Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A Heart of Stone

Houses in Brittany - part 2 - walls

Welcome back. I have some wondeful pictures of dream houses for you today! 

Most traditional houses in Brittany are made of stones. Most, not all, some of them are built in wattle and daub and timber.

La plupart des maisons bretonnes traditionnelles sont construites en pierre. Mais certaines sont en torchis et colombages, comme cette maison de Lamballe.

But as a little girl I always fancied living in a stone house.

Mais, moi, depuis toute petite, j'ai rêvé d'habiter dans une maison en pierre.

Via Wikipedia
In the South of Brittany, where I spent some holidays as a child, stones have happy shades going from yellow to cream.

Dans le sud de la Bretagne, les pierres sont plus claires que dans le nord. Mais les pierres sombres du nord ont vraiment fini par conquérir mon coeur. 

Found on the "to buy" adds of some local newspaper, can't remember which, though.

In the North of Brittany, where I live now, stones are darker. They have really grown on me.

It's also quite common around here to have bricks around the windows and doors.

I believe though that those houses aren't that old, probably the early nineteenth century, but I haven't checked that, it's just a feeling, given how those houses are built.

Il est aussi fréquent d'avoir des briques autour des ouvertures. Dans ma propre maison, lors des travaux, j'ai retrouvé des briques marquées du nom de villages alentours, où se trouvaient auparavant des briqueteries.

I found old bricks when renovating my house, marked "Saint-Brieuc" and "Binic", two towns very close to my house. None of these towns still have brick fabrics (it's a little weird to say it out loud).

There's also a small part of the coast a little farther north that's called the Pink Granite Coast, because granite there has a very stunning pink shade.

Sur la côte de granit rose, on trouve des maisons qui utilisent avec parcimonie ou pas, le granit typique de cette toute petite côte.

Some houses are built using this granite.

If you have a look at the stones surrounding the windows, they are pink. The house below was found on Clévacances, which means you can rent it for holidays! Woudn't you fancy spending the summer there?

This one is so pink it's unreal. Because the stones are very regular, I suspect it was built after WWII. I'm sorry about the bin in the front, but this is the picture that was used by the owner to sell their house on OuestFranceImmo site!

Lots of the houses built after WWII are built of concrete with only details in granite. We call them "neo-bretonne".

Après la Seconde Guerre Mondiale a commencé la construction des maisons néo-bretonnes qui n'utilise plus le granit qu'à des fins "décoratives".

Because such was the trend in houses these days, some old stone houses had their stone walls recovered, like the one below.

C'était tellement la mode qu'on a même enduit des maisons qui étaient réellement en pierre!

This is what happened to my little fisherman's cottage also.

C'est ce qui est arrivé à ma Petite Maison.

Now this study wouldn't be complete without mentionning the kind of house people love building these days in Brittany.

Je ne peux pas ne pas évoquer les constructions qui poussent comme des champignons autour de mon cottage: des cubes gris et blancs qui s'emboîtent les uns dans les autres... Cela a une certaine classe parce que c'est très géométrique.

They look like cubes that collided in one another. Two very similar to that one were built next to my cottage.

Now, if you were to spend holidays in Brittany, which one would you choose to spend time in?

Bon, alors, laquelle choississez-vous pour vos prochaines vacances?

Thanks for joining me today!

PS: If you missed part 1 and want to see more wonderful houses, go here.

Si vous avez manqué la première partie et mourrez d'envie de voir d'autres maisons, cliquez ici.

I'm going to offer some eye-candy to the following parties.


  1. some interesting sand beautiful styles! i like the smaller cottages, the 2nd and yours. love the blue windows.

  2. Oh no, I would prefer to stay in the quaint stone cottage and not the newer modern one. I wonder what the motivation is for the modern design in your last image?

    1. I think they are looking for clean lines and minimalist outside decoration. Of course, I prefer stone cottages as well.

  3. Oui, elles font vraiment rêver ces maisons bretonnes, et il est bien difficile de choisir... Mais finalement, la tienne, même si elle est moins grande et moins luxueuse que les "super belles" est tout de même bien mignonne.

  4. Oh, my! All are so lovely. I would stay at the house with the blue ladder or the one with the blue door and the red chair waiting for me. I lvoe primary colors.

    I live in a little cottage on the coast of California. I will be back to compare life on opposite oceans.

  5. Oh my, how could I choose?? It would definitely be a charming old house, not the modern style. Thank you for visiting my blog and your sweet comment. You are set to "no reply" so I was unable to answer you via email, but wanted you to know I appreciate your visit! Keep the lovely photos coming :)

    Jeanette @ Creating A Life

  6. How sad they cover the beautiful stone with stucco.

    I'd just like a stone cottage. Once we rented a stone cottage in Yorkshire, England. It was so much fun.

    We have a mix of styles here. One of them is mid-century modern. Some people are buying them and sand blasting the stuff that later owners covered the cinderblock with, and they look spectacular.

  7. I love them all! Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog! I have an "Open House" Party in a few hours and would love to have you share them there!!!!

  8. I love them all! Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog! I have an "Open House" Party in a few hours and would love to have you share them there!!!!

  9. I love the stone homes! So beautiful!

  10. The stone homes offer so much character while at the same time looking quaint. We have some small cottages near the lake where I live in Ontario that are all stone and have a stone fence at the front. No one seems to know why they were made of this material but the stonemason that built them, and the fences did a wonderful job. Give me this type of house over a modern look any time.
    I am enjoying your blog and am now a new follower.

  11. Beautiful pictures; I look forward to your journey. I'm a new follower!


  12. Hello
    I love Brittany although I've only visited twice!
    My daughter lives in Burgundy so I arrive from New Zealand at Charles de Gaulle and I'm whisked into the Burgundy countryside where I remain for 6 to 8 weeks!!!

    These houses are wonderful in the first few photos and quite reminiscent of the area where I stay. I'm not so keen on the new concrete ones.
    I'll be back - please pop over and see me too - I'm now following you!
    Shane ♥

  13. Even though I love modern (or some of it) I love, love the quaint stone cottages. I've seen a little bit of Brittany during my travels in France when I lived in Zurich..., looong time ago.

  14. How enchanting, I love the old stone houses - where I live there is a lot of granite - several buildings were made from this granite and by old-world craftsman. Sadly, some of these structures no longer stand. Some of the granite here is pink - love it - I do appreciate you taking us on this tour and sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  15. Stone cottages all the way. Even here in the US we have stone house, but of course they are all newer. I do tend to gravitate towards them much more than a brick home. I love the uniqueness that stone offers. Fine me a cute stone cottage. I believe I am ready to move.

  16. Hello Magali,
    I have been going through your blog, and have enjoyed it so much. Like you, I love walking through neighborhoods to look at the homes, their decor, landscaping, etc. I live in a very historic area, Washington, DC area, and I'm constantly taking pictures of the old homes. And I love your home, can't wait to see your progress, it's wonderful as is.
    Hope that you are feeling better soon.


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