First, I was remiss in not wishing everyone a happy new year, and above all, good health–meilleurs voeux pour 2017, surtout la santé. It’s the first thing everybody says here at the moment, even strangers.

This kitchen is possibly my favorite room in our renovation. It’s huge. It has plenty of counter space, plenty of storage, seating and a fireplace big enough to stand in.

Before. Sadly, we didn’t get to keep the cauldron or the crémaillère, the hook hanging by a chain. “Pendaison de crémaillère”–or the hanging of the hook for the soup pot–is the term for a house-warming party.
We managed to find a new grill, though the fireplace can’t be used.

We didn’t get to buy all the cool copper pans, but as we installed an induction stovetop, they wouldn’t have worked anyway. Let me just say again that induction is the greatest!

Before. The armoire on the left is now in the next room.
After. We put in a door (to the powder room) where the clock used to be–and found that there had been a door there previously, covered by wallpaper.

We took a leaf out of the table–it’s already big with one–and changed out the benches for chairs. Benches are useful for squeezing in crowds but they are never comfortable. Pointless in a two-bedroom apartment.

After. That door goes to the sauna and bathroom.

I loved the idea of black and white checkerboard–damier in French–but what was there was nasty, cracked linoleum. Replacing it with tile or stone wasn’t historically accurate enough, especially since we found the original tomettes under the linoleum.

Before. The built-in cupboard is called a confiturier.

Some of the hardest work came from things that are unseen, namely completely rewiring the place. We LOVE our electrician. And our painter. Here are links to the work along the way: changing the windows (the one with wind blowing is the kitchen) and the sink.

Before. Yikes. All of it–the ancient, probably hazardous, switch, the tile, the wood stain.

I think this is the only vacation rental in Carcassonne–and possibly beyond–with such a nice kitchen. It’s perfect for somebody who wants to go to the market and cook, and we plan to arrange cooking lessons as well. The other apartment is even grander but has a small but complete kitchen. Updated photos of it coming soon.

The apartments will be listed soon–we’re just finalizing the official paperwork. Hope you’ll come!


42 thoughts on “Before/After: Kitchen

  1. It is so good to have the before and after pics of your renovation, some friends of ours had them framed the before in one frame and the after in the other frame, it is quite a talking point when they have guests, I like the way you have managed to make it all look so much brighter too, job well done.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Comptoir des Tisseurs is the best for fabric. Decor Discount surprised me with their variety and the fact that at four staff people (four!) bent over backwards to help me, smiling, on my last visit.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Curtains! Four meters high. They are SO heavy. My arm aches from feeding the fabric through the sewing machine. The size is bigger than what you can find readymade, and we simply don’t have the budget for custom. I’m the custom!


        1. The standard is 60 cm. In our house, our “piano de cuisson” is 90 cm, and some people have really big 120 cm models. That would be nice when we have dinner parties, but I’m not willing to give up the cupboard space!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. FABULOUS! I love how you kept all the charm and with modern conveniences!!! Brilliant.

    The washer in the kitchen made me smile as we had one too in our much smaller kitchen when we lived in Paris.

    This will be everyone’s favorite place to hang out! Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Catherine, I love looking at photos of your renovation. The transformation has been inspirational to watch. You’ve done such a lovely job – it really is stunning. Good luck with the final paperwork – people are going to love staying there.

    Liked by 1 person

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