Monday, April 06, 2015


Dining-Room Inspiration


I've always lived in homes that had big, sometimes even huge windows. My bedroom as a child had a huge French window, my student studio in Paris had a sliding window that was nearly bigger than the room itself, the first apartment I bought had a whole wall of windows in every room.


J'ai toujours habité dans des lieux qui possédaient de grandes, voire d'immenses fenêtres. Ma chambre d'enfant avait une double fenêtre descendant jusqu'au sol, mon studio d'étudiante une fenêtre coulissante aussi grande que la petite pièce, mon premier appartement avait carrément un mur de fenêtre dans chaque pièce.


So I'm used to live in rooms that are flooded in light and I want to keep it that way. I guess it shows in the inspiration pictures I filed for my dining-room.

J'ai donc l'habitude de vivre dans des pièces baignées de lumière et j'aime ça. Je crois que cela se voit dans les photos d'inspiration que je vous ai montrées jusqu'à présent.


This is not what I have with Cottage of course, but dreaming over beautiful pictures never hurts, does it?

Pourtant, ce n'est pas du tout ce que j'ai avec Cottage... Mais rêver sur des photos ne peut pas faire de mal, hein?


When I began renovating Cottage, I thought I'd do something to the tiny window I have in the dining-nook. It overlooks the garden and it would be perfect if it was larger.

Quand j'ai commencé la rénovation de Cottage, je pensais transformer la petite fenêtre du coin salle-à-manger. Elle donne sur le jardin et serait parfaite si elle était un peu plus grande.


I didn't want to do anything that would be out of character for Cottage, but maybe just creating an other window exaclty like the original one, next to it, would be charming.

Je ne voulais cependant pas dénaturer Cottage et mon idée était de créer une deuxième fenêtre identique, située contre la première, avec juste l'encadrement en granit pour les séparer. 


It turns out opening a new window in a stone cottage requires an architect to make sure the walls won't stumble down once you rip a hole in them.

Mais une telle transformation nécessite d'embaucher un architecte pour voir si mes vieux murs en pierre peuvent supporter qu'on y creuse un trou sans que la maison ne s'écroule.


There's no way I have the money  to pay for an architect, the metallic beam involved in keeping my walls up and buying the nowadays very expensive stones to put around the new window like I have around the old one.

Je n'ai pas les moyens pour un architecte, pour une consolidation de mur probablement via IPN et  pour acheter un nouvel entourage de fenêtre en granit.

That's one of the reason that made me open up the wall between my dining-nook and my kitchen, so the light from the bigger kitchen window could arrive in the dark dining-nook.

C'est une des raisons qui m'a poussée à ouvrir le mur entre la cuisine et la salle-à-manger: ainsi la lumière de la fenêtre de la cuisine atteint la sombre salle-à-manger.

But now I have to create something charming with the window I have which is not going to be an inch larger...

Mais maintenant, je me retrouve à devoir transformer en quelque chose de charmant une petite fenêtre qui ne peut pas s'agrandir d'un seul centimètre...

The dining-room window is the one to the left of the door.

This is the adventure I'll tell you about in the next posts, stay tuned!

Voilà l'aventure que je vous propose de suivre dans les prochains articles !

Have you done something to your windows so they add charm to your room? Have you ever tried to turn something you didn't like in your house into an asset?

Quelles sont vos astuces pour donner du charme à une fenêtre ? Avez-vous déjà essayé de transformer en atout un défaut de votre maison ?

Beautiful black sill...

See you soon,

A bientôt,

PS1 : All the sources for my inspiration pictures can be found on my Pinterest board "Dining-room".

PS1: Les sources pour chacune des photos d'inspiration sont sur mon dossier Pinterest.

PS2: I have paint on my hands as I type and two of the cats have some in their fur... Be assured that we are working to have something to show you!

PS2: J'ai de la peinture séchée sur les mains et deux des chats en ont dans leur fourrure... Soyez sûr qu'ici on travaille pour avoir des choses à vous montrer plus tard!

PS3: I'm sharing my inspiration with:
Dwellings-the Heart of You Home          ARTL april showers                          
Linky Party               Ivy and Elephants           H&GT BUTTON FALL                                   


  1. Magali, what beautiful inspirations! I love number six! However, when one lives in the south in the US, natural light, also, means heat, even with thermal windows. Number six would be a furnace, during the summers and, almost, impossible to cool. We have shutters on all of our windows, alas, and open and close them, as the sun moves around our home. A price we pay, for very little winter weather!! Thanks for the Pinterest tip. I cannot wait to find and follow you!

  2. Ces photos font rêver ! Que de lumière ! Bon courage pour obtenir gain de cause avec votre fenêtre ! Joyeuses Pâques, Flopsy

  3. Large windows are lovely and I crave them too, but I understand having to work with what is there! I have faith that you will come with something adorable for the small window.

  4. Windows - my nemesis! I've never had so few or so tiny windows as I have in this house! What about a greenhouse style window that bumps out of the opening? Your cat would LOVE it!

  5. So many rules and regulations with changing the exterior of a house in France. I'm sure you and Cottage found a solution.

  6. Hi Magali, I had a feeling you couldn't put another window in the dining room because of the stone and all that entails to make it happen. Your solution with opening up to the kitchen to brighten the room is best. Beautiful Seaglass and white paint with some pine furniture will make it light and airy. Kathleen in Az

    1. My Cottage used to be a very simple fisherman's cottage and I would be afraid it collaspses if I touch the walls! Stay tuned for the transformation of the small window!

  7. Beautiful ideas, arent' they! For a small, dark dining area, I'd simply paint all the walls white. I think that's the easiest way to brighten and enlarge (visually) that room. And I wouldn't put curtains on the window. Have fun. You have a lovely cottage!

  8. You have so much beautiful inspiration to's hard to choose just one :) I love the white with the splashes of blue and big windows are always perfect.

    Enjoy your week, my friend. Hugs!

  9. Hello Magali, large windows are wonderful, I love them too. I have a large window-doors in the sleeping and living room. I like to wake up and see the grass and flowers.
    Beautiful inspiration did you find, if you are successful it use them in her white house.
    Yours very warm easterly

  10. I think I have those same curtains as in the first photo and yesterday they were blowing in the Spring breeze just like this! Our home is full of large windows and I love all the light. I look forward to seeing what you are going to do!!! I love Cottage, small windows and all. xxo

  11. I love #3 and 9 not only the openness but the colors. The Charmer is full of windows downstairs, upstairs not so much. We had a skylight added upstairs and it does help. When hubs and I first got married he talked me into getting vinyl window in our kitchen, ugh! So to hide their ugliness I have "vintage old window" hanging inside to give charm to them. Now I don't mind them at all, cause I don't see the vinyl anymore. Can't wait to see what you up to!

  12. Magali If there is a way to add more charm to the window in the dining room you will! I love cottage and how she looks, so white and those beautiful blue shutters. Look forward to seeing what you have planned.
    Hope you have a lovely week.


  13. I love lots of windows...I felt like we had more than the norm in our house, but now that it's built, it could certainly use more! Beautiful inspirations. :)


  14. I'm intrigued, Magali! I have a small window in my bedroom, and I gave it the illusion of looking large by adding very large curtains. Doesn't help with bring more light in, though. By the way, I LOVE photo # 6!

  15. Your inspiration photos are so charming and we all dream of the perfect home....but we must live with what we have and that brings out the creativity in us! My whole house is a lesson in creativity! And patience! I know your dining room will be absolutely charming! xo Karen

    1. You're right. What we have in our houses is a challenge and we must work with it!

  16. Some of those windows look like frames to painted pictures! Cottage is cute with the matching windows! The anticipation is making me ache! Hurry! Show me!

  17. Oh Magali, I love every room you are showing here. I too love big windows for the light they allow into the home, and every single photo here is a dream. And your sweet cottage is on its way to being just right. I love it!

  18. I love all the inspiration photos! I'm going back for another look while I wait for your next instalment to see what you did with the window.

  19. Hi...the inspiration pix are Wonderful.! my place is like being in a hole ever since the back porch was closed in..i'd do skylights but i have a second floor..i think maybe a mirror across from the one you have may help brighten it up..i painted my living rm a nice soft medium yellow that brightened up my room a i read some time ago that yellow is the only color that goes with every other the news of the architect about the window you had hoped to put in.? the walls falling down reminds me of..under the tuscan sun..when her inside wall came down..looking forward to seeing what you're up to now..

  20. Your inspiration photos are so pretty. My place is not as bright as I would like it and I can perfectly relate to your wish for more light. Looking forward to seeing what you decide.

  21. hello Magali,
    peut être un jeu de miroirs sur les murs opposés apporterait de la lumière à ta pièce ??
    peut être est il possible ( pas sûr avec des vieilles pierres, surtout du granit !!) d'agrandir en biais l'encadrement intérieur de la fenêtre ?
    et bien sûr, du blanc , du blanc et du blanc sur les murs, mais ça, ce n'est pas nouveau !!
    bon courage pour la suite

  22. What gorgeous inspiration pictures you have found Magali. I could picture myself in any of those rooms but then I would probably put up blackout curtains and still be like a vampire. I have gotten so use to my dark living room.... lol I am so excited to see your renos.

  23. Bonjour Magali
    Malheureusement en France les architectes ne doivent pas savoir ce qu'est la lumière et les grandes fenêtres, c'est navrant, des cubes empilés avec des ouvertures minimalistes... bref..
    Pour faire rentrer la lumière lorsque l'on a des petites fenêtres tout est bon pour gagner de la luminosité, de la peinture blanche pour éclairer, des miroirs positionnés savamment dans la pièce peuvent y contribuer, tu peux aussi poser un rideau sur le côté de la fenêtre histoire d'habiller un peu l'ensemble, libre à toi ensuite d'y ajouter une petite nouette pour donner une touche rétro...
    Je viens de me rendre compte que nombre de tes visiteurs utilisaient le vous, j'ai du te surprendre de prime abord en te tutoyant aussi légèrement... j'espère que tu ne m'en tiendras pas rigueur et que ma convivialité du démarrage ne t'a pas contrariée, je suis quelqu'un de naturel qui ne s'embarrasse pas de bla bla et si tu le préfères j'utiliserais désormais le vous
    @ bientôt

    1. Oh, non, rien ne me dérange! "vous" ou "tu", c'est la même chose tant qu'on n'est pas au travail ! J'avoue que je ne sais pas trop sur quel pied danser en fait car ayant eu au début surtout des lecteurs de langue anglaise, je ne me suis pas posé la question!

    2. j'avoue que lorsque j'ai découvert ton blog tout m'a plu, ton joli cottage que tu retape fort judicieusement et joliment et tes écrits, je souris souvent en lisant tes histoires
      Merci en tout cas de m'accueillir dans ton univers aussi gentiment, c'est très agréable
      Je te souhaite une très bonne soirée

  24. I love your inspirations, and I look forward to what you do. We just restored the two 71 year old windows. I thought it was a fail, because it looked horrible during the process, but I loved them and would of regretted if I just replaced them with some ugly windows or two sets of French doors, because that is the opening size.

  25. Hi sweet friend. I am always trying to find ways of bringing more light into my little nest. Living in a basement is really hard. I think that the small windows in the front of your house is what adds such lovely cottage charm to the place. I really like the blue shutters. What a fun place to live, and just think you always will have a project to do! lol Jo

  26. En tout cas, il faut mettre des miroirs ou un seul très grand. ça agrandi une pièce & si tu peux capter dans le miroir la clarté qui vient de la cuisine, ce sera tout du bonus.
    J'adore les bow windows que tu montres. Je sais que tout le monde recherche la clarté avec de grandes ouvertures, pour ma part, j'aime ce qu'on appelle chez nous les fenestrons (les toutes petites ouvertures qui protègent de la chaleur de l'été & qui empêchent le soleil de tout décolorer.
    Caresses aux souris. Bises. Babette

  27. Hi Magali! I love your inspiration pictures, and I can't wait to see what you do with your dining room! One idea I had that you might want to consider is try using mirrors in certain spots to help bring more light into the room? Not sure if it would work or not, but an idea. I am in the process of redoing my office area in the house, and we're pretty close to being done. I've wanted to do it for a long time, so I'm happy it's finally happening. I may post some pictures of it on my blog when we're done. Have a lovely spring in France! It's been very unusually warm for spring here, although where I live now is very rainy at the moment--not the best weather when you want paint to dry! Take care--I always enjoy reading your blog!

  28. I love all your inspiration pics of light filled rooms. It would be nice if you could add another window in your dining room, but can't wait to see what you do.

  29. Beautiful dinIng pics. I was going to tell you number 1 was my favourite, then I saw no.3 and no.6!! Pity about the window, it sounded like a lot of work and expense but you are nothing if not determined Magali! I know there will be an alternative.

  30. Ces photos sont magnifiques Magali, tu m'as fait rêver avec ces larges fenêtres et ces vues sur la mer... J'aime beaucoup la photo 3. Et une salle à manger dans un salon d'hiver comme sur la 9, je ne dis pas non !...
    Bon courage avec toute cette peinture (en plus tu prends le temps de faire un billet !) et courage aux chats aussi !

  31. Thank you, lovely lady, for sharing this wonderful post with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

  32. Bonjour Magali. Je crois que cela a été déjà plus ou moins suggéré, mais je crois qu'une solution serait de poser des miroirs dans l'encadrement de la fenêtre. J'avais vu cela dans un article sur un appartement parisien décoré par Sarah Lavoine et j'avais trouvé cela superbe (d'autant que l'appart donnait sur les Tuileries, ça aide !). Mais je crois que vous avez déjà la solution et j'ai hate de voir ça !

  33. Hi Magali. Always a pleasure visiting with you. I was actually browsing cottage dining rooms yesterday. I'm sure you'll come up with something beautiful for your dining room.
    PS-LOVE your blue shutters.

  34. I'm sorry you can't have larger windows for you and Cottage, but your home has such charm and I am sure you have a great solution for your dining room window.
    Luckily my windows are big enough but there is that small window in the kitchen that I want to fill in, though losing a window worries me.

  35. Your cottage is so full of charm, but I can see the problem with making your window larger. It looks like kitty loves the cozy spot on cottage's window sill. Thanks for sharing all the inspiring pictures at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  36. I have the same problem in this house of ours, and admit it already cost me sleepless nights. We have a conservatory built-on at the back, which gives more light in wintertime but turns the house into an oven in summertime. So we put a wicker mat on top... so it becomes dark again, grrr !! Hope you can work it out so the solution meets both your and cottage"s needs! Have a nice weekend ! Marcy

    1. I know that some glass exist that have a kind of sun insulation in them... They are slighlty blue, but they are also very expensive and I decided against them for my roof windows... BUt maybe it'll be worth it for a conservatory?

  37. Now I'm curious Magali. Aside from using curtains to make your window appear bigger, I'd can't imagine what you're going to do? You're a tease ;).

    While picture #6 has gorgeous ceilings, #3 stole my heart. That view! In fact, I have this picture on my Pinterest board too.

    Can you tell you have two duplicate pics in your post? I'm seeing that, but sometimes my iPad does weird things.

  38. J'adore la somptueuse salle à manger en bow-window, même si je trouve la table assez horrible, elle convient bien. Dans ma s à m, il y avait 3 fenêtres. Une petite très haute, une assez grande assez basse et celle d'origine. Nous avons supprimé la 1ère et depuis que j'ai habillé les 2 autres avec des rideaux faits avec d'anciens draps brodés (et différents) ça harmonise l'ensemble. J'ai mis aussi des brise-bises avec le même monogramme. Le tissu est nécessaire dans une pièce pour enlever l'effet résonance et je pense qu'un joli rideau améliorerait ta fenêtre.
    Dehors sur ce mur vide j'accrocherais soit un vieux miroir chiné pas cher (et qui ne craint rien) sauf si cette partie est en plein vent, soit un treillage pour un joli rosier...
    Bon we.

  39. Coucou Magali, j'adore les photos 4 et 8 je m'y vois je m'y vois !! Je vois que ta maison prend forme petit à petit, c'est vraiment super joli !! Bravooo ! Faudrait que tu viennes faire un tour à la maison pour m'aider à décorer ! Bisous !! Mathilde

    1. Sur les photos d'inspiration, c'est beau, mais dans la réalité, l'ambiance au cottage, c'est plutôt poussière et bazar!

  40. Great inspirations! I like your black sill!

  41. I do believe we share the same taste in dining rooms! Pictures 3, 4, and 9 are perfect examples of my need for cozy, but fresh, white but not all white, and sea/lake views! I am very curious about the state of your said window, right now, and would like to know where that paint came from on your hands!


  42. What an inspiration. I do have cat on my window:)
    Dropping by from Linda's blog:)

  43. I love all the inspiration but I think the first and 3rd are my faves!


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