I have to tell y’all about this fun project I am working on in Asheville, NC! I love Asheville so when my e-clients from there bought a new house and said “you have to come see it in person,” I was on board! I arrived this past Friday to cold temps and snow flurries…When we drove into “Lovely Manor” (the name given the home by the original owners), it was truly magical.
Beautiful trees and snow flurries and a VERY interesting rock and brick house. Lovely Manor was built in 1982 but looks and feels as if it has been nestled there in the trees for decades.
And then we opened the front door, and it got even more interesting.. The entry is large and striking with the beautiful and ornate handrail and ironwork and slate and marble flooring BUT the chandeliers and walls and “feel” are definitely 1982. I almost expected Donna Mills to walk down the stairs in shoulder pads! Seriously the house is such an interesting mix of European chateau feel and Knots Landing! The original homeowners and builders of the house were German entrepreneurs who settled in Asheville and built a typewriter correction tape business! So you can definitely feel their European roots in the home as well as the trends of the day in which it was built.
The house has 6″ brick walls THROUGHOUT even interior walls an they are covered in a white popcorn like plaster…yes the walls and ceilings have this finish. So our first estimate is to see about plastering over the “popcorn” to add a new smoother texture. I am thinking white walls, almost a Spanish feel to the walls…and of course ripping up carpet for dark hardwoods which will look great with the rock and setting.
The double sided rock fireplace separates the family room from the formal living room (which has a wall of mirror;)
My challenge is rework and furnish this space for a young family!
Below, looking from the rear of the main living area downstairs back toward the glam entry. Hello 1980s “sunken room.” Notice the texture of the ceiling and the wall of mirrors to the left.
We are keeping the rails and marble but of course replacing the light with a large very simple lantern. Carpet is going away. Like I said, it is going to be a challenge to balance the glam entry with the rustic woodsy feel of the exterior and some of the rock work and the modern kitchen. We are going to keep the German Poggenpohl cabinets but paint the brick and of course lose the fluorescent lighting. We are keeping the tile and really trying to work with what we can throughout the house to keep costs down because this is a young family and they really don’t want to spend money gutting the house completely but do want to update it and make it fit their taste lifestyle.
For such a large house the kitchen is really not that large at all. But is nice size. I can’t wait to add pendants over the island and change faucets! Love the cool pantry below.
The kitchen epitomizes the design “tension” in the house…half modern, half cottagey charm….another example, the dutch door (meet my clients’ cute little boys, they also have a baby boy)..there are two dutch doors, such neat features in any house!
Off the kitchen is a wonderful screened in back porch which will be very safe and fun for the boys as a place to play with lovely trees all around but they will still be near mom in the kitchen and not outdoors alone. Again, I can’t wait to tackle this lighting, see the spiral staircase down to lower deck levels.
The house has an indoor pool as well. And while the pool itself needs some work the “room” is in pretty good shape style wise, I want to put a darker stain on some of the wood and remove some wall mirrors but overall the tile and bones of the room are great. You can see in this photo the popcorn like ceilings that will be smoothed over.
More ornate metal gates and “decor” throughout, I haven’t even shown y’all the upstairs or full basement or other wing which will be used for business offices. We will save that for another day. But I had to show you a peek, it is quite a project huh?
Oh and did I mention, three little boys will be occupying all 12,000 square feet of Lovely Manor! These boys are going to make a lot of memories in this house: huge basement with fallout shelter and full kitchen, tennis courts, outdoor and indoor pool, beautiful trees, old vineyards and wonderful view. Paradise for little boys!
I feel like my clients and I are embarking on a real adventure with this house! Follow along for the ride, it’s going to be interesting. Hopefully some of the first bids for some of the big basics are coming in soon so I am anxious to hear what those are and get rolling!
This is a far cry from my little cottage in Texas but I love working on homes of all shapes and sizes, it really is an adventure! What about you? Would you ever take on a project or remodel of this size? Luckily my clients are homebuilders and developers so they have the contacts to make this happen which is a good thing…it’s no small feat!