Category Archives: Renovation

The Next Supergite?

Court

Image by Supergites via Flickr

Have you ever looked for a house and found one that was so grand that, even though it was way over your capabilities, you just had to see the inside? It happened to us with this ‘Ferme Des Dames’ near Reims.

Accidentally we ran into this object online. Hugo send me the url and asked me what I would do with this Farm and Chapel. I fell instantly in love with the view, the stones and the atmosphere. These combined form this unique peaceful place to unwind. I could see myself gardening a little in the early morning overlooking the dewy valley. Or sit in the courtyard sipping wine made from the grapes over the terrace. Meanwhile the kids of our friends are running around with a ball. But *G* Continue reading

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Fortress or Chapel? The Quest for Supergites #2

It has been the idea from the start and an old principle; after 1 follows 2. Once started you have to continue. The Mill is up and running with some minor concerns like winter, garden and renters who break things. We are ready for number two and we’d like to share our thoughts.

Capture the basics of Supergites:

  • Supergites are high end vacation houses.
  • Supergites are luxuriously equipped with a mixture of modern and antique.
  • Supergites are spacious, with ample accommodations for eight.
  • Supergites are at historical locations in rural areas.

We’ve found two locations near the water mill of Tourteron that could match these criteria; a fortress dating 1880 and a chapel from the 15th century. We’d really like to know what you think of these two options. Would you go for the fortress or the chapel? Continue reading

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Thermobull: The Russian Stove

Forget Janus. Be honest: If you think of cold winters, you think of Russia. And that’s exactly where Themobull is from. Just a few months ago we found this stove online and after a little research we found a Dutch reseller in Wijhe. Read: Searching for a Super Stove.

The Dutch reseller Kachelplaats was really friendly and helping and even willing to deliver the stove all the way down in Northern France. It was basically the shipping costs that made us think: is there a better way? Google gave us the Latvian dealer for Europe. There’s nobody selling it in Northern France. We had to arrange that ourselves. 🙂

We called Latvia. The dealer, as friendly as the Dutch, advised us not to buy the Professor because for its 1000m3 power would be far too warm for our 450m3 living room. We ordered one model smaller, the Docent or ‘Учителя’ as you wish. The Учителя is a sweet 200+ kg black steam train look-a-like stove with huge brass covers and logo. It’s a heat monster in shining armer.

Three weeks and one French strike later, our package from Latvia arrived. We were happy like children at Christmas Eve. See the unpacked pictures at Facebook.

The packed Themobull Docent

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Searching for a Super Stove

An electric fan heater.
Image via Wikipedia

“When you buy an old place be prepared to get cold.” This sounds like a Chinese proverb but it was REALLY cold in the water mill last winter. We knew on forehand that we needed proper heating for the extravagant space. The search began.

About heating in France
The most popular heating system in France is based on oil or Fuel as they call it funny enough. With Fuel, you need huge tank with a capacity up to 5,000 liters stalled in the basement. The good thing: oil is not so expensive compared to electricity. The down side? Oil prices are fluctuating. Another bummer with oil heating are all the pipes all through the house. Installing pipes can be a big problem if you have 200 year old 50cm to 80cm thick sandstone walls all over the place. Estimated costs for the water mil reached 50.000 euro.

Growing in popularity are Pellet Burners. Pellet is a kind of compressed wood chips that burn in Continue reading

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From Water Mill to Supergîtes

We thought it was a nice gesture to thank our constructor Stéphane with a picture book. With this book, showing what has been done to create this superb gîte, he can present his first big job as a constructor to potential clients. It’s a simple story line of pictures in chronological order. You can look into it at ISSUU where we’ve published the digital version.

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A first Super night in our own Gîte

After 11 months of hard work, miles of traveling to and from France, laboring the garden and sanding the wood it was finally the moment that the beds arrived. We worked double shifts in the last weeks to get everything ready to install the beds immediately at their final place. The beds are huge and heavy, 100% natural material and fairtrade produced .. besides that they are gorgeous looking …

We had to wait all this time not because of the production but because of our own delay. The whole renovation took more time than estimated due to several reasons. You can read about them in the blog.

But this was THE day .. the day followed by the first night in our own Supergite, sleeping in our brand new beds.  Continue reading

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Sustainable Sleeping in CAPS

NEW YORK - JULY 08:  Drivers wait in traffic d...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

We drive a car –gross modo– 2 hours a day and sleep between 6 to 8 hours a day. Yet we are willing to spend five times as much on a car than on a bed. Do you get it? Maybe your car gives space to the whole family and brings you to far off places. Maybe a new car gives you status or is a subject of reliability (disregarding Toyota). Maybe a new car is less polluting when we’re all in traffic going to work. Or maybe you don’t care about a good sleep …

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