Sick & working from home last week, I wasn’t super thrilled about leaving the house to visit a job-site without heat- but this was one appointment I wasn’t missing. One of Chris’s clients was converting an old mansion in the mountains to a wedding & event rental venue – a literal holy grail project combining what may be two of my favorite things, weddings and super gorgeous beautifully landscaped estates!
As soon as we pulled up I was in love, this place is FULL of raw potential. A simple white fence lines the drive now, cross a small bridge, and ahead, “Chez Nous” An architect built mansion made custom just for his sister, where a crew works tirelessly to restore the building to it’s former splendor. But a vision for someday in the not-too-distant future see’s a grand iron gate and a tree lined drive with wrought iron railings along the sides of the bridge to ensure when guests pull up, they know they have arrived.
We pull up and are greeted by the new front door, a gargantuan Brazilian Mahogany double door with intricate leaded glass is sure to drive that feeling home with future guests, I can tell I’m gonna like this client’s style!
The entry to the home is my favorite feature – having been fresh off a wedding of my own, I can instantly envision a bride making her way down the grand staircase from the Suite on the second floor for a first look with her husband, this entry is actually big enough for it! (The photographer needs to be able to get some distance for a good shot). Some of my favorite photos from our wedding are in the entryway from the house WE rented for ours and the color of their entryway actually inspired our dining room color so I am very excited to put my signature on this space!
Off the entry sits a room I wish I had the opportunity to decorate more often, a formal parlor room! An original white mantle with a ribbon motif I am in love with and is definitely going to be used as a decorative element throughout the house anchors the center of the room. I would love to see a mural or some hand-painted wall covering make a real statement in this space.
On the opposite side of the chimney from the formal sitting room lies the library, This space is where the building gets it’s namesake, though it’s been removed for safekeeping during construction, the original mantle reads, “NOTRE PETIT COIN EST SI DOUX – POUR VIVRE HEUREUX RESTONS CHEZ NOUS.” Which in french, makes it clear why the original owners decided this was the spot to be, it reads “Our little corner is so sweet to live – Happy to stay at Home.” and that my friends is precisely the way our client would like their guests to feel, At Home! And right in the center, what seems to be a bit of the home’s sigil, the same ribbon bow from the formal parlor.
Another amazing original detail in this space is the shared wall with the stone conservatory, intricate painted glass windows allow light to flow into the library from the conservatory and with its rich warm colors and details, I can’t wait to pick up on it in some furnishings. Below is another cool feature, these millwork pieces are original as well and were built in Troy N.Y. and delivered in one piece by rail car! They still have the paperwork on the backs!
Chris’s domain is the Kitchen, A bit of a reversal from our typical roles but this is his baby, truly the most gorgeous design he has put together with stacked cabinets bringing together the kitchen with a built in eating area and a massive triangular island perfect for spreading out a gourmet feast. It is appointed with everything the professional could ask for; a 48″ gas range and built in refrigerator. And just off the kitchen, a living area, bar, and butlers pantry centered around the large brick chimney. We’ll share more as we polish the design!
Upstairs lies an array of beautiful bedrooms and baths all ready to be brought back to life, my favorite however has got to be the Bridal Suite. We will be doing a full spa bathroom and a large closet dressing area in this space that I WISH I had for my big day, the only place I could find to hang my dress day of was off the beam in the center of the living room! As you can see from the view of that bathroom below, the space has a bit of a ways to go… nothing like a blank canvas!
Upstairs features another surprise, picture framed figured oak floors and a “Music Room” I know will become a favorite hangout for guests, both for relaxing and late night antics – The ceiling is so beautiful, I think a celestial mural may be just the thing for this space as you can see this ceiling from the front door. And just when you think you’ve seen the whole place, buckle up for Phase Two – Though for now, it won’t be touched there is a skylit staircase you’d expect to lead to an attic, but instead there’s a THIRD floor, featuring more bedrooms, two bathrooms and just when you think you’d seen it all, a ballroom!
It’s a bit of an overwhelming undertaking, furnishing 10,000 square feet, but I’m ready to bite this one off and excited to put the Northshire Living mark on the space, I hope you enjoy the journey with us!
Note: For all you Shiplap fans, I’m sorry but it’s going, I love shiplap too but it’s totally wrong for the house – does not fit with the home’s aesthetic at all! The previous owner got a smokin’ deal on shiplap & carpet and put it everywhere. It ended up being a good thing because it protected a lot of the wonderful original bits. If I can find a utilitarian space to use it I may as a nod to the buildings story but even the laundry room has beautiful millwork on the walls so I don’t know if it will be possible!