Manor seems a bit pretentious, don't you think? That was the name of our house - Stonecrest Manor - when it operated as a Bed and Breakfast and it suited it well for that purpose. For our raucous family of 6 though, perhaps we will just stick with Stonecrest. The house is aptly named as it sits on the literal crest of a large hill and was crafted from stones pulled from the creekbed in the hollow. The hollow is nestled in a vertical patch of woods, a creek cutting straight down the spine and creating plenty of planting pockets for itsy bitsy little bulbs and cascading flowers (something RED I am thinking), mounds of moss and copious amounts of ivy.
|A portion of the wild wood and hollow|
This is a picture from our first visit, snapped very quickly. Note the overgrown flower beds and the ivy cascading over the stone walls. That has been tamed somewhat, but I look forward to planting out those beds this spring. I am also considering planting something in between those pavers aside from grass and weeds. Maybe thyme?
A closer look...all the stonework was in good condition, but the plants need a helping hand. That little cutout in the stone is lit up (though we haven't got the lights working yet....details) and there are actually four of them along the front stone wall. One is hidden in the photo behind the river of ivy.
Of course, you couldn't actually WALK down the hill because there were weeds up to your knees and we had no clue what the topography of the land was like and could have easily broken an ankle. It turns out the hill is actually graded in a logical, terraced manner. More to come on that once we start talking garden planning and chickens :) For now, here is another view of the late summer green.
|A portion of the grounds at Stonecrest five years ago|
This room has already changed quite a bit. It was first on my list when we moved in and I tried to have patience, but the red carpet really drove me bonkers. This room used to be the billiards room and there was a pool table under that light over there. Of course, when we got the house, there was no light fixture at all, so we grabbed up that little pendant for $5 at Lowes as a placeholder and it really grew on me. That placeholder is going to be permanent, I believe!
Anyway...back to that carpet. It is nice carpet - thick and plush - and I tried to live with it and work with it, but it just wasn't working. This is the room I take my product photos in and the carpet was creating a red cast on everything and it was so PINK and one night I simply had enough and up it came! I had a sneaky suspicion that the floors underneath were going to look a bit like this...
It just isn't working for us, so the cheapest thing to change is of course the PAINT. The walls will get a coat and the bed will probably get a coat and we will see how the carpet recedes when they do. I am going to try to live with the green and embrace it for as long as I can. Think whites, muted gold, blacks and a little muted taupe and the green could start to become a knockout. We shall see...
|This was another guest room for the bed and breakfast, but is currently our little girl's nursery.|
One of the biggest selling points, but one of the most daunting spaces to tackle is the main courtyard. This space is the heart of the home, and has skylights that allow plants to grow year round. The other rooms all branch off of the courtyard creating a space that feels a bit like a town square with little apartments on either side. Currently, the courtyard is empty, save a host of fabulous plants from Southern Living. I was also able to add lighting to this space (see the missing fixtures/electrical boxes?) with these cool outdoor lights. It serves us well as an open "playland" of sorts that transformed into our Thanksgiving dining room and will hopefully someday morph into my dream orangery. (yes, really) I also dream of ivy draping down from all of those iron balconies...can't you just see it?
|THE FRONT DOOR|
|THE FRONT PORCH|
|CHRISTMAS AT STONECREST|
|THANKSGIVING AT STONECREST|
|THE MASTER BEDROOM -- WHICH STILL NEEDS MUCH WORK!|
|All the "BEFORES"|