Monday 10 September 2012

French style

A friend of mine has a shop in the UK that specialises in french country style. Lots of pale washed wood, silvery grey and blue. Lots of distressed/aged fabric and wood. Lovely looking stuff with stencilled french words.

I think there must be another country called France where this stuff exists. We live in rural france and are househunting. In my head, french country style is mostly dark brown and shiny with orange flowery accents. Older french style here has golden exposed stone, dark brown beams, old oak staircases. Then in what must have been the seventies, dark brown comes in. Shiny brown tiles, cover up the old stone with plaster and wallpaper it in bright swirly paper. Fortunately not a lot of carpet but what there is will be swirly too - and probably orange. Any bathrooms will be coloured.

We saw this house on the internet today (sorry picture's a bit small) right place, old house with garden in the town, original state so lots of brown but still with original features - stone sinks, beams, original windows. We wandered around the town this afternoon and found it. Yay, it's in a good position, big garden..............................................oh what the hell have 'they' done to it.
The pictures shown are no longer what it is. 'They' have got their hands on it. Great lumps of new plastic windows and doors. Huge slabs of plastic patio doors across the back. New shutters all painted a lovely shade of shiny brown. Inside I just know that they will have plastered over every square inch of old stone, boxed in the beams, covered up the old fireplaces, put in corner shower units and then added lots of curly wrought iron light fittings to encourage the buyers.
I haven't the heart to rip out all their work it is too much of a waste but I do wish we'd got our hands on it first.


  1. It is heartbreaking!

    I have seen what has happened to an eighteenth century stone house we sold...renovated to keep the beams, the windows, the stone fireplaces, the original stone sink...

    Plastic windows to replace (why) the wooden double glazed units...plastic roller shutters...the garden front turned into a range of patio plastic doors (as you describe) and thank goodness I didn't go inside!

    I have always said and still say that the French do not have eyes!

    Mark you, when i see what the Britpack vulgarians have done to my first house in France I wonder about their eyesight too!

  2. When we arrived here in France thankfully the beams were all visible and still are, but we have removed all the plaster to expose the stonework. The internal walls were either large floral or in the kitchen bright orange! Now all pale cream or white. We are talking about putting in double glazing in the lounge and kitchen diner but if we do they will be in wood NOT plastic. Good luck with your house hunting. Diane

  3. So true, Rosie. Our stone isn't lovely pale limestone, but rather dark and rough sandstone, so we haven't stripped the plaster. But we sandblasted the beams (which has been coated with sky-blue gloss paint!) and all our new double-glazed windows and doors are wood, not plastic, and not a patio door in sight. :-)

  4. We've got our eye on another one where we really can't see from the internal photos whether it is an old house or a new one.

    But then at least it would all be done and you could move in.

    But then what's the point of an old house with all its heart ripped out.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions.

    In the end it will all be down to location, location, location :-)