Posts Tagged With: house hunting in France

Hello Spring

Hi Everyone

Sorry we haven’t been in contact for a while, it’s been a busy time here at Maison Mûrier. Winter is fading away and spring is taking hold of the land, blossoms are ready to burst and bulbs are popping up to say ‘hi, it’s been a while’. The first to show their colours are the daffodils but the tulips & hyacinths  are hard on their heals.



So why have we been so busy we hear you ask?

Well we have continued with our house renovations, the loft area above Marion and Ian’s house has been transformed into an office and spare bedroom.

Take a look…

To the left you can see the new full height entrance we have created, we had to break through the 1/2 metre thick stone wall.

To the right you will see the shape of the old door which was cute but very low and dangerous, as we kept banging our heads every time we entered through it. We used some of the stone from the new door to fill up the space.


One end of the room is our office/workroom


We sandblasted the beams, what a messy job that was! But worth it.


We kept all the original stone walls and re pointed them using traditional lime mortar, a long and messy job but quite satisfying as well.


The other end of the room has been made into a spare bedroom; the ceiling is low, but it’s ok for sleeping. The bed frame was going to be thrown out by  friends of ours, so we nabbed it and painted it using chalk paint [amazing eco paint that needs no prep work done before painting your furniture: YES] and the headboard was made out of  old wood that came off our roof. We love a bit of recycling.


We are now in the middle of installing an en suite bathroom into the old closet of the recently renovated Library bedroom – I’ll keep you posted on that.


Now that spring is arriving the garden is demanding attention too, mainly clearing up after winter but I’ve also just started creating a hot garden [plants with lots of reds, oranges and yellows] on the back of the old stone wall of Marion and Ian’s kitchen garden. The earth is not so good, lots of clay so ill have to dig in loads of compost and manure, hard work ahead…


And lastly we have developed a new website for the house, using a fab web creation company called Wix, really easy to use as it’s all visual.

Heres a link 


The leaf in our new house name logo was hand drawn from one of our murier [mulberry] leaves by my talented cousin Tamar, thanks Tam, wish I could draw like that.

The website also has a blog which we will use going forward to post about whats happening here at Maison Mûrier

If you would like to be kept up to date with our news visit the new blog page and sign up for our newsletters.

Whilst all of this has been going on

Barnaby Pickles has mostly been surveying his kingdom…


While Miel Miaow has been mostly snoozing in the sun.


Time for a cup of coffee in one of my favourite relaxing spots, under our acacia tree [yet to bud but still beautiful]


Bon weekend à tous.

Happy weekend everyone.

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The beauty in winter

The last few days here in Fayssac have been bitterly cold, its the first time mother nature has wrapped her frosty arms around us and cloaked everything in wintery white.


The mornings have been starting out with a sunny glow, but within minutes the fog has been rolling in creating misty swirls in the valley and continuing its journey until you can hardly see anything.


Im not really a winter person, although i do love a log fire and large brandy to help keep the cold away, for me summer is my season, but if you look there, really is so much beauty to be seen in this Narnia season.


The sleeping trees and decaying plants are given a dusting of frost making them shimmer.


There are picture postcard scenes to be viewed everywhere.


The ice particles bring spiders webs to life, showing all the incredible intricacies of their spun webs.


I think i may be a little obsessed with them, but why not when they are this beautiful?




Colour still manages to pierce through the frost giving us vivid sparks to brighten our walks.


The dogs love this weather, they don’t seem to feel the cold, they revel in it bonding and springing about, except when they are patiently waiting for you to throw a toy.


So my friends this year is drawing to a close, and what a year it has been, we have had some amazing times, and have so much to be thankful for. There have also been many shocks along the way and we have lost so many amazing people, musicians, authors, celebrities, stars and many loved ones.

But we must look forward and not glance back for that is the only way to go….

From all of us here at Maison Mûrier we wish you a very


Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Spirit House

We have a little area of the garden by the well that we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with for ages. It’s actually an old stone sink that I presume came from inside our house and has been placed by the well to create a platform. I have placed plants on terracotta tiles to give them height, but I’ve never really been happy with it and have been trying to figure out what’s missing.

Then our dear friend Rachel came to visit this week and bought us a beautiful gift, a spirit house, which She tells us originates from the Lanna Kingdom in Thailand, people place these outside houses and put gifts in them to appease the spirits (apparently they are particularly fond of strawberry Fanta).

They are ideally situated on a wooden pillar or platform, argh says I, I know exactly where it will live.


Raised up on clay tiles, it has pride of place in amongst the greenery.


Its made of recycled teak so its weather and bug proof.


The details on the rood and sides are beautiful.


Thanks Rachel, it will have a happy home here in the garden.

The learn more about Spirit Houses click here

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

So many shutters!


Renovations are in full swing here in Fayssac, even when we have guests staying, if  they can hold a brush we give them one.

Its shutter renovation time at the moment, whilst we wait and wait and wait for someone to dig the hole for our pool, i won’t go into that right now, i will only rant and it will take ages, ill keep that for a future post.

Anyway we have over 40 things to renovate and pain, from shutters to barns doors and various other exterior bits, some are in good condition and just need sanding, filling and painting some need intensive care.

The derrière shot is my brother in law “Digger Dave” [the name came from a drunken night of me complaining about dodgy hole diggers and Dave offering to dig it for us], told you we make guests work for their keep.


The ones that don’t make it out of intensive care are chopped up for firewood, oh yes we recycle as much as possible, kev has utilised his carpentry skills to make them, saving us a wedge load of money in the process.


And we have finally decided on a colour for our shutters, which was really decided for us as its a colour match to our new windows, no romantic name I’m afraid just a Ral number, Ral 7016 to be precise but ill call it “Thunder Cloud”, mind you thats a bit dramatic, maybe “Pigeons back” thats just as bad, oh well you make up your mind either is better than Ral 7016.

And you may have noticed the wall paint in the photo below, now that does have a name “Grey frost”, so there are our exterior colours to be used liberally on anything stone, wood or metal and even guests if they stay still long engough.



Ok back to painting shutters….. Bon weekend everyone.

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A busy week


What a busy week we had…

Our dear friends Paul and James popped over to see us, flying back with Kev from London for the weekend, bless them i think they were heading for some sunshine, but unfortunatley our weather has been very similar to the UK of late, rain, rain and yes more rain. But that didn’t stop us getting out there and showing them around.

Wellies are our staple footwear at the moment and we have acumulated a range of sizes ready for any visitors.


A footpath or a mini river.



Saturday night was steak and red wine night and after a delicious meal cooked by Kev and a few bottles of the local red stuff, we face timed our friend Jacks back in London and it looks like she had already had a few bottles of the red stuff herself!!!!!



After a fabulous weekend the boys headed back to London for a detox and Kev headed for India.

I had a busy few days clearing up and decorating and then on Friday our new windows arrived.


It didn’t take us long to start knocking out the old ones, the first to go in was in Marion and Ian’s spare bedroom.



Give Kev a power tool and he can turn his hand to anything…..



Ta Dah and here it is our first window in place, we loved our original windows but they let so much cold air in so they had to go but they will be recycled as Kev is going to make a green house for me.

The dark grey wooden frames look lovely, and yes the room was so much warmer.



Frosted windows for the bathrooms.




Then on Saturday we headed for the Aveyrone to look at a antique fireplace for our kitchen.

Last monday we had visited Laurent the Mares son in laws antique showroom and fell in love with his wood burning stove, it was an origional Godin Colonial, he told us about a great website a bit like ebay called “Bon Coin” which means good corner. After a bit of searching we found a few of them and the best was the one in the Aveyrone.

Luckily the one we saw was in fabulous condition so we bought it there and then and as soon as we got home it was put in place and a fire lit.




The critters however had another relaxing week!!!!!!




What will next week bring?

Categories: Living in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Miss Mischief



Unlike Barnaby Pickles Miss Miel Miaow is not camera shy, far from it she will always oblige and give you a stare for the camera.

Having hunted for her for ages the other day i found her sound asleep in an Ikea bag on top of lots of boxes in our kitchen. She’s obviously a thrifty cat choosing to sleep in an Ikea bag there were lots to choose from, Sainsbury’s, Intermarche, Eleclerc etc


Categories: Barnaby & Miel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wheres our new home?

Hi Everyone

Quite a few people have been asking “where exactly is your new house in France?”

Click the link below to be taken to a google map showing where our village “Fayssac” is.


Categories: Our French House | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the Games begin!!

K: The prologue to our new book (so much bigger than a chapter, this) began this afternoon with our agent, Laurette’s sparkling words “I am thrilled to be able to tell you….”

After an excruciating week, the selling brothers and sisters finally accepted our second offer, which coincidentally was our maximum offer. We are soon to be the extraordinarily proud, excited and terrified owners of a former wine maker’s farm in Fayssac, in the south west of France.


I want to start off by giving a massive apology to several people around me (most of all my poor suffering mother) for being a major grumpy pain in the back side. I think I reached a new low this week, and it’s not somewhere I want to go again. The lack of direction and control was too much for me and I let a darkness win. I hope you’ll all be happy to know that it dispersed, and mum managed to snap me back in line with a well-deserved telling off email this morning.

It also looks like we’ve managed to sort out our temporary London accommodation problem. To the dog-hating agent at Conrad Fox, dog-owners can rent when they have a network of supportive friends (who know they’ll benefit from a week or two by a pool in the sunshine eventually!) Emily & Ed (of the distinguished building and decorating company are moving to north London in July & will rent their south London pad out – initially to us. And luckily, they love Barnaby!

We need a little bit of help now… What do we call our new home & enterprise? We are putting it out to all our lovely friends and readers – please send us some suggestions. Something French preferably, fitting, and elegant. Thinking caps on please! A week in one of our gites (when they’re done in 5 years!) for the winner.

Categories: House hunting | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The Waiting Game

K: This week has been pretty stressful. We’ve been back and forth with offers and counter offers for our favourite house in Fayssac. We managed to get the sellers to show their hand and let us know what their minimum price would be, but the gulf between their minimum and our maximum was pretty huge at €14,000. The agents have also kindly reduced their fee in an attempt to try to get the house sold. Our final offer was our maximum, and I’ve not heard anything for a few days. I’m not holding out much hope – the sellers are a group of brothers and sisters and they all have to agree. The mayor in the house next door is one of the brothers, and he seems not to relish his role as a middle-man – he replied with a lovely message to my note introducing myself at the beginning of the week.

Add to that the slow progress of having to find temporary accommodation in London. On Wednesday I could have cried when one agent point blank told me that I’d never find a place, with a dog. She actually said “dog owners don’t rent!”

So, in 6 weeks, we’ll be homeless with nowhere to look forward to. What a fun game!

P: He’s so dramatic and I’m the thespian in the relationship hmm. I grant you it has been a frustrating week, they say that good things come to those who are prepared to wait. So lets wait and see what happens, I’m a great believer in fate I’ve lived my life by that and I’m not going to change now. So if we are meant to have this house it will be and if not then I’m sure there is another one just as fabulous out there, trouble is trying to find it.

So to keep our spirits up I’m posting a happy little ditty by one of the greats.


Categories: House hunting | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The week after house hunting began.

Saturday 13th April

Hello all and a happy weekend to you.

I’m writing this blog while making dinner – tonight’s culinary delight is good old bangers and mash; a winter dinner I hear you think. Ye, because it’s still winter outside, pouring in fact but slightly warmer than the sub zero temperatures we have endured of late.

I am feeling slightly jealous as i have just checked the temperatures in Fayssac where we are hoping to move to and it’s 23 degrees and sunny today and will climb to 27 by mid week. Which is one of the reasons we want to pack our house on on our backs and fly south.

Now I also hear you say “what the hell have you two been up to all week after leaving us high and dry with your last post telling us you have found your dream home” or maybe just “whats happening?”

Well we haven’t been sitting around feeling all rosy and chuffed at finding the house. We, well Kev actually, has been very busy trying to work out what budget we have to do all the necessary renovations and what offer we should put in to make the dream come true.

In fact his workings out started at the airport whilst waiting for our delayed flight home. We sat in departures squeezing the last bit of life out of my iPad looking at guttering, fencing and boilers; very glamorous NOT, all i wanted to look at was swimming pools and paint colours.

Ooh sorry have to dash the oven buzzer is going so have to get dinner ready.

Sunday 14th April

Morning all, it’s so windy out there today but at least it’s a bit warmer.

My bangers and mash turned out to be one of the best I’ve made, if I may say so myself. Our Saturday evening consisted of probably the last roaring log fire we will have in this house, lots of red wine and copious amounts of a really lovely port our Rach brought with her which accompanied some rather stunning cheeses we bought up in the village. For our teleplay visual delights we had a double bill of Scott and Bailey with a Britain’s Got Talent intermission.

Anyhoo enough of our indulgences, back to the French house.

We have also decided that if an offer is accepted, we’ll get a survey done as this is going to be a long term project and we want to make sure the house is in good nick and find out what, if any, nasty surprises lay in store. In France they don’t have surveys done, they work on the principle that if the building has been standing for all these years it must be ok. Kev has managed to find two English surveyors who have sent in quotes and one will be lined up ready to go.

So the big question now is what offer do we make on the place, it’s on the market for 318,000 Euros but the French always inflate the prices on houses. We already know that a previous offer of 260,000 Euros was turned down, but they weren’t cash buyers like we will be. Our agents have said we are in a excellent position as cash buyers and that if we put an offer in they will strongly recommend the sellers accept it. Here’s another difference between buying and selling in the UK: the agents work for the buyer not the seller and the seller can have their house on the market with multiple agents.

Lots to think about this weekend and then hopefully we will make an offer early this coming week.
We will keep you posted.

Now just in case the sun does decide to honour us with an appearance this Sunday here is a little ditty to celebrate.

Categories: House hunting | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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