Renovating an old French cottage – part 1 | The “before” pictures

a little French cottage

Hi friends – miss me yet? 😉 Sorry I’ve been away this passed month, this whole having-a-newborn-and-a-handful-more-siblings is no joke, really! But all things considered we are doing terrific :) The little lady is starting to sleep through the night already so I am getting my sanity back….hope I am not jinxing myself here! I’ll share more pictures and a little update of our life as a family of 6 (in the meantime you can follow me on Instagram here), but today I wanted to share something I’ve been wanting to talk to you guys about for a long time: we’re finally starting to renovate the little family farm in France with my parents to turn it into the coziest of cottages! Gaaaah can you hear me squeal from where you are? 😀

I am so beyond excited about this project and I thought I’d document the process and show you everything we’re going through with the farm…so, what d’ya say? :)

a little French cottage 2a little French cottage 3

This place mean a lot to my entire family, and not only because it’s so charming. This little farm used to be a working farm and it’s been in the family for a few generations now. My grandmother had a garden there and there wasn’t a week she wouldn’t bring us kids there. Every Spring I watched snowdrops invade the nearby meadow, and every summer was filled running around the fields with my cousins, making forts in the trees while my aunt and uncles harvested the wheat. Nothing’s been really done with the buildings in decades, and the goal here is to give it a new life so that my brother (who lives in Switzerland) and I can stay there with our respective families when we go back home to visit.

But guys, beware before you see the pics, there is a lot of work that needs to be done!!! My dad redid the roof years back because it was in a very bad shape, and he also sort of finished up a room downstairs – as in, there is concrete floor instead of dirt floor, haha 😉 We don’t even have to demolish too much, because there wasn’t much in there – It’s pretty much just a shell right now waiting for us to do some magic. Here are some pictures of the house as of this summer when I went back with the girls. Ladies and gentleman, I give you le full tour!

downstairs cottage 1
As I mentioned, the downstairs has one room that is kind of finished – concrete floor +  the stone walls (traditional where my parents live) were refinished. That’s the room where my dad comes grill some meat with hist friends after going hunting, and it makes him so very happy to be there. The farm just has a special vibe, even in this state. My dad put a stove in the room and a coffee pot to make coffee, but even then I think we’ll be looking to upgrade the kitchen just a tad 😉

downstairs cottage 3

We also will be opening up the wall to the left of the table to make the downstairs one big common kitchen/dining/living room area. The current “kitchen/dinning” room has a beautiful, old fireplace and I am so happy that we’ll be able to see the fireplace from the living room area. We want to make this space functional for lots of people but still warm and cosy. The downstairs will also have a full bathroom, probably something of a mudroom/area to put shoes and coats, and stairs leading to the first floor – although maybe a good cost saving option to keep that ladder, what do you think? :)

downstairs cottage 4downstairs cottage 5

The upstairs is the part I can’t wait to transform – it has so much potential. The ceiling are SO high! The upstairs will have one more full bathroom, 2 bedrooms for the parents and one large dormitory-like bedroom to stack up all of the kids- we’re planning on using that ceiling height to our advantage, friends! Lofts all the way:) It’s gonna be a cousin party every night! My sister lives right next to this little farm – as in, it’s LITERALLY a few feet away because she transformed what used to be the stables and the big hen of the farm into her gorgeous home. Having all of the kids gathered in one place is a dream so that fun dormitory is high on the list.

upstairs cottage 1upstairs cottage 2

The upstairs of the building is where, way back when in the haydays  of the farm, they used to store the wheat. It has some very unique details that we’re going to try and keep if we can. Oh and the beams, can we talk about the beams?! You can me sure we’ll be showing these off!!

upstairs cottage 3

Oh even just sharing these pictures I get so excited! Soon I’ll share with you some of the inspiration and ideas I have for the downstairs and upstairs. I have also tasked my parents with taking pictures whenever they work on the farm when I am not there, and I’ll make sure to do a full progress report with you guys every time I got back home. Stay tuned for more on how we are renovating an old French cottage!

You might also like:
{this little shop} Colette Bream
{this little shop} Snug studio
Collection obsession
{live here, eat that} soft and delicate
5 Responses to “Renovating an old French cottage – part 1 | The “before” pictures”
  1. Claire says:

    Génial! Hâte de voir le Part 2!! Bisous à toute la petite famille

  2. Ju says:

    What a gorgeous building ! I understand your excitement, even more as it’s part of your family patrimony. I have absolutely no doubt you’re going to make something great in there. Can’t wait to see your inspiration boards !

    I hope you can get some rest now Penelope is starting to sleep through (which I’m sure is making her even more delightful 😉

  3. emily says:

    what a gorgeous beginning to work with. can’t wait to follow along!

  4. Line Reif says:

    Hey Audrey. I see a chance to visit you guys when you are in France :-)
    Love line

  5. Maria says:

    The cottage is messy, waiting for the “after” pictures