15 September 2010

Before and after

A good friend of mine has told me many times that he thinks blogging is a form of exhibitionnisme. I guess he's right. You have to be slightly exhibitionist to display pictures of your house and write regularly about your personal and family life in blog posts.

But this is our life in Saint-Aignan. And the attic conversion was a project we conceived when we first moved into this house seven years ago. Or even before. Because of economic realities — the falling U.S. dollar, mainly — and immigration realities — it took us six years to get our cartes de résident — the work was long postponed.

Yesterday we moved the living room furniture upstairs,
where we imagined putting it when we bought it seven years ago.

If Walt and I didn't live here full time — and I really mean full time, because 95% of the time at least one of us is in the house — I guess I could worry about burglars seeing these posts. Not that we have anything of any real value. Just computers and TVs and stereo equipment. Kitchen things. A dog and a cat.


...and after

Yesterday we hauled the sofa, TV, and coffee table upstairs. Now the loft is officially our family room. Our private space. My computer room. Our sleeping area. Downstairs, there's the kitchen, living room — la salle de séjour, they call it in France, which means a dining area and a sitting area — the guest room, and the "den," where Walt has his computer but which can serve as a second guest room for one person. That's our "public" space.

This will be the downstairs sitting area.
It's getting a good cleaning.

It's still a work in progress, but what house isn't? We have a lot of work to do before the upstairs will feel really homey, and we have a lot of work to do downstairs to turn what is now a big empty space into a nice sitting area. I'd better get back to it. I have a lot of old pieces of furniture that could use a good coat of varnish.


  1. Wow, it's looking really good - I especially like the flooring!

  2. Looks superb... now you've got to get the CDs upstairs without them going everywhere!

  3. Having a vision and turning it into reality is very very satisfying, even if one is going to continue bringing it closer to the vision, or that slightly changes. This looks great!

  4. Sue said as she looked over my shoulder at your very public blog, she can't wait to put her feet up on the sofa sometime in the future. She is a very forward girl, don't you think.
    It's 8.45 here and time I washed the dishes and went to bed. Goodnight

  5. Impressive! You must feel so good now that it is finished.

  6. That's a beautiful "chez soi privé" Ken. Congratulations to both of you.

  7. looks fantastic......

  8. The new room photo is your "ta da" moment and we your faithful blog readers have been waiting for it;) You did a fine job of imagining and realizing your dream.

    I think of blogging as a way of communicating like we once did when we wrote letters to friends. Your blog is an excellent way to stay in touch with friends and family. The side benefit is the fact that you "meet people" on your blog.

    I remember a time when I had never heard the word "blog" or "google". I'm glad we live in a world where we are connected to friends in far away places.

  9. great work! and i wouldnt worry about the burglers.. that Bertie would give them "the business" for sure

  10. It's really nice. Now you can have all your blogger friends over and you can still get some peace and quiet!
    Don't worry about French burglars, I doubt they read your blog.

  11. Fantastic! Congratulations on a job well done.

  12. That looks great. Modern and cosy at the same time.

    Of course, you now have much in common with celebrities and royalty - ordinary mortals like us don't have any need for a private drawing room as well as a reception room !!!!

  13. It looks so great, enjoy the new living space! I know how hard you worked at it this summer.....have you thought of putting in a little fridge????

  14. Lynn, a WINE fridge is what they need up there! And then... a little grill (by the window, of course).

    heh heh :)

    I just LOVE the floor, especially!


  15. It's beautiful! You've done a fabulous job.

  16. What a great job you both have done, the results are beautiful!

    "Family room" is certainly the right description for this lovely space.


  17. Ken, you and Walt have made a lovely, simple and comfortable space. Congratulations, and ENJOY!

  18. Ken, it's absolutely wonderful!

    Congratulations to you and Walt.

    Donna in SF

  19. What a great job you guys did! The renovation looks fantastic.

  20. Hi Lynn, no, no fridge in the plans -- though we did see a small one at the Auchan hypermarket in Blois yesterday and joked about it. Having to go downstairs to get food or drink might keep us from overdoing it and gaining too much weight!

    Thanks, everybody, for the comments. Yesterday we moved some more furniture and started putting some plants up there. We are really enjoying the space, both upstairs and down.


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