The ups and downs of renovation

We have been working particularly hard the last three weeks renovation our bathroom. The first job for me was to clean the antique mirror that we bought at the brocante in Daglan a few weeks ago. After various checks on the internet it was found that washing up liquid in a bucket of water was the best idea for cleaning old gilt, so armed with a soft toothbrush I set to work one sunny afternoon.

renovationTwo hours later I had completed the back of the mirror the difficult intricate detail on the front of the mirror was yet to come. After informing Paul that dinner would be a little late this evening I set to work once more.

Another three hours work and the mirror was finished.


DSCN1418The original mirror from the bathroom was taken down and placed onto our son’s bedroom wall. A wooden frame was built and varnished to match the wooden bed on the right hand side of the picture.

DSCN1419Unfortunately Paul realised that the partition walls upstairs were thinner than the length of the drill, he had drilled through to the next bedroom. This is one hole there are three others. Never mind, its just another job on our to do list.

We were only going to re-tile one wall but after completing the one wall with new the tiles, the old tiles looked even more terrible so another two walls needed work, another trip to Sarlat this time for more tiles. Paul took off the old tiles and you guessed it, the plaster came off too. Back to the DIY store for plaster which took four days to dry.

DSCN1421Here is half of one of the walls with the new tiles the other half of the wall took longer to tile due to the undulating nature of our walls.

Next came the wall at the back of the shower and toilet so Paul protected the shower and toilet with plywood and cardboard. One tile fell off, hit the cardboard corner first, cut it and the plywood like a knife through butter and the result can be seen in this picture.

DSCN1422I am glad to say that a new toilet was bought on the next visit to the DIY store and is now in place.

DSCN1432Finished with no further problems and looking great. The wash hand stand was purchased from a brocante shop in Daglan that Paul renovated. It has a gorgeous marble top that cleaned better than we expected and is in keeping with the period of the house.

Events:- Not to be missed- Daglan Art’Ceou Exposition which runs from the 19th June to the 3rd July

Also, Fête de la Musique – 21st June in Sarlat throughout the Medieval town, for jazz, blues and rock music.

Mason de Bleu

I did read a few years ago that there are only certain colours that are permitted on the outside of your home in any of the French villages throughout France.  Usually in the form of different shades of blue, which are determined by the Marie and the community.  With this in mind we spent a long time walking around Daglan looking at and making note of the colour scheme of the village houses. Armed with the knowledge that we could choose a variety of shades of blue not just one or two, we set off for a DIY store.

Which sounds like an easy task, however each DIY store in the area is between an hour to half a day’s drive away and each of the stores may or may not sell a good variety of paint and of course each store will close at twelve o’clock for two to three hours.  No problem, lunch out sounds great so our plan was to go to the nearest store in Sarlat first, which we did, only to find that they were experiencing a power cut.  Not a problem at all to French people who where happily walking around the DIY store choosing items by the light of their mobile phones. When in Rome do as the Romans do came to mind so armed with our phones we looked at and picked paint for the shutters and the window frames.



What a transformation, our mason de blue.

It could of gone disastrously wrong in the light of day but no we love the colour and so does our Marie, who gave my husband a smile and a “superb” when he saw the colour.

Mason de Bleu

With lavender and roses in the various planters downstairs and pansies on the balcony, the house is slowly feeling more like a home.



Paul made the shutters for the office window, brilliant.



The veranda is looking good in its new colours.


Events: – 7th May Belle Brocante in Sarlat from 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock, on the Avenue de la Dordogne.

On 21st and 22nd of May Daglan will be holding a Flea Market in and around the village hall.

Also, Le Thé Vert  in Daglan is now open for the season.  Check out their site on  We can highly recommend the food, wine and delicious Yorkshire tea. Not forgetting the excellent service and friendly atmosphere that greets you every time you go.


Paul’s DIY expertise

My modest husband will be the first to say that he is not so good at creating anything from wood, however I would strongly disagree. We needed several book cases due to the fact that we have about five hundred books between us. At first we looked to buy a few bookcases but we could not find anything that we liked, or the ones we did like were far too expensive, so Paul set to work.

First, a detailed list was in order due to the fact that if you run out of screws it is a half a days drive to the DIY store and then they may not stock what you need! The Perigord is improving for DIY stores since we first visited in 2010, but they do not have a wide selection of products and they are a distance apart. However, a morning or day out looking at the Perigord Noir gorgeous scenery on route is always a pleasure.

DSCN1003Paul, working on the veranda cutting the wood for a bookcase.

After that came the sanding down of the wood, a quick measure just in case of any problems, and then the assembly followed by a final sanding down before a tinting to match the rest of the furniture and applying several coats of varnish.


DSCN1011The finished bookcase, just need to make a few more!


DSCN1001This is the bedroom that I have always wanted.

New wardrobe, vintage chair with shelves (by Paul) that are used for my sweaters, t-shirts, hair drier etc.

DSCN1122Another bookcase.

The last one in the lounge to accommodate the last hundred or so books!