Manny's Blog

Sharing our French adventure as we live and work and renovate our forever home in the Haute Loire.
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It’s Valentine’s weekend, and nothing says ‘I Love You’ like time spent renovating together!

To business…

All energy is currently centered on the business side of the house… our office below and the studio above.

The office

I have continued furiously pasting and sanding the office walls and ceiling, desperate to get some paint on the walls, but haven’t quite got there yet. But I’m oh so close now. Hopefully tomorrow! There are so many corners and nooks and crannies, and the beam edges are so time consuming!

This will be the verrier between teaching/meeting room and office.

New doors

The new doors have finally gone in – we are officially weatherproof and close to draught-free! I have to confess to being really sad to see the old studio and workshop doors go – they were so beautifully made by Joe. But we are thrilled with the look and practicality of the new doors – so much light comes in, and they’re so easy to open and close!!

Welcome to no. 96!

The Studio

With the new doors installed Joe has really got going on the studio. We cleared all the equipment out into the dining room …

…and Joe single handedly laid the entire floor in less than a week – we’ve gone for construction planks… incredibly economical, practical and most importantly they look fantastic against the stone.

the empty studio, awaiting its transformation…
We decided to take out the old woodburner and chimney – it’s not the right method to heat a working studio, and rendered so much space un-useable.
An aerial view – first boards down…
And he’s reached the other side!

We decided to also use the same wood to cover the double-height spine wall. First Joe insulated…

And then up went the planks.
He’s making his very own cabin!
The speed was incredible!

To maximize floor space, we’ve put raised shelves on the big wooden wall – incorporating the supports for the shelves into the cladding of the wall, so that they are super strong. The plan is to have a library-style rolling ladder for access to equipment – looking forward to seeing the design and build of that!

Strong enough to walk on!
And the shelves are up – and we’ve started to load them. They are all bolted to the wall and to each other.

We’ve decided the wooden floor works so well that we are going to do the same in the office. When both floors are down, we’ll hire a sander and finish them off.

To run electricity around the stone walls, Joe has put a skirting board proud of the walls, laid the cables and poured a concrete ledge around the room… the man’s a genius!

Sound, photographic and lighting equipment.

A little treat to end the blog:

Beth wrote this beautiful song and made this poignant video about her love of cinema and her favourite films of 2019. I could watch and listen on a continuous loop!


I’ve started the undercoat!

So happy to see the back of that grey plasterboard!!

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  1. Fabienne Paulet says:

    Que de travail accompli avec Amour
    Je suis admirative et vous envoie mes meilleures pensées ✨
    La chanson de Beth est magnifique ✨

  2. Janet and David Atkins says:

    Lost for something new to say about your beautiful project – really taking shape now and all so amazing to watch the progress and the new ideas solving problems as they arrive.
    We both love Beth’s new song, so relaxing to listen to. Well done all round. xx

    1. Manny says:

      Thank you so much Janet – it means so much!

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