I’m Rose, an American expat living in France for almost 20 years. Originally from Portland, Oregon, after college I went to backpack Europe…et me voila.

A professionally trained pattern maker, I worked in the Paris fashion industry until recently when I decided to leave the routine of métro boulot dodo and create a simpler life in Normandy.

This transition started 3 years ago when my little family purchased a historic piece of property in Bayeux, France that we affectionately call “Our Tour” (Tour=Tower). Dating from the early 1600s, it’s a long-term restoration project that will take us many years to complete. We are extremely fortunate to have family and friends in the region able to help.

This blog is a journal of our renovation work as well as a notebook of our interior design inspirations. It’s also a tribute to the wonderful city of Bayeux and this lovely little corner of Normandy.

Thanks so much for stopping by. You can contact me at rose@rockrosewine.com

A bientôt!

My favorite stories…

    Before pics of “our Tour”: OLD TOWER LOVE

1638   Speculating on the history of “our Tour“: 1638?

neighbor Historical real-estate at low prices: WANT TO BE OUR NEIGHBOR?

CDG Visiting Normandy? See my comprehensive BAYEUX TRAVEL GUIDE

wedding Pictures from OUR WEDDING IN NORMANDY


* RockRoseWine is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon products. I have personally chosen all products featured on this site and they are all things that I can wholeheartedly endorse.

** The images featured as design inspiration have been collected from the worldwide web. These images are for visual stimulation only and are copyright to the respective owner. I have made every effort to properly credit each and every photo and in no way do I wish to misrepresent their work as my own. If you recognise an image that has been incorrectly credited or are the owner of an image that you would like to have removed, please contact me.

All other images and content on this website are property of the authors of ROCKROSEWINE.COM. If you wish to share them please properly credit RockRoseWine and link back. Thank you.

Contact: rose@rockrosewine.com

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  1. John Power

     /  March 18, 2015

    Hi Rose

    meant to get back to you a little earlier but got bogged down in removing crumbling old mortar! Thanks for all your advice which helped a lot in our decision making. We had been told by others as well that it wasn’t advisable to have insulation under the floor as the humidity from the beaten earth underneath could cause damp problems with the joists later on. It’s complicated by the fact that there’s a lot of earth alongside the walls of the ground floor (one walks out into a small walled terrace garden from the first floor which is very pretty but packs a lot of earth alongside the wall underneath). The barn is built into the side of what was probably the old riverbank as we live alongside the Loire here in Meung sur Loire so letting the walls breathe is a priority. We’ll probably end up dry lining as you suggested but we’re also exploring the option of using a traditional chanvre/chaux mix on one of the more problem walls. We’ve also gone for laine de bois on the roof as it’s south facing and can get very hot in the summer – apparently laine de bois is particularly good for this situation. Not sure what we’re going to end up doing with the floor- I love the old floorboards which resemble some of the photos you’ve posted and are full of history though we need to find some replacement planks which will prove problematic I think – I just love all that wood and reluctant to cover it up – must be something to do with my old forestry days in Oregon! It may be beaten earth downstairs but because of all the earth around the back and side walls (the other side wall backs on to the neighbours) it’s actually quite a constant temperature. Once we have the insulation on the roof we can get a better idea of what to do with the floor…but we’ll probably end up doing what you suggested.

    Decisions, decisions! I’ll let you know how it turns out in any case. Again many thanks for taking the time to respond and hope all goes well with your project!
    All the best

  2. John Power

     /  March 10, 2015

    Hi Rose

    came across your site and was hoping you might be able to give me some advice. We have a 17th century barn behind our house in the Loiret and want to renovate the top floor as a room for our teenage children (the bottom floor is still beaten earth and will probably remain so for a few more years until we can cobble together the funds!). We will be insulating the roof and some of the walls but would also like to preserve the old floorboards and the beams and joists underneath this floor so they’re visible from the ground floor. However we have been advised that we should insulate under the floorboards so I’m wondering if you have any advise on how to do that (or whether you think it’s necessary at all!)

    Also couldn’t help noticing you’re from Portland Oregon! I’m Irish but I went to Oregon State and then spent a few years in Portland some years back so have very fond memories of Americas most beautiful state!

    Hoping you can help

    • Hi John, Thanks so much for your message… I’ve been kinda out of the loop for a while (no internet, but so much progress renovation wise) and just saw this now. I will send you a more elaborate reply later, but I can’t tell you how much the modern drywall/insulation helps. Depending on the condition of the joists you could expose it all or do like we did on the bedroom floor and drywall between the beams. I will post more pics later of the two floors and the two different styles… The bedroom ceiling is laine de roche (rockwool) + drywall but the beams are left exposed and brut. The living room will be completely exposed with plaster “maps” inbetween the joists. I would suggest really studying where you lose heat and insulate accordingly and make exposed spots as accents. We have the luck to be a city house and not lose too much heat with the exposed walls/ceilings because the house is a city row house. A country house is not the same. Exposed stone and ceilings do make for a cold house! Thanks again for your message, I’ll keep in touch.

      • Just reread your message. If the bottom floor is beaten earth, you may not want to put in a clean ceiling. You could leave the ceiling exposed, but add a new floor with insulation over the floor boards and installing a new modern floor. That way the upstairs can be insulated without covering the joists from the bottom floor and the kids are cozy above. You could also do it in a manner so that the new floating floor could be taken out at a later date once you finish the ground floor and the ground floor is not so rough.
        Sounds like a great project and yay Oregon!

  3. Sina Kamalni

     /  January 30, 2014

    You have a picture of a beautiful white “house” bunk bed on your site. Where can I buy this?

  4. shiho

     /  March 5, 2013

    Didn’t know you bought a house in Normandy!
    Karl’s mother has a second house in Normandy too!

  5. Elle Belle

     /  March 4, 2013

    salut, keep it up…


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