Finding our farmhouse in France.

They say that you make up your mind about a house within a few seconds of entering. The house embraces you. This is how it was with the Stripey House. Why stripey? Well the estate agent was referring to the fact that part of the house had vertical beams, or colombages.

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The colombages on the Stripey House

The exterior was depressingly run down and the garden quite small and overgrown but stepping into the farmhouse kitchen with its 18th century beams, ancient tiled floor and huge fireplace, I could feel the potential.

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In fact, looking at the list of criteria we had drawn up at the start of the month long house search, this house barely ticked two or three on the list but it had the most important aspect for us – loads of French character.

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The enormous converted barn offered an opportunity to make a wonderful dining room, workspace and library.

And indeed Position – down a quiet country lane surrounded by fields and forest, yet only a 600metre walk into the village with boulangerie, general store, pharmacy, doctor and more.

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Of course there remained so much to be done – new kitchen, laundry and bathrooms.

Broken and missing shutters to be replaced and the stonework exposed where possible.

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  Exposing the stone walls on the kitchen veranda and repairing the outside walls.

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And we thought we needed just a simple paint job on the exterior.

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And the biggest task of all remained – the garden.

Hope you will come back to see the transformations!

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