Reading nook

Posted in Home improvement, La France at 17:53

Reading nook, mostly finished
I’ve been working on my living room for a year and a half, since finding tomettes beneath the cheap brownish-yellow tile that the previous owners had put down. Not long after I finished renovating the floor, my upstairs neighbor’s pipes burst and flooded my couch nook in July last year. Ever since then, I’ve been working around the damaged nook, painstakingly scraping off the textured paint, something I had wanted to do anyway.

Yesterday I finally finished painting the nook, and was able to move in furniture today, shown above. I chose this blue because it has some depth to it, and it goes well with the burgundy tomettes floor and red touches. I also wanted it to be darker than the rest of the living room, in order to bring it closer visually. For comparison, the nook two years ago, when I bought the apartment. As you can see, the blue also helps the lighting immensely: before, everything had a yellowish tinge to it, but now the area has “truer” colors. Eventually, once I scrape the textured paint off the rest of the living room walls (ugh!), I’ll paint them in a nearly neutral lavender (it’s closer to grey than to purple/pink).

I’m delighted with my art deco chairs and this color scheme. I had considered reupholstering the chairs, but their deep brown goes beautifully with everything. As they say in France, le hasard fait bien les choses ! (“Chance does things well!”)

Repainted entry

Posted in Home improvement at 20:07

Entry, after
After the preparation mentioned in my previous post, today I was finally able to tackle painting my entry. Above is the nearly-finished product!

There is still more to do. The entry was done oddly by the previous owners, leaving a strange section to fill in above the WC door. I also need to get better-quality paint brushes in order to finish smaller areas where a roller won’t work. The cheap brushes I had worked all right for the primer, but left enough marks that I’d rather wait to buy nicer ones before putting on the finishing blue coat.

I’m very happy with how the main wall looks now. To think, it used to look like this: entry in May 2009, before I’d started removing tile and the textured paint. The main wall looked like this with the textured paint off.

Colorful boats

Posted in La France, Nice at 20:01

Boat colors, port of Nice
I also went to the port yesterday, going on foot along the Promenade. Unbeknownst to me, there was a show of cars for the Jean Behra rally, so I was glad I had walked rather than taking the bus.

Nice’s port is lined by colorful buildings and all types of boats can be found there, from cruise ships to NGV (high-speed boats to Corsica) to ostentatious yachts licensed to ports such as Nassau, Cayman Islands and London, to a lineup of school sailboats to small wooden boats painted every color of the rainbow. The two in the closeup here are shown from further away in this picture. I also liked this lavender and bright turquoise boat, as well as the funnily-named M’en bati. In Nice there’s a saying, “m’en bati, sieu Nissart” — “I don’t give a flip, I’m Niçois”, joking with Nice’s strong sense of individuality. Nice was not part of France until 1860, and even that cession was — and still is — strongly debated. Although it’s extremely doubtful that Nice’s inhabitants would ever actually declare their independence, the idea is discussed, and to this nine-year resident’s ears, often seems more like an affirmation of their uniqueness than a true call for secession. (In that sense it is much like Pacific Northwesterners griping about similar issues — see the “Free Cascadia” icon in my sidebar!)