Archive for category: French interiors

New delivery for the holiday cottage, Sonnac sur l’Hers

Lovely new matresses arrived this week for our holiday cottage and B&B. Excellent service from our French store, only 3 weeks longer than promised, though free delivery so I will forgive anything. Combined with feather and down duvets and pillows and 800 thread count linens (though I admit I brought these from England, not sure where you would source these in rural France). A gorgeous night’s sleep assured at our lovely, historic French house.

Superior quality "mousse" mattress

You can’t have too many milk jugs

Do you think there are enough for my bed & breakfast in the south of France (3 bedrooms). Nick muttered something about bonkers…

Furniture restoration

Our latest brocante find, a school locker that is being transformed into a petit wardrobe for our holiday cottage in the south of France. Seems a shame to wash away the schoolgirl (boy?) graffiti, will leave the love heart at least.

Jean loves Marc

We tread lightly at every opportunity at Chez Maison Bleue in terms of environmental impact. More natural products such as oils and bees wax are used to restore old, wood furniture. The piece here was sanded with coarse then fine sandpaper then wire wool, cleaned with a solution of water and vinegar (Grandma’s way and so economical – vinegar costs 19 cents, white spirit 3 euros). A wax based polish was then applied to achieve, I hope you agree, a very pleasing result.

French furnishings for the b&b

Buying furniture for the B&B and holiday cottage has proved a challenge. We have a steadfast, left hand drive Volvo which has spent many lonely winters abandoned at Carcassonne airport and has never let us down but draws the line at transporting double beds, sofas and wardrobes. Delivery charges are extortionate; we are in a rural area but not far from major towns and cities such as Carcassonne and Mirepoix. I have been keen to avoid creating an English country interior in my French house and without being immodest I believe I have succeeded.

We have bought mainly old, often antique, French furniture, taking care to treat the ubiquitous woodworm before placing it on my lovingly restored parquet floors. The brocante (second hand, warehouse kind of setup) in Mirepoix and the Troc (same) in Carcassonne have been the main sources of often unbelievably cheap, solid wood furniture that the French no longer desire for their modern, boxy villas. However, my beautiful, intricately carved rosewood bed turned out to be completely useless as the mattress isn’t a standard size. Even so, Nick is most certainly not having it for firewood.

On a lower note, before our major purchase of a sofa in year 2 (delivery an eye watering 80 euros) we bought 2 sun loungers from Lidl that we used all summer on the terrace and all winter beside the fire – the plastic arm on one of them melted.