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suspended terrace
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Valojoulx

La Petite Maison Noire

A little black house amid the Périgord Noir forest

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In the midst of an oak forest, La Petite Maison Noire stands as a (grand!) marvel of design. Its remarkably airy structure, crafted from wood, seamlessly merges with the natural landscapes of the Vézère Valley.

A little black house amid the Périgord Noir forest

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"A place that is both simple and powerful, where nature in motion inspires".

François instantly fell in love with the region during his first visit. His adventure began on a “dads’ weekend” – a ritual he shares with close friends. When it was his turn to organize it, he opted for a two-day micro-adventure of canoeing in the Vallée de l’Homme with the children and their dads. François found the experience to be truly magical, describing it as “a hallucination of nature”: the sight of ancient troglodyte palaces, castles perched high, a unique ecosystem, and an unforgettable encounter with a deer during a night spent camping on the riverbanks—all this, just 2km from their current home.

An (not so micro) adventure

All in suspension - © Cécile Perrinet

All in suspension - © Cécile Perrinet

After moving heaven and earth to find THE perfect plot of land, François faced a new challenge: obtaining approval for a construction project in a UNESCO-listed site. Drawing inspiration from the region’s heritage, he contemplated two options: the traditional Périgourdine house and the modern touch of the iconic blackened wooden tobacco drying shed. This blend of old and new brought La Petite Maison Noire to life.

For the house’s exterior design, François went to Sapiens Architectes—a natural choice as the local-based agency focuses on “doing better with less” driven by the desire to preserve the local land. To achieve its distinctive black color, the wooden structure was coated with a mixture of charcoal and pine resin. This unique, natural technique not only gives the house its characteristic hue but also contributes to its durability by protecting the wood from insects.

Initially envisioned as a “radical cabin” nestled among the trees, the house evolved to feature two bedrooms and two cabin beds. This layout offers the flexibility to host guests and comfortably sleep up to 6 people. Elevated on stilts, the ground floor was raised to protect the soil and includes a spacious, suspended terrace. Enhancing the unique aesthetic, a catamaran net, resembling a hammock, is integrated into the overall design, adding an element of leisure and innovation to the house.

“Perfects days” 

The meticulous interior design is the creation of Crème Studio, co-founded by none other than François’ partner, Céline. This space, which strikes a balance between cabin charm and modern design, exudes an ultra-peaceful atmosphere, with almost everything crafted from pine. A striking exception is the magnificent walnut staircase, hewn from a single tree trunk, its off-cuts cleverly repurposed into handles for the sliding walls. The space is infused with Japanese-style inspirations, from the woven floor to the low windows and custom-made kitchen furniture, creating an ambiance that invites you to wander barefoot and immerse in the serene environment.

Amidst the sleek and minimalist yet simple design, a selection of second-hand interior furnishings seamlessly find their place. Embracing a circular approach, the large farm table was salvaged from a Bordeaux winegrower, having spent 70 years in its previous life. As an unexpected example of reuse, the 1.30 m diameter bathtub, inspired by the concept of a Norwegian bath, is, in fact, an old American cattle trough.

"Designer cabin" mode activated - © Cécile Perrinet

"Designer cabin" mode activated - © Cécile Perrinet

A collection of books and a small speaker. A wood-burning stove and a chess set. This house has it all! Need something to eat? Just a few yards away is a self-service grocery store where an organic gardener offers his produce and local specialties. For a little snack, François and Céline often leave some nuts on the table for your arrival. Ready for some exploration? The Lascaux caves are just 7 km away. As a nod to the house’s history, why not take a canoe trip on the Vézère? And if a triathlon seems too intense, the summer jazz and world music festivals might be more your style. At La Petite Maison Noire, there’s always something to enjoy.

The 3 things

We love the most

The exceptional design
The total immersion in nature
The sense of simplicity

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Destination Valojoulx

Transports

Brive-la-Gaillarde Station

50 min

Restaurants

Le Boidicou

3 min

Le Petit Léon

7 min

La Table du Centenaire

20 min

Auberge de la Layotte

23 min

Nature, Culture and Heritage

0 min

Grottes de Lascaux

9 min

Gisement de Regourdou

12 min

Grottes du Roc de Cazelle

18 min

La Madeleine

19 min

La Petite Maison Noire

24290, Valojoulx, France

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