Our plans took a leap forward this week when we accepted an offer on our UK house. Now, we’re in a race to sign a compromis de vente on a commercial property for our cheese and wine business.
While we await developments, we’ve been keeping ourselves busy learning how to upholster.
Well, I say ‘we’, but I can’t really take any credit. My partner, Damon, is the one who has been learning how to upholster.
The idea, you see, is that when we eventually open our cheese and wine business, we’ll use furniture we’ve sourced in brocantes and then upcycled.
You can pick up good-quality second-hand chairs for as little as 10€ each. They generally then need sanding down, varnishing or painting, and a new seat.
Damon took a one-day course in how to reupholster chairs last weekend.
He worked on this rather lovely chair that we had picked up for a song in our local Troc. If you don’t know them, they’re a chain of second-hand furniture stores.
His course was with Sussex Upholstery in Alfriston.
There, he learned how to strip the old fabric, replace the horse hair and hessian, add padding and stretch calico over the frame. Then he attached the new material and added a backing to the underside of the chair.
Meanwhile, I was at our house in Brighton trying to make it look – and smell – decent again after our tenants moved out. I don’t think they can have opened a window all year.
They certainly hadn’t watered the garden. It took several trips to the dump to get rid of all the dead plants.
In fact, we spent three days repainting the inside of the house from top to bottom to help it sell.
Fortunately, it seems our hard work – and a new set of photos for the estate agent’s online listing – paid off. On Monday we got the call to say a couple had put in an offer on the place.
“There’s another buyer in the equation. Now, we’re in a race to sign a compromis de vente before him”
With that sale going through, we are now in a position to be able to buy a business in south-west France. We have one lined up.
It’s complicated, though – there’s another buyer in the equation. Now, we’re in a race to sign a compromis de vente before him. Whoever signs first, wins.
As lovely as that chair looks now, I don’t think I can sit and relax just yet.