Interiors, our home in France
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Our dining room renovations Part 1

Fresh look in our dining room BEFORE & AFTER

And just like that…Summer was gone.
We moved back into our home after a whole Summer away and I’m now looking at the house with fresh eyes to see how to finish our dining renovations and what projects we can (budget permitting) tackle.

For now, let me show you what we did recently in the lounge and dining area rather than focusing on what need to be done

A few months ago, we replaced all the drafty windows in the lounge & bedrooms with double-glazing windows.
From a cost and aesthetic point of view, it was hardly the most exciting thing to do but this was by far, one of the things that really improved the comfort of our home.

Since the temperatures down here are milder than London, the fireplace insert we had installed ten years ago was no longer required.

In addition to being really ugly, it was also taking a lot of space in the room so we decided to get rid of it.
You can spot it here when our home was featured in YOU Magazine in 2007

Our lounge & dining room renovations: taking the fireplace downRENOVATIONS: Taking down the big fireplace in the lounge

Taking a fireplace down is no mean feat.
It’s a messy, dusty job and my advice to you is make sure, you clear the room completely.
Luckily, our builder was extremely thorough.
He first laid down a plastic sheet to protect the oak floorboards Steve and I had laid down a few years ago (another messy job I won’t take on any time soon!) and sealed off the open-plan kitchen to avoid dust to spread further.

A couple of issues we came across…

Firstly, the Plasterer informed us that he couldn’t plaster over the black ceiling left by the builder without the black coming through the new plaster a few days later. So make sure your Builder does the prep work properly.

Secondly, weakened by the heat coming from the fireplace insert, the bricks had became too fragile. Should they knock further into the brick wall, we could incur the risks of having our wall coming down completely.

The solution to this issue was to cover the wall with a thin plaster board.

I wasn’t too keen to start with as I wanted to streamline the room as much as possible but faced with little choice, we went ahead with the option. This turned out to be OK and not as bad as I thought.

Then our lounge started to look as if Dexter was having a major party in our home…

Our lounge & dining room renovations: Lounge preps before plastering the wallsLounge preps before plastering the walls

At that stage, I had people who had booked the house two weeks later, I was also due to head off to Marrakech that same time and given that the walls could not be painted for two weeks until they were completely dry, I basically had a major meltdown.

I wrote to Muriel who had booked the house and she kindly said that she didn’t mind if the walls were not painted. So two weeks before heading to Marrakech, Steve and I painted the plaster wall that replaced the fireplace, the Electrician fitted some new Tolomeo wall lights and things started to come together…

Our lounge & dining room renovations: Lounge coming together after plastering

As I watched the plaster dries onto the walls, I fell in love with its textures and colour…

Our lounge & dining room renovations: Plaster drying off showing a beautiful texture & colour Plaster drying off & showing the most beautiful textures and colour

Since then, the plaster walls have turned into a very nice, soothing off white and made me question whether I should cover them with the pure white paint I usually go for.
Our oak floorboards are now ten years old and have a beautiful patina that suits the natural look of the walls.

Our lounge & dining room renovations: BEFORE & AFTER From a cluttered wall to a soothing, pared down spaceBEFORE & AFTER: From a busy, cluttered wall to a soothing, pared down space

To this day, the walls (below) are still not painted apart from one in the dining room area which I painted in grey. I will show you this in a separate post.

They will eventually but for now, we can live with their raw finish. I want to see how the light coming from the French windows play on this beautiful wall and then decide on the perfect shade of off white or maybe cream…will see.Our lounge & dining room renovations: From a cluttered wall to a soothing, pared down space

Our lounge & dining room renovations: From a cluttered wall to a soothing, pared down spaceOur lounge & dining room renovations: detailsWhat do you think?



    • Thank you Jade me too. If the plumber hadn’t messed up the walls when he put the radiators back I would have left them raw but now there is too many marks that will need to be covered

  1. Louise Shaddick says

    I love the hues of this room as it is. Very soothing. I’m debating updating our sitting room from its current dark red feature wall and off white to a dark ink blue. We have chunky chalk white blinds and I really think they will look lovely with a dark background. With our climate here, I think we need some dark colours! So hard to choose though!

    • Dark in blue sounds great and I think change is good. I don’t know how long you had your dark red wall on but I had my wall display on for 10 years and while I kept changing the picture frames and move things around, the new look is what suits me more now. It’s more relaxing and calming and more beachy too

    • Janet Mcnally says

      I have been thinking about dark blue for when we renovate our bedroom. I was inspired by the lounge in the Mom’s house in the series ‘Brothers and Sisters’ – you can see I’ve been thinking about this for some time! I think its a very stately colour which goes well with white and dark wood.

  2. Louise C. says

    J’aime la couleur du plâtre non fini. Et la déco simple de la lampe avec le gros collier de boules. Ça me fait repenser mon espace. J’ai un grand mur vide dans la salle à manger avec un petit meuble et je pensais mettre des tablettes comme votre “avant” ou un tryptique de tableaux. J’aime mieux le nouveau look clutter free. Un peu paresseuse, j’ai mélangé le français et l’anglais dans mon commentaire 😄 Mais au moins c’est pas du spam! lol

    • je préfère du franglais que des annonces de Viagra :-))) Oui j’en suis un peu revenue des tablettes (dit-elle après 10 ans sur le mur) et j’aime beaucoup ce nouveau look, plus calme et plus doux. J’ai juste une tripotéee de cadres dont il va falloir que je fasse quelque chose maintenant :-)

  3. Je vais obligée de revenir passer un week-end chez toi pour voir la fin des travaux et le mur peint ! Nous avons passé un très bon moment entre amis en tout cas ! Les travaux, on sait quand ça commence mais on ne sait jamais quand ça finit (10 ans de travaux chez moi et toujours envie de changement). En tout cas le résultat est vraiment réussi ! Bravo Karine !

    • Tu es toujours la bienvenue mais tu as qqs mois devant toi. Il faut qu’on s’attaque à la salle de bain d’abord, ensuite la cuisine mais bon…En tout cas merci d’avoir fait baisser mon niveau de stress!

  4. Lene Estvad Christoffersen says

    Well you know me.. I find pretty much all of your choices pretty awesome… love new look and the less busy wall.. was never a fan of the whipped cream plaster.. It must have been diff to get rid off.. Good job 👌🏻😊

    • Thanks Lene. The walls were like this when we purchased the house and once painted in white, they were not too bad but after doing our London home up, I fancied something similar and more minimalist. The plasterer did a good job. These days, they just splash plaster on the walls with a machine and spread it out so the room was done in 2 days

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