Our Quirky 300 Year-Old French Home Renovation Adventure / July 26, 2020, day 5: Stairwell & floating fireplace part 1

Believe it or not there a floating fireplace in our stairwell! It’s a Thing of Beauty, dating back to the day when thess two townhouses were one grand house. The previous owners took the floor out to make space for the stairwell and left the fireplace hovering . I guess they didn’t have the heart to sacrifice it to utilitarianism, and so we are now the proud inheritors of a whimsical fireplace “folly”

Where do we even begin?!! Our stairwell is probably 50% of the reason the real estate ad read: “not for the faint of heart.” Haha! No, if anything we’re on the audacious side…

Sean dug deep in the wall and found that the bulging area responsible for this huge fissure was an old doorway that had been filed with rubble (instead of the usual blocks of stone) and plastered over.

It’s such a joy to uncover this house’s secrets! From the wife cellars to the soaring attic (we were told is the highest in the village owing to the fact that it had to cover the tower) we have a total of 5 stories to explore, investigate, and take care of!

Which artist does this reminds me of? It’s really bugging me….who is it??
Glass and nook half full! Sean ses these crumbling stairwell walls as an opportunity to create illuminated nooks.

Today while Sean was working in the stairwell I knocked a wall down between our bedroom and a large, dark closet area under the stairs. Once the wall was torn away the space was flooded with light.

Under the stairs was a rotten sagging horror show.
The ensuite is to the left (above) and the door on the right leads to the stairwell. Across from the ensuite and the door are the twin juillet balconies. The ensuite is cheerful now! And we’ve pimped it out in an antique chandelier.

In the ensuite I stripped away wallpaper that probably dates from the 1920s, exposing a half-timber wall made of wood, mud, and dried grasses.

Today we battled a crumbling stairwell and a creepshow closet and yet we’re going back to the airbnb excited for tomorrow! So many opportunities reveal themselves to us!

We’ve made so many sketches and even built a Cardboard scale model of the house. Let’s do this! Let’s do that! But then the house says, “Hey I bet you guys never even thought of this...”

And it’s true. Our house knows best.

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