Over the Thanksgiving holidays I wrote about our move away from America, and our dream to divide our time between the tropical island of Bali in Indonesia, where we are currently designing and building a villa, and somewhere idyllic in the French countryside.
Well, after looking at over 30 houses across South West France, we found our home, perched atop a hill, in a little hamlet of 80 residents, overlooking the Gascon hills in Tarn-et-Garonne.
We got the keys in November, and have already learnt that creating our romantic dream of French country living is going to come with it’s fair share of obstacles – including building a new roof! - but we're ready for the challenge.
The house needs quite a bit of love, and we’ve been busy sketching floor plans, talking to builders, and brainstorming ideas for the remodel. Our goal is to start work on it in the Spring.
At the same time we’ve collected a couple of other projects along the way...
You might remember this business trip to Berlin? Well, that project now has a green light, and we’re also working on another exciting project in Lisbon. After wrapping up work in the States, and selling our home in San Francisco, Justin and I are going to focus on property development for the next couple of years.
Hopefully we haven’t taken on more than we can handle; we didn’t set out to create this much work for ourselves, but one opportunity led to another, and then another. As it stands, we'll be working on five projects in four countries simultaneously, with a question mark next to a couple more. We’re going to be really busy!
Each of these projects represents a distinct set of challenges; from language barriers, architectural considerations, planning permission and legal requirements, budgetary constraints, to achieving our aesthetic vision and design goals. We have steep learning curve ahead of us, and I’m going to do my best to share as much as I can on the blog.
This Life is Belle is going to feature lots of posts about interior design, large-scale remodeling, the challenges of working in different countries, juggling motherhood, getting to know some exciting new cities in depth, and my usual spread of food and drink recipes inspired by delicious things we discover on the road, as well as our commitment to health and well-being.
I also think Rosie is just about ready for a sibling, so we’ll be working on that too ;-) I have a feeling 2018 is going to be a big year. We’re excited!
What have you got planned for 2018? I’d love to hear…
P.S. Lots of people have asked me how a foreigner goes about building a home in Bali. If you'd like to read more about the process, I've explained everything in this post.