A home in the barn.

We’ve been staying in our barn for the past five months.

After starting out with the bare essentials and wearing thick skiwear at night to keep warm in front of the wood burning stove, drinking cups of steaming chocolat chaud and cosying up around campfires, we can now say…it is fun! We have a proper home now in our barn with everything we need, NO television, which we don’t miss. We have running water, warm showers, old ladders for our towels, a coffee corner, a fully equipped kitchen where we prepare fresh and simple meals, couches for lounging, lamps for ambiance, books for drowsing,  comfy sleeping nooks, privacy by means of romantic linen drops tied with antique lace…hunted down at local brocantes. We need nothing more…except maybe exquisite sunsets.

…welcome in our barn…

the living room

When renovating, restoring a house, the concept of  “home” changes, even whenstill staying in your home while it is being renovated. It becomes a construction site; the ladders and scaffoldings take the place of comfy couches.  The dusty smells of sand and cement take the place of potpourri. The crunching of debris underneath boots make you long for the soft touch of carpet and barefoot. The days are long and hard, dinners become quick and simple, sleep welcome and deep, mornings early and refreshed…or is early and aching?

The upside of renovating is the anticipation. Much like waiting for that last schoolday before summer, last week before Christmas, the night before your birthday … The road to getting  your home back is a daring crusade.  It is the anticipation that  keeps us going, working through the frustrations, stepping over the irritations, redoing the miscalculations, band-aiding the wounds, kneading the aching muscles. So we need that little corner to unwind at the end of the day. That little restplace where you put side the images of ladders and cement mixers and wallow in soft comfort. That place where you keep the anticipation alive with dreams in warm beds.

…a clear view through our barn…

front door

…full of nothingness…

large barn

…a first bite and a first night in a barn home…

nothingnesstokala catching up on meals

ayiani investigatinga frist nights sleep

…always place for some romance…

my place is on the bed

When Hartman suggested living in the barn while working on the house, my apprehension knew no boundaries. At the time I was snuggly cuddled up in front of the fireplace in our comfortable and lovely home in Touraine, listening to music, sipping a glass of red wine, reading “Dark Star safari by Paul Theroux, while  the rain and cold and wind were safely locked outside.

Hearing things like: ” cleaning out the all the hay and tools and owls from the barn…dusting… repairing floorboards… moving in some sort of bed… firing up the wooden stove for a hot meal, fixing the doors, find a solution for bathroom facilities…” well, it simply made my hair stand on end and I felt the cold of wind from outside creeping indoors. I took a big sip of red wine, nesteled my derriére deeper into the cushions and faked enthusiastic listening, all the while lifting my one eyebrow higher and higher.

But here I am. Here we are. The days are long and hard. We’re living in the barn. Cleaned out the hay, fired up the wooden stove. We shower in a tin tub found in the barn. I use the pedometer to measure the distance to the longdrop at the far end of the garden. We eat colourful and healthy dinners by candlelight, while sipping on full bodied red wines.

My husband knows me far too well…once I grab onto an idea, which may sometimes take some time…it’s sailing off into the sunset. I finally got carried away with our camping in the barn and it was like being a little girl again in my growing up years, building and constructing interesting tee pees and tree houses and tenthouses, furnishing them with what I could find around the neighbourhood, always filling up a flass with flowers for my “centre table”. Nothing had changed, except that myconstruction is now a barn and my glass is filled with flowers from our own land.

…something of everything…


…relax and offload…

cushions and curtainsview on the shower corner

…brushing teeth and then off to bed…

the teeth-brush-cornera lamp and a window in the bedroom

…old wine barrel rim, a tin tub, a new shower curtain, chains and bit of elbow grease and voilà…a perfect shower…

time to get cleana perfect shower

…kitchen corner…

a barn kitchen

…washing up, hanging tools on an old chicken coop door, and of course a coffee corner with it s cups and plates and nick-nacks…

rinsing and hangingwashing the dishestime for coffeeplates and bowls

…let’s see what’s in the pantry…

preparation corner

le petit coin


reworked, revamped, a new sanitary systems, modern comfort in an old setting…

Modernizing the longdropLongdrop at coin Perdu

…switch off the light and don’t forget to wash hands…

switch on the lighta mirror image

10 responses

  1. Pingback: A home in the barn. | Long Distance Inc

  2. Pam

    Oh Ronelle – you’re camping right proper in the barn. What a lovely nest you’ve created. Love your style! Makes me wonder if you’ll miss these innovations down the road. So glad you’re recording them. You’re creative spirit is so alive 🙂

    August 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

  3. Oh my, how extraordinarily beautiful. I want to come and live there too. It looks wonderful, my friend.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:28 am

  4. Came by to check out your macro Monday, which is wonderful by the way, but am fascinated by your temporary barn home. Amazing! Gracious! Inviting! Thanks for the tour.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

  5. I suspect you are a Homemaking Witch, Ronell. Who else could weave such golden style and comfort out of an old straw store? Totally enchanted I was as I scrolled through your photos in disbelief. What a clever girl you are. There’s many, I’m sure, would be happy to move into your ‘barn’ for a romantic holiday.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm

  6. but monsieur, this is all so elegant!
    il est excellent! (googled;o)

    August 27, 2009 at 9:02 am

  7. Oh that is wonderful! Very cosy.

    August 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm

  8. joanne

    So cozy and so you! Love the towels on the ladders. You are both amazing, you creative and Hartmann who knows how to do everything … what a team.

    August 31, 2009 at 3:20 pm

  9. lina

    experience that also live in a beautiful place, it was very difficult at the beginning
    but today is very gratifying that our beautiful home, kisses

    December 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm

  10. Pingback: Missing Coin Perdu « Myfrenchkitchen

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