Thursday, November 24, 2016

Staircase Of Darkness

A Living-Room Linked Project


My original plan was to paint the living-room walls last summer. But I got pretty sick and it didn't happen. Now I'm back to work and I really don't feel like emptying all my living-room furniture, pushing it in the middle of the room and having basically no living-room for months.

J'avais prévu de peindre le salon cet été. Mais comme j'ai été bien malade, ce projet n'a pas été mené à bien. Maintenant que j'ai repris le boulot, je n'ai pas du tout envie de vider mes meubles et de les pousser au milieu de la pièce pour peindre les murs... Ne pas avoir de salon où se détendre le soir en rentrant, c'est non! 

Yes, I know, most people paint their rooms in a week-end, but I just can't. The walls need sanding, patching, sanding again, two coats of primer and two coats of paint and I can only work on the project every two week-end or so, since most week-ends I need to work on lessons, mark papers or do very interesting projects that include housework or laundry that I don't have time for during the week...

Admire the beautiful wallpaper, courtesy of the previous owners...

Oui, je sais, la plupart des gens n'ont besoin que d'un week-end pour peindre une pièce, mais moi, je ne suis pas rapide. Les murs ont besoin d'être poncés, enduits, re-ponçés, sous-couchés deux fois et peints deux fois, bref, j'en ai pour des semaines et des semaines, car je ne me lance dans un peu de peinture que quand les cours sont prêts, les copies corrigées, les chats nourris, la cuisine faite, les lessives à jour, le minimum de ménage effectué... 

So does't that mean that if ever I have an hour that seems free in my schedule, I can rest on my not so comfortable sofa? No, no, no...

Donc, puisque je ne travaille pas sur le salon, est-ce que cela veut dire que je profite de mes rares moments de libre les doigts de pieds en éventail ? Eh, non !

The saircase from the landing before - with the three walls decorated each a different way.
 I decided to slowly begin to work on the staircase, which is located in the living-room, but I don't need to move furniture to sand the walls there!

J'ai décidé de commencer à m'attaquer à la cage d'escalier car si elle est située dans le salon, elle présente l'avantage de ne pas être meublée, bien sûr !

This is why I fell in love with Cottage...
Let's go back in time a little. The staircase is the only original feature in Cottage when I bought it, but there were a few problems...

Revenons un peu en arrière. L'escalier est le seul élément ancien qui restait dans Cottage quand je l'ai acheté. Mais il y avait tout de même quelques problèmes...

My not-so-pretty bathroom was always wide opened...
Problem number one - Of course, as in any staircase, the ceiling is pretty high there, so none of the previous owners insulated it. While it was beautiful to be able to see all the timber structure, the staircase was a cold hole that sucked Cottage's warmth in winter.

Beginning of the insulation project...
Problème numéro un  - Bien sûr, comme dans tout escalier, le plafond y est très haut, donc aucun des précédents propriétaires ne l'avait isolé. Certes, le fait que toute la charpente soit apparente au dessus des marches était superbe, mais cela créait l'hiver une sorte de vortex froid qui aspirait la chaleur de Cottage.


Problem number two: The landing was rather dark and I took the habit to live with all the upstairs doors (ok, don't get excited there are only four doors) opened to get some light on the landing.

Problème numéro deux - Le palier était très sombre et j'avais pris l'habitude de vivre avec toutes les portes de l'étage ouvertes (oui, enfin, il n'y en a que quatre) pour apporter un peu de lumière.

Problems number three, four and five will be adressed to later! But I'm sure you can see what they are on some pictures.

Je vous parlerai des problèmes trois, quatre et cinq plus tard, mais je suis sûre que vous avez pu en voir certains sur les photos.

Shadow inspecting...
 Solution for problem number one: As sad as it was, I decided to cover some of the timber structure to add some insulation. I chose to keep the biggest beams showing, though, as I tought it would give Cottage some charm. The insulation was done at the same time as the insulation of the bedroom, the office and the bathroom... which meant that for a while, there were no walls anymore upstairs - as you can see on the pictures!

Solution au problème numéro un - Même si j'ai trouvé cela un peu triste, j'ai décidé de recouvrir les voliges de la charpente pour rajouter une isolation (au chanvre). J'ai cependant demandé aux ouvriers de laisser apparentes les poutres principales car je trouvais que cela apportait du charme à Cottage. Cette phase d'isolation de l'escalier s'est faite en même temps que l'isolation des chambres et de la salle-de-bain l'été dernier, ce qui veut dire que pour faciliter les choses, toutes les cloisons de l'étage avaient été supprimées, comme vous pouvez le voir sur certaines photos !

Solution for problem number two: Some people suggested me to add a skylight in the roof above the staircase. But do you know what happens on skylights when you live near the sea and near a field? No idea... Well, seaside means seagulls and fields are very attracting to seagulls when the farmer ploughs or when the sea is rough... For some reason, in seagull language skylight means "toilet"... And it's impossible to clean a skylight located so high above a staircase? So I decided against the idea of adding a skylight there. I did find an other solution... Please come back later to know what it is ;)

Solution au problème numéro deux - A un moment, j'ai pensé faire comme mes voisins et rajouter une fenêtre de toit au dessus de l'escalier... Mais j'habite très près de la mer et devant un champ... Vous ne voyez pas ce que cela donne ?  Eh bien, chaque fois qu'il y a une tempête en mer ou chaque fois que l'agriculteur vient labourer, une horde de mouettes s'installe dans le champ et en langage mouette, sachez-le, "vélux" veut dire "toilettes"... Et comment nettoyer une fenêtre située très haut dans une cage d'escalier ? J'ai donc choisi une autre solution... Il vous faudra revenir pour la connaître ;)

New problem due to solution to problem number one: Now I have a high ceiling to paint with showing beams that are way above me and needs to be protected... Who was the dumb blonde who thought it would add charm to keep the beams showing???

Et maintenant apparition d'un nouveau problème : je me trouve avec un plafond super haut à peindre tout en essayant de ne pas mettre de coup de pinceau sur mes poutres apparentes... Mais qui est cette blonde idiote qui s'est dit que les poutres apparentes apportaient du charme ???

 
This is the project I'm working on currently - and by currently, I mean on the rare occasion that I'm not busy. It's tiring and as it's a huge job, it doesn't seem to be progressing. But I guess that some day I'll be happy with the result...

Bon, ce projet n'avance pas très vite - je n'ai que quelques heures à y consacrer un week-end de temps en temps... C'est un travail long et fatigant... Mais, un jour, je serai heureuse de vous dire qu'il est terminé... Enfin, j'espère !

See you next time,

A la prochaine fois,



PS1: A huge thank you to the people who sent me worried email about my being awol... I'm in my third week of an inflammatory flare up... I just don't have any energy left when I come back from school. Needless to say I haven't touched a paint brush since it began... But it's bound to stop someday ;)

PS1 : Désolée pour mon absence depuis quelques temps... Je suis dans ma troisième semaine de crise inflammatoire... Je n'ai plus d'énergie quand je rentre du collège. Il va sans dire que depuis le début je n'ai pas touché un pinceau... Mais bon, cela va s'arrêter à un moment, c'est sûr !

PS2: It took me several evenings to write that very simple post as at some point I just need to stop to go to bed with a hot bottle... So I'm not proof reading or it won't publish before Christmas!

PS2 : J'ai eu besoin de plusieurs soirées pour cet article tout simple car après trois photos marquées et deux phrases, je n'ai qu'une envie... aller me coucher avec une bouillotte... Je ne relis donc pas, sinon, ce ne sera jamais publié avant Noël... J'espère que mon texte veut dire quelque chose...



31 comments:

  1. MAGALI! Bonjour! I know the "dilemma" during the school year when we both can't do much of anything creative. Weekends are just about the only time we can get anything done, but even then, there are duties. I hope you are well, that l'année scolaire is going well and that little by little, Cottage is getting what she needs to keep you warm and cozy.

    I wish you well on this project, and I know that when the time is right, you will have a great reveal for us! BISOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh wow, "when it rains it pours" Magali! I can see the enormous amount of work to be completed and I know you want it finished yesterday but you are making tremendous strides and you are getting there. Cottage will be glowing when finished and understands the process. Cottage also does not want you to over do and to take care of yourself. To be toasty warm on those cold wet windy days will be wonderful. Be patient and it will happen, take care of yourself first. We are celebrating Thanksgiving Day on this side of the pond, wish I could make you a plate to send. Thoughts of friendship are sent your way. Blessings................

    ReplyDelete
  3. (rires), si je rigole parce que dans tout ce chantier et tes problèmes de santé tu arrives quand même à garder un ton humoristique lorsque tu raconte ta vie et celle de cottage, c'est frais et agréable
    je sais combien ça ne doit pas être facile tous les jours et combien ça doit demander d'énergie pour essayer de ne pas se laisser aller de temps en temps
    Je t'envoie plein d'énergie, du courage et du soleil pour apporter de la lumière à la maisonnée
    @ bientôt de te lire

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lot of work!! I admire you for taking on such a big project. It will come to an end and you will be so happy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks good. The only trouble with leaving beams exposed is that they will continue to conduct the cold into the interior of the house. It's at approx 50% heat loss instead of the near 100% of the bare wall/ceiling, but still a heat loss. Just thought I'd mention it...

    ARe you knocking holes through the walls to let light into your staircase?? Inquiring minds wish to know :) Have a happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. so nice to see you blogging again I thought your chronic condition must have flared it's ugly head again - mine does the same - your house is fantastic and that you are doing some of the work yourself is so neat - taking your time is a must!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm sorry you've been ill, Magali. It sounds pretty serious and I hate that you're fatigued so much of the time. Do make getting well a priority. Cottage will understand and will wait for "fixing up" until you're health is restored. You are a dear heart and deserve good health. Hugs, Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  8. J'espère que tu seras très vite en pleine forme.
    Pour moi, ça fait 4 jours que je suis au lit avec la grippe et malgré le vaccin que j'ai eu.
    Petit à petit l'oiseau fait son nid. On apprécie énormément les choses quand elles viennent gentiment. Cottage est de plus en plus beau et arrivera un jour où il n'y aura plus rien à faire que de profiter de ton intérieur.
    Caresses aux griffus. Bises. Babette

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh Magali! I'm so sorry! I didn't know you've been ill, and I do hope you get better soon.

    You've done so much, but don't push yourself. Things will get done when...


    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am sorry I haven't visited recently, Magali, and even more sorry to hear you've not been 100%. I hope by the time this reaches you, all will be tickety-boo! I do admire the work you are doing. You know, of course, that all houses, but especially older ones, are constant projects?! But at least you are hopefully giving yourself years of relatively trouble free living with all you are doing. Perfectly ghastly wallpaper...x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Magali, I've been reading your blog for a few years now. You have accomplished so much for Mr Cottage. What I didn't realized is that there so much more to do, year by year it'll be done with the help of contractors and yourself. You are making the fisherman cottage into a lovely cottage by the sea. Be well, Kathleen in Az

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, there are still many things to do : the two bedrooms, the bathroom and the staircase have been insulated and have new windows, but nothing else has been done there! I'll be busy for a few more yeaars!

      Delete
  12. Hi..so sorry you've been feeling bad again..i sure hope you find an answer..no insulation in the ceiling..Hummm..maybe that's why the bathroom door was painted with a desert scene =)
    it's certainly understandable why you fell for cottage..now seeing those beams..wish i lived near enough to paint for you..i see you at least picked a..white..or is that a can of primer..
    Hope you're feeling better very soon.!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hope you are feeling better soon. The living room will get painted at the right time for you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. oh la la !! le premier étage de Cottage a été mis entièrement à nu !! de quoi apprécier le bel éclairage apporté par les lucarnes et les châssis de toit... et redéfinir un espace de vie "bien à vous" -
    la charpente a, en effet, un très bel aspect et les éléments qui restent apparents après isolation sont cohérents, comme les deux équerres en haut de l'escalier qui habillent la hauteur des murs et les poutres en angle - la structure bois sera bien mise en valeur une fois les cloisons peintes... et peut-être aussi les marches et contre-marche décapées et cirées ou peintes... allez, vos lecteurs et lectrices ne sont pas impatients et le printemps sera une belle saison pour découvrir l'achèvement des travaux de la cage d'escalier !!!
    d'ici là, parez bien Cottage pour les fêtes de fin d'année et courage ! les vacances approchent à petits pas
    portez-vous bien Magali, Cottage et les chats - cordialement - monique59

    ReplyDelete
  15. You have been one busy lady. I think your project is much further along than mine. It looks gorgeous Magali. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  16. The only important thing is your health, so from this distance I wish you all the best ... and I lit a huge candle à votre santé !! The rest will follow without any doubt. Grts and hugs, Marie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for your well wishes. I do feel a lot better... until next flare-up!
      Have a great Sunday!

      Delete
  17. Remodeling is stressful even when it goes well...but that's not something either of us would know :-{.. Sorry you're not feeling very well and hope that clears up for your soon...Don't worry about finishing it all gets done when it suppose too. No pigeon and skylight would not be a good think...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Always work and remodeling to be done in a home! It's okay to take a break!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You're cottage is charming even with the ugly wallpaper! You always have to choose comfort above charm. Please do not overdo. I have lupus and understand what happens if you get overly tired. Your health should always be the number one issue. Pretty can wait. I've been dealing with lupus and other Autoimmune issues for 30 years and now I know there is no reason to overworkd yourself because you will pay for it big time!! So please rest and take care of yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm enjoying feeling better this weekend... Until next flare-up! Thanks for your kind words and I hope you're well and not too tired this weekend!

      Delete
  20. Cottage is coming along and you should be proud of what you have accomplished so far. It's looking good and I'm so glad you left the beams showing.I hope you start feeling better soon, Magali!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Glad to hear you're feeling better. I'm constantly amazed by the size of the project you've undertaken. You are doing brilliant work.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think you are making excellent progress on Cottage! I completely understand how slowly things seem to move along when you're trying to do it all- work at your job and at home, but in the end it's all going to be beautiful. I love the high ceilings and beautiful wood beams overhead!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Waiting to see the beautiful finished cottage ..

    Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. That ceiling is so high! Be careful! It's going to look spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Be careful with taking on too much when you're not feeling well! It's fine if your project takes a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hola mi querida Magali no sabia todos los planes que tienes pendiente para Cottage pero tu salud es primero poco a poco iras viendo los resultados me encanto conocer mas a Cottage; cuidate ....nelly

    ReplyDelete

It makes me so happy to read your comments! Let me know you stopped by!
J'adore lire vos commentaires. N'hésitez pas à vous joindre à cette discussion multi-lingue.