Friday, 2 March 2012

Renovating in February

Renovation of the Breton cottage continues! The plan for this trip was for E to finish lime rendering the kitchen and the gable end wall/chimney breast in the bedroom. My plans were slightly more flexible as I needed to fit in a few social visits, some canal/woodland walks, firewood gathering, knitting and reading ;-)
Back of cottage and barn (on right)
Front and barn on left
View of woodland 
Lime rendering in process..
E managed to finish off most of the rendering before the bale of hemp; needed to mix with the lime, ran out. Advances in LED mean that we were able to source low voltage bulbs with a soft but bright light (as opposed to the usual harsh white) for the kitchen; being off-grid for electric means that minimising usage is a priority.

We had a meeting with the heating engineer who installed the log-burner and hot-water tank/radiators (gravity fed from a back boiler) so he'll be testing and installing a small wood-burning Rayburn (rescued from a friends garage) in the kitchen and a solar water panel low on the wall outside with a small photovoltaic panel to pump.

The living room's starting to look quite cosy..

Although we're still camping out by the fire :)

Main structural work on the barn has been done; roofing, walls, floor, mezzanine..

So we'll leave it now until the house is finished and then introduce a more contemporary feel with a modern log burner etc to contrast with the traditional cottage.

The weather was beautifully warm and sunny for February so walking a kilometre along the canal to the village centre was a daily pleasure..

Where the Nantes-Brest canal joins the River Blavet 
Part of the Napoleonic centre of the village
I like the sliver of moon and the bird silhouettes in this photo of the village church spire 


  1. That looks like my dream cottage! You are so fortunate to have it to fix up. I look forward to seeing more pictures as things progress. I am feeling slightly jealous over here in Canada!

  2. Lovely Cottage. Good luck with the restoration. It looks like a lovely setting.