Renovating an old French farm – part 2 | A status update + floor plans!

2016-08-10 22.39.44

You might remember that my parents and us kids started renovating the old family farmhouse over a year ago – which we’ll use as a vacation home for my brother (who lives in Switzerland) and us whenever we’re go home on vacation. I talked about it here when I shared the before pictures. Well, we are not done with this remodel – ha, how I wish!-, but my parents have made so much progress these past few months that I thought you guys might be interested in a little status update :) Next week I’ll also show you the inspiration boards that I put together to guide us through this remodel. I can’t wait to finally stay there next summer when we visit my parents!

As a side note, it’s an interesting process to be helping my parents on this, because in the end they are the ones there supervising and making the last calls, and as much as I try to guide them, things sometimes turn out a bit different than I’d pictures. But hey, they have been doing really great and it’s kinda fun, in a way, to not be able to control everything. Teaches me to go with the flow, and every trip we kinda readjust the path and make the best out of what comes out of this process.

So anyway, on to the house…

The outside.

frenchfarmreno10L: Freia at 14 months in front of the farm, 2015. R: Penelope at 10 months, 2016. Kinda crazy :)

The outside of the house needed a lot of TLC. We completely cleaned up the old stonework and redid the joints. I love how the new joints highlight the old stones so beautifully! We swapped the front door with a new one that has the exact style as the old one. My parents were thinking about making all doors and windows in metal,  but I convinced them to stick with wood because it’s feels so much more original to the house. I am so glad they listened because metal would have not given that rustic feel that the farm needs. We turned the original garage door opening to the left of the building + the other door that was just to the left of the main front door into big windows. It was so dark inside the house before, and the extra light that these new windows bring is quite something!

All we have left to do now really on the outside is a bit of landscaping in front to add some greenery and flowers. Also, we’ll be probably add a little gated garden/outdoor eating area on the side of the house.

The main floor.

My parents have done a lot of work there – even though things will still look rough to you. There is a lot of stuff on the picture because my parents are using the main level while working on it, but most of that stuff won’t be there once we’re done with the remodel.

A few months ago the house was still divided up into two main area – the area that has the fireplace and already had a concrete slab, and the rest of the house that was unfinished as can be, dirt floor and all. We got rid of all inside walls to make one big open, connected kitchen/dining/living room space.
frenchfarmreno7 frenchfarmreno8

They had to level off the dirt and pour a new concrete slab in the rest of the room. As far as lighting goes, I would have loved to install some nice pendant lights, but the ceiling are actually quite low, so we decided to do recessed lighting instead to save some space. I’ll have to add some fun floor/table lamps instead :) My dad had his eyes set on this old vintage stove, which I also LOVE and find so perfect for this space, so he installed that. And they also started working on the downstairs bath – which is a full bath with a shower. Like I said, so so much work!



And still, so much left to be done. Next up is the ceiling! We’re going to paint it white between the beams to freshen up the space more. I debated for a while painting the beams white too, but I kinda want to keep a bit of that rustic charm. After the painting is done, my dad will install hardwood floors in the living room area and a super pretty, vintage-looking pattern tile in the kitchen area. I can’t wait for that to be completed! then we’ll install the new kitchen (which we are still going back and fourth on the design), build the staircase to the upper floor, maybe some built-in shelves for box, a window bench….And then, on to decorating :)

That old armoire you see at way in the back on that last picture used to belong to my grandma. The ceiling is too low to keep it downstairs, so we are going to move it upstairs in one of the bedroom, before we build the stairs. My mom and I still go back and fourth on whether we should keep it that way or paint it a super fun color to make it more an accent….what do you guys think?!

The upstairs: 

The upstairs is probably the part of the house that has change the most over the past year. It’s actually nearly finished! The first pictures is from last January, and the other pictures from this July.

I absolutely LOVE that we kept part of beams apparent. The upstairs now looks so fresh but still with a lot of personality. We talked a lot about what to do with the chimney going through the room, and I am so glad that it’s still part of the room, but with this beautiful finish.



My dad poured a new concrete floor as the old one was just done. That part of the farm used to be where they stored the wheat grains. We divided the upstairs space into 1 bathroom, 2 bedrooms and 1 dormitory where we plan on just pilling up the kids :) Electricity was inexistent there so we had to add that. My dad insulated the roof. Then it was sheetrock (so much of that work with all the tricky corners!), baseboards and paint. We also installed hardwood flooring and a beautiful pocket door to get into the dormitory. All that is left, really, is to add some shelves/storage in the dormitory in that little corner behind the metal pipe, and we’re also thinking of building a loft space in the dormitory to be able to add extra beds since the ceiling is so high. The two bedroom don’t have closet space 0 which is pretty common in France -, so I guess I’ll have to go to the flea market to find some dressers – twist my arm 😛

I’ll be showing  you all of the decorating inspiration we’re using next week, but until then I will leave you with a picture of the tiles that my brother and I picked at the local store – tiles that we will use in the kitchen ( for the floor), in the downstairs bathroom (to tile the shower) and upstairs bathroom (to also like the shower)…can you guess which tile is for what? :)


You might also like:
Hello yellow
{like mother, like daughter} when life gives you lemons...
Aloha and Mahalo
Modern family room - inspiration board
3 Responses to “Renovating an old French farm – part 2 | A status update + floor plans!”
  1. Ju says:

    Wow, it’s amazing ! I can’t believe how far you’ve got in almost no time, I mean, a year is really not much considering all that’s been done by your parents !
    Congratulations, it’s going to look just AWESOME ! I was born not far from this area, and we’re going to make a big renovation to our house next year, so your posts on the subject are quite exciting to me 😉
    Off to the next post and your inspiration boards :)

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] have downstairs, but that’s ok. The one they picked is a light grey color (you can see it here), and it is nice and keeps the rooms looking simple and […]