This seems to sum up my French life! Sadly, although permanently knackered, I am definitely not elegant with paint, plaster an cobwebs adorning my hair from the renovations!
Its the house to which I apply the term 'Elegantly knackered' and the treasures I collect to fill it. Our little French Manoir tucked away in a quiet corner of Normandie.
We sold up in U.K. to buy a 15th century (with 1736 rebuild, post siege and fire) Manoir. Sounds grand but the reality is its big, cold, draughty, will eat up every cent we earn and is utterly fabulous!
It seems to show us what it likes and doesn’t like! It certainly doesn’t like anything new, anything perfect - it just looks wrong!
We aren’t going to create a medieval pastiche, but want a home that looks like it has evolved over the 500 or so years it’s been standing. So out is coming the previous owners’ concrete, oddly placed partitions and, the also frankly knackered ‘modern’ kitchen. In will come found materials appropriate to the building.
French eclectic decor is my thing - creating a comfortable home with my treasures from the boxes in the attic and my almost daily new finds from Normandie brocantes.
If the curtain brocade is worn and the ormolu tie backs are not shiny; that’s fine. If the antique porcelain has chips; no problem, if there’s gilding missing from the picture frames; perfect imperfection!
The scars of age are the story these objects have to tell, a record of their past life, their authenticity. These items were well made and once treasured and will be again, creating the quintessence of an elegant French interior - but one elegantly timeworn!
Elegantly knackered, as I will now reframe myself too, after a day’s renovation or gardening, when I collapse into my well used oh so comfortable fauteuil, in front of the fire, in my hand an antique crystal glass of French wine (once part of Madame’s wedding set and now solo) and raise a toast to bringing this wonderful elegantly knackered French Manoir back to life!
Elegantly knackered timeworn rugs drying in the sun, much to the delight of the dogs!