Riches to Rags, Defiantly

I’m charmed by neglected things and the spirit of defiance

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There are cracks in our floor, but the tiles are almost more beautiful because of their imperfections. Theirs is an honest story of survival and service, the history of the house itself

Yes, I’m charmed by neglected things, always have been. Recently through necessity it’s French architectural salvage, though I’ll never turn down anything pretty or useful

Or in need of help

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Found in the garage – Pretty AND useful?

I have optimistically bought old radiators from Ebay, with no idea if they will function in France (or at all), and I can’t wait to see the plumber’s face when I show him my latest treasures!

But I am sure our very likeable builder now understands some of the vision for this house. Initially I was made aware by friends that he prefers to rip out and modernise everything (and this was borne out in our early meetings), but I have noticed a subtle change in his attitude – ‘un change de tête’ after further visits. Standing with me in the house, he admired the quality of the ironwork on a window one day, and he talked about how attractive the old shutters will be when sanded and refreshed – yet weeks before he might have suggested replacing them. I might be imagining it, but

I think the house is actually getting to him

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This house has a true riches to rags story, though no-one seems to know the details. And though it doesn’t need anyone’s approval but ours, I suspect that there lurks in our builder a real admiration of this strong survivor, cherished and valued for centuries before being left abandoned and neglected, exposed to the elements for decades. I think he now has a better understanding of why we are doing this and how hard we are prepared to work towards it

It can never again be pristine. Perhaps it never was, despite its grandeur. But pristine wouldn’t really do it for us – we’re not pristine either

How could anyone not love this house, if only for its total defiance?

 

 

 

 

Author: poshbirdy

Art deco/ art nouveau maniac enjoying a deep and meaningful relationship with alcohol

11 thoughts on “Riches to Rags, Defiantly”

  1. Buddy minded and stubborn are worthy traits in my opinion and your house is the beneficiary. As is the builder who probably harboured aspirations so deeply buried he had no idea what that niggling feeling was every time he went into battle with the plasterboard. I predict that he becomes more evangelical than you down the line ….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It makes me shudder to think how many beautiful things have been ripped out of houses in the cause of modernisation. Well done you for converting a French builder with your passion and determination.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, those tiles are vraiment fabulous! I considered putting down new encaustic tiles in our hall but I veered away because no one would ever believe they were original. I’ve spent five years trying to instill a little character into this house and there you are with buckets of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can relate to your being charmed by neglected things. I think it’s because they speak of times past, and have a hidden history. They also set creative imagination alight. For me anyway. I love those cracked tiles just the way they are.

    Liked by 1 person

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