In rural France, there are no house numbers, but homes are identified by their name. Our new home is known as Le Coudeau. Apparently, when the house was built in the 1800’s, the owners possessed the water rights for the vicinity (d’eau). We hope to learn more about the property’s history in the near future. And if you ever come to visit, your GPS should search for Lieu-dit Le Coudeau (i.e., the general vicinity/said location of Le Coudeau).
Assuming that this whole house buying process will conclude without drama, I’m here to share my design journal with you. A lot of my time so far has been spent gathering ideas. LOTS OF IDEAS. From researching heating alternatives and figuring out where to move walls, to color palettes and furniture pieces. One thing is clear…We ain’t in Kansas anymore!!!
In this conceptual stage, I use Evernote software to gather and organize ideas, products, and notes. To date, I have over 850 notes in my Dream Home files! So it’s important for me to stay organized. In addition to that, I have well over 500 bookmarks of other crap I’ve researched or liked or wanted to remember for some reason. And I regularly spend time throwing away bookmarks that are no longer relevant or of interest. Did I mention I love to do research? Theo has come to rely on me to do it. I like it. And he wonders why I get annoyed when he sticks his nose into conversations at the end of the rainbow and starts asking crazy questions!!! (Overbearing dictator that I am… 😀 )
Finding products in France is more challenging than in the US. Even though I search on French sites in the French language, there are simply less choices than in the States. And that’s okay. It just takes some getting used to. Of course, I’m not limited to just France, as the whole of Europe is easily on our doorstep, but for important things like plumbing fixtures, I want to be sure to use French products.
I’m so excited to share the floor plan of the main house with you today. I made an executive decision last week (when Theo was in Germany, heehee) to buy a different el-cheapo drawing program. For years, I’ve used Punch! Software’s Home Design Studio Pro (under $200) for floor plans and simple 3D room shots. I realized the software cannot produce interior elevations, which is fundamental when talking with all the contractors. And so I bought the competition, Chief Architect’s Home Designer Suite. At $100, what a steal! It’s an intuitive, powerful program with lots of extras and EXCELLENT help functions. I’ve spent all week and some late nights nerding out with it! SO FUN!!!
Another comment I’d like to get off my chest is how thrilling it is to work in metric. SO much easier than the imperial system. I still struggle with automatically knowing the metric conversion of the myriad clearances and common US sizes that I’ve used for so many years, but with repetition, it’s coming to me (12”=305mm, 12”=305mm, 12”=305mm).
If you’re coming along with me on the journey, I would love your input. I’m working in a bit of a vacuum here, so I can use all the help I can get! Here goes…
The plan is to use this main house as our one-bedroom Maison. It’s basically the core of an old barn, with two ‘wings’ added on over time and a little bump out expansion off the back. If you remember, we were absolutely thrilled to find this house all on one level—a RARE instance in a stone house. We intend to use the top right bedroom as a family room, housing the television and comfy seating—what the English call a “snug.” Then the bottom ‘wing’ will be our master. No, that’s not a typo that there is a 26 square meter dressing room (beautiful built-ins already there and you must walk through this room to get to the bedroom, so seemed like the best use of the space to me!) Then we’ll use the little office as the IT room with printer, modem, and Cindy’s desktop. And of course, the living, dining, kitchen and entry are all self-explanatory.
Here are some photos: