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I created guest rooms or a gite

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Do you want to change your life or "make your house" profitable? Open a cottage or bed and breakfast is one of the solutions. Purchase, work, decoration: seven enthusiasts who have created cottages and bed and breakfasts tell you everything about their experience. Or almost !

"450 m2 done in nine months"

Claudie, 50 years old, 5 bed and breakfast in a provencal villa in Lorgues (Var)

The house: I had a real crush on this elegant house located in Lorgues, a small village in Provence, between Saint-Tropez and Cannes. I am from this city, but it was useless to settle too close, given the number of hotels that already has the region.

The work: Heating, plumbing, masonry: we had everything to do again with my husband. In nine months of work, we had renovate 450 m2, three quarters of the house. The installation of the spa is one of the most memorable memories. The delivery truck, too large, could not access the space provided at the start. The basin was therefore deposited in a garage just emptied. Finally, the garage became a spa.
Today, we have 160m2 and several outbuildings to renovate and six years of estimated work. I am considering a new room of very contemporary inspiration. Eventually, the cost of the work added to the purchase price of the house could reach 900,000 euros.

Furniture and Deco: If you come home, you will see white walls, tiled floors and pale green woodwork. But no room is exactly alike. In terms of style, I appreciate both the old and the modern. My only criterion of choice: authenticity.
The furniture comes from everywhere. From family source first. I looted a number of granaries. I also bought at Ikea, a secondhand shop. I furniture as and when my desires and my favorites.

Everyday: I manage the five rooms alone. My husband, employee, is not available. I am helped by a person or two depending on the season (two in summer, imperatively). I let you imagine the pile of laundry every day when we welcome ten guests.

My advice: Get started with previous work experience. This allows to be aware of the constraints related to their progress and their deadlines. With my husband, we had several times bought, renovated, lived in and sold apartments.

More photos here
Claudie welcomes you there

"I have furnished my house with recycle!"

Frederique, 41, a cottage of 120m2 in a renovated old tobacco in Saint-Marcel-les-Sauzet (Drôme)

The house: An old tobacco on a village square. The cottage extends over two levels, twice 60 m2. It has two bedrooms of 25 m2 each and a bathroom. The ground floor of the building is intended to accommodate another cottage.

The works: When we bought the house with my husband Didier, the facilities (electricity, plumbing, etc.) were obsolete and the decor a bit dated. Except for the roof, we have renovated it completely. We have also moved or destroyed several partitions to create new rooms, for example the bathroom.
Didier is a mason: he did all the work, helped by a friend electrician. During the construction, we were surprised to find, in the middle of plaster and rubble, the old panel "Tobacco" sunk in the ceiling of the first floor. He is still there today! In total, the work lasted less than six months and cost us 25,000 euros of supplies.

Furniture and decoration: It is essentially recu '. Only appliances, sofa and bedding are new. Passionate about decoration, I have worked on a lot of furniture: a kitchen table whose table I have changed and repainted, a cupboard bought for 30 euros at Emmaus and stripped for a long time, and so on. I work with inspiration and the crush.

Everyday: The pace is sustained in the summer and calmer out of season. On Saturday afternoons, only four hours separates a departure and an arrival. It is then necessary to reconstitute a welcoming place very quickly. In addition, I second my husband in his small masonry business.

My advice: Make sure you have good site management and have quotes issued by several professionals. For the welcome, show yourself available and flexible on your dates of absence.

More photos here
Frédérique welcomes you there

"A renovation that we wanted respectful of the environment"

Emilie and Sylvain, 35 and 36 years old, 2 guest rooms in an old mansion eighteenth in Ligny-en-Barrois (Meuse)

The house: An old mansion of the eighteenth century, which housed two function apartments for a long time. It is located in a village of 4600 inhabitants.

The works: We have renovated in full the 180 m2 of the part Bed and Breakfast. It took two years. When we started, we found a lot of cache-misery: newspaper insulators, an accumulation of five or six layers of wallpaper on the walls, and so on. Sylvain and his brother took over the construction site, except the electricity and the plumbing, entrusted to professionals. A carpenter cabinetmaker worked on the woodwork.
We wanted a 100% environmentally friendly renovation, based on lime, natural coatings and insulation, solvent-free paints, etc. We reviewed the circular organization of space by creating corridors. Total cost: 25,000 euros for each bedroom / bathroom combination plus additional costs (living room, private parties, etc.). A third bedroom is under construction.

Furniture and decoration: For the taste of contrast, we chose either classic or contemporary furniture, while retaining the floors and original woodwork to keep the historic charm intact. In the bedrooms, one is in pastel shades and the other in brighter colors.
The furniture comes mainly from the Maison & Objet trade show. Others were bought on eBay or minted at local antique shops, flea markets and yard sales. In addition, we fell in love with the beauty of Brazil's slate, a material used to frame the basins, form the pipes, make wall sconces, etc.

In everyday life: Sylvain, who has a hotel training, looks after the bed and breakfast full time. The most complicated? Learn to deal with unforeseen and last minute requests or that we are not used to, especially at the beginning, when we just opened the cottages.

Our advice: To receive guests at home when you are in a relationship, it is important that everyone agrees.

More photos here
Emilie and Sylvain welcome you there

"I left a ruin"

Anne, 56, a cottage for 5 people in a Norman house in Sainte-Marguerite-de-Viette (Calvados)

The house: This former bouillerie, where the eau-de-vie was formerly made, offers a magnificent view over the countryside of the valley of Auge. On the same plot of 1.5 hectares, I also have another house converted into four studios that I can rent as a cottage.

The works: They lasted two years. I started from scratch. The boiling water was in ruins and buried in an embankment that served as a landfill for a very long time. It was necessary to start by clearing everything, sorting, throwing, with the help of scrap dealers. I then enlarged the building from 16 to 75 m2 while maintaining its pretty glazed brick facade. For that, I appealed to all the trades of the building: a digger, a heating engineer, an electrician, etc. All are from the region. I also called on a cousin architect.
I created two rooms with two bathrooms. Once cleared the land, I also landscaped the garden, and a parking and separate entrances for the cottages and for my home.

Furniture and decoration: The cottage is cozy and comfortable. The decoration makes you feel at home. Chineuse inveterate, I found a lot of antique furniture and paintings in flea markets. I took care of every detail. The colors are assorted. One of the bedrooms and the bathroom are in blue and white tones, up to the hair dryer and tissues.

Everyday: A cleaning lady and a gardener come every week. Otherwise, I'm taking care of the house. Every day, I spend a lot of time in front of my computer to make me known and referenced on the sites (as private tour cotemaison.fr!) And in the search engines. Former commercial director, I make my own pub!

My advice: Being labeled Gîtes de France can reassure customers and benefit from the booking service (fee) of the organization. I recommend it to beginners. Then, to master the computer and the Internet is essential to be able to answer to the requests of its customers and to communicate well around its lodging.

More photos here
Anne welcomes you there

"80 000 euros of work"

Marie-Paule and Marc, 42 and 53 years old, 2 bed and breakfast in a house in the heart of nature in Saint-Jory-de-Chalais (Dordogne)

The house: An eighteenth century house of 230 m2 located in a natural park of Perigord. After thirty years in the city, we wanted to go green to gain quality of life.

Works:Marc says: The house was in very good condition when we bought it last year. We did, however, think about the work and get quotes done even before the actual sale. We have redone in full the two rooms under the roofs (80m2). They are each equipped with a bathroom. Local craftsmen did carpentry, including cleaning the exposed beams in the bedrooms, plumbing and heating. I ensured the painting and the decoration, with the concern of the "detail which kills"!
For the sake of nature and for the sake of comfort, we used eco-friendly products, such as solvent-free paints, and installed a wood pellet boiler. In total, the layout of the rooms, the installation of the boiler as well as new radiators cost nearly 80,000 euros.

Furniture and decoration: We sought to reconcile classical and modern materials. Classics: especially wood, the noble material par excellence, and in keeping with our desire to return to nature. Modern: steel and concrete in particular. An example ? The kitchen table in metal and oak worked, a craft work of the Parisian shop Tramp. A piece of furniture that we did not hesitate to order to measure, like our sofa and our library.

In everyday life: We share the preparation and the maintenance of the rooms. I cook for the tables of hosts. From mid-June to mid-September, the shot, we did not stop! At the same time, we continue our professional teleworking activity, with trips to Paris once or twice a month to meet our customers. I am artistic director and Marie-Paule is a graphic designer.

Our advice: Target a clientele and start work with personal funds.

More photos here
Marie-Paule and Marc welcome you there

"I created two suites and three rooms"

Stéphane, 40, 3 bedrooms and 2 suites in a 19th century mansion in Loganna-Daoulas (Finistère)

The house: This Breton mansion of 350 m2 seduced the passionate of old stones that I am. It is surrounded by 5.5 hectares of greenery and located near the sea. In my palm grove, I collect trees of about fifteen different species.

The works: When I bought it three years ago, the manor was inhabited but not maintained. Only the heating was in good condition. So I had to renovate everything. Local contractors provided plumbing and electricity. A roofer undertook the restoration of the roof: an unplanned task, a bit noisy and invasive because of scaffolding. I created two suites and three bedrooms, all with an en suite shower room. The work continues today in the part of the manor that I live. There are two outbuildings to renovate.

Furniture and decoration: I took care of painting, wallpaper and decoration. The cost of all deco work that I have done until today is equivalent to one and a half times the purchase price of the castle! I chose everything in the style of the manor. Except some headboards, everything comes from antique shops. I did not want the mix between old and modern, yet in the air.

On a daily basis: I manage alone the daily management and the cleaning of three rooms and two suites. I dedicate myself since this year to the rehabilitation of the park. I also run antique dealers.

My advice: It takes time and work to ensure consistent quality of reception. Managing a big house is a full time activity.

More photos here
Stéphane welcomes you there

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