Tuesday, August 05, 2014


My computer is eight years old and has decided that it is time to retire. Maybe move to Florida and play some golf.
I have been slow to accept her decision to move on to a new life of bingo, scrabble tournements or whatever the heck old computers do when they leave their working days behind them.

At any rate...here I am, desperately trying to blog on a smartphone keyboard that is the size of a postage stamp.
I have kept this blog going, more or less, since 2006. It seems like a shame to let it die just because Facebook and a dodgy computer seem to be telling me to give up.
There's lots to show and tell.
 See you tomorrow?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

All Shower, All The Time.

After too many mishaps to tell of in this modest blog, we are finally DONE with the last big remodelling project chez nous!

The shower in the kids' bathroom was looking shabby, so we decided that after the guest room and bathroom were done, we'd "freshen up" their shower.

We decided to increase it from  90cm x  90cm to  120 x 120 .  This didn't sound like much on paper, or even look that much bigger when we traced it out on the floor....

But it turned out to be...quite substantial once the walls started to go up.

This is a very, very fancy drain of super-fancy fanciness.
However, it is NOT as fancy as the REALLY  TRULY fancy
drain that I reallywanted,
(which turned out to cost 360 EUROS!!!!!!!).
But it is still pretty nice. 
My idea to use glass brick was pretty brilliant *breaks arm patting self on back. Ouch!*
The bricks work nicely, keeping the shower
 from blocking the light from the window.
The curtain hides  shelves full of towels and sheets.
The plaster bust on top is some random Roman dude, found at the thrift shop.

Please to note the extra-fanciness of the various retro chrome fittings.
I ordered them from Hudson Reed, a place with all sorts of astounding faucets and fixtures.

Another clever feature I dreamed up was the recessed, tiled shelves built into the back wall.
 I have three daughters with long, long hair, and those people use a LOT of product!
(NB: Severin also has long hair, but is not so keen on  hygenie as his lovely sisters)
At any rate, these shelves finally give the kids a place for all their shower stuff.
 I HATE those stupid metal shelves that rust and/or fall down constantly!

If you would like to come over and try this amazing shower out, please contact me and I'll see what I can set up for you.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Lion, the Witch and the Guest Bedroom with Full Bath.

The door on the left?
It used to be a closet. 
But now when you open it, instead of finding assorted winter coats and snowboots, you end up in a magical land where it is winter all year round because of the terrible Snow Queen.

Well......it would be nice if that were true, because last time I checked, having an imaginary country located  in one's home did NOT involve a month of unholy messes and daily numerous trips to the DIY shop....not to mention actual  painting, tiling, and general hard work.

As you may have gathered from the above, our project is NOT done yet.  Still at least a week to go. 

The stairs have been temporarily put in, making it a lot easier to get in and out.
And  fitting a staircase of any kind into a closet was no mean feat. We had to get special, rather steep ones.
 The room is finally painted and the stratified  flooring ("Celtic Oak") is in.

The light fixtures we chose at Ikea are also up.
There are two, though you can't see the second one in this pic.
Very groovy.

 The bathroom has been taking shape nicely. 
The in-wall suspended toilet turned out really great.

Apparently, they are not very common at all in the USA, as I found out when I was trying to describe the project to my mom.
Here in France it's A Thing.

 We also have the heated towel rack ...which is also totally a must-have in your bastic French bathroom.

Below is the shower.  The glass bricks are to let in light and keep it from feeling too claustrophobic.

I also like the exposed beam.

 This was my brainstorm for the vanity: custom-tiled to match the wall mosaic!! I am SO happy with how it is turning out.
I also ordered a really cool faucet to go with it.....

 This is where it is as of today.... I think the final touches will be done tomorrow and then we will have a brand-new,  fully-functional bathroom!!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Totally Worth Waiting For (AKA Pimp My Garage)

After long silence, it has all built up to this moment:
And what is better than that?
 Nothing- duh!

We need more room in our home in order to welcome guests more comfy-cozily (pretty sure that's not a word, but it is so much cuter than just "comfortably"). This in mind, we ("we" in this case mainly  consisting of  Paul the Roumanian Magician)  have attacked a new moumental project:
 making a nice guest room with full bath in the upper story of our cavernous garage.

What used to  be a closet next the the half bath on the landing now leads to a small, empty (for now) stairwell.  The ladder there takes you to a soon-to-be-finished mini guest suit ( NB: not that it is intended only for smaller than average guests.  The "mini" refers to the fact that it is just an average-sized bedroom with a bathroom thrown in.  Non-palatial in nature.)
It is only 3/4 finished at this point, but I figured that a few "before and  partially finished" photos are in order:
 The new area only takes up half of the total upper floor of the garage.  The other half is still desperately needed for storing all of our plenteous junk.
The little cement block you see at the right edge of the picture above  is part of the closet that was later cut to provide a space for the new stairs to come up.
The above photo was taken at almost exactly the same spot as the one at the top. As you can see, the bathroom takes a chunk out of the space. But I think it's worth it. 
 In the left photo, the ladder is in the hole where the stairs will be installed. And I hope that happens soon, as the ladder is a pain.

This is the exterior wall where the window went in.  It is by far the biggest window in the whole house. These old Savoyard homes were built to keep the heat in and that meant tiny baby windows.

Now we have a nice view of our backyard!