Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Staircase Illusion

There were so many photos on this day that I decided to split it into two posts. Last time, we took a stroll around the we continue.....

After our morning stroll, we popped into the little cottage. 


Now this cottage is like a tardis. From the outside, it looks like a little stone shed but when you step inside, there's a good sized cottage kitchen, a similarly sized living room, downstairs cloakroom and understairs cupboard. Upstairs there are two double bedrooms and a bathroom!


Once we have carried out any urgent tasks at the property as a whole, we intend to work on the cottage to make it habitable before tackling the main farmhouse. It needs quite a lot of, decorating, kitchen, bathroom.....but not compared to the farmhouse!

In the cottage, we found everything covered in a white bloom from the damp. The cottage had been unoccupied for a few years and, in the meantime, the door had been open to the elements.

There's a nice wooden table in the kitchen with benches around. As a carpenter, the previous occupier would most likely have made these. I really like them and I'm looking forward to cleaning them up and having our dinner there.

Cottage kitchen table with handmade table and benches

On the other side of the kitchen,there are a few cupboards, an old cooker and a sink.

Cottage kitchen

Have you noticed how Spencer seems to always be in the photos?! He sneeks in with a tail or a nose!

The living room has a stone wall which is shared with the farmhouse on the other side. A lot of tar from the chimney had fallen down onto the floor in here.

Cottage living room with tar from chimney
There are a couple holes in the wall so you can see through and say 'bonjour' to anyone in the farmhouse!

There are a few pieces of furniture including a car seat converted into a sofa!

Cottage living room with car seat sofa

We then went into the farmhouse. I'd been longing to pull open the front door to let the light in so that's what I did! 

Front door of farmhouse
There were lots of brambles across the doorway.

Front door of farmhouse

This is a large front room with an earth floor and what appears to be a staircase....don't be's just a bannister rail!

Farmhouse front room with small fireplace at one end
 There are no stairs to the upper floor!

There are two fireplaces, one at either end of the room.

Farmhouse front room with large fireplace in need of major restoration
 As you can see there's an enormous amount of work to be done.

And a lot of rubbish to be cleared!

Gorgeous windows though!

At the back of the house, I did the same...opened the door to let some light and fresh air in.....hello Spencer!

Farmhouse back door
The next photo is taken from the back room (one day the kitchen) of the farmhouse looking through the front room (one day the living room) and then through the front door to the 'garden'. 

I love to imagine how this house will look one day.

Later in the morning, the dew had dried from the grass so Chris prepared the strimmer......

He had all the appropriate safety equipment of course!

He then strimmed a pathway around the property.

Great strimmer....from my father....thanks Dad!

I spent the morning sweeping the cottage living room.

Back door of the cottage
In addition to the black gunk that had fallen from the chimney, there was a thick layer of mud, dust and leaves on the tiled floor.

Cottage living room
I made sure I wore a mask taking my role as health and safety officer very seriously!

Sweeping up the mud in the cottage living room
I had to use the stiff yard brush to break up the layer of mud....

Does it look any better? .....I'm not sure.

I think this is going to take several brush, mop and bucket sessions to get it really sparkling....

Just before lunch, I couldn't resist taking a few more photos of the front of the farmhouse.....

Farmhouse front door
It was a way of affirming that we were really here!

Front of farmhouse with barn to the back

Front of farmhouse with attached cottage
Dear Harvey J......our home for the next 3 weeks.....

Sliding door to the front of the house

After lunch we continued working on the farmhouse kitchen area (the back of the farmhouse) and managed to clear and sweep half of it.

Chris took a well earned sit down whilst I made a cup of tea......

Next Chris strimmed an area at the back of the property.

Strimmed area at the back
We spent the rest of the afternoon gathering rubbish into heaps. We tried to categorise it as much as possible.....scrap metal, rotten wood, general rubbish, tin cans, glass etc so that it's easier when we go to the dechetterie (recycling centre).

Max explored the barn today. Both animals were enjoying their new environment.

Max having a wander

Max found a good spot for spying

We ate our first dinner and garlic bread. 

During the evening, I cleared some brambles...funny but I found it very addictive!

We went to bed very tired but feeling very contented.

Thanks for popping by!

Maggie xx


  1. My first comment seems to have disappeared, but just want to say, good luck and, again, congrats!

  2. I love the photos and I am very impressed by all the work you have already done! What a project!

  3. Hello! I came here via PomPom, lured in by the subject of your new blog! We moved here to France 9 years ago and I love reading about other people making the move. I wish we were brave (and handy!) as you guys...Your beautiful farmhouse has the potential to be so lovely! We are not DIY-ers so we had to buy something a bit easier to deal with (though our house is lovely too!) I will bookmark you, so I can come back and read what you are getting up to. Lots of luck in your new venture!!

  4. Congrats on the new farmhouse!! It's very nice but loads n loads of work. I cannot imagine myself if I am capable of doing this much work. Leave alone this, I just get tired after doing my daily chores at home. No doubt that yours is a back breaking task but since it is the making of a lovely dream house, you are definitely going to enjoy the process:) Good luck to both of you :)
    It will be interesting to watch this space through your posts.

  5. Congratulations on your new house Maggie! It has so much character and charm; I love those stone walls ... Ofcourse it is a lot of work, but I guess it can only get better with everything you do ;-)!
    Have fun! Love from Mirjam.

  6. This is a great post! I finally have a feel for the lay of the land, so to speak. So the cottage is next to the farmhouse but you have to go outside to get to either? I love the beadboard on the walls. Also, the one thing about things being such a mess and so dirty is that when you do clean them you can REALLY see a difference which has to make you feel good! How exciting it all is and you are so is going to be gorgeous!


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