Friday, December 30, 2011

Plum Lyon

Slowly getting things organized.

Eva Plum would have been her name. It is a name I would have given to a girl, if I ever had one. Eva after my great-aunt, and Plum, meaning... completely. Meaning... fruitful and innocent. Meaning... Fortunate. Plum. So there you have the name. Plum Lyon. It is simply mind blowing to think back one year ago when I first started thinking about this project, creating this kitchen workshop.

In February 2011, I located a property, and within a few weeks we had signed the first batch of papers that would lead to ownership. By mid-May, we were neck deep in a feasibility study with an architect (who would eventually conclude our project was not feasible within our budget), and in June we took possession of the site.

The first week of July, forging on, I had my business plan reviewed by a representative appointed by the mayor's office at the Chamber of Commerce. It might seem strange, but once I finished the business plan, the project had transformed into reality. It was a dream, even if it was a dream coming true, and then finally it was real. Pounding it all out, placing it in its context, plotting it out numerically, made it real.

Not long ago...

Work with a general contractor began to roll out during the month of August. During the time that followed, I got tired, but kept my mind on whatever needed handling at the moment. Due to some timing miscalculations (oh it's such a long story), we ended up homeless for a couple of months, forced to put our things in storage, which was kind of a drag. Still smiling, we packed up a couple of suitcases and moved into a 300 square foot vacation rental, and as autumn rolled in I began walking with the baby down to the site every day.

While at first even the various contractors we invited in for estimates had stood there slack-jawed at the ideas I was throwing at them, I kept at it. I had faith that someone would finally get it. I could tell that friends who came and saw the site at the beginning were a little bit concerned, a little bit skeptical. Strangers and friends kept saying, "you're so brave!" and I could not understand what they meant. Brave? What does that mean?

We have been here in our own place two weeks now. It is heated, we have water, some lights, some plugs, etc. The wood floor is stacked in the corner, the photo studio's roof is scheduled to go up soon, the kitchen's window is still covered with plastic sheeting due to our ineptitude with anchoring systems for the shade. But it is sort of functional, there is counter space, tile and there are ovens and cooktops and hoods. The phone is in. I treated the old pastry marble that the boulanger left to me today. But most of all, she has her name. Plum Lyon.

A mess but slowly getting there.



Anonymous argone said...

C'est un joli nom, "Plum Lyon", j'aime bien ! Cette cuisine est très belle, des couleurs claires, reposantes, où il doit être très agréable de cuisiner ! Beaucoup de travail d'aménagement, merci pour les photos :-)

7:21 PM, December 30, 2011  
Blogger Frenchicandshabby said...

Great to see the 'before' photos and how everything is now taking shape. Love the style and the name. All the best for 'Plum Lyon' ( I still love your tartiflette recipe!)

7:25 PM, December 30, 2011  
Anonymous Francine said...

So so proud of you! I remember back in 2006 when we met and you told me what your dream was. And here it is, Plum Lyon!

7:58 PM, December 30, 2011  
Blogger Cerulean Bill said...

Where, if I may ask?

11:45 PM, December 30, 2011  
Blogger Kitt said...

Wow, it looks great!

The name is very nice. Simple and fun to say, balanced between the lightness of "plume" and the steadiness of "plumb."

2:28 AM, December 31, 2011  
Blogger Rebecca said...

What a beautiful space! I'm envoius! And Eva is a lovely name. (My daughter's name is Eva) Best of luck to you in the new year!

4:33 AM, December 31, 2011  
Blogger Christine said...

Très joli nom! Un super projet qui s'est réalisé: bravo!
Meilleurs voeux pour 2012 et que Plum Lyon prospère !

7:52 AM, December 31, 2011  
Anonymous joel baumwoll said...

What a thrill it has been watching from afar and reading as your dream moved to realization. Your intrepid pursuit of Plum Lyon is impressive. I will raise a glass tonight and toast your success and happiness.


11:14 AM, December 31, 2011  
Anonymous chaumama said...

best wishes for the new year! The kitchen is a wonderful space. I can't wait to see it in person.

9:24 PM, December 31, 2011  
Anonymous janie said...

How lovely! It is so wonderful that you are pursuing your dream. I look forward to hearing more.

4:54 PM, January 02, 2012  
Anonymous Veronica said...

Wow! from a long-time lurker. As someone who had to face a similar renovation project of a ruin, which took nearly 2 years from buying the building to moving in, I know just how brave/crazy you are to do this. It looks wonderful. You must feel all the pain/stress was worthwhile.

5:32 PM, January 02, 2012  
Blogger Loulou in France said...

The name, Plum Lyon, is simply perfect.
You guys must be thrilled to finally be in! Congratulations and Happy New Year!

2:36 AM, January 03, 2012  
Anonymous Coco Cooks said...

Bravo! Looks like a amazing space!

5:32 PM, January 03, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful! May I ask the cabinets are from?

3:22 PM, January 04, 2012  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thank you for the kind comments, friends. We really appreciate the encouragement. The cabinets! They were made to order by Ixina. The marble is recuperated from the boulanger, and we designed the island to fit the marble. I'm glad you like it, and it will be even better when we get our antiques in to compliment the built-in elements.

3:42 PM, January 04, 2012  
Blogger Penny said...

It is perfect in it's imperfection. Good luck in the coming year. I will be following your progress with great interest.

3:45 PM, January 07, 2012  
Anonymous Abra said...

Cool, Lucy! Is that going to be your home kitchen as well, or do you have a separate one?

3:24 PM, January 09, 2012  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Hey there, Thanks, Penny!

Abra dear, it's pretty much an all purpose space, and activities depend on time of day. The class activities are equipped with their own refrigerator and storage areas.

3:54 PM, January 09, 2012  
Blogger Sandra said...

what a wonderful place Lucy.
A dream come true.

11:56 PM, January 11, 2012  
Blogger katiez said...

It looks gorgeous - you must be so excited.... I totally understand all the headaches that go with construction / renovation... Well done!

8:35 PM, January 12, 2012  
Blogger racheld said...

This Southern girl's heart swells that you used "completely" as your first definition.

Of all the languages you speak, you used MINE first. I'm so pleased and proud across the miles, for your new endeavour, and wish you ALL the very best things there are as you step out into this wonderful new life.

7:54 PM, January 14, 2012  
Blogger L Vanel said...

It was the first one I spoke, Rachel. My parents spoke it at home growing up.

8:34 PM, January 14, 2012  
Anonymous marion said...

J'ai cuisiné dans cette très jolie cuisine avec Lucy, et c'était un très bon moment .. La cuisine est grande et lumineuse,très agréable, et Lucy a été au petits soins pour nous !

7:17 PM, July 11, 2012  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Merci Marion, je suis heureuse!

10:59 PM, July 11, 2012  

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