House On The Seaside!

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  29. One thing always leads to another, doesn't it. No fun when it's necessary, but boring! That's what we are working on right now...the boring stuff. LOL! We'll be working on the kitchen soon though! I can't wait! Have a great weekend.

    Blessings, Vicky

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  30. Oh my! You have your work cut out for you! Hope it all goes smoothly in the end. Having matching underwear is the goal here, right? :) One thing at a time.... Cottage must love you! xo Karen

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    1. For now, Cottage loves me with unmatching underwear ;)

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  31. I am with Bee Lady on this. I would do the insulation myself. It is very easy to cut and install and you could probably do it after work and on one weekend. Unless your contractor is doing the electrical and the dry wall it will be done by two different people so you would not be holding up work by doing it yourself. I would not do drywall myself, I too am petite and I could not lift a sheet of drywall. One of my ways of getting contractors prices down is to say you really want to do with Contractor A because he does such great work but you will need to go with Contractor B because his price is lower. Then ask ever so sweetly if he could drop his prices a bit. Appeal to their ego. It works every time. I once told an insulation contractor I thought his company was the Cadillac of insulation installers and they ended up using the phase in the advertising and I got $500 off of the bill. Good luck with your project, I will look forward to hearing about your progress.
    Traci

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    1. I won't do the insulation myself because it's the roof that needs to be insulated and that's a bit more complicated than straight walls or even straight ceilings.
      I do use your idea all the time to get cheaper quotes and that works great, though I won't translate it, just in case they stumble upon the blog ;)

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  32. I am with Bee Lady on this. I would do the insulation myself. It is very easy to cut and install and you could probably do it after work and on one weekend. Unless your contractor is doing the electrical and the dry wall it will be done by two different people so you would not be holding up work by doing it yourself. I would not do drywall myself, I too am petite and I could not lift a sheet of drywall. One of my ways of getting contractors prices down is to say you really want to do with Contractor A because he does such great work but you will need to go with Contractor B because his price is lower. Then ask ever so sweetly if he could drop his prices a bit. Appeal to their ego. It works every time. I once told an insulation contractor I thought his company was the Cadillac of insulation installers and they ended up using the phase in the advertising and I got $500 off of the bill. Good luck with your project, I will look forward to hearing about your progress.
    Traci

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  33. Magali,
    Remodeling tends to take on what I call a snow ball effect. It is like a snow ball rolling down a hill that just keeps getting larger. I have replaced windows, doors, gutters, roof , appliances( several times), flooring ( 4 times downstairs), sinks and kitchen counter tops......
    It seems it is never ending when you own a house.....
    I wish you luck in your quest finding the right price for the work that you need done and you must think safety first over beauty.....

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  34. I am so excited for you Magali....although now I just want to eat chocolates.....thanks for that but on the rest of your BIG plans....very exciting. Too bad the most expensive things will be covered up....all the electrical, but think of the fancy lighting you will have when it's done! My only thoughts on the bathtub would be to drill holes and spray foam insulation into the walls but that can get pricey. Perhaps you can find a rich hotel owner and befriend him and stay in one of the rooms while you are renovating.....of course you will eat for free in one of the many hotels exquisite restaurants. Oh and the chef loves you so much that he packs your lunch for you everyday....and never makes you do dishes. |In fact the only thing you have to worry about is what outfit you will wear to work and the walk there!!!! Happy weekend Magali!

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  35. Hi Magali. I found you via Kris' blog today. And am a new follower! :)
    ~ Lin

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  36. Wow! Looking forward to seeing how it all comes together for you.

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  37. I'm so glad that Kris spotlighted you. Your blog is very interesting, I really love all of the restoration going on. Jo

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  38. You do have a lot on your plate, and on the table, and I am looking forward to what routes you will take to make Cottage happy, once and for all! ;))

    Wishing you a peaceful weekend. Is it as blustery in France as it is here on Crete?!

    Poppy

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  39. Hello Magali, I just came from your Spotlight Feature at Junk Chic Cottage. Why didn't I know about your blog sooner, especially because I see you and I follow a lot of the same bloggers. You are a girl after my own heart - DIYing on a budget and learning every step of the way! I'm your newest follower and can't wait to follow your renovation journey of your gorgeous 100 year old Parisian cottage.
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

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  40. I just came from Junk Chic Cottage and wanted you to pass on this message to Cottage.

    Dear Cottage,
    I loved hearing about the renovations from your point of view. I know that Magali has put your through a lot. But, aren't you happy that she saw the beauty in you. And I know you appreciate everything she has done.

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  41. Bonjour! I am new to your blog. It is adorable. It looks like you have a lot of projects....but, there always is it seems like! Nice to meet you!

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  42. Magali,
    Thanks for doing spotlight please come by and check out all the sweet comments being left for you today. Have a wonderful week end. Thank you again for letting us get to know you better.
    Kris

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  43. Crumbs, that's a lot of work, but it's awful being cold in your own home isn't it, and it sounds dangerous too.
    I wouldn't attempt drywalling, maybe it would be slightly easier in a US wooden framed house, but not so easy in an old stone or brick cottage like yours and mine.
    I know you think it won't be interesting to us, but I think you should take before and after shots, personally I like any sort of renovation, and if you post about it, then you can look back in a year and see how much you've achieved.
    Good luck with all the plans and choosing the right contractors.

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  44. I'm a new reader coming over from JunkChicCottage. Your cottage is lovely, maybe you'd like to read my blog where I am renovating an almost 100 year old farmhouse on Prince Edward Island (Canada) that we just moved into 3 months ago.

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  45. Cottage est bien chanceux d'avoir une propriétaire si courageuse : s'attaquer au gros œuvre alors qu'il lui est si facile de créer un intérieur douillet et chaleureux ! bon courage pour faire des choix... et suivre les travaux ! vos artisans ont déjà bien œuvré à la renaissance de Cottage, je vous souhaite de tout cœur que cette nouvelle tranche de travaux soit paisible et réussie !
    ici, dans le nord, nous rêvons de démolir la cuisine/appentis de la petite maison de briques car elle n'est pas isolée... et il y fait 15° en ce moment, avant le démarrage de la chaudière... mais les fenêtres sur rue sont encore celles d'origine (1894)
    je serai ravie de lire à la fois les aventures d'isolation et d'électricité que celles de la salle-à-manger qui doit être bien jalouse des finitions de rêve de sa voisine cuisine !
    cordialement - monique59

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  46. Ha, ha! 15°? Votre cuisine et ma salle-de-bain doivent être jumelles! Quelle chance d'avoir les fenêtres d'origine! Evidemment, elles doivent laisser passer le froid! Je donnerai mes petites astuces isolation dans un article un de ces jours!
    Bon dimanche!

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  47. My bathroom is tiny and cold as well...the trouble is that unless I run a load of wash in warm water, to somehow get more water in the water heater or something, AND crank up the heat full blast for an hour, that the water in the shower will only be lukewarm. That's fine for a quick shower but every other day I want to wash my hair as well so I have to plan my laundry around that, lol...old house fun :)

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    1. Washed my hair with lukewarm water this morning... I swore like a pirate and was angry, but I have clean hair to go to work tomorrow... and to call the company that takes care of my boiler ;)

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  48. Magali, isn't that always the case in an old house. One thing really does lead to another and sometimes you do something and then time goes by, which seems like such a little amount and really isn't, and there you are starting all over again. We put a new roof on the Cottage almost 30 years ago when we first moved in to the tune of $9000. It was good for 30 years and whoa, where did those years go? Now it needs it again and where will that money come from??? It's got to be much higher now..Oh, well, you have to love an old house, right?. We must or we wouldn't be in these predicaments!..Happy Weekend..Judy

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  49. We try at all costs not to open a wall in this house. You have quite the list to accomplish. Wishing you both luck and insulation.

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  50. It's so true that one thing leads to another. Believe it or not, some of the things we did when we moved in 12 years ago, should already be re-done (at least in my opinion). But I know that if I just try to re-do the kitchen backsplash, it will somehow mean the counter has to be replaced...and the cabinets, etc. So I leave it. I'm shivering just thinking about your cold bathtub wall!

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