Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Log architecture

One of my vacation spots this summer - was it just last week ? -
was in a rented log house straddling the Limousin/Auvergne regions.

Now a log house is no common site in France, so I knew it would be
something special - someone's dream house. A "tree house" as a vacation house. We rent houses often for weekends and vacation times and it is something I truly like. It's a grown up way of playing house - trying out living styles that I wouldn't normally.

In a way, the construction of this house was any thing but rustic despite the
rough-hewn logs. I was pleased with the attention to detail and the
respect for the natural forms in the placement of each and every
trunk of Douglas Pine. Every log was chosen for its position according
to its shape rather than adapting to wood to the general building
plan. The builder certainly enjoyed himself fitting together this puzzle.

Windows are fitted into the knots and irregularities. The closest thing
to this style is a mountain chalet with wide overhang of the eaves.
Here the building tradition is Scandinavian.

This projecting surface, like another one found upstairs inside the house, can serve as an impromptu bar (I put it to test!) or to place a piece of sculpture or plants.

Tender twigs

The builder found just the right log for this beam junction.

Another thing I liked about the house was that just because it was
built of of logs didn't mean that the theme was carried over to the
interior. No clunky log tables and chairs here.
This fireplace from the 17Th century was brought in from Tours.

"Armoire glace Madame"


As for the furnishings, they were mostly contemporary, art deco or
19Th century pieces with modern light fixtures and window
dressings. This is not an interior for purists of any kind ! Somehow -
as a vacation home - it all works.

The downstairs bath.

Handsome modern doors (Bombay rosewood?).

Sliding japonizing door for the upstairs bath.

The Venetian mirror here is faced by a 40s mirror-clad coiffeuse.

The house is neatly settled into land that has been pampered and
planted by the owner for many years prior to building the house.

A little zen garden was begun at the foot of the terrace.

Its 4 ponds are literally jumping with fish and crawfish all day and
night. Their splashes and the occasional sheep serenade from afar
are about the only noises around.


  1. It looks as if you had a truly great time! I love the whole look and ambience of the place, both inside and out. Thanks also for the close-ups of the interior detailing, it all fits together so harmoniously. A truly great place to both appreciate and unwind.

  2. As a city-dweller, I find it important to find country getaways. This one was really original (for France) and so, refreshing!

  3. The entire thing looks heaven. I like the detailing as you say and the interior elements are just as they should be, I am sure you have a peaceful respite. The shower! The fireplace! The ponds! Your photography is so great too. G.

  4. La - no one is as encouraging as you, oh, angel of the blog world ! I was just thinking that I would like to understand my camera better!

  5. glad to help you, I have felt that way about mine for about 10 years, I have a new one that I am unhappy with for anything other than quick photos- I am planning to use the older bigger guns for work related things.