So another year of mountain living has passed and I find myself catching up on all the happenings from the past year. It seems that once you have been going to a place long enough things become routine and not that exciting. We cut grass and pull weeds, plant trees and flowers, go to Lowe’s and Wal-Mart, eat at Boondocks and The Hotel Tavern. The weekends start to look the same except for a few times out of the year when there’s a new restaurant or some other happening. That’s where I find myself now. Not that I’m bored or anything, the mountains are just becoming more like home and the new adventures happen in other places.
The biggest change in the last year has been the completion of the house. We now have a larger space and have taken full advantage of its completion. It was a year ago in August that we moved out stuff in and got busy making it our own. The additional space has provided us with the opportunity to share our love of the mountains with our family and friends. At Thanksgiving time we had enough space to invite one of my mom’s sisters and her husband to join us. At Christmas we had our first “real” tree in the house, bought by my brother and sister-in-law at one of the tree farms just down the road. My parents have brought friends and my Aunt Carol came down from Michigan to spend some time and I’ve been able to have girls’ weekends with two of my friend groups as well.
There’s so much to say about the house but I’ll limit to some of my favorite features, otherwise you’d be reading for a really long time and probably wonder how much longer this post could go on…anyway:
- The Covered Porch-I could sit out here all day and all night I think. When we had just the Garattage (now referred to as the “West Wing”) our outdoor space was limited to the flat part of the meadow and offered no shade except for the umbrella we used. With the new porch we have shade but also light thanks to 3 skylights. Air flows through from our normal mountain breezes as well as ceiling fans. The sound system is wired to speakers outside so you can listen to music as you admire the scenery before you. And when it gets just a little chilly there is a wood burning fireplace to keep you toasty warm. Not to mention the comfy chairs that have been purchased for sitting, which are often fought over 🙂
- The Upstairs Bedroom (aka my room or the guest room)-When the house was being built one of the decisions to make was the paint color for the walls. Mom and dad chose one color for the whole place, but I was given the opportunity to chose the color for the upstairs bedroom and bathroom. I of course took to Pinterest and had in mind a kind of light blue/green type color to make the room feel like part of the sky and just serene and relaxing. The color I ended up with was Sweet Dreams by Benjamin Moore and every time I walk in the room I just love it even more. In the bedroom we also built in a twin sized reading nook below two of the windows, which is the perfect place for not only reading, but catching a quick snooze or accommodating an extra guest. And the final feature of the room I love is the barn door on the bathroom. Once I saw the plans I thought it made sense to have a barn door versus a conventional door since that would have to open into the bathroom and be right next to the bathtub. Our builder, George used wood from an old barn and pieced it together to make the door. Did I also mention the bathroom has a heated floor? Ahh…the warmth 🙂
- The unique touches-houses can be pretty standard when you think about it, sure we add furniture and paint but other than that they’re all pretty much the same. It’s the unique architectural and decorative pieces that truly make them stand out. We’re fortunate enough to have a builder that not only knows construction but also design and isn’t afraid to try something new or different. We have a shelf held up by 4 rhododendron branches, railings on our staircase made from locust tree branches, and an array of rhododendron branches covering the space above the outdoor fireplace. We also looked to the past to inspire one of our design choices and ended up with 3 stained glass windows above the doors to the porch, whose design came from windows that were in my grandparents’ house in St. Louis. They really add a special touch to the house and remind me of all our visits over the years.
So that’s my little (or not so little) house update. I know there have been other things that have happened over the last year and probably at the time I was like I should write about this, but then time slipped away and here I am today. Hopefully they’ll come to me and I’ll be sharing more stories sooner rather than later, but I make no guarantees 🙂