A house full of surprises

Like a box of chocolates!

In the summer of 2012 I entered the house for the first time as the official owner. Before purchasing it I had done an inspection of the structural integrity of the house, so I knew that there was some restoration work to be done. However, the work turned out to be a lot more than I had expected. Naively, at the moment of signing the contract it looked like a good deal to me, but later on I realized that I should have gotten a big discount instead.

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How to spruce up wooden crates

Wooden cratesThe beauty below the filth

We bought these wooden crates on our first visit to the second hand furniture market of Amiens in 2014. When we found them, they looked terribly: they were extremely dirty and beaten-up, but we loved them. They were made of solid wood so we knew that with a little bit of patience we could make them look beautiful again.

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The right tools: a small overview

The toys of the big boys

When starting a project of this magnitude, investing in a selection of good quality tools is a must. In The Netherlands we have a saying which states that “having good tools is having the work half done”. We have put this saying into good use and purchased some very handy “toys” which were added to the collection! Continue reading

Quest to Amiens Part III

Aluminum molds

The second round

It was October 2014 when we decided to make our first trip to Amiens. It was the first time that we went on such a quest in search of second-hand objects to furnish and decorate our future house. During the first half of the day we explored the market, practiced our very poor negotiation skills and purchased a few items, such as 2 portholes, 2 tractor seats and a wooden press screw of about a 1m [3.3´]. However, our expedition was only halfway: we had the entire afternoon to keep searching.

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Excavation in progressDeep in the mud!

In April 2014 we started working on the foundation of the extension of the house. The first thing we did was to demolish the two attachments that the original house had in the rear because they were not incorporated in the new plans. Next step was to make room for the foundation itself. In order words, digging into the mud. Luckily we had put together a great team to help us: my parents and Chris.

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Initial stateBring it down!

In order to start with the foundation, first we had to make room for it! Indeed, the original house had two small attachments on the rear which were not part of the extension plan so we needed to get rid of them before we could begin with the foundation work.

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Quest to Amiens, Part II

The treasures

The treasures

The trip we made to Amiens on October 2014 was our very first scavenger hunt. As first time explorers we made quite some preparation mistakes, but we had fun and eventually got back home with the car full of treasures.

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The reason we bought the house

Front view “How come you bought this wreck of a house?”

is a question which was asked to me more than once. And I must agree, I asked myself this question frequently, especially during the restoration works of the existing house. Continue reading

Bowling balls


Get them rolling!

As it happens on all our quests, we found these balls unexpectedly in Soumoulou (France). Hubert instantly fell in love. We were leaving without them, but seeing his sad face made us turn around and get them. They were very dirty and infested with termites; however we thought they could give a nice look to any corner of the house. Continue reading