Sunday, April 10, 2016

Metamorphosis

The Living Room Transformation - First Flash-back


I haven't forgotten that the living-room is supposed to be my 2016 project nor that I promised to show you everything. It's just that 2016 is turning out to be much more complicated than I had anticipated. 

Je n'ai pas oublié que 2016 est censée être consacrée au salon et que j'ai promis de tout vous montrer. Mais 2016 s'avère être une année beaucoup plus compliquée que ce que j'avais prévu.

Living room the year I settled at Cottage before any transformation
 
Anyway, yesterday I received a very sweet note from a colleague who wrote that she didn't know how to cheer me up and just reading that lifted me up. Because really, it's not what people say that gives you energy, it's just the fact that they are trying.

Hier cependant, j'ai reçu un petit mot d'une collègue. Elle me disait qu'elle sentait que j'avais besoin qu'on me remonte le moral, mais qu'elle ne savait pas comment s'y prendre. Cela a suffi. Car l'important n'est pas ce que les gens disent, finalement, juste qu'ils essaient.

The three different floors before any transformation was done.
 
I woke up full of energy this morning and finally began working on the living-room again. But before I can show you what I did today, I think I need to rewind a little and explain to new readers (and old ones with short memory) what has already been done.

Bref, je me suis levée pleine d'énergie le lendemain matin et je me suis enfin attaquée à un petit projet pour le salon. Mais avant de vous le montrer, je vais faire un petit flash-back sur ce qui a été accompli les années précédentes pour les nouveaux lecteurs ou les anciens lecteurs qui auraient la mémoire un peu courte.

Living room right as seen from the kitchen the day we had began removing furniture for the transformation.
The living-room metamorphosis began years ago when the kitchen transformation started. For budget and practical reasons a few things were done at the same time. 

La métamorphose du salon a commencé il y a des années, en même temps que celle de la cuisine. Pour des raisons pratiques, certaines transformations ont été effectuées en même temps. 


It all began with a floor problem. To me, it was only a cosmetic issue. Cottage had three different floors downstairs (and five different floors upstairs, but that's a story for an other day). I didn't mind the white tiles in the living-room that much. Somehow, I think you can always work around a white floor. But the dining-room faux terra-cota tiles were really ugly an don't even get me started on the patio tiles that were in the kitchen and were impossible to clean... Because, newsflash, patio tiles are meant for the outside for a reason!

Cela a débuté avec un bête problème de sol. Pour moi, ce n'était qu'un ennui esthétique. Cottage avait trois sols différents au rez-de-chaussée (et cinq à l'étage, mais je garde cette histoire pour une autre fois). Le carrelage blanc du salon ne me dérangeait pas trop, parce que je crois qu'on peut toujours décorer autour d'un sol blanc. Mais la mauvaise imitation de terre cuite de la salle-à-manger me plaisait beaucoup moins et que dire du sol de terrasse impossible à nettoyer qui avait été posé dans la cuisine !


This small design problem turned out into a huge construction problems when we discovered that the tiles in Cottage were actually laid on a very thin cover of cement directly onto the garden soil. 

Ce petit problème esthétique s'est transformé en énorme catastrophe de gros œuvre quand il s'est avéré que le carrelage de Cottage ne reposait que sur une fine couche de ciment posée à même la terre.

The decision was made to dig everything out and to add proper drainage and insulation as well as a thicker concrete slab. Seeing one's cottage in that state is not something I wish to anyone. But it's probably in those dark days when I was wondering what I had gotten myself into that the relationship between Cottage and I got... cemented!

J'ai donc fait retirer tout le sol, creuser un peu plus pour ajouter un système de drainage et une isolation avant de faire couler une dalle de béton. Voir son cottage dans cet état est quelque chose que je ne souhaite à personne... D'un autre côté, je pense que c'est pendant ces jours sombres que le lien entre Cottage et moi est devenu du béton !

 
The choice of the new floor wasn't an easy one and I think I drove my parents crazy telling them all about my hesitations over and over again, dragging them to stores to show them samples of what I was considering.


Choisir un nouveau sol n'a pas été facile et je crois que j'ai manqué de peu de rendre mes parents fous en essayant de leur expliquer toutes mes hésitations et en les traînant avec moi dans les magasins pour avoir leur avis.

 
I settled on tiles that looked a little like stone. I thought the fact that they were not of one plain colour would help cat paw marks to be discreet... This was the best decision ever: the tiles concile not only dirty paws, but also the few marks and dents that were made during the next renovation phases.


Je me suis décidée pour un carrelage à l'aspect pierre. J'ai pensé que le côté marbré et inégal des carreaux rendrait les pattes de chats plus discrètes... Cela s'est révélé un très bon choix par la suite, car il y a eu de petits accrocs faits lors des phases de rénovations suivantes, mais cela passe presque inaperçu.

First evening in Cottage after the transformation.

As I was marking pictures for this post, I noticed I didn't have pictures that showed wide angles of the living-room, because actually up until now I didn't really wanted to show you where I had gotten with that room. But, I wanted you to see how the tiles that go through the room downstairs open the space, so I grabbed my camera and took pictures.

Comme je choisissais les photos pour illustrer cet article, je me suis aperçue que je n'avais pas de photos qui montraient le salon en son entier, pour la bonne raison que j'ai pour l'instant essayé de vous cacher l'avancement du projet. Mais comment montrer ce que rend le nouveau sol sans un plan d'ensemble ? J'ai attrapé mon appareil photo et je suis descendue au salon.

Taken from the bottom of the stairs.
 I had no time to stage. It's just Cottage as it was that morning, with the door and window open, as I do every single morning; with the plaid still on the sofa as I had used it the previous evening; with a mug on the coffee table because every night I'm too lazy to bring it to the kitchen sink after I drank my herbal tea...

Taken from the "fireplace" that has no fire...

Voilà donc Cottage tel qu'il était ce matin-là, avec porte et fenêtre ouvertes car j'aère toujours, avec le plaid en boule sur le canapé parce que je ne le range pas toujours, avec la tasse de tisane de la veille sur la table car j'ai systématiquement la flemme de la porter jusqu'à la cuisine avant d'aller me coucher...

I know some of you might be disappointed I didn't go with the hardwood floor trend. But a little story I could tell you that involves a broken plate, tomato sauce and a bleeding mouse (yes, it's all the same story) make me very glad I chose tiles.


Je sais que certains seront déçus que je n'ai pas fait le choix d'un parquet en bois... Mais une récente histoire impliquant une assiette cassée, de la sauce tomate et une souris ensanglantée (oui, oui, tout ça dans la même anecdote) m'a définitivement convaincue que j'avais fait le bon choix.

So farewell hardwood floor... or maybe it's only goodbye... I may want to tackle that five-different-floor situation upstairs someday...

Donc adieu, sol en bois chaleureux... Ou ne serait-ce qu'un au revoir ? Il va bien falloir trouver une solution pour les cinq sols différents de l'étage un jour ou l'autre...

 

See you soon,

A bientôt,


PS1: Of course all memory of whatever you saw on the pictures that wasn't the floor will self-distruct as soon as you live the blog today...

PS : Bien sûr tout souvenir de quoi que ce soit d'autre que le sol que vous ayez pu voir dans les photos s'auto-détruira dès que vous quitterez le blog...

PS2: I'm sharing this metamorphosis with:
 http://www.dwellings-theheartofyourhome.com/2016/04/amaze-me-monday-158.html               My Show and Share Party             


58 comments:

  1. What a transformation!! Beautiful, the tile looks perfect with what you have done and your reasons - one always needs to consider what kind of wear and tear comes with pets. Your stone walls are beautiful

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  2. It's amazing how far you have come with this, and now, it is looking very peaceful. I really like your mantel and mirror, and it looks like the bottom step is repaired too. In my opinion, it worked out for the better that you decided on a stone look tile rather than wood, because of the moisture history. Oh, and it would of be an epic disaster, if when the water flooded the downstairs it would have been wood. I've left the floor on our porch cement for that reason, and at some point maybe I will do some stone like tile, perhaps similar to yours. xoxo Su

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  3. Oh my goodness! How beautiful! Cottage owes you a HUGE thank you.

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  4. I am sure that Cottage is very happy with all the changes made. I like one type of floor through each room. I like the tile chosen very much and it looks good.

    I see that you have Spring all around your cottage. So enjoy all the fresh air and flowers.

    Have a wonderful week.

    Mary

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  5. For me it is a bit like travelling back in time to the renovations on our Breton cottage in 1995. Even the rooms are a similar shape.

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    1. I didn't get your comment in my inbox, just like I guess all my comments are sent back to me. I guess we had a smilar cottage and we now have similar email problems ;)

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  6. So much accomplished. You must be so proud!

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  7. Practical is good with deciding on the first floor. I know you kitties roams around the house, but have you thought about having a area rug in the living room? Practical in like indoor/outdoor rug. I see cozy pillows and throws amongst your sofa and chairs, with your lovely decor and paintings on the walls.
    A cottage by the sea, sounds so picturesque.
    Take care,
    Kathleen in Az

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    1. I used to have a gorgeous (or so I thought) wool rug in the living room, but the cats believed it was meant to train their claws and it was a mess in less than a year. I'm now considering something like seagrass, but I'll wait until I have painted the walls and find the sofa before commiting to anything.

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  8. You have done an amazing job and so capable! I would trust your judgment any day!

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  9. I really commend your work on this cottage. It is looking so lovely! Restoring property is loads of work.

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  10. You have done such an amazing job on the cottage. Love your new floor and your wall!! Great job. You have made so much progress and it shows.

    Judy

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  11. Hello sweet Magali! How I have missed visiting you...life has been busy, but hopefully things will be slowing down now :)

    The transformation is remarkable and I can see the love, effort, and care you've put and will continut to put in your home. Beautiful, my friend, just beautiful! Hugs to you!

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  12. I'm beginning to believe that the only schedule we really need to follow is what life
    jots down for us! Having said that, you are where you are supposed to be re: Cottage's makeovers. Everything is looking lovely, especially that natural sunlight that is warming your home and brightening your day.

    Poppy

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  13. I love seeing all that you do to your cottage. I know from experience that you can plan all you want, but when you start to remodel a house that all goes out the window. We would start and than a problem would come up that we did not count on and it would take longer and more money for the job. In the end it was all worth it though.

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  14. I'm glad you didn't stage the photo -it is really nice to see the living room the way it is really lived in! The floor looks terrific, and I love the sun streaming in the open window. The stone wall, the ceiling beams, the fireplace surround, all look so homey! Now that I've said that, I don't remember a thing!

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  15. Wow, living room looks great! I really like the stone wall.
    Beautiful flowers, incredibly plentiful :-)
    With best wishes from a cold today Łąkowa

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  16. OH WOW....Magali, that fireplace surround mantle, that entire wall is PERFECT for a Brittany cottage! Your hard work has changed this dwelling. BRAVO!

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  17. Oh my goodness Magali, you certainly know what you are doing! What a tremendous job you had to tackle with the floor but just look at the gorgeousness now. I love the tile you chose, even better it hides those little kitty scratches. I know cottage has been telling you how he loves his new floor and I'm telling you "BRAVO"……….
    Hope you are feeling much better now.
    Have a grand week!

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  18. Pas possible, je ne peux pas eapper ce joli mur de pierre, il est bien trop beau. Et la cheminée, sera-t-elle fonctionnelle? Que de questions!
    Passe une belle semaine, fait-il beau chez toi..........parce qu'ici c'est Top.
    Bises. Babette

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  19. So many things, so little time! You've made great progress on your cottage. Enjoy the journey (so they say!)

    xox

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  20. Cottage is becoming beautiful. You are taking such care and making decisions with much thought that I do believe cottage is happy!
    Your thinking on floors is helpful to me, as i make some floor choices. Thanks for being in the right place at the right time with your insights!
    I have a relation living near Paris and she has tile floors, as I once did in Spain. They work so well!!! Do you have a group cleaner that works without being an onerous task?
    Your contractors seem skilled. Every time i select someone to work for me, it's like rolling the dice! Some are better than others and some are disasters. How do you find the right people to make your vision come true? LOL
    I look forward to more posts on the transformation...... MJ

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    1. MJ,
      I'm going to try answering most questions. My contractors are not all skilled. Sometimes, things go smoothly, that's rare. If you go through the blog's archives, you'll see that a plumber flooded the entire downstairs (all three rooms) once. The cleaning that comes after each renovation phase is my nightmare... I'm still trying to remove the plaster they left on the upastairs doors last summer! The carpenter is so far the only person who was trustworthy!
      To save money, I only pay for the big renovation and do everything else by myself!
      Thanks for your encouraging work and I hope to inspire you more with the next posts!

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  21. Hi...what a scary sight..the floor completely gone!..you sure have done a Beautiful job getting Cottage back on his "feet"..i bet he sighs with pleasure as you must when you get home from school..i agree using the same flooring throughout helps a small space look larger..i look forward to seeing your bedroom remodel one day..broken plate..bleeding mouse..was there a cat involved?

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  22. Those stone walls Magali ohhhhh so beautiful. Love the tile floors too. Love seeing the living room of your sweet Cottage. Have a great new week ahead.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  23. I love tile floors. They are so easy to clean. You definitely made the perfect choice Magali. I am drooling over your stone wall!!

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  24. Querida Magali te felicito por todo lo que has logrado hacer en tu Cottage y lo bueno es que lo meditas para no cometer errores me gusta mucho el piso se ve hermoso,bueno hasta la proxima cuidate...nelly

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  25. Le souvenir du trou béant dans le sol du rez de chaussée de Cottage, plein de terre, de cailloux est un véritable cauchemar ! Mais quand je vois comment tout est coquet maintenant, je me dis que tu as eu les bonnes idées... Je j'aurais jamais eu le courage de me lancer dans cet énorme projet !

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  26. I think it was such a smart choice on the tile floors. I think wood, would have made the space seem dark. With the beautiful stone wall the tile looks perfect and must be so easy to upkeep.

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  27. 2016 has a lot to answer for, it is going by way to quickly. But you will get there!
    Amalia
    xo

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  28. Our beautiful Pondside House, which we sold to move to the village, had tile throughout the main floor. It was the best thing ever. Like in your cottage, it ensured an expansive feel and was so cool in summer and warm in winter (underfloor heating) but best of all - because we lived in the country we always had animals and children running throughout. A quick swipe with a mop and it was clean and bright. I loved it!

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  29. So good to hear that a bit of energy is returning. This long cold winter and spring have done nothing to help, I'm sure. We are still awaiting spring here. It is nice to see the pics of where you started to where you are now. Just today I was looking at some of our previous photos, it is just a little reminder that we have accomplished much, and to give us courage to continue! Hoping you continue to get better and better, so good to hear from you. Take care! xo Patty

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  30. You have created such a wonderful blank slate for the next phase of Cottage's transformation - can't wait to see the rest! It's lovely already!!

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  31. I love your stone wall and the fireplace that gives no heat. I am hoping to find a fireplace surround for a fireplace that will give no heat also! Mantles are so fun to decorate! It's amazing that you have to dig out the floor to make it right. It's worth it to have a good foundation even though it makes you crazy. Best wishes, and I can't wait for more reveals!

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  32. Your living room is beautiful! And wow...you didn't stage or clean up? Your cats do an amazing job keeping the place up! =D

    -andi

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  33. You and Cottage have been through a lot together, and I look forward to every update. Every single one. I admire how you are renovating and DIYing. I think you should be so proud of yourself.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nancy. I still have a lot of work to do in the living-room, but I'm happy the big renovation is behind me!

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  34. I love that you left the stone walls uncovered. Lovely! Sorry to hear that you have had such problems with contractors. Do they have licensing requirements there?

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  35. The living room is cute -even unstaged. It is very cottagey

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  36. Tu as le même genre de carrelage que moi, et j'en suis également très contente!

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    1. C'est vraiment pratique pour cacher les petites traces de papattes, hein?

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  37. It's so sweet and cozy, you've done a beautiful job.

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  38. Your living room is perfectly 'French', and exactly how I imagined it.

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  39. I love your floor tile and think it's perfect for a seaside cottage, or any cottage for that matter. Your stone walls and the windows that open wide to the sun and breezes make me swoon. I understand what it's like to buy a home and then find out that you have to do major work just to bring it up to livability. That's how it was with our Colorado home. We had to take the walls down to the studs and rebuild them. A big motivator for designing and building a new cottage this time. But there's no denying the charm of an existing cottage like yours and you're doing a beautiful restoration job, Magali. It's so fun to follow along. Hugs, Nancy

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  40. I always enjoy seeing the transformations that have taken place in your cottage. It is so welcoming and cozy. Hope you are doing well. :)

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  41. I am forever amazed at all you and "cottage" have been through together. I know that "cottage" appreciates the time, love and effort you are putting in to make her perfect.

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  42. Oh that's an incredible amount of work you have done there! It has been transformed. I love all you have done. I think the tile goes pretty well for a place not far from the ocean like your cottage is.
    Very beautiful!

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  43. Such progress. Wonderful to see. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

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  44. The stone wall had me at hello! I love stone coming from a masonry family...can't believe the floor was laid over dirt? Sounds like our garage that is sinking...Love seeing the progress and know from the Charmer, old houses dictate the direction and control the cost!

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  45. It's amazing how much transformation the cottage has been through already! I'm glad you didn't stage that morning photo...it looks so cozy with the blankets and the mug and the window open.

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  46. I love how you said that "it's not what one say, but the thought of trying"! So many times, I think that's one advantage of Social media, friends and acquaintances trying to be nice and helpful.

    As for cottage, oh my! What a bunch of trouble for you and cottage! I agree with the practicality of your floors and it is actually pretty Magali! Hardwood, can come later too ,for aesthetic, if you really, really want it, and just lay nit on top of the current one! Wish you the best Magali!

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  47. Thank you Magali, for visiting my post! Yes, that blue dress was sensational!

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  48. "le lien entre Cottage et moi est devenu du béton" c'est une très jolie formule qui résume bien l'amour des vieilles pierres et votre Home Sweet Home ! - bien cordialement - monique59

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  49. I think your tile is lovely. And a little note about wood, my dog drags her dirty paws in almost every day over my wood. :(

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