Thought it would be a nice idea to share our family’s journey in the making of Beau Maison…
It wasn’t a particularly well thought out plan in the beginning! We’d enjoyed our first ever trip to Brittany in France in the summer of 2002. Our children were just 2, 4 and 6 at the time. We fell in love with Brittany straight away and when we returned from our holiday we’d browse the internet in disbelief that you could actually buy a whole house for the cost of a new car!
In 2003 I was made redundant and with a little bit of money behind us I tentatively started looking to see if the dream could in fact become a reality.
I’m a real believer in fate… we planned a trip and made an appointment to meet with an estate agent in Josselyn. With a budget to stick to and not wanting to take on a complete renovation with no running water or electric they only had one property on their books that met our brief…
It’s fair to say that the house didn’t ‘blow us away’ immediately but it did tick all our boxes. The location was perfect, a quiet hamlet yet close enough to the village with 2 beautiful towns, popular with tourists within easy reach. We never planned for this to become a holiday let – our priority was to have a family holiday home that would be a retreat from the day-to-day life and a place to create some amazing memories for our young family.
And so the work began… the ground floor was habitable, with a lounge that doubled up as a bedroom and dining room, a small kitchen was fitted into the entrance, a bedroom and a bathroom. The first floor was accessed by a rickety staircase which was concealed by a cupboard. Upstairs was a wreck but a blank canvas!
Gary spent a very cold week in February 2005 breaking the back of the work upstairs. Floor boards needed replacing and rafters put up. Every holiday for the next few years was a working holiday! With the exception of the windows in the big bedroom and the plumbing for the new bathroom and electrics, all the work we did ourselves. Gary is a bricklayer by trade but this was a real test of his diy skills! Gary turned his hand to plasterer, chimney sweep, stove installer, carpenter and stone mason! I spent my time exploring the surrounding areas with the kids to let Gary get on with the work and the rest of the time I was his labourer! It’s a good job walls can’t talk… It was an extremely rewarding job, and I’m really proud of our achievement but I’d be lying if I said never a cross word was had!
In 2007, with the building work complete, I finally got the chance to put my creative skills to the test. I was in my element, choosing wallpaper and furnishings! We have a collage of pictures on the kitchen wall that shows what the cottage was like before the work was started… it’s hard to believe and one of our proudest achievements.
Later that year we welcomed our first guests to Beau Maison.
click here to see before pictures and work in progress