The Laurel Hedge may be in the middle of a southern hemisphere summer, but I'm sorry to say that it is not the case for all of us. One of our consolations for this ongoing cold is to light a fire and focus on indoor activities . If I were a saint I'd be starting some pruning in the garden, but I am not! The most strenuous my gardening gets at this time of year is turning the pages of a book and forming very good intentions about how the place is going to look this year.
It's also a good time to decorate. When we restyled our sitting room, or salon, as they say here, a couple of years ago, we looked at alot of antique fireplace surrounds to replace the old marble one. Some vendors leave them outside, in all weathers,
whilst others have very fancy showrooms and design a would be setting around the fireplace.
In traditional French country homes there are always several fireplaces, we regularly use three,. One in the sitting room, one in the dining room and one in our bedroom. In the end, we had our fireplace carved from stone by a local specialist. This meant we were able to have a design we liked made the right size for our room. Our wonderful carpenter then made us these doors to cover the shelves either side, and voila!