While we were staying in the gîte in Thésée, we were spending a lot of time in our house just outside Saint-Aignan clearing out and cleaning the place. We also had to go to Blois to buy appliances — the only ones in the house were a water heater and a furnace. We wanted to get a refrigerator and a stove as soon as possible, and we were soon going to need a washing machine, since there are no laundromats in the Saint-Aignan area. Here are a few photos of the inside of the house we had bought and where, 18 years later, we still live. I'm sparing you photos of all the junk and clutter we had to carry out of the house over the first few days and weeks.
The pictures above and below show one of our houses nice features: the big living room. It would be even better if we had a separate dining room, but we don't. So this is our living/dining room. It measures nearly 40 m² (more than 25 x 15 feet, and has a big north-facing window as well as a wide east-facing glass door leading out to a deck (terrasse in French). The floor is tiled, and it was badly in need of cleaning when we got here in 2003.
In the photo above, you can see the kitchen on the left and a big landing/hallway on the right. The main living area in the house is on what we'd call the second floor in American English. Downstairs are an entry hall, a big utility room, a pantry, and a large garage. Below, you can see how we had the living room furnishe for about a month until our shipping container arrived from California in July 2003.
Above is the kitchen. We've painted these rooms over the years — in fact, we've painted every room in the house, including the 60 m² loft space created when we had the unfinished attic converted into living space in 2010. The kitchen came with a built-in hood for the stove but no fan. We had one put it. So far, we've kept the white tile on the kitchen walls. We were very happy when we realized that those blue motifs on some the tiles around the edges were just decals that were easy to scrape off. We've also kept the cabinets and sink in the kitchen.
One urgent task was to get the yard back under control (see below). The closing on the house took place by proxy — the notary and real estate agent signed the papers for us so we didn't have to make another special trip from California to France — on April 24. We woman who sold us the house stopped her gardening service, so the grass had grown tall. It was continuing to grow, and would become a bigger and bigger problem the longer we let it go. We went out and bought a weed-eater and a lawnmower. Walt spent several days cutting the grass while I scrubbed floors, walls, and windows in the house.
The front porch/deck/patio or terrasse (below) was a problem. It had been covered with astroturf-style outdoor carpeting that was soaking wet when we got here. There were also a lot of sheets of rotting plywood laid down on top of the carpet — who knows why. We had to pull in all up and haul it to the dump after we let it dry out. The black adhesive under it was not sticky or dusty, so we could use the deck until September, when we had the whole deck redone in ceramic tile. We're planning to have it re-tiled this winter because it still needs repair and improvement. It's also an important feature of the house for us.