As darkness fell last Blogday, I reflected upon my resolution not to go up into the Grenier. Is this the way an intrepid renovator should act, wincing and shirking away from the needs of the project? By sunrise I was ready; camera, clipboard and tape measure in hand, I set off for the farmhouse. In part this renewed adventurous spirit had come from an end of week conversation with the builder. He explained to me that because of head height we would have to rethink the shower room. The plasterboard had gone in along with the thickest insulation I have ever seen. The consequence of this was the height of the room, which is in the eaves, was not as we wanted. I suppose this is a renovation and not a new build.

It was a beautiful morning and I sometimes think this makes challenging tasks a little easier. Standing on the first floor I decided that the scaffolding looked safe, there was a mini ladder within its steel frame and a hatch that would open up into Grenier World. It is always the stepping off the ladder and the stepping back on that chills me, but it had to be done.

The Grenier far exceeded my expectations, with the new plasterboard, the added glow from the skylight and the sand blasted beams, I knew this was going to be a beautiful room. The staircase and stair well  has always been important to us. We wanted to create light into this area and the oak staircase will, I hope, give the space credibility ( a bit of a Kevin McCloud phrase I think ). There will need to be a partition to separate the upper landing from the Grenier bedroom and the beam has to be cut to provide the doorway, this is a bit scary, but I have faith. We have agreed that the plasterer will try as much as possible to allow the beams to show within the wall, both the upper landing side and the bedroom side.

I set to with clip board and tape measure to try to solve the head height dilemma in the shower room space, this is an area off the landing and adjacent to the Grenier. It was obvious that the shower was not going to fit, it is so annoying to have all the floor space you could want but not enough height. This situation was however working in favour of the hot water tank which could now sneak into the shower space affording us a far more efficient system.

With measurements taken, I headed back to the gite to tweak the plan. When the dinner party question,      " What other career would you have had? "  is asked, I know I would say an architect, designer or draughtsman because the thought of settling down with paper, ruler and most importantly a sharp pencil filled me with joy! 

Some considerable time later a plan was hatched. The toilet and wash basin would fit into the originally planned space and we would put a bath into the bedroom. I have seen this done with free standing baths and it can look very effective. The bath will fit under the skylight and will still have access to the plumbing arrangements in the toilet and washbasin room. The question now is should it be a traditional claw footed, slipper bath or modern freestanding bath with elegant lines and contemporary style? 

We'd love to know which bath you would choose, please use our comments box or visit our facebook page "The French Farmhouse Project"   to give us your views.

Grenier- right side, before the partition wall goes in.

Grenier, left side.

The French Farmhouse, East View. February 2016.


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