9 November 2011


It is four years ago today that we bought our little house in Le Grand-Pressigny.  Those years have flown by and we have grown to love the house and the village in a way that has taken us by surprise.

These before and after photos speak for themselves.  It was a neglected, unwanted and unloved little cottage and is now a cosy, happy place for us to spend our holidays.


Le Salon




La cuisine.




La chambre principale.




La terrasse.




Le jardin.




La fenêtre cachée.



There are still things to do.  The bathroom will be refitted and the hot water tank moved into the cellar, making lots more room.  The cellar will be made into a cleaner, more useable area for storage.  The staircase needs decorating.  Then it’s finished.


And then we can just relax and enjoy it.


I would like to say a huge “thank you” to Alex and Nicole of Les Limornières, who have done a fantastic job of looking after the house and garden for us.  They have also worked very hard to bring about its transformation.  Without their help we would never have got it this far in four years.


  1. Congratulations! It is a beautiful place and you have done a fantastic job. Enjoy!

  2. Having witnessed it first hand you have all done a great job. The people who complain about the 'les Anglais' taking over homes for holiday homes should consider where houses like your's would have been without the TLC you have applied.

  3. Hello Jean:
    You must be thrilled with how the house has been transformed and just a little bit relieved that the work is now coming to an end. If, that is to say, it ever really does!!

  4. You've chosen a lovely little spot and may you have many happy years enjoying la petite maison au pied du chateau.

  5. Whenever you own a house, it becomes your hobby but what a pastime you have! :-) It's lovely, the before and after pictures are so revealing of the love you have lavished on the place.

  6. What a gorgeous job you've made of it all! Loved seeing these photos. We've got a long way to go compared to you, but I can dream a little about the day we might be almost finished too!

  7. You've really spriced your place up. The kitchen is so bright and cheery now!

  8. Occasionally Sue and I toy with the idea of doing as you have. Sell our house, buy an apartment here and a cottage in France where we have spent so much time.
    I figure we've spent close to AUS$60,000 so far on out trips to France.
    Love what you have done and may your retirement be a happy one in place of only being a holiday in France.

  9. Congratulations! It's a lovely house, as we can attest! :-) You've done a great job. Enjoy!

  10. Wow! What a transformation.

    It looks so cosy,


  11. PS - Could we buy something if we doubled what we spent on trips to France?

  12. I can easily so why you love the place. I would have fallen in love with it in its original state, and you have made it so beautiful, warm, and inviting. Happy anniversary.

  13. Pauline et moi wish you the very best for the future at G-P. The transformation that you two, Alex and Nicole have made is superb!!
    Echoing Niall and Antoinette....Enjoy!

  14. You have really transformed the place. It's lovely now. No wonder you are so happy there.

  15. What a beautiful transformation! It will be an inspiration, not only to the Brits who love these projects, but to many French who have left so many of their building to disrepair.I In the 13 years since we bought our little "fermette", we have seen great improvements in the appearance of properties whether French or foreign -- so very well done!

  16. Happy anniversary!
    What a difference you have made to your cottage. You've made it comfortable, warm and inviting. It is in a wonderful position in a beautiful village with all of the amenities close at hand.

    You made an excellent choice when you selected this cottage to buy. We wish you many more happy and fulfilled years enjoying your lovely house.

  17. How inspiring is the English touch! It is always interesting to see the changes when the nasty French brown has been eradicated! You have certainly made your cosy corner an inviting place to enjoy.

  18. What a vast improvement you have made to the house in those years. It is a delightful place and we always enjoy the time we spend chez vous. Joyeuse Anniversaire!

  19. Jean your place looks delightful and I really envy you the cellar. Hope we get to see it for ourselves one day. Diane

  20. Love 'before' and 'after' pictures, and you most certainly have done much to improve your home here in France. You have made it look very warm and cosy. Hope we can eventually do the same with our home!

  21. Walt - thanks !!

    Jim - a lot of the houses we looked at were just rotting away because nobody wanted them, especially not the French, it seems.

    Jane - I don't think the work ever really stops, there are always little jobs to do.

    Susan - thank you - I am completely in awe of the task that you and Simon have taken on - I don't think we could ever do anything like that.

    Sue - you're right, we love it.

    ladyjustine - thanks for dropping in - I will nip across to yours and see what you're up to !!

    Meredith - I just LOVE my kitchen - it's my favourite room I think. Doing the washing up is no chore at all when I can look out on the little terrace ... and see Nick and the dog asleep in the sunshine !!

    Leon - thanks, it is definitely a dream come true.

    Antoinette - we haven't overly modernised it, leaving it with lots of character I think - or maybe that's an excuse for being lazy and leaving lots of jobs unfinished !!

    SP - thanks !!

    Leon and Sue - you certainly could. I googled it and it comes to about 90,000 euros. Ours was less than that.

    Mitch - thanks !!

    Tim - thank you and we admire what you and Pauline are doing too, your place is lovely.

    Carolyn - thanks !!

    The Broad - a lot of the renovated properties in the village are British, apart from the odd Parisien "maison secondaire".

    Gaynor - thanks, I know you love your house, too.

    Sweetpea - we couldn't wait to cover up all the horrible, thin, matt brown paint !!

    C&E - thanks, but Lulu says can we have a garden like yours, please !!

    Diane - thanks and I hope we can see you chez nous next year !!

    John - thanks. The cover is French and was ridiculously expensive, but we needed one and I couldn't resist it.

    Vera - what we have done is nothing compared to what you and Hubs are doing - you deserve a medal !!