Building a Wooden House on Wood Street.

Apr 1, 2021 | France, Nature, Simple Things

Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

― Gandhi


Everything Starts With A Thought.

Everything we do and achieve starts with a thought and I have, for many years, wanted to live in a wood(en) house. This thought, became a plan about a year and a half ago and it will become a reality this Autumn, as we are having a wood house built that we designed with an architect, to fit our needs and follies. My husband’s folly is a very big and open main room, because he wants to entertain friends. And my folly is a large and bright photography/ painting studio and office.

Wise Old Trees.

I have a special affection for trees and I have always thought of them as sentient beings. From my childhood bedroom in Kent, south east England, I could see a magnificent English oak tree. I loved that ancient tree, it symbolized everything that is warm and safe about home.

I was no doubt influenced by children’s books and Treebeard, the tree-giant character in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings novel, which I read for the first time when I was only eleven years old.

Treebeard is an Ent and is said by Gandalf, the wizard, to be :

the oldest living thing that still walks beneath the Sun upon this Middle-earth.

He is described as being about 14 feet (4.5 m) in height, and in appearance similar to a beech or an oak.

Finding Land To Buy.

I love to watch the way trees move, the sound of leaves rubbing against each other, the creaks and groans of bark and limb as they sway in a breeze or high wind. So, I wanted to find a plot of land to buy that already had mature trees on it. I visited about ten different plots; one was a bit of field traversed by a giant power line, another had a scrap yard as a neighbour, another looked suspiciously ready for flooding from the stream at the bottom of the garden.

Then I walked onto the plot of land that we now own, which was part of a large and mature garden. It is located quite auspiciously on a street named Rue du Bois, Wood Street, and it felt right, calm, a good place for our new home, with several one hundred year old oaks and hornbeams. Unfortunately, we had to have several trees cut down (see below) to make space for the new house. Hopefully, the remaining trees will thrive on having more space to stretch.


A Wooden House.

It may seem perverse, but even though I love living trees, I also enjoy wood and things that are made of wood. The array of the honey colours of wood, the smell of wood, the warm smooth touch of polished wood, all these characteristics bring me great joy.

Wood is one of my simple pleasures in life, which is why I want to live the next chapter of my life in a wooden house.

The design of our new house is influenced by the house (above) that we rented  for two years in Potomac, Maryland, USA …..

But also the homes we saw in south west Sweden in the summer of 2018 (above and below) ….

This is our architects mock up photo of our new home ….

Our new home designed and built by the family company Arteck, based in the east of France, will have a wood structure, thick RESPIR® walls, insulated with wood wool and fibre and painted wood weatherboarding.

Our very own fancy cabin in the woods :).


While the building is proceeding we will be putting our charming old village house on the market, in order to finance our new home. With this deadline in mind, we are currently sorting and clearing fourteen years of accumulated stuff.

And as part of the whole “not moving things that I no longer need” plan, I am launching an exclusive sale of limited edition prints especially for you, my subscribers.

The prints are 30X20 cm that have been professionally mounted in a 30X40 card. I only have one example of each image and I am offering them to you at the special price of 75€ or the equivalent in your currency

So, if you have ever thought that you would love to have one of my prints in your home, this special offer is your chance to make that thought a reality.

Click here to go to my Shop.


Everything Starts With A Thought.

A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.

– Antoine St. Exupery

Thank you for visiting and don’t hesitate to share this offer with your friends.

Take Care of Yourself,




  1. Agnès Catton

    What a lovely idea! Everything you say resonates deep inside me too. I love American wooden homes, new England style… I can’t wait to see the house and what you do with it! Congratulations on making your dreams come true.

  2. Beth

    Can’t wait to bring you some geraniums for the window boxes.

  3. Sara

    What a lovely post, Henrie. I’ll help you clear out, move and set up. Now that my huge project is out of my hands!!!

  4. J Richer

    Interesting thoughts, I’m glad various trees are being kept, the site looks very attractive.


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