Bonjour à tous!
First, I'd like to thank all the people who left very nice comments about my garden: I felt like it was Christmas again when I read them! So please, make my day, leave comments again!!!
As a very young teacher I had a job in a very difficult Parisian suburb. If you've seen the BBC documentary that was shot in Montfermeil after the 2005 winter riots, well that's the town I was working in. Not every day was a bad day: there were also good times with the pupils, but on the whole it was rather stressful and the area was always on the verge of violence. I spent the first days crying and then I thought, "So this is your life for now, so make the best of it: when life gives you lemons...". I looked for a place to live in and decided to transform it into my heaven.
Comme tous les jeunes profs, j'ai commencé ma carrière dans un collège très difficile de la région parisienne. J'ai commencé par pleurer pendant plusieurs jours, puis je me suis dit qu'il fallait faire avec et je me suis mis à chercher un appart pour en faire une petit nid douillet.
Did I say heaven? Well, when I first visited, it looked like that:
Douillet? Eh bien, en fait, au départ, cela ressemblait à ça:
Very old grey carpet, yellowish walls... My mother told me later she thought I was crazy...
My idea was to make something very peaceful with pink accents as I love pink and it seemed to me the prefect way to balance the violence I had to face every day. My home had to be the exact opposite of what I had at work.
Mon idée a été très vite d'en faire un univers très "bonbonnière", féminin et un peu "petite fille qui rêve" pour contrer la violence à laquelle je devais faire face tous les jours: je voulais que mon chez-moi soit l'inverse de l'univers du boulot.
Again, sorry it's not a real "after" picture with everything clean and in order as it never occured to me this would be useful. This picture was taken right before I moved out of the flat (you can see boxes on the left and on the shelves), because suddenly when I realised I was moving I wanted to have pictures of the place. The main room was a living-room/dining-room/home office! For some reason, the chairs seemed to have disapear, I don't remember why!
Ce ne sont pas de belles photos où tout est impeccable car à l'époque cela ne m'a pas traversé l'esprit. On voit déjà des cartons partout: j'ai pris les photos juste avant le déménagement pour avoir des souvenirs.
I used the shelf above the heater to do "mantel decorations". I think the paper on the table is the paper I had signed when I sold the flat, hence the picture frenzy of that day.
The main room was a pale beige but the "hall" and "corridor" (they were so small they barely deserve these names) were "vieux rose", meaning a dark faded pink to match the curtains... I couldn't find a nice picture to show you the colour, but there's this picture of Shadow playing hide and seek, where you can see a glimpse of the corridor and of the bathroom...
La pièce principale (salon/salle-à-manger/bureau) était beige et l'entrée et le couloir étaient vieux rose... Evidemment, je n'en ai pas pris de photos... Mais il me reste cette photo du chat jouant à cache-cache où l'on aperçoit la couleur du couloir et la salle de bain grise et blanche.
I had changed all the door handles as it was a quick and cheap way to give a little country look to a flat located in a big city!
I don't have a before of the bedroom, but it looked a lot like the living-room: old grey carpet, yellow and blue wallpaper.
I had really wanted that wallpaper, hoping flowers would bring something very girly and non-violent in the room... It was really a nice room to sleep in. The curtains were brought here for the same purpose as they were my curtains at my parents' when I was a child: I had removed them as a teenager ("I'm way over pink", I thought) and suddenly when I had to work far from my family, I had the need to keep something from my childhood.
Les rideaux roses sont un souvenir d'enfance: c'était les rideaux de ma petite enfance. Je m'en étais débarrassé à l'adolescence, pensant avoir passé ma periode rose; mais soudain ils m'ont paru rassurant dans ce monde un peu brutal... Certes, ce n'était pas exactement la bonne teinte de rose...
I think it was exactly the decoration I needed at the time. I still love that shade of faded pink, but now that I live in much more peaceful area, I don't have the same craving for it. Does the place you live influence your decoration as well?
C'était exactement l'univers dont j'avais besoin alors. J'aime toujours les tons de "rose fânée", mais bizarrement, depuis que je vis dans un univers bien plus calme, ce besoin est moins "maladif" qu'il ne l'était à l'époque.
Maybe I would do some things differently but at the time I was only doing things with my "guts": I had never ever opened a decoration magazine, or watch a decoration show on TV, or read a decoration blog! My friends, though, began calling the flat "the Cottage" and thought it had a very special "vibe"... And that's how I started to realise decoration was important to me.
Peut-être que je ferais les choses légèrement différemment. Mais tout avait été fait à l'instinct: je ne savais même pas que des magazines étaient consacrés à la déco et encore moins qu'il existait des blogs!!! Mais c'est sûr, j'avais déjà le virus qui couvait en moi.
In the next episode: the kitchen redo!!!
Dans le prochain episode: la cuisine!!!
Comments, not too mean if possible, would be very much appreciated!
Little White House xxx
I'm linking this post to all this wonderful parties...