Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WE Have Floors - Move in- 4 Weeks!

During my house visit yesterday,  I was delighted with new additions to the house.  I have been nervous over the stain color of the main level's floors .  We were going for a grey tone French white oak wide plank look, but we didn't want to spend the money for the real deal!   So our plan was to mimic the look. 
We installed white oak wide plank flooring. We lightly sanded them and left the saw marks prominent to get a more rustic feel.  After trying several combinations of walnut and grey stains mixed together, we finally just stained them min wax grey.  The oak wood tends to want to go brown and just a little bit of walnut stain, made them look too dark. 

See how the above sample got very brown with just a thimble full of walnut added to the grey!
So we eliminated the walnut stain!

The baseboard is actually a dark gray, but is still covered in paper to protect it from the staining process.  

The resulting color is a soft soothing grey.  We finished the floors with a light satin finishing coat.
I didn't want any shine and they achieved my goal!   The floors blend beautifully with the Montana snow fencing arches and the Sherwin Williams Mindful gray walls.  

Now for the lower level floors!!!  This decision caused numerous nights of lost sleep!  As a money saving solution, we installed maple hardware and lacquered it a gloss white!  The color is Benjamin Moore Moonshine- a perfect white with gray undertones.  What you are seeing is 3 coats of paint, with the top coat still drying.   A fourth and final coat will be applied tomorrow! 

While I cannot walk on these floors yet, I am so excited to see the rest of them.  I think they will lighten up the lower level and give it a modern twist!  On this floor, modern elements will mix with French antiques!   Lot's of cow rugs should add some rustic touches!   
  I can't wait to see how this all comes together. 

 Deck rails went up!

 Balcony rails went up. 
They are the same design as the decks, but have an additional decorative panel in the centers.

 A cement wall is being constructed in the front of the house.  It will be covered with Doggett Mountain stone and then capped to form a parking pad for guests.  Fill dirt will be added and then Gray Dublin Cobblestone pavers will be laid.  

And today, we met with the landscape architect to review the plans for plantings!  We have to plant all the ground cover and install soil  erosion features  to get a certificate of occupancy.  So we are getting started next week!

And the chandeliers continue to go up!  This Aiden Gray chandelier was hung today in the conservatory.  I love the contrast with the Doggett Mountain Stone walls.  

And just to put a final happy dance in my feet,  the electrician began to permanently power up the house and start to install dimmers and switches.   I can't wait to have wine and cheese in this room!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Only Six Weeks to Go- to MOVE IN DAY!

The house building site is like a big bee hive right now.  Contractors on top of contractors, buzz saws, hammers, and just general chatter of how are we going to get this done.  I must say that this project has gone pretty smooth. However, as we near completion, a few  incorrect details seem to be popping up! 

Correct bath tub style- but not with the air system!  Has to go back!

The master shower system was to be fabricated in two finishes- pewter and polished nickel- to blend with both sides of our his and her bath.  Jay's is pewter, mine is polished nickel.  As you can see, the temperature controls are polished nickel and the frame is pewter. 

However, the shower head, also planned to be polished nickel, is in fact - pewter!  Ughhhhhhh!

The shutters for the stucco sections of the house arrived Friday.  We are not happy with the
short straps - they seem not properly scaled.

This one looks wider than the window- but its an optical illusion.  Are the short straps causing it?
Got to get this figured out- time to consult our architect!

The Montana snow fencing is starting to be installed around the lower level of the stairwell.  But the
materials were found to be bowed and dis-colored. We are waiting for another shipment- may be here by the end of the week.

 On the brighter side of things, Chad and Brian continue to do amazing work.  The distressed ceiling
is laid in the master bedroom in perfect formation.

The stone work on the fireplace, has been expertly laid by Eric and the fireplace
is almost complete.  I love the large stone above the opening- another stone
hauled over to our site from our project manager's property in Yancey County.  God bless him!

The stonework on the center of the house is almost complete.  We just need a few warmer days to
finish it.  Meanwhile,  the front yard is starting to get excavated and drainage pipes laid.

The ceilings of the outdoor decks are beginning to get their finishing details
with the v-groove paneled ceiling being started. 

 And just in time to soothe my ruffled feathers from all the on-site issues, a box arrives from Ebay.
A pair of 1920's door handles made of cut crystal and art deco stamped brass make me smile.
These little beauties will be perfect on the barn doors on the lower level.  Can't wait to see them up!

I am so happy that these were found and saved.   I can only imagine their original home- maybe in a grand hotel in  the 1920's.   And now on to their new home in the mountains of North Carolina!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Building a New Home- The Finishing Details

It is very exciting to visit the new house every week now.  Every visit new details are revealed by our team of awesome builders and we fall more in love with our new home.

We are so excited about our new front door.  Greg Paolini  and crew (Canton, NC)  built this massive
front door from scratch using mushroom boards.  Mushroom boards are harvested from mushroom farms where the acidity and spores expose the knots in the hemlock wood.   It is quite rugged and looks like it is a thousand year old door.

Rocky Mountain Hardware made the hand forged lock of bronze.
It is the perfect oversized scale for the 9 foot high door.

We are lucky to have Chad and Brian- master finish carpenters- to create the door jam to hang this door.  Their attention to detail is amazing and every corner lines up perfectly.

 Chad and Brian installed the distressed wood ceilings in all of the guest bedrooms. 

The crystal bubble chandelier is hung on the wood ceiling and looks so pretty and soft.

 Chad on the scaffolding in the master bedroom, creating the four sided ceiling design.

The 20 foot high arches have been fabricated by Appalachian Hardwoods in Waynesville of Montana snow fencing and are the perfect aged gray.  Chad and Brian meticulously installed the beams and pieced the puzzle together to create the arches. 

The 60 inch antler chandelier was made by an artisan in Bozeman, Montana, named Fish Fisher!
Made of bleached elk, fallow deer and red tail antlers, it will be dripping with antique crystals in a few weeks!  Fish drilled the small holes for me to hang my collection of old crystals from the antlers.

The limestone mantle was installed this week, complete with electrical outlets on top for
Christmas lights!

Another ingenuous idea from my building crew- they cut a plywood replica of the new exhaust hood and placed it on the wall instead of the real one. They can cut the stone and edge it close to the plywood, rather than possibly scratching the new black and brass hood.  After the stone is complete, the hood can be fit snuggly into place. 

Light fixture for the larder installed. I love the Parisian bistro vibe in this room.

The tile installers are starting finishing details- like the beautiful polished drain in the shower floor.
I love the long linear design with the grille like drain openings.

After years of searching and finally selecting materials,  all of the little details are starting to come together!  It is very gratifying. You just hope that you don't make a mistake! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

Yesterday, the Christmas spirit finally arrived!  I drove down to my friend Jill's new home to visit and go shopping in Greenville. Knowing her Christmas routine very well ( 35 years of friendship), I took my camera along to capture some "in-progress" Christmas décor.  I wasn't disappointed!

Nostalgia is a powerful thing.  As I watched Jill creating her first Christmas vignettes in her new home, memories came flooding back.  As each little element was added, we would remember where it had been purchased throughout the past 35 years.  It seems that so many of them were purchased together at Christmas open houses, antique stores and of course, Marshall Fields and Romancing the Home.   One of our favorite rituals was to attend the day after Thanksgiving Christmas open house at Kimball and Bean.  We would fill up the car with new goodies- oh so much fun. 

The new 10 foot tree - flocked with snow- beginning to be filled with ornaments in blues and natural tones.   Gonna need a big ladder for the top!

The massive stone fireplaces looking amazing with greenery, feathers and magnolias.

 The center of the mantle is a cornucopia of a past favorite- a rhinestone embellished tumble weed from Romancing the Home - and new finds from Biltmore Village in Asheville last week!
I love the blue feather boa in the mix.

Sitting on the hearth- a vignette of glittered reindeer with fur collar and a very special handmade
Santa from Romancing the Home!  The little bird with the crown on the antique wood box is a find from this year!  

Ready for a fire, a glass of wine  and a few presents to open!

Another handmade Santa from Romancing the Home in past years.
He is all settled in next to his reindeer.

On to the kitchen to find this sweet display.  A wonderful French Santa made by Dee Gann and purchased at an open house at Kimball and Bean. 
And those bronze ferns- another Romancing the Home find- used to soften the setting. 
Sugared pomegranates show up for another encore Christmas too!

The two Santas are placed on a tartan cloth and stand in front of a beautiful pine buffet
with the menu from Jill's daughter's wedding last year.

Velvet fruit- one of the first items sold at Romancing the Home in 1997. It was a gorgeous collection of velvet grapes, apples, plums, pears and we sold hundreds of pieces.  The iced cabbages, another winning item at Romancing the Home.  We sold out and couldn't get enough! And then another great item. the velvet pumpkins  from Hot Skwash. This year they have added feathers to the stems.
Jill found them in Denver, while visiting her sister.

Another Dee Gann Santa from Kimball and Bean. A rhinestone embellished pear from Romancing the Home is mixed in with old pewter to create a countertop display!

Whew!  And she is just beginning to decorate- This is only the beginning of 2 rooms!
I hope to share a completely decorated home with you in a few weeks!

We left the decorating behind and headed out to Greenville. 
After all, we have to make new memories too!
Off to find more Christmas décor-

After a successful shopping trip, I headed  back to Asheville to get dressed for the Biltmore Estate Candle Light Celebration.  Driving up to the front of the grand  house, Christmas magic over comes you.   A heavy rain had just ended and the sky turned pink. 
Under the magnificent sky,  Biltmore House and it's big tree glowed brightly! 

Yes, the Christmas spirit has certainly arrived!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Building my Home- New Details Every Day!

It's getting intense now----Last week I had to visit the house building site on three different occasions- to solve a sconce placement issue, to okay the parking area in the front of the house and something else which I now have forgotten!  It all is blurring together! But every visit, something new surprised me.

My old antique door- hauled here from Chicago- was installed as the door to the conservatory!
I love it's old beveled glass inserts and old wood patina-

The fireplace in the dining hall was built with Doggett Mountain stone and  beams that were
harvested from an old barn.  The large mossy stone in the center was found in the yard of our project manager.  He unearthed it and brought it to me for approval and of course I loved it!
I wish the moss would stay forever, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

The fireplace on the screened porch.  Again the header was found in our project manager's yard!

Large arched beams were delivered for the gathering room.  They were fabricated by Appalachian Hardwoods in Waynesville, NC of reclaimed Montana snow fencing.  They have this beautiful soft gray color and weathered patina from years of  holding the blowing snow off the Montana freeways.

 They used the same material to fabricate the 5 beams that will cross the dining hall ceiling.

A pair of old oak library doors are installed on barn door hardware to hide the laundry and craft room on the lower level.  I hate oak, but these have such a beautiful old patina that I might just leave them.  My original thought was to paint them a peacock blue lacquer.  I will have to ponder this a while! Meanwhile the lower level library is getting a coat of the peacock blue lacquer paint and I do love it.

This week will bring other exciting details to decide on- the master fireplace and what type of cobblestone pavers for the driveways.  And then of course there is Thursday- Turkey Day- so I must share with you a picture that I took on Thursday  of my plentiful new neighbors-

These two birds were accompanied with 5 other ones! 
On Tuesday, Jay and I ran into a flock of 14 turkeys.  
Yes, I am sure they will be happy when Thursday is over! 
They can quit running-

Happy Thanksgiving!