First, I’d like to apologize to email subscribers for the various ‘test’ posts yesterday. My fingers are crossed that we have definitively rectified the issue that was preventing me from publishing this post two days ago!
Hello Spring! Hello you!
What a whirlwind since my last post. Moving across the country is no easy task and while we didn’t have any horrible issues arise, it was hard, very stressful, and very physically taxing and I think we are just recovering now, a few weeks after the move.
Here we are, though, in the famous Occitane region of France and trying to re-find our footing. We haven’t changed countries but the culture is a bit different and, even more than that, we went from one of the most densely populated areas in Europe (with the transportation to match) to a small country village about 25 minutes from the city. A lot of changes come with that. We feel less harried and there is so much more sun. The people smile and say hello when you pass on the street and the expansive landscape is covered in the low, silvered flora of a hot region. The Roman Empire is still palpably here.
But the stores close earlier and we have access to just the basics in town, though of a very good quality. The bus only comes by a few times a day and I have no French driver’s license yet. We spend the weekends running around doing errands and trying to find our patterns, the ‘regulars’ that we had figured out ages ago in Paris. I can’t wait to get back to a point where Saturday isn’t only about shopping and errands and more about exploring! And that sunny 75°F in March is making me panic a bit about what that means for August!
On pictures and location alone we rented an old stone house in a the center of the village (that stone should help immensely in August!). We’re almost lost in it as we went from a two bedroom, compact apartment to a four bedroom two story house with a deck. I’m not complaining, though. We’ll adjust!
It’s a huge change for all three of us apartment dwellers but I think that now that most of the boxes have been unpacked, and a modicum of organization has made the space functional, we’re starting to settle in a bit. So today I wanted to share what the space looks like now because I have big plans over time (got to let the bank account recover after the move 😉 ).
Come on in? (And while I ran around straightening a bit before snapping these, this is real life so please excuse the clutter/mess/laundry!)
The first floor is an open plan dining and living room with whatever original finishes it had now renovated over. Everything is tiled here in the south and that has been one of the biggest adjustments for me honestly, not only because it’s really not my favorite look or color but also because it is so hard on the joints walking on the cold hard tiles all day. My knees and feet were in so much pain that first week and a half with so much walking to work on the boxes! So I’m not sure how we’ll approach that aspect yet but I think we need a billion rugs.
The kitchen is off the dining area and it’s huge! The layout is an odd inverted L because of a powder room off the dining area but it’s roughly 6 times larger than what we had before so all thumbs up! The beige tile follows us in here with sand colored cabinets, strangely purple laminate counters, and an orangey beige tile backsplash all pulled together with my least favorite paint color: peach. But not a sweet, airy peach, this is kind of muddy as a color and the symphony of all those beige/sand family hues is just not inspiring anyone around here. But we are only renters so I have some creative plans up my sleeve!! The wall sticker on the back wall drove me nuts when we first got here (pepper & salt). The color, the kerning, the reasoning (?), and the order (SALT & pepper!) made me crazy. But when I started to pull off the letters, beginning with ‘T’, I stopped because Pepper & Sal sounded like some crazy friends of Mitch and Cameron on the Modern Family and now I’m thinking of it as their kitchen. 😉 Also, our stove is currently just a countertop as we have a new oven under the counter where the stove is.
Off the kitchen is a small garage (the door by the stove) and a second full bath that is a bit ‘vintage’ but will mostly serve as a laundry/utility room for us. (A disaster right now!)
Back in the living room area is a door to another small garage (!) and the stairs to the second floor. More tile! Cat on a suitcase!
At the top of the stairs a door on the right goes out to the deck over the second garage and a loooong hallway goes off to the left leading to the bedrooms and bathroom.
Here starts what is left of the original stone floors which are beautiful and run through the closet, Élie’s room,
and our room.
Further down the hall the flooring changes back to beige tile in an open space in the hall and the bathroom and toilet.
The tile in these rooms is the strangest greeny-beige color with an accent stripe. While the space (our previous bathroom was less than a yard wide) and that gloriously big tub/shower are making us so happy, I have plans to soften the effect of all that tile!
Around the corner and at the end of the hall are two stairs up to the third and fourth bedrooms and our third and fourth types of flooring.
Confusing, right? This space is really big actually but we think it was added on from the neighboring property or at least vastly changed because it is on three levels (partially to accommodate the garage below) and, since you have to go through the third bedroom to access the fourth and there are no doors, I suppose it isn’t technically two rooms but the amount of space sure is! That first room is my new office and studio and I am so thrilled to have that space!! Now it just needs to be made functional.
The mezzanine of the fourth bedroom (finally some wood flooring!) will be R’s office and the lower level (currently É’s “new home” as he calls it) will be a guest room. Again, we’ll be needing a lot of rugs, and furniture!
(That DIY runner is from the old apartment and doesn’t even make it halfway down the length of this hall!)
So you’ve had the tour! So much potential, right? I’ve got a lot of ideas brewing and I’m looking forward to finally getting them sorted out and start planning these spaces to fit our family now that we’re mostly out of the boxes. Here’s to spring and new beginnings!
P.S. These are all iPhone pics but I’ll have more and better shots of the region to share soon!