Friday, May 08, 2015

Wall Of Warmth

The Dining-Room Transformation - episode 8 out of ???

The Wall Insulation


I had every intention to write this post last weekend, but it turned out to be a very busy and weird weekend that left me worn out and unable to even type on the keyboard or to think about forming a sentence.

J'avais bien prévu de vous écrire cet article le week-end dernier, mais cela a été un week-end très chargé et très bizarre, qui m'a laissé sans énergie et incapable de former des phrases et de les taper sur l'ordinateur.


Anyway, I'm beginning today a little series on my dining-room walls. Yes, yes,  a whole series on the walls... I promise it'll be interesting... except today!

Du coup, c'est avec retard que je commence une petite série sur les murs de la salle-à-manger... Oui, oui, j'ai de quoi écrire une série là-dessus... et je promets que ce sera intéressant... sauf peut-être aujourd'hui !

Dining-room when I bought Cottage

Actually, it might be of some interest to a few readers as I'm writing this post to answer a few questions I had in comments and by mail, mostly from people who also own old houses.

Bon, enfin, cela va bien intéresser un ou deux lecteurs tout de même puisque j'ai eu plusieurs questions dans les commentaires ou par mail à ce sujet de la part de personnes qui possèdent de vieilles maisons.

Dining-room gutted out

After insulating the floor and changing the windows, I had the walls insulated. After much online reading and many quotes asked to different tradesmen, I decided to insulate with hemp.

Après avoir isolé le sol et avoir changé les fenêtres, j'ai fait isoler les murs. J'ai effectué de nombreuses recherches sur Internet et j'ai demandé un grand nombre de devis. Je me suis finalement décidée pour une isolation au chanvre.


This is a little technical and has nothing to do with decoration. But I thought maybe a few readers, could use a little review about insulation.

Ce n'est pas vraiment un article où vous voyez de belles images de déco, mais quelques uns pourront sûrement y trouver matière à réflexion pour leur rénovation.


First, I was very sorry to cover my stone walls, but this is a cottage in which I live all year round and not only during the summer and I need to be warm during winter or during our terrible windy days like today. So I chose to insulate the dining-room by covering the stone walls, but I found a solution to keep some stone showing elsewhere in Cottage.

Le premier point a été se résoudre à couvrir les murs en pierre dans la salle-à-manger et la cuisine. Je ne l'ai pas fait de gaité de cœur car j'adore les murs en pierre depuis toute petite. Mais ce n'est pas là une maison de vacances, j'y vis toute l'année et une isolation de qualité apporte un grand confort pendant les mois d'hiver ou même les jours de grand vent des inter-saisons. Ne pleurez pas sur mes pierres, j'ai trouvé un moyen de les faire apparaître ailleurs dans le Cottage.


Second, I needed to find some kind of insulation that could hold a little humidity. You may remember that Cottage is built on rather damp lamp, having two wells in its small back garden! That's one of the reason that lead me to choose hemp.

Ensuite, il m'a fallu trouver un type d'isolation qui supporte l'humidité. Cottage est bâti sur un terrain assez détrempé qui comporte tout de même deux puits dans son petit jardin. C'est pour cette raison que je me suis dirigée vers une isolation au chanvre.


Third, it exists in different thicknesses. Against our government recommendation, I didn't go with the thickest one... My walls are already very thick and the room is really small... Somehow I wanted to be able to put a table in my dining-room!

Enfin, ce type d'isolant existe en plusieurs épaisseurs. Contre toutes les recommandations de notre gouvernement et faisant fi de ses réductions d'impôts, je n'ai pas pris le plus épais. En effet, mes murs en pierre sont déjà très épais et mes pièces étant petites, je ne pouvais pas réduire trop la surface intérieure... Une salle-à-manger dans laquelle une table ne rentre pas, c'est tout de suite moins pratique !


Now, the results! This was done last spring in both the kitchen and the dining-room. It changed my life the following winter. It made a true difference in the way Cottage is able to keep the rooms warm. Even my parents notice it when they visit. They used to bring an extra jumper every time they visited me in winter and now, they don't need it anymore.

Bon, alors ? Le résultat ? Cette isolation a été faite au printemps dernier dans la cuisine et la salle-à-manger. Maintenant que l'hiver est passé, je peux honnêtement vous dire que cela a changé l'atmosphère du Cottage qui garde bien mieux la chaleur qu'avant. Mes parents me le disent chaque fois qu'ils me rendent visite. Auparavant, ils amenaient toujours un pull de plus quand ils venaient me voir... Mais ils n'en ont plus besoin !  

The drywall is green - it's one used for bathroom usually.
Many of the projects transforming Cottage have been difficult and complicated. This one was easy (but expensive). I'm so happy with it that I actually plan to also use hemp upstairs, when I get the roof insulated next summer.

Beaucoup des projets qui ont transformé Cottage ont été longs et compliqués. Celui-là était onéreux, mais s'est plutôt bien passé. J'en suis tellement contente que j'envisage le même type d'isolation au chanvre pour l'étage. Début de ces travaux dès cet été si tout va bien.


After the drywall was put on the hemp insulation, I should have begun the fun part: decorating by painting the walls... Only I didn't because I couldn't make up my mind on what I wanted when the kitchen wasn't done.

Une fois les plaques de placo posées sur le chanvre aurait dû commencer la partie sympa : la déco et la peinture des murs... Mais en fait, j'ai tout laissé en plan car je trouvais difficile de faire des choix sans savoir à quoi ressemblerait la cuisine.

After the first coat of primer / Avec une première couche d'impression
Now that the kitchen is done, it's time I get my paint rolls, brushes and cans out, don't you think? Come back for the next post, where I'll tell you all about the paint I chose!

Maintenant que la cuisine est toute belle, il est temps de ressortir mes rouleaux, mes pinceaux et mes pots de peinture. Revenez dans quelques jours et je vous dirai tout sur la peinture que j'ai choisie !

 

See you soon,

A bientôt,


PS1: I'm to drive to a famous Swedish store today for a new project... I kind of hate going there and the weather isn't cooperating... I always try to write series in a minimum of days, but don't expect a new post written tonight !

PS 1 : Je dois me rendre dans un célèbre magasin suédois aujourd'hui pour un nouveau projet... Je déteste y aller et la météo n'encourage pas à passer une heure sur la route... Alors, même si j'essaie toujours d'écrire les séries rapidement, n'espérez pas que je me mette devant mon ordinateur ce soir!

PS2: I'm linking with some awesome blogs you should check for inspiration:

Best of The Weekend            Met Monday             The Dedicated House             

56 comments:

  1. The photo of the kitchen is great. I remember all of the stages you have gone through to arrive at such beauty!

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  2. I love your kitchen, and it really was worth the work and time. I recall the water problems with the walls, and it is good to know the insulation worked. We put a double thick foam roof on the sleeping porch, and we don't even need AC out there, which is amazing for here. It's amazing what insulation can do. Drive carefully. xoox Su

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  3. It's definitely a labour of love and I'm sure Cottage loves you for looking after him so diligently.
    I'm sure Cottage is also happy that you let him show off his lovely stone walls somewhere.

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  4. Dear Magali,

    owing an old cottgae like you I am of course always very interested in insulaton and such stuff. But of course I am even more intersted in colours? As for your shopping tour... try to make the best you can, just imagine, this shops didn´t exist, it would be even more difficult...
    Have a nice wekend!
    Hugs from Sarah

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  5. Quand je vais chez le géant suédois, je rapporte toujours un petit truc à grignoter dans la voiture au retour… Ma pauvre Magali ! Vous faites un super blog de déco et donnez de nombreuses astuces pour les rénovation, et moi je vous parle d’alimentation suédoise… Bon week-end ! Flopsy le gourmand

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  6. BONJOUR MAGALI! I am thrilled to see you again! The cottage is getting prettied up for spring and summer fun, and I know you will be working on more projects to come, but when you look back on all you have done, doesn't it just make you smile? The perfect little Breton cottage by the sea. What a dream. ENJOY your day! Anita

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  7. Hoorah for hemp! I could almost feel the difference in warmth.

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  8. Hi......i've never heard of hemp insulation..over here they're big on a spray foam that blows up an fills every nook an cranny..i hear it's expensive too..i really love the hemp idea tho..sounds way more earth friendly..it must be like getting a nice warm hug from cottage when you get home..i bet your parents are really proud of what you've accomplished with cottage so far..hope the window is in an up coming project..have a nice weekend.!!

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  9. Wow that last image, ...!! Cottage has really become a little haven (and heaven) of beauty !! Well done Magali, it has all been worth it no doubt! Grtz, Marcy

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    1. Cottage is slowly changing... But the upstairs is still a nightmare! More work to come!

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  10. It looks so nice. It must feel wonderful to be warm in the winter.

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    1. Oh, it's so much more comfortable than it used to be!

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  11. You are doing such a fantastic job on your renovation. The Cottage will be cozy and warm.

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  12. Magali I am ABSOLUTELY intrigued by the idea of insulating with hemp. This post was so interesting. Also, I wanted to say how much I appreciate how much you help me with my French. It is so nice to first try to read French and then see if I am interpreting it correctly. I know it takes extra work. I am actually going to tell both my cousins about your site. They are not bloggers but they are learning French as well at your lovely site will benefit them as well.

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  13. I so love everything you are doing! It looks beautiful!!!

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  14. Magali,
    Your kitchen looks so sweet. What a nice job. I know when you get the dining room painted and a table and decor in there it will also look gorgeous. You go girl it is looking fabulous.
    Kris

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  15. Stone is beautiful but unless you live at the equator it can be cold, and there is nothing better than a warm cottage. People ask if we insulated when we did our reno and we laugh, the walls are solid 6 to 8 inches solid wood. All old growth trees that were logged before our Cape was built in 1784. It is snug and warm and we spend far less to heat it than modern building styles. Our ancestors in the New World certainly knew what would be best. Have a lovely weekend Magali,take time for tea in your garden. xo Patty ps All the walls are lathe and plaster so no drafts either.

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  16. My dear Magali, your sweet cottage is a place of beauty and charm! My, you have put a lot of work into your home and it shows your love. Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs!

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  17. You certainly showed us The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in the transformation of cottage. Not just showing us pretties, but the practical side of restoring cottage. Kathleen in Az

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    1. Well, I wouldn't want people to think that renovating an old cottage is always a dream come true! There are a few nigtmares as well ;)

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  18. Way to button your house up!! Insulation makes such a big difference for both summer and winter. I love the pic of your kitchen. Not sure if it's the lighting but it really looks like I could sit with you and eat all your delicious baking....actually I could do that in any light. Cheers Magali!

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  19. Stone would be lovely, but, warm in winter is so much nicer! I had never heard of hemp insulation...it sounds very earth friendly, good for you in choosing it. Best ~ Mickie.

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  20. Magali you have to make so many decisions and the research you do is incredible. No wonder you get exhausted! lol I loved seeing what had to go into your walls. The stone is beautiful but I can see why you have to cover it. Insulation is a must to keep us comfortable. Have a great day and I will be looking forward in seeing how you finished the walls. :) Jo

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  21. Autant j'aime les antiquaires, les brocanteurs & les vide greniers, autant j'aime aller chez Ikéa pour des petits plus modernes & surtout la vaisselle & luminaires.
    En tout cas tout est bien engagé pour ta salle à manger.
    Passe un très bon weekend.
    Caresses aux félins. Bises. Babette

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  22. Kitchen looks terrific and can hardly wait to see your dining room. Good luck with painting. Have a wonderful weekend and wish your mom happy Mothers Day.
    Mary

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  23. Your kitchen is an enchanting room,it is all comming together nicely and it eill be warm. Have a great weekend Magali and do try and spend time with your mom.

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    1. Thanks, Marlene! Mother's Day is later in the year in France. But I'll call my mom to wish her a happy American Mother's Day! She'll be surprised!

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  24. The photo of your kitchen is just spectacular!

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  25. You have really faced some challenges but made some very wise decisions. The result is beautiful!!

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  26. I love reading about your adventures in restoring and decorating cottage. And also about your piece of France, but I am curious about your"weird" weekend. Everytime I look at the splendid reformation of your kitchen, I am in awe. Such a beautiful job!

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    1. Yes, I'm sorry there hasn't been a "wandering aorund" post in a while, they will come back... But right now, I spend my weekend getting things reading for the upstairs insulation, lots of things to buy and store... in the living-room! Not funny, but I'll be relieved when it's done!

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  27. I always enjoy your posts and the anticipation of seeing what you have accomplished in your lovely cottage. I do hope you have a wonderful weekend to make up for the last one.

    Hugs, Vicky

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  28. chaque fois que je lis tes nouvelles j'ai envie de connaître les prochaines ;-)
    tu sais faire patienter tes lecteurs mais de la plus jolie façon qui soit
    tu nous feras un article sur ton jardin hein dit, tu le feras ;-)
    je te souhaite un très bon week end
    @ bientôt

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    1. Oui, oui, promis, je donnerai des nouvelles du jardin et du coin à fraisier un peu plus tard dans la saison!
      Bon weekend,
      Magali

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  29. You have done so much work to Cottage. It truly is a wonderful thing to see and read about. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished. Have a lovely weekend. Try to relax and recover from the difficult week. xxo

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  30. I am absolutely enthralled by finding out about hemp insulation. I have never heard of it and could find no one in the USA who distributes it. I can not imagine a kitchen more welcoming, charming and cozy-happy. You have done an outstanding job. This is fabulous.
    ~Ginene

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  31. Old homes are a labor of love, and hard work, and big expenses! I know I live in one, but not as old as yours. You are bringing your cottage back to his "prime" and he thanks you. I always feel the Charmer is happy how I love and keep bringing back to life as you do! I never heard about hemp insulation? Your kitchen is so warm and welcoming!

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  32. Magali, you have had such wonderful vision for your little cottage. The transformation is wonderful. That first photo will bring swarms of bloggers to your door, wanting to come in for a visit!! Just lovely!

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  33. Interesting and fun to see how insulation is accomplished in your country. Hemp is not common in the US. I suppose it's very "green". I understand covering up the stone for heating. Old house heating bills can be alarming.

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  34. What fantastic work you have done in your cottage! Never heard of hemp insulation.

    Have a great trip and weekend.

    Judy

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  35. hâte d'en savoir plus sur la couleur !!!

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  36. My head is spinning just looking at your pictures. What a job this must have been, but so worth the effort. Looking really cozy!

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  37. You are to be commended for all the hard work and love you've put into your adorable cottage Magali. It looks so pretty, and I am sure makes you smile every time you look at the finished spaces. Now as far as the upstairs is concerned, that will come, and your readers will all be cheering you on.

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  38. Sometimes when we see how much work has to be done it puts us off, however you have persevered and the results are already brilliant. Keep up the good work and good luck in that Swedish store. x

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  39. le choix du chanvre est comme une évidence : Cottage se pare peu à peu de matériaux nobles respectueux de son histoire et de son environnement - c'est pour nous, amoureux de vieilles pierres, un modèle de réhabilitation ! plus tard, après les gros travaux, Cottage aura peut-être envie de douillets coussins de chanvre et de lin ??? merci pour ces lectures plaisir ! cordialement - monique59

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    1. Le chanvre n'a pas été un choix facile à imposer à mon menuisier, qui n'avait jamais travaillé avec cet isolant. Mais pour l'étage, il ne m'a même pas posé la question: on repart avec du chanvre!

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  40. You certainly deserve the fun of decorating after all the hard work of insulating!

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  41. Your kitchen looks so pretty, Snow would be proud!
    Amalia
    xo

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  42. insulation is very important. I am glad you were able to find a solution for the walls.

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  43. I've never even heard of hemp insulation...don't know if that's available here. So interesting!

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  44. C'est vrai que l'on hésite toujours à perdre de précieux cm avec de l'isolant, mais quand c'est fait (et autant que ce soit au début de la rénovation!) on ne regrette rien.

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  45. Attendre les photos du résultat!
    Bises et bonne soirée.

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  46. Can't wait to see what you chose, Magali! Only you could make a post about insulation interesting to read!

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  47. Comfort is important. Kitchen looks awesome. I don't know that I've ever heard of using hemp as insulation.

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