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13 septembre 2011 2 13 /09 /septembre /2011 22:14

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Thanks to all of you for visiting the Little White House lately... And thanks to all of you who tried to understand French enough to leave messages that were so nice to read.


I think I owe you a mini living-room reveal. Please keep in mind that it is by no mean finished... The living-room is just a work in progress... The sofa for example was supposed to be changed this summer but wasn't for budget reasons... I just bought a new slipcover for it... It's the sofa I had in my first student-studio in Paris, years ago. And no, I'm not telling you how many years!


Je crois qu'après les transformations de cet été un petit avant/après s'impose... Gardez cependant à l'esprit que rien n'est achevé... C'est juste un peu avancé.


So, let's rewind a little.




Here's the living-room the first day I visited the house...


Voici le salon le jour où j'ai visité la maison pour la première fois...




And the day I got the keys.


Et le jour où j'ai eu les clefs.




I managed to fit my home office at the back of the room and a cozy enough living-room at the front for one year. Sorry the picture really doesn't show the space but at the time I didn't think it was important to take a picture of the room as it was. This picture was taken to show my mom what a clever end table I had done with a cardboard box wrapped in fabric and an old board!!!


Then, I clear everything...




The living-room the day before the remodelling began.




The living-room as it looks like today... A work in progress...


Et voici le salon tel qu'il est aujourd'hui... En cours d'aménagement...


With its beamed ceiling...



On the list for the future days/months/years/decades/.../ goes on and on and...

- finding a nice carpet,

- having a stove,

- creating a mantel,

- finding a kind of bookcase for the TV (a TVcase, then?) so the TV is somewhat hidden... but still watchable!

- finding a lower bookcase so I can still store books, but the stonewall is more visible...

- finally having enough money to buy the desired sofa... with arms please so reading could be comfortable...

- finding a nice end table or chest...

- finding THE right paint colour for the walls and the fireplace.



Magali, from the Little White House



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12 septembre 2011 1 12 /09 /septembre /2011 09:00

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Here's what the living-room ceiling looked like a few weeks ago.




Voilà ce à quoi ressemblait le plafond il y a encore quelques semaines...





Here's what we discovered hidden behind... nice beams, but green beams...






As usual with this house the sense of harmony the previous owners had is just stunning...





L'harmonie des couleurs est comme souvent dans cette maison époustouflant...


And now (drum roll, please) ...


Et (petit roulement de tambour), aujourd'hui:




It just gives such a peaceful atmosphere to the living-room, even if the room is still unfinished.


The chandelier I painted during the summer feels right at home there.




Le lustre chiné en brocante et repeint cet été a trouvé sa place.


The Little White House chandelier by night.




So can you feel the cottage vibe making its way in the Little House?


Bon, certes, c'est loin d'être fini, mais on a fait un pas dans la bonne direction...




Magali, from the Little White House



Me, my beams and Mr. Chandelier are joining those wonderful parties:


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29 août 2011 1 29 /08 /août /2011 18:34

Dear readers,


I figured since I'm show you the remodeling going on at the Little White House, I should start at the beginning... The ground floor.


Phase 1




Three different floors for three tiny rooms: living-room in white, dining-room in red and kitchen in orange.


Phase 2




Digging the previous floor to get a proper draining sysytem...


Phase 3




It doesn't even look like a home anymore.


Phase 4




New concrete foundation slab.


Phase 5




Same floor in the three rooms...


Sorry, the door just arrived so it's not painted and I can't decide on the handle, so it's handle free right now!


A close up, just because it makes my heart do somersaults:




It's irregular so hopefully dirt won't show that much.


The two best compliments I had so far about it:


1) My dad said "it doesn't look new"... He didn't intend it as a compliment, but it was what I was going for!


2) My neighbour said it suited the old house so that she didn't remember how the floor looked like before.


So one more time, view from the stairs. Before:




And now:




There's still so much to do, but it's a start, isn't it? I'm looking for a buffet of some kind to put next to the entrance door, where the awful non-sliding sliding door cupboard was. I put a bookcase there, just to have a place to put keys and my handbag for now...


It feels it's cosier than before and it links the rooms together. What do you think?




Square of sunshine (a rare moment this summer!) on the floor of the dining-room... that still needs decorating... badly!




Magali, from the Little White House


Now I think it's time to join some "floor warming parties"!



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21 août 2011 7 21 /08 /août /2011 09:24

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Here are some news of the renovation going on at the Little White House.


Voici des nouvelles des rénovations qui sont en cours dans la petite maison.


Phase 1




Phase 2




Phase 3





Phase 4




Phase 5




Phase 6




The above picture was just taken a minute ago... It's already dark outside, so my very sophisticated camera can't take a proper picture... I promise to update this as soon as possible (which means it might take a while).


The fireplace isn't done by any means. There's just a coat of primer on it... And that will have to do for now... I'm back to work next week, so I'm out of time, as well as out of money.


I have ideas for it: panelling maybe or faux panelling as it would be cheaper... I'm also looking for an old fireplace frame or whatever it's called that I could find second hand and paint or wax... If the lack of money isn't my friend, the lack  of time is: it will allow me to live for a while with this new/old wall and see what's best for it!  Any ideas?


The place isn't decorated yet, as I'm sure you noticed but I just got some pieces of furniture back in... It already feels so much more like a home.


For those wondering about that dark stain on the sofa, it's the cat, meaning he's still there and seems okay for now after big health troubles... I keep a close eye on him... At least he seems to think the new living-room is very peaceful.




Till next time, with more to show,




Magali, from the Little White House



PS.: I haven't had time to take new pictures, besides the weather is gloomy today... So this is not an update on the house...

I just wanted to say that (even if I am usually not big on praying) all my prayers are with those living on the East Coast of America... Blogging has allowed me to "meet" people all over the world and now I find myself worrying for them. I can't imagine the state of mind you must be in. I sincerely hope you will all be safe and I'm keeping an eye on the news on TV.

I'm trying to send all of you hope from across the ocean, especially to Laura, from A Place For Tea, who had to evacuate her lovely home.


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2 août 2011 2 02 /08 /août /2011 14:08

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,



You may think that I've completely lost my mind due to all the pressure involved by the renovation.


Le titre de l'article vous fait peut-être croire que j'ai perdu la tête à cause du stress des travaux. Pas tout à fait.


Well, I lack some sleep, obviously, but no, the title does not mean that this blog is reorientated on wild animals.


"Hedgehog" is just the name, in French, of something that's been done to my house.




You may remember that during the small renovation that was planned, we discovered that the floor was in a pitiful state. Decision was made to get rid of it all...


Peut-être vous souvenez-vous que nous avons découvert une dalle presque inexistante dans la maison et que j'ai pris la décision de la refaire faire (euh, oui, mes capacités de bricoleuse s'arrêtent là).




And then to dig so that the new floor should be thicker than the previous one.


It was a sad thing to visit the house in this state.


On a donc défait tout ce qu'il y avait, puis creuser pour faire quelque chose de plus épais qu'avant.




Once everything was leveled, the new electric wires were installed. Above, you can see what used to be the kicthen and the dining-room.


Quand tout le sol a été suffisamment profond, les nouveaux cables électriques ont été passés.




Then, they put a draining system on the perimeter of the house (sorry, forgot the camera that day). After, the hedgehog was done. It's such a cute name for a bed of rocks.


C'est alors que le hérisson rentre en jeu. Un joli petit nom pour une épaisse couche de cailloux qui a été étalée sur le sol après que le drainage a été terminé.




Finally the new concrete foundation slab was ready! It might sound stupid, but the day I came to visit the house and see the slab that had been done the previous day, I was as excited as if it was a first date!


Enfin, la nouvelle dalle a été coulée et j'étais aussi excitée que pour un premier rendez-vous le jour où je suis venue à la maison pour voir ce nouveau sol.


This week the walls are to be built back... and of course there's been a new little problem to be dealt with... But that's for an other post!




Magali, from the Little White House



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26 juillet 2011 2 26 /07 /juillet /2011 21:10

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Sometimes from a bad experience results something good or "it takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow".


Parfois d'un malheur naît quelque chose d'heureux ou "la pluie comme le soleil sont nécessaires pour faire un arc-en-ciel".


Due to major drainage problems, the whole floor of my little fisherman house is being removed, which also means that all the inside walls are gone as well.




It's really hard to think positive when the house is a little more destroyed every time I visit... But it's a necessary phase.


In this chaos, there are some nice surprises.


Il est vraiment difficile de penser positif quand la maison semble un peu plus détruite chaque fois que je m'y rends.




I always hated one of the rooms dowstairs: there is (or rather there was) a very small closet under the stairs where the toilets were.


J'ai toujours détesté les toilettes du bas, situé sous l'escalier. D'abord parce que je trouve qu'ils donnent l'impression d'être au milieu du salon; ensuite parce que le mur "enferme" un peu l'escalier.


I hated that room for two reasons: as it was directly off the living-room, I never used it, nor I never told my guests to go there (I mean who wants the other guests hearing you pee?). Only the upstairs toilets were used. I mean in such a small house how many toilets do you need?

Also, because it was under the stairs, it meant that there was a wall hinding the old staircase.

It's rather common in old houses around here. Imagine if poor Harry Potter had lived in Brittany, his address would have been "the-toilets-under-the-stairs"!




I had already had the idea to get rid of it, but I had thought it would be too complicated. You can see in the below picture that the wall had been built on the last stair.They really had a weird sense of beauty...


La cloison avait été montée sur la dernière marche.




Well, now that all the walls are off anyway, we'll just remove the toilets... which now seem to be in the middle of the living-room! At least there's a place to sit!


Puisque tous les murs ont dû tomber pour refaire la dalle... Autant se débarrasser de ces toilettes... Bon d'un autre côté, c'est actuellement le seul siège du rez-de-chaussée...




I love that now we can see the railing... The bottom stair is in a piteous state, but I'll deal with that later!




I just love how all the pipes are showing now! I was thinking of growing ivy around the upstair bathtub pipe, what do you think?


Even for me it's really difficult right now to see what I'll do with the living-room! Who can picture a comfy sofa in that mess? Would you want to have a cup of tea there? I should mention that there's no running water in the cottage these days...



My least words for today: thanks to all people who left nice comments lately, it really cheered me up! 




Magali, from a damaged Little White House


PS: Sorry for the quality of my pictures, but as you may imagine, there's currently no light in the house .



Last update: on my last visit to my dear little house, my very old staircase was floating above the floor. I keep my fingers crossed that it will keep holding on as it's supposed to stay that way for about a week or two. Would you keep you fingers crossed as well?



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17 juillet 2011 7 17 /07 /juillet /2011 19:27

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Here's an update of the Little White House's "course of renovation".


Voici des nouvelles des travaux de la Petite Maison.




That sponge-Bob-painted wall HAD TO disappear. Picture was taken right before the renovation began, so it's a little bare and the old sofa doesn't have its usual slipcover on.


Le mur avec peinture genre Bob l'éponge devait disparaître. Un an à vivre avec était mon maximum. La photo a été prise juste avant les travaux, donc c'est un peu vide.


Can you see the weird square at the bottom of the wall? That's where the fireplace used to be.




Vous voyez ce petit carré dans le bas du mur? C'est ce qui reste de la cheminée...


I was kind of hoping that maybe behind the drywall would be a nice little old stone fireplace...


J'espérais découvrir une jolie petite cheminée en pierre derrière le placo...




Here's the wall as we found it when the drywall was removed. Under it were two layers of wall papers, one of them being really old and truly vintage; and a layer of wattle and daub (had to check that on wikipedia and therefore learn a new English word!)... But no fireplace: as you can maybe see on the picture, it had been removed and filled with concrete.




Mais sous le placo, nous avons trouvé plusieurs couches de papier peint, dont un vraiment vieux et vintage à souhait, une couche de torchis, mais pas de cheminée: le manteau a été détruit un jour inconnu de l'histoire de la maison et rempli de béton...




That big hole could have been a black hole of dispear... But I thought it was just one more challenge! I already have an idea on what I could do to have one day a nice fireplace... It will just have to wait a little because the main thing right now is to pay for the new concrete foundation slab.


Ce grand trou dans le mur aurait pu être un trou noir de désespoir après avoir longtemps rêvé d'une belle cheminée... Mais en fait cela a remis mon cerveau en route pour trouver de nouvelles idées.


I think it's time for a big thank-you.

I'd like to thank all the people who organise wonderful blog parties on the Internet: thanks to you and all the talented partier, it's just amazing how fast I was able to think of different ideas for that fireplace. Thibaut, who you can see in the above picture, was really surprised that I came up with a new plan in two days!


The wall still needs to be cleaned and then new joint will be added between the stones, so that it'll look something like the guest bedroom wall:




Quand les pierres auront été nettoyées et rejointoyées, cela devrait à peu près ressembler au mur de la cahmbre d'amis que l'on peut voir au dessus.


If you have any idea on the fireplace, feel free to speak your mind in the comments.



                                                                                     Almost there... Je m'y crois presque...



Magali, from her parent’s house  



Joining some of those inspiring parties that make my mind full of ideas!


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16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 20:22

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Things at the Little White House are slowly changing...


Les choses changent doucement à la Petite Maison...


You may remember that I wanted to get rid of the fake ceiling that is (or was) in the living-room.


Peut-être vous souvenez-vous que je voulais me débarrasser du faux plafond du salon.




And also that I was dreaming of white beams...


Et aussi que je rêvais de poutres blanches...




This will have to wait a little...


Eh bien, ce n'est pas pour tout de suite...


Because what we discovered when tearing off the fake ceiling are green and yellow beams.


Car ce que nous avons découvert, ce sont des poutres vertes et jaunes...




Did I already mention that the house lacked harmony???


And can you see the holes previous owners made in my beautiful beams for the electric cables? Shame on them!


En plus, les précédents propriétaires m'ont troué les poutres comme du gruyère pour y faire passer les cables électriques. Un carnage...




The two colours are remains of the time when there was a corridor for entry way and a wall between that corridor and the living-room.


Le fait que les poutres soient de deux couleurs est un reste de l'époque où il y avait un couloir d'entrée et un mur séparait ce couloir du salon.




And so, this is the time when I tell myself: "what was I thinking?" I mean the before pictures are actually better than the afters! Hopefully the after-after pictures will cheer us up.


Et c'est dans ces moments-là que je me demande: "mais qu'est-ce qui m'a pris de me lancer là dedans?"





Magali, from her parents’ house



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13 juillet 2011 3 13 /07 /juillet /2011 21:09

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,




A few days ago, I packed everything that was downstairs, until it looked like this:




Rather bare, huh?




Pour le troisième été consécutif, j'ai donc mis toute ma maison, enfin tout le rez-de-chaussée, en cartons en prévision des travaux.




Just as a reminder, the idea was to open the wall between the kitchen and the dining-room, get rid of the awful cupboard in the living-room and of the fake ceiling, remove the drywall on the east wall in the living-room and retile the kitchen, the dining-room and the living-room. Easy, peasy?




Donc, pour ceux qui ont des trous de mémoire, le but de cette phase de travaux était de se débarrasser du placard du salon, du faux plafond, de créer une ouverture dans le mur qui sépare la cuisine de la salle-à-manger et enfin de recarreler les trois pièces.




We stucked all my furniture in the garage.


Tous les meubles ont été stockés dans le garage.




But when the workers removed the the drywall, we discovered that the stone wall was rather wet.


Quand le placo a été retiré, nous avons découvert un mur en pierre très détrempé.




So I asked them to dig a hole in the floor to see what was beneath... Well, pretty much nothing! You can see the not very deep hole above, that's all it took to get to the earth (a wet earth, given the area where it's located).


J'ai donc demandé qu'on casse le carrelage pour vérifier la dalle. Ben, que dalle! Juste une petite couche de ciment...


I knew in a second that I would never retile on that floor. The house, which is very old, needed to be saved first, meaning it needed a drain system of some kind to keep it dry. There were two agonising days when I had to wait for a new

estimate by the contractor. I was parying really hard that I would be able to pay for it and to save this little beauty:




J'ai su en l'espace d'une seconde que je voulais sauver la maison des eaux et qu'il ne servait à rien de poser un carrelage neuf sur ce sol inexistant... L'attente du nouveau devis a été une torture... Mais c'est bon, ça passe: il faudra juste revoir les ambitions pour la cuisine à la baisse.


I'm not going to torture you any longer: we decided on a fairly expensive but hopefully efficient drain system (not sure it's the right word, but dictionaries are in boxes!!!). I can afford it, but it means the kitchen will have to wait for a little more! 


In the next episode: how saving a house includes a lot of destruction!!!



Magali, from her parent’s house



Joining parties (though not in a party mood exactly...)


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12 juillet 2011 2 12 /07 /juillet /2011 13:43

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


You may remember that July was the month of the first phase of the Little White House's remodeling (out of 50-something phases...). Well, it's not going so well and I'm experiencing some problems.


Vous vous souvenez peut-être que juillet est le mois de lancement de la première phase de travaux dans ma petite maison. Tout ne se passe pas très bien.


I will tell you all about it... But I need a little time to know how to write about it without being too mean towards the previous owners (I wouldn't want the blog to be rated PG because of its language!!!).


Je vous en parlerai dès que j'aurai réussi à trouver des mots pas trop insultants pour les précédents propiétaires...


If you're wondering why I haven't written for a while and haven't commented on your blogs for a while, it's for the exact same reason. The Internet was down at home and also I had to pack and come live with my parents'... But now, I've found a way to get the Internet on my laptop at my parent's.


Du coup, j'ai trouvé refuge pour quelques temps chez mes parents.




Right before I left home, I was working on a tiny project that was huge for me as I had never redone a room before.


Mais juste avant de partir, je travaillais sur un petit projet qui était énorme pour moi qui suis débutante.


As I live in France, my toilets are not in the bathroom: they have their very own tiny room, that's actually the size of a closet, located opposite the bathroom in the upstair landing.




Given the personality of the previous owners, you can guess that it was very colourful. And I decided to change that. The walls are all bumpy because I believe they were done a long, long time ago.


Comme à leur habitude, les précédents propriétaires avaient fait des toilettes une pièce bien colorée...


It took a lot of sanding to get rid of the fish and of the orange waves that were rather thick.




Il a fallu pas mal poncer pour se débarrasser de la surépaisseur des nombreux poissons et des vagues... orange...



I also had to put something on the damages on the wall... I had never done that before, so I was really worried about it.




Il a aussi fallu enduire un peu, ce qui était une grande première pour moi...


And then I primed and painted...




The plinths, door and ceiling (or slanted ceiling) are white. The walls are a beige/greige colour that was called "Ivory #6", though I really think it has nothing to do with ivory.


Les plinthes, porte et plafond sont blancs et les murs sont beiges.


There was no way I could paint behind the toilets as I didn't know how to remove them (give me time, I'm just a beginner), so I applied some wallpaper, swearing quite a lot as it was really hard to work in such a small space...




Un peu de papier peint derrière les toilettes... Et pas mal de juron pour atteindre cet espace un peu étroit... Vous savez pourquoi Valérie Damidot ne refait jamais des toilettes dans son émission? Eh, ben, moi, je sais maintenant!


You may notice that because the junction between the two walls is so bumpy, it was very difficult to cut the paper straight... But that was my first try with real wallpaper.


There's still work to do in this tiny closet: I need a proper light fixture, a shelf above the toilet and something to hold the toilet paper... But that's the state the room is now, when I had to leave the house... More on that in a few days...


Il reste du boulot: une lampe digne de ce nom, une étagère, un dérouleur... Mais à ce moment-là, j'ai dû évacuer ma petite maison...





Magali, from her parents’ house



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Me, Myself... And The House!

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  • I've been looking for a house for some time now... And I think I found it! The thing is it needs a lot of work to be transformed from a house to "my" home. I've been looking for ideas on everybody's blogs, so i thought I could begin one of my own...
  • I've been looking for a house for some time now... And I think I found it! The thing is it needs a lot of work to be transformed from a house to "my" home. I've been looking for ideas on everybody's blogs, so i thought I could begin one of my own...

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