I love stone walls – not just the kind that define every property line and delineate each road in my town, but also the ones inside houses. Far from being cold, the color and texture of native stone has always seemed inviting, friendly, and somehow warm. Renovating old purpose-built structures to give them new life as people-dwellings often uncovers the beauty of those utilitarian walls of stone – where cows formerly rubbed their sides and farm tools hung now is a focal point of a high-ceilinged room. I'm particularly taken when a wall of stone is both the external and internal surface of a house, which act to even more closely connect it to its environment.
Here are some nice examples of that look by the French architect Thomas Vidalenc. Talk about old structures, the Maison Ferriers, (the 4 photos at the bottom), is mentioned as early as the year 1168. Those are some old walls! – GF