A Horse Lover’s Timber House


When Stephanie first landed in Vanuatu back in 2004, she had little idea that she was here to stay. On a three-month contract with Eloise Viart’s Seahorse Ranch on Devils Point Road, one thing led to another and thirteen years later, she is still here. In 2010, Stephanie decided it was time to settle a little bit more and bought her land at Bellevue. Clearing the land and building the stables and club house was a lot of work but Stephanie took to it, while teaching horse riding at Club Hippique and English at the Port Vila French School.

After Cyclone Pam did substantial damage to her ranch, she decided it was time to build a ‘proper’ house. “I thought that David Girardeau would be totally out of my budget, but well, it does not hurt to ask.”

david-girardeau-1David’s company, Techno Bois Deco is well known in Vanuatu for the artistry of its work, from furniture to kitchens, bathrooms, staircases, windows, and now, its original timber houses.

As it happens, David was not out of her budget and Stephanie could build the house she really wanted. “I always wanted a wooden house. The club house is wood as well and the house just blends perfectly with the rest of the ranch.”

david-6Unlike the expansive houses that David has built in the past, this horse lover’s residence is a small two-bedroom house, built to fit a smaller budget. David’s timber homes are all exquisite but their different sizes and designs cater for all tastes and budgets. From one-bedroom cottages, small villas, to homes of every size, his concept in timber houses can be adapted to suit specific individual needs.

david-2A busy woman with 80 clients at her ranch, as well as teaching English at the French School, her home was built right on time. “I was not planning to have children but as it happened, a few months into the building, I became pregnant.” The house was finished a couple of months before baby Roxanne’s arrival into the world. With all the high quality and craftsmanship characteristic of David’s work, the floors, doors, windows, and cabinets are crafted using hard woods with extensive use of kwila. All fixtures and fittings are top of the range and sourced from France, Germany and Italy to ensure maximum durability.

david-4Maximising space and the fusion between outdoor and indoor spaces is another feature of David’s timber houses. The houses are constructed using hard wood oval frames and exposed beams that support the structure and are themselves, the main feature of the houses. “It is also very easy for our clients,” explains David. “Our timber homes include everything, from the initial design and plans, to the last fixture and fitting: everything is included in the quote and organised by us. We work with our clients in the design of their home, and after that, all they need to do is collect the keys at the end.”

The houses are elevated, ensuring that humidity is never a problem and cleverly engineered for easy access to water pipes and all electrical mapping.

david-5Stephanie is a happy woman. “I love the style of my home and the materials used to build it. It is warm and beautiful, everything is high quality and it works, which is such a novelty for me after having lived in old houses for so long!” French artist and long-term Vanuatu resident Sophie De Garam, gave the house a very special touch, with a painting of a horse on one of living room walls. “It was a great gift from Sophie, to have this wonderful piece of art in my house that symbolises what I love.”

Another happy customer on David’s list. For more information, check Techno Bois Deco website www.technoboisdeco.com.vu.