The bathroom in the front apartment is done. Above, you can get full appreciation of the 1970s wallpaper. It looks a lot like the wallpaper that was in my parents’ Midwestern kitchen. That probably says something, but I don’t know what.
Obviously the apartment had been renovated many times over its 400 years, but it still feels old and historic. We wanted the bathroom to feel new and old at the same time.
The bathroom had a number of oddities. It was in what originally was a service hall because nobody had bathrooms when the place was built in the early 1600s. The very interesting blog The Seventeenth Century Lady gives an idea of the period’s hygiene, or lack thereof.
Our hall-cum-bathroom has a strange pipe ascending to the roof from who knows where below. The first floor is a shop, currently empty.
According to an old floor plan, there had been a bathtub, but it was replaced with a shower recently, and we kept that. It is huge. The room is bathed in light from a (frosted) window that rises more than 11 feet. Natural light is so important in a bathroom.
A new false ceiling over the shower takes care of that weird pipe as well as new ventilation and flush spotlights. The rest of the room has a four-meter (13-foot) ceiling.
We included a washing machine, because nobody wants to go to a laundromat on their vacation and this was about the only place we could fit it.
We hunted high and low all over southern France for the sconces and the mirror. The sink, too. It’s hard to find something that isn’t completely modern. But that antique Venetian mirror makes me swoon.
Right next to the bathroom is a separate loo. We used the same tiles but put them on the floor. The sink, with a marble-topped cabinet, came from a farmhouse, with a matching mirror. How do people photograph mirrors without being in the picture?
Almost everything in the apartments–aside from the appliances and kitchens–is antique, bought at estate sales or brocantes, or else bought with the apartment. We looked at some new replicas of old styles but were disappointed by the combination of low quality and high price.