Avril Jones Interiors & Exteriors | Blog

Tue, Jul 18th, 2017 5:27:00 am

SUMMER 2017

Hi there, I'm back again, after a bit of a delay...These past few months have been exceedingly busy, both on the Interior & Exterior Decorating, and the Garden clearance work. We have quite a number of new clients again this year, which only goes to prove that Brexit hasn't has too much of an impact so far...

The Immobilliers tell us that the buyers are now looking for permanent homes, as opposed to holiday properties, which in our opinion is quite correct. The value of the properties they are selling has also increased too, as obviously people will spend more on a permanent home than they will one on they will only use for a few weeks of the year.

We have had a number of properties to paint inside and out, and some wonderful clients who came to us by referrals, which is always good. Worked past on to us from other trademen who either found the work to be too greater distance to travel, too far and it becomes too expensive for the client, and also makes for a very long day for the tradesmen too.

We have also had the contents of two properties to sell on behalf of 2 of our clients, one selling up to move back to the UK, the other furniture and DIY supplies surplus to requirements. This is an area which I enjoy enormously, as my husband would say '''You can sell sand to an Arab ''. I find it very rewarding matching 'sellers' with 'searchers', it has become another service we now offer our clients. It's time consumming, but I find that it passes away the hours in the evening quite nicely, as I've never been one for watching very much TV.

Gary has had some challenging 'gardens' to clear, I use the word gardens...but in fact they are no more than rough plots of land. After several hours or days of hard work, clients can see what they have actually bought, and begin to make plans on what they want to achieve from their new acreage. 

One particular job that has just been booked into the diary, is daunting to say the very least. A client we first met a few years ago, has recently contacted us once again. They have a huge barn which they are going to renovate into Gite accommodation. However, before they can begin the building work, years of Ivy growth has to be removed. There is no other way, short of brute force, sweat and a little cursing, that you can remove this problematic weed. So keep watching, and I'll post updates as we go along. 

On a far smaller scale, but no less physical hard work, in blistering French summer sun, a garden wall that was smothered in Ivy, and now uncovered and ready for pointing up to be done, another very happy client.

 

Front as it stands July 2017 © 2017 Avril Jones Back July 2017 © 2017 Avril Jones Wall before © 2017 Avril Jones Wall after © 2017 Avril Jones


Sat, Sep 24th, 2016 10:56:13 am

BREXIT AND AFTER

Has Brexit caused a bad reaction for us?...Certainly not...

In fact quite the opposite, July, August and September have been extremely busy, and with bookings lined up for  the rest of this month, October and into winter, we certainly can't complain.

Several new clients on the garden maintenance side of the business, quite a number of 'one off ' garden clearance jobs which have come via two Immobilliers trying to sell properties with over grown gardens, which have led to maintenance work until the property is sold.

A second decorating job from a client in the Charente. Just finished painting the exterior of a pool house, which has led to a further devis/quote for a lot of interior work. Next week I'll be sanding doors and windows ready to restain.

Then the next week windows and shutters that need stripping, sanding and undercoating (whilst waiting for the topcoat colour choice approval to arrive from the Mairie's office).

During the winter, no peace for the wicked, I have several floors to sand and varnish and a full house and gite to paint. So the festive season will be spent recovering.

So if this is bad effect after Brexit... then all I can say is "Bring it On" 




Mon, Aug 29th, 2016 4:48:36 pm

AUGUST UPDATE

It's been a while since I had the time to update this blog, so for those of you who have been waiting, here goes...

The summer has been a busy time for us, with a wide selection of work, 9 pairs of exterior shutters, several one off ground/garden clearance jobs, new clients for our key holder services, deep clean ups after tradesmen have finished, and recently returning to a previous client to sand, strip back and re-stain all their windows and doors. 

There has also been a little spare time in order for me to take a course in Stone sculpting too. So now I have another new hobby to fill any hours that I have free during the winter. Although the way my diary is filling, this may prove to be a bit difficult. I have more clients ready and waiting for work to be completed late winter and into the New year too. One in particular asked us to quote for a full interior of their holiday home, later asking us to add the painting of their Gite too.

We have worked in the Charente recently, and decided that we would stay in the region rather than have over an hours travel at either end of the day. Which meant we could begin earlier, finish when the heat became unbearable, and commence again as the temperature dropped early evenings. This client kindly offered us the use of their garden where we could to erect our tent, and use their 'facilities' and most enjoyably...their swimming pool, which was indeed a welcomed cool off at the end of the day.  But if we are honest, I think our days of camping are over, we both enjoy the comfort of a nice pocket sprung bed. So perhaps next time we'll look at a Gite or Chambre D'hotes near the clients.

Next job on the list is to re-stain the exterior of a very large pool house.

During one of house/barn clearances we did a few weeks ago, we came across a beautiful oak childs desk that the client wanted us to throw out along with many other pieces of broken furniture. On closer inspection, although the desk was covered in dust, and bird droppings, the desk itself was in good condition.  So after sanding and varnishing, removing and repainting the hinges, I now have a lovely desk ready for sale. It's so rewarding to be able to save nice pieces of furniture that would otherwise be thrown away.  




Wed, Mar 9th, 2016 1:19:53 pm

NEW PROJECTS

If you are looking for inspiration on how to up cycle furniture, what colours are in for this year, or just need some advice! you can see loads of ideas on my Facebook page Avril Jones Interiors & Exteriors.

We have some more new clients for this year, and the work will be varied, so there will be no time to twiddle my fingers.

We have overgrown gardens to clear, a client who needs advice on which plants would suit her garden and which will attract the birds. butterflies and insects, 5 sets of shutters, a full interior and exterior painting job, and three pieces of furniture to up cycle, I'll post pictures of them when completed, so keep watching this space. 




Sat, Jan 23rd, 2016 3:06:59 pm

SPRING TIME JOBS AROUND THE HOUSE AND GARDEN

Winter!  what winter? it's been very mild here in the Poitou-Charente so far, but let's hope that I'm not speaking too soon.

If the weather continues like this, it'll mean we can bring work forward by a few months, which our clients will be happy about. So, if you need any of our services, there may be some spare weeks available in our diary!

We are all guilty of putting off work until another day, but all too quickly time catches up with you. Don't fall into this trap, because it may become urgent, and then the trademens you need will be fully booked.

Start making a list of jobs you want or need to do in the garden or home, listing them in order of importance. Deal with them one by one, and get them booked. Then later in the season you'll be in a situation to be able to sit back and relax.

Thinking of redecorating your home! need to know what are the new colours for this season? well you have a good variety to choose from, something for everyones taste. Lavender, Mauve, Aubergine, Pale pink, Blues, Jade, Grey and soft whites to name but a few.

Keeping your walls neutral will mean you can be in vogue, without spending too much time or money decorating. Simply add the colours for this season by changing your soft furnishings, or by having one accent wall in the new colour.  If you like DIY or up-cycling you can probably make things cheaply yourself, if you don't sew very well, you could always try dying your existing cushion covers. Fabric dye's have come on in leaps and bounds over the years, and they are now pretty simple to use (as long as you read the instructions). If you're a little worried, try dying some old pillowcases first to test the colour, and to see the end result. Once you've tried it once, you'll be hooked.

But if you prefer to have a more professionnal job done, there are plenty of companies about who can help. Start by ask friends and family who they can suggest or that perhaps have used. Ask them to show you samples of their work, and always get quotes.

Gardens...There is still work that can be done to get your garden ready for the spring. Last year we finally took delivery of a polytunnel, and a variety of weird and wonderful Chilli's, fruit and veg. So hopefully this summer we'll have platefuls of colourful produce. If all my seeds survive, I'll probably have spare plants available For Sale too. I had a good success rate last season (hense the purchase of the polytunnel) so hopefully we'll be able to grow and pot on many more plants this year.

If you need any Interior or Garden design advise, we're only a phonecall away. 




Wed, Oct 21st, 2015 10:55:56 am

A RECURRING ISSUE

Again several times this year, we've come across clients having the same issues, and who are falling into the same trap.

Property with land!

Be aware, buying what you think are wonderful cheap holiday homes, with lots of land, that you'd probably never had in the UK. Can sometimes turn out to be a bit of a thorn in your side (excue the pun).

Take into consideration that you'll probably have to spend your well earned holiday cutting down long grass, weeds, brambles and nettles, before you can chill out with a glass of wine.

France is a very lush country on the whole, and there's a saying certainly here in the Poitou Charente, that  'If you stick a broom handle in the ground, it will probably take root'.  Rain fall, followed by sun......means plants will grow, and boy do they grow!!!. Take it from us, you'll be amazed at how quickly gardens can get out of control if left too long.

Before you buy a property, ask yourself a few questions, and answer them very honestly. Don't let your head rule your heart, it could  turn out to be a costly mistake.

Do you really want or need all the land?  

Can you afford to replace boundry fences around your acreage if needed?

If you intend to do the work yourself, look at prices for materials, as they do tend to be more expensive than in the UK.

Take into consideration that you may not be phyically fit enough to do the work, or have the inclination to spend all you holidays getting the garden back to how you left it after your previous holiday!      

If you answered 'No' to any of the above, you'll have to budget for the services of a Garden Maintenance company.  

Look around and get quotes and references for garden maintenance, your Immobillier may be able to help and advise you. It will come at a cost, but if the garden is being maintained, your property will also have the added bonus of extra security too!.

Would you like to arrive at your holiday home and straight away be able to sit and relax!

Look for the services of reliable, registered, and reputable companies, and ALWAYS ask for their SIRET number, which you can check to see if they're legitimate. Good one's are worth their weight in gold.

We are key holders for many clients, and have some fantastice references, and offer a comprehensive service. How nice would it be to arrive at your holiday home, to find the garden maintained, lawns mowed and strimmed, the house aired and cleaned, beds made ready for your first night, and even basics shopping done for your arrival ! 

If you wish to know more, please feel free to contact us.




Wed, Oct 21st, 2015 10:18:43 am

PRODUCTIVE YEAR

2015 has been a productive year, and we've met some lovely new clients along the way too. We have several fairly large exterior painting jobs lined up for the spring and summer of 2016, along with our existing Garden maintenance clients who are staying loyal to us next year. 

There's usually something quiet theraputic about painting wrought iron railing, especially on a nice sunny day. The weather was cool, so working with Hammerite paint wasn't an issue, when the weather is hot it's hot it's a nightmare, the paint goes thick very quickly, and brushes get clogged with paint. 

However my latest job brought about an unexpected problem, in the shape of a particularly cute stray cat !

Have you ever tried to paint railings with a cat weaving in and out of your legs? added to this she was screaming at the top of it's voice for food.

I fully expected this pale grey tabby marked cat, to end up with additional black stripes!.

Next problem was to make sure she was no where near to the newly painted exterior steps. I would have been more than a little miffed if she'd plodded all over it leaving her fat furry paw prints behind, and I don't think the client would have been very amused either.

Problem solved, a quick trip to the shop, packet of cat food bought, and poured it far enough away from the property. Cat now happy and full, walked off, found a sunny shaded spot, and promptly curled up and fell asleep. Yippeeeee

Quick drying paint on this occasion was a god send, and buy the time the cat had woken again, the steps were dry. Problem averted in the nick of time.

 




Tue, Aug 4th, 2015 5:28:55 pm

KITCHEN UNITS

The delay in posting these photo's has been due to lack of internet (road works + workmen = cut cables and burst water pipes too just for good measure). 

As you can see the kitchen had very dark units, and looked a little dated. It's amazing what can be achieved with a little thought and a some good old elbow grease. Just waiting for the replacement handles and door knobs to come back into stock. Were advised that they would be back in begining of this month!!!! I'm not going to hold my breath............

All the dark wood doors and windows have had a nice bright white coat of paint too, and made the who kitchen much brighter and fresher. 

Below is a snippet of my last Email from the clients, both Gary and I have been so moved by their wonderful comments, it makes all the hard work so worth while. 

'Regarding the cabinets, I cannot tell you how pleased we both are with them. The effort you have put in to getting them looking so wonderful is staggering! there's barely a brushstroke, and everything has been done completely professionally. That goes for the rest of the work you and Gary have done for us so far. You are an absolute pleasures to work with, and would happily reccomend you to anyone and everyone.'

Dark oak kitchen 1 © 2017 Avril Jones Dark oak kitchen 2 © 2017 Avril Jones Kitchen 1 © 2017 Avril Jones Kitchen 2 © 2017 Avril Jones Kitchen 3 © 2017 Avril Jones


Tue, Jul 28th, 2015 7:50:55 pm

THE KITCHEN MENTIONED IN MY PREVIOUS BLOG

Wow what a difference, but as I need to transfer the photo's you'll all have to wait for the before and after shots. All I'll say is, to anyone considering pulling out an old kitchen, don't be too hasty. With a little elbow grease and love, you'll be amazed at what can be achieved. Tomorrow I'll add the photo's, there is still a little work to do to the kitchen, but at least the clients can now see the beginings of what their kitchen will eventually look like, they arrived back yesterday, and were thrilled with it. 




Tue, Jul 14th, 2015 5:29:53 pm

UPDATE ON WORK

Over the past few months we have been working along side a number of new clients, as well as our trusty regulars too. There have been a number of new Interior and Exterior painting jobs, and more lined up for later in the year too, also there have been a new Garden clearance and design jobs too. Most of our clients are based in the UK and other parts of Europe, and we offer them the added bonus of security on their properties while we complete the work in their absence. 

The work has has been varied, and extremely rewarding. We have been very fortunate to have met some very nice people along the way, and feel that there will be some continued friendships from these encounters.

We all know how unstable the financial world has been of late, but we are thankful that it doesn't seem to have stopped new clients from approaching us, and we like to thank our friendly Immobilliers for recommending our businesses.

On top of this, I have been asked to paint a bedroom suite by one client, and a full kitchen by another. The latter will be a huge transformation to what the kitchen colour is at present, dark oak. It will be interesting to see how the paint covers, as this is a paint that I have never used before, and very expensive in comparison to the chalk paint and waxes that I have used on previous jobs. This paint may be something you have considered buying yourself, but perhaps the price has detered you at around 50.00 euros per half ltr it works out very expensive on larger projects. I think we have all spent money on specialist paints over the years, which have not been up to par, or have not given the finish we expected. The problem with samples of these paints in the shops, is that they have usually been sprayed onto the furniture or other items, and not all of the general public have access to large industrial spray machines. Try buying sample pots before purchasing larger quantities. I'll keep you posted on this particular brand, and once I know how it turns out, I will not hesitate to recommend it or not.

Today, we were lucky to have meet a couple who have asked for a quote to cut a lot of hedging back later in the year.                                               As we walked around their garden, we chatted with them. They have lived in their house for 9 years, and apparently the garden was originally a field when they moved in. The garden was a blaze of colour, very lush and well tended. Undoubtably one of the best garden we have seen since moving to France. It must have taken a considerable amount of hard work to achieve. The lady of the house is the gardener, her husband helps with the hard landscaping. They have just installed a large pond, and already the marginal plants are making themselves at home. A wonderful garden, worthy of a Chelsea medal. 




Sun, May 31st, 2015 5:52:51 pm

A PLACE IN THE SUN

Imagine my surprise......going to help a client one morning, and suddenly to become aware of a TV camera! That's exactly what happened a few weeks ago. What started as a quiet Tuesday morning, ended in being interviewed by the Dutch equivalent of A Place in the Sun. only wish I'd known in advance, I would at least have done my hair and perhaps put on a little makeup. Instead, the Dutch general public will be subjected to my usual decorating garb. However, never one to miss and advertising opportunity, I didn't hesitate to hand the new owners one of my business cards, and to hold another up to the camera lens, much to the amusment of the cameraman and producer.  Who in perfect English said 'That's got to be one of the best bits of inpromptue advertising we have ever seen'. 

The program is set to be released in February next year, so I await with interest to see if I'm on the film, and more to the point I hope they have used artistic licence and used 'photoshop' on me.




Sun, May 31st, 2015 5:27:04 pm

THIS MONTHS BLOG

May started with a bang, and June seems to be set to be the same. Work is coming in thick and fast, not just for Exterior decorating, the sunshine making people think about face lifts for their properties, but for interior painting, soft furnishings and quite a lot of Garden clearance and new maintenance clients too. 

We have several new clients, and more site visits planned for next month. We have work coming in via Immobilliers, as well as referrals through other friends.  Our working week is very varied, making each day different and interesting. 

New clients who look set to become good friends is a bonus, and makes our work even more enjoyable, especially when it come to BBQ's in the summer.

Garden clearances are coming in thick and fast, as clients get started on the gardens of their new properties, ready to enjoy in the coming months. However, we are having to advise these people that if it's to be a holiday home, garden maintenance should be put in place, as the grass grows very quickly here, and will soon become out of control if left to it's own devices. There's a saying here 'If you stick a broom handle in the ground, it will grow' this may not be fact, but the sun and rain that we have had of late, are perfect growing conditions.

Below are some photo's that show gardens grown in a month.

Also pictures of another few new gardens that have been done recently.

A MONTHS GROWTH © 2017 Avril Jones  © 2017 Avril Jones  © 2017 Avril Jones  © 2017 Avril Jones  © 2017 Avril Jones


Wed, Feb 4th, 2015 11:04:01 am

WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE!

New year.........but it starts with some sad news.  The project that we were really looking forward to getting stuck into, has been put on hold for a while, pending hospital results. Sadly our new clients have had their world turned upside down. The gentleman of the house had been feeling unwell, but didn't know what it was, his words 'I thought it would sort itself out' he is now undergoing tests back in the UK where they still live.

He had wanted his wife to continue to organise the work to the property and gardens of their new property in France, but she quite understandably in our opinion, feels unable to leave him in hospital in the UK, and to fly out here and have to deal with tradesmen and gathering quotes. If decisions for the house renovation had been finalised, it would have been a different matter, a project manager could have been the answer. However, they had only recently bought the property and so it was all still very much in it's early stages. Our thoughts are with them, and wish him a speedy recovery.

For the moment, the project file is stored safely away. 

Non of us ever knows what is around the corner, and so we all have to live each day as it comes, and try and achieve your dreams and plans as so as possible.




Tue, Jan 13th, 2015 12:07:43 pm

A NEW YEAR, A NEW GARDEN PROJECT.

2015, is now underway, and new ideas and projects are under discussion and design. We never cease to be thrilled with ideas that our clients put forward to us, and look forward to the challenges that some bring with them.

Our latest is a couple who have bought a large property, which the garden hasn't been touched in years. Somewhere amongst the undergrowth lies an orchard, a tennis court, and we were shown a small swimming pool that has several families of frogs and toads inhabiting. Several years of fallen leaves and rainfall have filled the pool, and now looks more suited to a wildlife pond, than somewhere to sit beside relaxing with a glass of wine. But hopefully a few months of hard work, elbow grease and heavy machine work, should sort out the worst areas of this garden. 

The clients plans are for a wonderful landscaped area, but keeping it in tune to the surrounding wooded area, walk ways leading to 'rooms' within the garden with different themes and colour schemes.  We have sat together, shared a few glasses of wine, and designed a garden which we are sure will thrill not only the clients, but all their close family and friends too.

This is sure to be a very interesting ongoing project.

If you have some ideas for your garden area, that you need some assistance, please feel free to give us a call.




Mon, May 12th, 2014 11:58:57 am

MORE EXTERIOR PAINTING

We have another 2 new clients looking to update the exterior of their property here in France. Just now hoping that the weather brightens up and more importantly dries up.

Can't paint walls while they are damp, so need a good few days to dry out, before we can even contemplate putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and shutters etc. The Meteo has given three glorious sunnydays from Wednesday onwards, so fingers crossed that they are correct.

Photographs will follow, so if you are interested, or are thinking of having the exterior of your house updated, please keep tracking us here on the blog.




Mon, May 12th, 2014 11:37:42 am

CUSHIONS & CURTAINS

Just completed two batches of cushions. One for a client back in the UK. Must admit their lounge looks wonderful now, all the hard work of renovation paid off I think you will agree!

The other batch of cushions and curtains is for our own lounge. Like a lot of trademen, our house is the last in the queue when it comes to work. So I finally set about repainting the lounge, and making new furnishings and curtains, that was my weekend. I bought the fabric last year (just because I liked the colour) and so when I decided to make changes, out came the fabic boxes, and Voila!.......... OK, so the lounge is now Duckegg blue. 

UK based client © 2017 Avril Jones Our new lounge interior © 2017 Avril Jones Fabric close up © 2017 Avril Jones


Thu, Apr 3rd, 2014 8:09:33 pm

ANOTHER 2 GARDEN'S IN THE MAKING

The success of the last garden has brought about a further two new garden renovations. Both will be long term projects, and idea's are still being discussed and planned for the following months work.

The first, is for clients with a holiday home. Plan being, for a garden that is easily maintained, yet beautiful to look out on from the house. The last thing the clients want is to spend all their time working on the garden instead of relaxing in it. Their time here in France is very precious, after all the stress and strain of work back in the UK.

The second is for clients who live here permanently, but don't have the brute force to bring their garden to life. So we will initially do all the clearance work, and then suggest ways to keep things manageable for them, but at the same time produce the floral displays, and the all important vegetables plots.

So if you are looking for insperation, keep watching this blog, on the other hand, if you need some help or advice, just give us a call. Or  you can Email with photo's of your garden and we'll endeavour to help you. 




Mon, Mar 31st, 2014 8:12:02 am

THE COMPLETED GARDEN

Dah dah..........Finished the garden, customers have just arrived back in France, and they are delighted with the way the garden is now looking. We spent a few hours with them yesterday afternoon, and christened the new garden with a glass or two of 'Bubbley'. What a wonderful completion. It's amazing what 21 ton of gravel can do............. apart from finding muscles I forgot I had and a few blisters into the bargain, but thoroughly worth it to see the looks on their faces.

So here as promised are the up dated photographs. 

Bottom right up to house © 2017 Avril Jones The gazebo © 2017 Avril Jones Middle pathway © 2017 Avril Jones Pathway from top steps © 2017 Avril Jones Seating around young Willow Tree © 2017 Avril Jones


Thu, Mar 13th, 2014 9:48:18 pm

TRANSFORMING A HOLIDAY HOME GARDEN!

Our latest garden project is for clients who own a holiday home. They needed a garden which would be easily maintained when they are back in the UK, and giving them time to enjoy when they are here, without having to spend hours if not day's getting on top of when they are supposed to be on holiday. We hope that we will have achieved this for them.

It's taken a little longer than we had first planned, mainly due to all the terrible wet weather we have had these past few months. Thankfully there wasn't any major urgency, as the client was'nt here. But we were determined to finish the job before they arrived back. So look forward to seeing their faces when the job is completed. 

The photographs below are of the first and middle stages. The final completed photo's will be to follow:-

Garden before 1 © 2017 Avril Jones Garden during 1 © 2017 Avril Jones Garden before 2 © 2017 Avril Jones Garden during 2 © 2017 Avril Jones


Thu, Mar 13th, 2014 9:41:22 pm

EXTERIOR PAINTING

Our latest exterior job has just been finished, thanks to the sunshine of the past week. I hope you agree that the colour change has really brightened the property. The client is a lovely lady and a dream to work for too, so it was a pleasure to complete the work to her satisfaction.

Patio before © 2017 Avril Jones Patio after © 2017 Avril Jones


Mon, Mar 10th, 2014 8:19:01 pm

SUNSHINE!

What a wonderful few days of sunshine we have had, which meant that we have been able to at long last get jobs done for our clients.

Gardening.....after cutting down all the weeds, we have managed to lay the weed control, been a set back due to all the rain, which made the ground too wet to work on. Now we have to book several tipper loads of gravel to be delivered and dropped, (that going to be fun to level off), a morning or early evening  job during the coolest part of the day.

Windows and shutters for another client got underway, and another few days should see it completed, hopefully before the weather changes. We are lucky, the next job in the diary is an interior, so it seems to be working out quite well.




Thu, Feb 27th, 2014 6:27:41 pm

OUR GRANDDAUGHTERS BEDROOM

Picture on Interiors page. So pleased with they way the colours work, especially when they were only discussed over the telephone. Using new and vintage fabrics in pastel pink, green, lilac and white, it gives a pretty fresh effect. Hope my gorgeous granddaughter likes her pretty bedroom.




Tue, Feb 25th, 2014 10:08:21 pm

THE LATEST CUSHIONS

Please take a look at my latest cushions, which you can see on my 'Interiors' page. They can be made to suit your colour theme and styles. If you are looking for something unique or a special present for a loved one, Email me with your requirements and I'll send you a free quote. 




Tue, Feb 25th, 2014 9:45:10 pm

LES DAMES DE F.E.R MEETING

Had a wonderful meeting with a group of like minded ladies today. All ladies in business in France, and all willing to help each other. What a wonderful breathe of fresh air. Any ladies who are not members yet, you need to get yourselves involved with this organisation.

You'd be amazed what all us ladies can do!




Fri, Feb 7th, 2014 1:10:05 pm

RAIN, RAIN, AND MORE RAIN!

When is it ever going to stop raining? and to top it all we've had hail stones today too. Lets all hope that it doesn't manifest itself into the white powdery stuff !!!!

All this wet weather has put exterior decoration work and gardening for some of our clients, very much on the back burner. Thankfully none of the work is urgent, but touching base with the clients as regularly as possible, relieves any worry for all concerned.

So keeping fingers crossed, we hope that spring isn't going to be too far away, we can all look forward to getting back outside into the warm fresh air and sunshine.

2014 looks like being a good year, and we look forward to working along side not only our regular clients (now good friends), but our latest clients too.

Bonne Chance à tous nos clients et amis.




Wed, Dec 18th, 2013 8:07:59 pm

GARDEN PROJECT

Our newest job is a garden renovation on a property which is near to Montmoriilon. The garden is 25 x 30 sq mtrs with 3 walls, and a Leylandii hedge to the 4th side. Although weed supressent had been laid, nothing had been placed ontop of this, so the weeds began over time to reappear.

So far we have cleared away all the weeds, and have begun trimming back the leylandii and Bay tree, which was in desperate need of a pruning.

We'll keep this Blog up to date..................... 

Lefthand wall from main road © 2017 Avril Jones view out over the field © 2017 Avril Jones from bottom of garden over to right © 2017 Avril Jones masses of brambles © 2017 Avril Jones another view © 2017 Avril Jones


Fri, Oct 25th, 2013 12:41:13 pm

LATEST HOUSE EXTERIOR DECORATION

Today saw the completion of the latest exterior painting work for our latest client. We were extremely lucky to get a window of sunshine and reasonably dry weather, which offered us the opportunity to accept this job. 

The clients contacted us last week and ask if we would be able help them, as there previous decorator had stopped working due to ill health. So we accepted the work to paint all the exterior Masonry work, Facia boards, beams and downspouts.

We would not usually take on exterior work at this time of year, as you can never be sure of the weather, but as the clients were desperate to get the work finished, we agreed.

The photo of the gable end was taken 5 minutes after completion, and shows the still wet paint at the very top of apex. On the 'Decoration page you will see photo's of the before and after

Front 1 after completion © 2017 Avril Jones Front 3 after completion © 2017 Avril Jones Front 2 after completion © 2017 Avril Jones Front 4 after completion © 2017 Avril Jones Gable 5 mins after completion © 2017 Avril Jones


Wed, Oct 16th, 2013 7:05:17 pm

METAL CONSERVATORY & SHUTTERS ETC

The latest work has been very varied, this mainly being due to the very changeable weather. So I find myself dodging the raindrops, and jiggling clients around.

We have just completed a metal framed Conservatory for a French client. This included painting all the metal window surrounds, doors and roof supports inside and out. Then the walls and floor too. This is the 4th job done for this client, and as we now realise, this is unusual for an English tradesman to be used, so we feel even more proud to have been asked back for a forth job.

Another clients with 4 sets of window shutters and a French door set, change of colour. Then te client realised that the window frames would not match, so the job suddenly got bigger. We also have the front of the property shutters and windows to re paint in the spring too.

Small interior jobs keep trickling through, so this means we can usually fit these in amongst other larger jobs when weather stops our work outside.




Sat, Aug 10th, 2013 5:37:48 pm

WORK CONTINUES AT THE CHATEAU

Here are a few of the latest photographs that have been taken at the Chateau, the before and after shots, some more to follow.

The sunshine makes working on the exterior easier and far more pleasurable too. It also means that the 'after' photographs can be picturesque. The owner is retired now, but worked at a University of Fine Arts, so appreciates a nicely taken and proportioned photograph.

Shed door before © 2017 Avril Jones Shed door after © 2017 Avril Jones Chateau back © 2017 Avril Jones Garden tool shed © 2017 Avril Jones


Sat, Aug 10th, 2013 5:00:40 pm

LATEST EXTERIOR PAINTING JOB.

I first spoke to this client over a year ago, concerning the painting of the exterior of their house. At that time they were uncertain whether to go ahead or not. So I was thrilled when they contacted me, firstly to paint the security grills and gates to their property. But during my quotation visit, they also said that they had decided to go ahead and have the masonry painted too.

I gave them a quote, which was accepted, so the work commenced Monday the 5th August. Sadly we only managed to get one day completed before big black clouds, thunder & lightening and rain put a stop to it all. We lost three days, but after two very full days work, we are back on track. As you can see the work is now progressing nicely, and we should be finished the bulk of it by the end of this week. There will be more photo's to follow.

La Borderie Front Before © 2017 Avril Jones La Borderie Front after © 2017 Avril Jones La Borderie © 2017 Avril Jones La Borderie 1a © 2017 Avril Jones Side after © 2017 Avril Jones


Sun, Jul 28th, 2013 6:28:53 pm

PIECES FOR A CLIENT

This first piece not only needed painting, but I also had to make a new top and back, as the draws wouldn't open because it was out of shape and had at some point had quite a bit of woodworm. Another satisfied client.

The second piece was just a simple new bright pine cupboard that the client didn't like the colour, so with a few coats of paint, it blends in with all the other furniture.

Draw set before © 2017 Avril Jones Draw set after © 2017 Avril Jones Pine Cupboard © 2017 Avril Jones


Sun, Jul 28th, 2013 6:09:29 pm

WEATHER BRINGS ABOUT MORE WORK

Summer has arrived, and with it a list of clients needing our services. 

After completion of the wrought iron gates for a French client, was pleased to be asked to return and decorate their kitchen too. To my delight they arrived at my front door last week and have asked to have the exterior of their house painted too, and at a time conveinient for us. 

Next week we begin another exterior painting job, which will entail painting masonry and more wrought iron safety grills and gates. Fingers crossed that this rainy spell subsides, as I don't fancy painting metal railings during thunder never mind lightening.

A small bathroom cabinet has been sold, and client was delighted with the colour, an exact match for her Salle de Bain.

Another new client wanting our services for their holiday home garden. If this continues, we'll be needing a new cupboard to keep all the keys safely stored. It never ceases to please us that we have clients trust us with their precious holiday or full time homes and the contents.

All in all, summer is looking good.




Sun, Jun 9th, 2013 10:56:40 am

SCAFFOLDING FOR SHUTTERS

With work to replace rotten wood under the roof tiles, scaffolding was required at the chateau where i'm working. But luckily the scaffolding has come in very handy to strip down the old shutters and re paint (in between the rain however) as working up a ladder wasn't an option. Not long to go now until the main front windowns will be done, then when work on the back roof is to be done, i'll be able to strip the back shutters too. It's all coming together now, and the clients is really pleased.

Chateau © 2017 Avril Jones


Fri, May 17th, 2013 4:20:29 pm

METAL SCROLLED GATES !!!

You know when you put your mouth in gear before you think? well I did that two weeks ago. I have just spent the day grinding, sanding and painting two sets of metal scrolled gates and a single ont too. Thankfully they were not in too bad a condition, so I was able to get them all completed today. The customer was very satisfied, which when all said and done, is all that matters. Because of this, I now have another job with the same French lady in July, to decorate her kitchen. Thankfully the weather stayed sunny and dry, so I was able to do most of the work outside in the garden, so really shouldn't complain. 




Fri, May 10th, 2013 5:42:48 pm

NEW PROJECTS

I have just begun stripping down another two pieces of furniture that we've recently bought. So if you are looking for some new pieces of furniture, then keep looking at this page, as they will shortly be for sale.

Welsh dresser before © 2017 Avril Jones welsh-dresser-after © 2017 Avril Jones cd-record-cabinet-before © 2017 Avril Jones cd-record-cabinet-afte © 2017 Avril Jones corner dresser before © 2017 Avril Jones


Sun, Apr 21st, 2013 5:30:57 pm

BUSY BUSY

We're in the process of finishing off a clients new kitchen, it should be completed within the week. We've been very busy, and the client managed to get all the tradesmen together so that we could finish within this month. Well we have all pulled together, and now the end is in sight, and the client is happy, what more can you ask?

Soon there will be a selection of items for sale on this website, furniture and soft furnishings. So if you are looking for a gift, or something to fill a space in your home, keep having a look at the updated photographs.




Wed, Mar 20th, 2013 8:14:36 pm

CUSHIONS

Keep a look out on this page in the next few weeks. I am in the process of finishing off some Cushions which will be for sale shortly. Some are using vintage fabrics and others new. I will be taking orders too, so if there are any particular colours that you looking for, or have fabrics that you'd like me to use. Please feel free to give me a call.

Just about to start painting some shutters that we have just had made, this time it's work for our own property. Like most tradesmen, we always put our own houses to the back of the list of jobs to be done. But it will make a huge difference to the front of the house, making it look a little prettier, and cooler when the summer heat arrives too. 




Sat, Mar 2nd, 2013 1:26:08 pm

FABRIC FROM THE UK

I have just taken delivery of some beautiful Chenille fabric that a client wants me to make into a large door curtain, and there should be enough fabric left over to make a few cushions for him too. Most of the fabrics that I use are bought from the UK. There is a much wider selection, and without having to spend a lot of money. Ebay is a great place to find a bargain, and I have found a couple of suppliers who are reliable and quick to post after my order has been received. Buying 'end of roll' can also be a great way to save money, you may not always want the amount that's left on the roll, but you can be sure that there will be someone who could use it.

Also just painted a new ornate mirror. This is painted in a pale grey with a silver wax, which picked out some of the carving and gave it a soft sheen which catches the natural light.  

Grey & Silver mirror © 2017 Avril Jones Grey & Silver mirror open © 2017 Avril Jones Cupboard. Teal with silver wax © 2017 Avril Jones


Thu, Feb 28th, 2013 7:50:15 am

FREEZING WEATHER DOESN'T HELP.

The frosty mornings although very beautiful, and this cold snap of weather we are havoing at present, has put paid to the exterior work I have on, but every cloud has a silver lining, it allows me to get on with some furniture that I have bought ready to repaint. I've also just recieved some material from a client in the UK who wants me to make some curtains. 

In the spring I will begin making some cushions, they will be a combination of new and vintage fabrics, and once I have completed them, they will be photographed and advertised on this website, so anyone looking for either soft furnishing for their homes or presents for friends, keep a look out.

 




Thu, Feb 14th, 2013 11:59:44 am

WONDERFUL COMMENTS

So far we have recieved some very positive feedback and very favourable comments about the new website. As a result we look forward to more work coming through, and to perhaps being in a position to help other businesses along the way. We have been fortunate over the years to have been given help and advise, and now with any luck, we will be able to do the same. 




Tue, Feb 12th, 2013 4:28:08 pm

WEBSITE NOW LIVE, SO WHAT DO YOU THINK!

The website is up and running. It's LIVE.

I can honestly say, that the whole experience has been very painless. Lawrie Johnson, my brother, Visual Foundry Design who designed the website. He's very prompt (well, he is when he gets sent the photos and text by me on time) but he also explains in layman's terms, the layout and how I can easliy manage my own website. His prices are very reasonable, so if you are in need of a website, or know anyone who does, give him a call or Email - you won't be disappointed.

All my clients and friends have been very supportive, and I take this opportunity to 'Thank' them all very much.

So now all that remains for me to say is, watch this space to see what I'm working on day to day, and let's hope the good dry weather is with us soon, and the hard work can really begin!




Wed, Jan 30th, 2013 8:13:14 pm

THE CHATEAU CONTINUES

As another year begins, work at the chateau continues. Weather halts work to the exterior, but that's not a problem as there is plenty inside to be getting on with. Work on the Petite Maison has begun, ready for the lady of the manor to take up residence. The Chateau will be opening shortly as a Chambre D'Hote, so having the small house will give te lady of the manor some privacy when the guests begin to arrive.

The gardens around the chateau need some tender loving care, and major elbow grease too. May need to employ a few more pairs of hands to get the work completed quickly. The avenue of Limes have to be pollarded again, an annual job, which although looks a little cruel, repays in the summer months by giving beautiful dappled shade, out of the hot summer sun.




Thu, Dec 13th, 2012 9:44:17 am

FURNITURE

Another set of furniture painted, and another satisfied client. It's great to see the finished piece, and the clients faces when they look at their transformed furniture. It's amazing what can be achieved with a little thought, some hard work and enthusiasm.

Now on the hunt for another piece of furniture for our own home, but finding the 'Right' piece is easier said than done. They are either too tall, too long or just plain ugly. But we're not in a rush, and when we are least expecting it, we'll come across the correct piece.




Tue, Oct 2nd, 2012 12:06:36 am

ANOTHER DAY AT THE CHATEAU

Making a start on the Gite now, ready for the Chateau opening next year as a Chambre D'Hote. Still have a little to do with the interior of the main house, but that can be completed during the winter. Over the obligatory morning coffee, discussed the opening of a section of wall to insert a French window, which will lead from the Gite kitchen onto the private garden area, should be an easy task, which will not only provide an easy access to the garden, but also let in a lot more light.