Graceful living in Italy and France...

The smell of jasmine winds its way down our 16th century cobblestone street in Umbria as I step outside to greet the day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding Pascal

Enfin… Pascal!

Finding the best artisan for the job in France is a constant worry when you are working in a country with unique standards, a different language, and particular customs. Enter Pascal, our resident certified electrician, plumber, and carpenter… he was such a windfall! Not only did Pascal show up when he said he would but he went to great lengths to tidy up each mess and to use quality materials and craftmanship. On top of that, his prices were considerbly better than the other two bids received.  We have Christian and Cathy Vey, our friends near Uzes who will offer the painting workshop, to thank for this referral.

Backing up for a moment, initially we had decided that there were four or five key areas to tackle: 
1. Creating an opening between kitchen &  salon,

2. Finishing off the corner of the kitchen where the electric panel is housed,

3. Adding a squared and decorated chimney breast above the bedroom fireplace

4. Modifying the terrace bedroom to include a new closet and entry doors.

Are you wondering how on earth this can all take place in four week’s time? Good question!                                                          

As Dan indicated on April 5th, “We are having grave doubts about the feasibility of the kitchen wall plan. The problem remains the huge floor level difference between the two rooms. The effect would be more like the Pope’s balcony at St. Peter’s Square!” Thus we “nixed” project #1 in favor of a brilliant change which I’ll surprise you with by and by.

Not atypically, our plans soon began to “morph”, which is the way of the world, n’est-ce pas? After sitting on the sofa for a long time, sipping wine and considering things artistically, Dan and Francesco began brainstorming some new concepts.

Our hit list was eventually modified to begin by tidying up the electric tangles left here and there and relocating the salon radiator to the vaulted section just right of the chimney. Secondly, Pascal was hired to add copper gutters to the terrace roof terrace. The feeling here was that when the next big rainstorm arrived, we wanted to avoid a swimming pool up there! Pascal then moved on to the kitchen corner with another great creative solution. Lastly, our magnificent chimney breast plate came into being. The plan is to eventually add a wooden mantle.

Over and over, Dan reported how fastidious and quality conscious Pascal and his son were. If you take a look at the glorious improvements, I think you’ll surely agree!

1 comment:

  1. Dan, Francesco, and Pascal are all such gifts! Love the before/after photos. Chouette!