The Project

The Past:

A few years ago, on the banks of the Loire, I fell in love with France. I suddenly knew that I wanted to live in this amazing country and I knew that I wanted to share my home with fellow creatives. At first the vision was grand: I would get a mortgage and invest in a large property with lots of land and outbuildings that could be turned into workshops and accommodation.

Reality struck though when I realised that I did not want to be shackled with a large debt.  I put the dream to one side, only talking about it occasionally. And then one friend, who had bought a property in the Haute Vienne, sent me the details of a small barn 5km from her house. Attached to other properties on three sides, the barn needed someone to love it and make something of it. That someone turned out to be me.  

It took five years of using the spare cash from my teacher's salary to pay the artisans who transformed the building for me. I will always be grateful to them for their patience and kindness and the fact that with one exception (the man who took 7k off me for the doors) they were all lovely.  

Inside, the only new large items are the bed, bathroom fittings, oven and kitchen white goods. The rest of the furniture is an eclectic mix of formica and slightly battered stuff of indeterminate age.  If you are a fan of all things modern, stop reading now: there isn't even WIFI nor a TV.

The Present:

Since May, 2023, The Little Barn has been ready to share with friends and family. For the time being,  priority is given to friend-artists who need somewhere to work, rest or play in order to be their true and creative selves, away from their familiar distractions. Please see the 'Retreats' and 'Residencies' secion for more details. 

If you are interested in a residency, retreat, or even a straightforward and affordable holiday, please see the relevant sections on this site. It is important for me to stress that this is a NOT FOR PROFIT project. If you stay on a retreat or holiday basis, you will be asked to donate a small fixed sum towards bills and the upkeep of the barn and an additional sum of your own choosing to the residency pot (if you can afford it) - this money will be given to at least one artist during the following year to support them during a residency period.

The Future:

The goal is to offer workshops and collaborative retreats in the future. When I can spend more time in the Haute Vienne, I dream of a garden in which to grow fruit and vegetables, a second property or piece of land for glamping and a community darkroom. 

Thank you to graphic designer, Laurent Huchet for the logo and his patience while he worked on the design. He is keen to state that it is not finished...