Welcome to Le Coudeau

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…

Le Coudeau Floor Plan: Maison Principale

Le Coudeau Floor Plan: Maison Principale

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:


My looonnnggg Kitchen. Taken from the back door looking toward the Entry.


The Living Room toward the fireplace.

The Living Room toward the fireplace.


Same Living Room looking back toward the Dining Area.

Same Living Room looking back toward the Dining Area.


The little Office.

The little Office.


Beautiful Bathroom number one. Not!

Beautiful Bathroom number one. Not!


Our new 'snug.'

Our new ‘snug.’


The Dressing Room/Closet (sorry for the camera lens not opening completely.) Yes, Santa, I need clothes for Christmas!!!

The Dressing Room/Closet (sorry for the camera lens not opening completely.) Yes, Santa, I need clothes for Christmas!!!


What I have lovingly coined "The Princess Bathroom." (Our master bath. Yes, it's getting gutted.)

What I have lovingly coined “The Princess Bathroom.” (Our master bath. Yes, it’s getting gutted.)


And last, the Master Bedroom. Big whoop. But I think we can repaint some of these pieces and use them somewhere.

And last, the Master Bedroom. Big whoop. But I think we can repaint some of these pieces and use them somewhere.


Stay tuned!!!

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6 Responses to Welcome to Le Coudeau

  1. Bracey says:

    So interesting to see this. So many doors. Will you be moving walls and doors? Have fun!

  2. Jessica Paquelier says:

    WOW!!! Such an exciting adventure! You must be where I got my researching habits…. I gotta try that evernote. I can’t believe you have over 1000 notes!!!! Love you!!!!

  3. Bob & Maureen says:

    Thank you so much for the diagram and photos! This is a delight that you have allowed us to “come along” with you during this journey! The ceiling beams!!!
    Love and kisses….

  4. Anne Sherwood says:

    So much fun for us, Cindy, to have a glimpse of your wonderful vintage home, and some of your thoughts for living in it. You are so energetic, I know you’ll have it up to par in good time, and then your guest house will surely begin to fill up!! Still miss you here…your sweet friendly dogs and your infectious good cheer… Love to you and Theo!!

  5. Paul says:

    Having seen you work your designer magic on a couple of houses I know the finished product will be spectacular. Some of the rooms looked pretty good to me as is, but then I’m a guy with no sense of design even though I recognize and appreciate it when I see it, I just can’t do it.

    I’m sure you’ll take lots of before, during, and after pictures and hope you share the progress. It’s kind of fun to go on these journey’s with someone’s money and imagination beyond mine!


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