Friday, September 12, 2008

I thought that today I could show you what I do when I'm not sitting here blogging.
Mainly, I scurry about, doing the endless chores that go with a big house and four kids. Then when I have a free (ha!) moment, I get busy stripping wallpaper, painting and generally getting all HGTV-ish.
I love HGTV. When I'm in the USA, I have it on 24/7: Designers' Challenge, Design on a Dime, Deserving Design, Designed to Sell, Divine Design, Designing Designs for Dyslexic Designers...
Ok, I made up that last one, but ONLY that one. The others are all real shows on this channel that is all about home decorating projects.
But these days, I don't need to watch that stuff on tv. Nope. I have my own, very neglected house to whip into shape.
Just getting it clean was the first challenge. but once that was done, the fun really began.
The first project was to re-decorate Eldest daughter's room. It boasted bright pink wallpaper and a border of ballerinas. She chose it whan she was three years old but she found that, at age fifteen, her tastes had changed somewhat.
So, she did some sketches and made her plans. I wasn't too sure, but it turned out great. It's still not all finished, but the paint and wallpaper are done.

I love the retro wallpaper she chose. It's something that would have been in the house when it was built over 100 years ago. And the plum coloured paint really punches it up and makes the room more fun.

Here's the view out her window. Nice!

Now that her room is done, I am working in the dining room. the old wallpaper is damaged, so it's coming down. Sadly, the walls are very old, fragile plaster and I'm having to do lots of repair work, which is slowing me down. This project, which I thought would take about two weeks total has been dragging on now for three weeks and I'm still only halfway finished...

8 comments:

La Framéricaine said...

I am so excited to see your work-in-progress. I won't ever have to subscribe to HDTV because I have you and Je Ne Regrette Rien to watch! Between the two of you I'm holding my fear of old French houses at bay--just barely.

Your daughter's room looks beautiful! Please do share with us how you plan to manage your fragile plaster walls, as I have a house full of them, crumbling into powdery white dust around all the baseboards. You success will be my role-model for French House Beautiful!

Bonne continuation!

Anne said...

Hello,
I have read you blog from time to time and was struck by your redecorating project and love for HGTV. Good luck on the project. How long have you been in France? Was it difficult to move there with children, and easy to get a job?
(annenorcross@ferris.edu)
blog: http://annenorcross.blogspot.com/

oreneta said...

What did you do with the house while you were gone? It wasn't rented out was it, or did it sit vacant?

Beth said...

LF- My approach to these walls has been to slather them with new plaster on the worst bits, throw on an undercoat of paint to hold it all together and then stick up some good, sturdy wallpaper. Seems to work.
However, in one bedroom which we transformed into a huge bathroom, there was a wall so bad that we had someone come in and put up a new wall in plasterboard over the old one.
Best of luck to you, too!

Beth said...

Orenata- When we left for Burkina, it was for a two year contract only. We rented out our house to a local family and left most of our furniture here. Not that we had much. But we expected to be back in two years time.
Well, we kept extending our stay year after year. The nice local family moved away though, so we had to find new renters. We found another young local couple...but they were a COMPLETE nightmare. They were so horrible that they deserve their own blog post.

Anyway, the answer is : yes, we had renters for the whole nine years.

fiamma veneta said...

Ciao dall'Italia!

Southern Goddess said...

Your house is beautiful! I love old homes, and live in one myself, including plaster walls. I always know when the seasons are changing when my doors and windows refuse to open or close. You have more gumption than I do. My whole house is probably held up by prayers and around 20 coats of paint.

oreneta said...

Mine's been rented five years now, and we've had some characters, but no one worthy of a blog post...so far...here's hoping.