Home Renovation and interior designThe French Gin Room Makeover – Episode 1

December 15, 2021by cheree3

I’m not sure if the French drink much Gin, and we certainly don’t indulge. So what’s up with the weird title? Well, this room inherited its name from a Gin loving friend who used to pop over to enjoy the last of the sun for a tipple or two. The French part was a style I embraced in my first apartment, which has uncomfortably moved over to our house.

I say uncomfortable because my style has changed over the years, and I blame HGTV for this!! 🙂 Unfortunately, our furniture budget has not evolved with this renovation journey, and it’s now up to me to get creative with what we already own. In a strange eyebrow plucking way, I love the challenge of creating a room that we both love and for our friends to enjoy!

I had to forage deep into my blog archives to find these original sunroom photos. We got rid of the squeaky cane furniture, but we are keeping the French Louis chairs that Paul and I upholstered.

Can you see why this is the best room in the house? Even on a bad Wellington day, the sweeping sea view is spectacular. I must have timed this day right with my camera!!

Here is a mockup of the furniture layout with photoshop. The only items we have to purchase in the room are the sconces, a side table, and a picture for the right wall. We own everything else.

Our recent purchase from Mr Ralph. We chose a softer pewter finish.

I found this artwork on a US site called Artfully Walls. They have great specials during the holiday periods. My heart is swooning over the double-bead wood frame.

Please take a look at this 30-second video I created in SketchUp. I love this programme (now that I have gotten over the pain of learning it). The room is measured to scale, so it’s an excellent way to test how the space might look and feel before you sign up. We won’t be getting purple chairs though….


Since the last study room reveal, Paul has wasted no time framing up this room. I always seem to catch Paul in a contemplative stance, and I bet you he is thinking, holy heck, why me?

Our sconces arrived yesterday, and Paul has hung our mirror. The mirror is another project we did together. Well, I say we, but I only purchased this mirror from a second-hand shop (I was told it was a window frame from Dunedin Railway station). Paul fixed it up and painted the frame Farmhouse White, and then our dear friend Allan who is a glazier, put the mirror glass in. How lucky I am to have all these people on my team!

Unfortunately for Paul, I saw an arched niche in a magazine, and I thought it would mimic the arched mirror beautifully. Boy, did I have to beg for this additional design feature? It’s a first for Paul, building and curving the Gib to fit the arch. Hasn’t he done well?

Initially, I wanted to do a McGee, California-cool-styled room, but our budget has forced me in a different direction. I thought I might feel down that I couldn’t pull off a uber-chic room, but nevertheless, I take comfort that when I look around the room, I see us. The space reflects what we have worked together on, it blends both of our styles, and it also reminds me of my time living and working in France many years ago. As Todd Henry once said, “why be a cover band.” Do your own thing!

Merry Christmas to you all. May 2022 bring you happiness, health, and wealth! It’s been an absolute pleasure creating these monthly blogs for you. Thank you for giving me your time and your support.

Big Virtual Hugs!



  • Dave Bowker

    December 16, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Well done you two, looking forward to seeing it all next time down

  • Kathryn Flannery

    December 18, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and Paul also!
    I like the new format of your blog (it is different, isnt it? Or have I missed something?).
    Your house is coming together beautifully and it gives me inspiration for our house although our house is a completely different style and currently suffering the slings and arrows of two energetic, cricket loving boys, one young energetic and messy dog who sheds black fur, and a husband who likes to leave wet towels around…
    Perhaps one day when the action calms down a bit, I can get a bit creative and make our house the way I’d like it. Right now, it’s the previous owner’s taste but no point in re-decorating while turmoil exists! LOL.
    Keep up the great decor selecting, making and decorating. You are lucky to have a handy husband! Mine is very good for destroying things, mind you… 🙂

    • cheree

      January 13, 2022 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Kathryn and Happy New Year to you!! I don’t know how I missed your Christmas wishes but thank you. I haven’t changed my blog, but I did add videos and a Photoshop layout to the last post in the hope that it would make it more interesting?:) I’m so glad that you are finding these posts inspirational. And yes, you are so right about having a handy partner. I don’t know how I got so lucky?! All the best for 2022. Cheree

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