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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the finished front



Five big projects have been (mostly) finished at the front of the house: fieldstones under the porch, antique cobblestone walkway, new garden bed, new sod, new gravel drive...
so now only
1, 527 more projects to go!!
Click to see the "before" photos.


We had originally hired a stone mason to construct the stone skirt under the front porch, and the cobblestone walkway from the front porch to the gravel drive. He was an "unusual" chap (to put it politely), but he was the only one of the three we interviewed that brought a portfolio for us to look at, and, most importantly, his price was right! Turns out he had a wee bit of a drinking problem, and by day two had been relieved of his duties. If it wasn't so pathetic, the beer can he attempted to hide under the shrub while working might have been comical. Luckily for us, on day one of the job the stone mason (and his helper, i.e. driver) had some business at the DMV and arrived sober and worked like the wind getting the front-facing stone wall put in during the morning and early afternoon. After their return from a long lunch the job (and their speech) moved a bit slower, but still moved along. Day two we were not so lucky, and only got a "start" on the end cap of the porch.
All, I can say at this point, is thank goodness for a very handy, talented husband who then put in the whole cobblestone walkway by himself, and is working on finishing the stone end cap on the porch!




In this photo you can see the different stones and textures, and how they play off one another: fieldstones under porch, cobblestone walk, and gravel drive, and how pretty they all look with the new sod!

Here you can see the wonderful color variation from the antique cobblestones which were originally from a street in Massachusetts.


Add caption
 Where the sun is hitting the cobbles at the base of the steps you can see the wonderful texture the cobbles have. Dan received a wonderful compliment last week when a guest mentioned how level and easy they were to walk on! Since the antique cobbles are all different heights, widths, and lengths it is a daunting task to install them level.

Close up of the fieldstone skirt. All of the stones are from our property.
There are several different ways one can install a stone wall, one is with mortared joints, another is dry-stacked. Since the antique stone walls that run along our property line are dry-stacked we chose that look. This is actually a variation, it is mortared in from behind the stones for structural support. If you look back at the before photos you can tell what a huge improvement this stone skirt is!


I designed the walk to have a flair at the top (that part was really fun for Dan!!) The new bed to the left looks like it is very angular in this photo, but it is actually only the new sod that is giving it that effect. It has, in reality, a rounded corner.

The front with the new gravel driveway. The gravel reads white in this photo, but in person it has much more gray in it. It is still a little "dusty" as it was crushed at a near-by quarry just for our project. To take this photo I was standing in one of the two "bays" that make up what we refer to as "the parking pad." The driveway ends here at the house where I am standing taking this photo and at the edge of the photo on the right side.

I realize the bed doesn't look like much now, but I promise it will be really pretty next year! The bed is filled with shrubs, and perennials and next year we'll add annuals. It will bloom predominately white, with soft pinks and purples/blues as accents.


If you follow the driveway straight and then turn left (behind the white adirondack chairs you can see in the middle of the photo on the left) the drive takes you to the road, if you were to turn right it would take you down to the garage which is underneath the barn. The dirt you see on the left side of the drive will be seeded within the next couple of days; we are just getting it done before the cut off time for putting down seed.


Rainbow over the east meadow!

44 comments:

  1. Joan,
    I am pretty much speechless right now! I can't even find words that do these pictures justice.
    Every project turned out amazing!
    I would have never thought to do a dry stack stone apron but it looks so incredibly wonderful. I love the walkway - the first think I noticed was how even it is on the sides! Good job Dan ~
    Your property is stunning - the trees, the fence, the gravel path... the first picture looks like a dream....the perfect Scarlet porch!
    Really Joan, it is all absolutely exquisite. All of your hard work and love for your house, really shows.

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  2. The skirt is GENIUS! The walk is GORGEOUS! The driveway is what is should be. I'm wondering if the garden should line the walk...or jump across the walk to the front of the porch. Is that one of the 1527 things? The view of the old maples from the across the driveway looking back at the house is wonderful. And the meadow....to die for!!! How old is your house?

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  3. Your house looks picture perfect. My idea of a dream house. You have done a beautiful job and should be proud.

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  4. Joan, that looks incredible, your hubby is certainly clever. Sorry about your drunken tradies, but it does make it a funny story to tell about the process.
    Your home is looking very much like something that should grace the pages of a glossy magazine.
    Well done to you both!!

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  5. beautiful job, Joan, and so appropriate for your home's age and style. the rainbow photo gave me chill bumps. I know you know this, but you are so fortunate to have such a lovely spot.

    Thanks for taking us along....

    Donna

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  6. Hi Joan,
    It's all so BEAUTIFUL! I can appreciate Dan's skill in making the cobblestones level as Mike sweated over making our pavers level!
    Your house is so very loved by you two and it shows. Another gorgeous project completed with such wonderful vision and hard work - you two are a total inspiration!
    xoTrina

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  7. Absolutely perfect and so happy for you and Dan!!

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  8. dearest joanie,

    i'm really starting to hate you. the rainbow is what put me over the edge.

    ~janet

    in all seriousness, i am speechless. the house looks like something out of a magazine. it is breathtaking. everything. i can't take any more right now. i'll be back later after the wine kicks in.

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  9. Dayum! When I saw that east meadow, I said to self..."they need a horse or two". How easy peasy would that be? Just add water, right?

    Gorgeous...timeless...Lime in the Coconut-less. Yep. I need to hussle myself down there (or is it up?)

    Quintessential New England. Truly breathtaking!

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  10. I love the paver sidewalk. I know the difficulty in getting them flat since we did a flagstone patio ourselves and each and every stone had to be set in and leveled, which means each one gets handled multiple times! I love the stone skirt, very attractive...great idea! Your home is wonderful...I love your story about visiting with Bunny Williams...what a treat!

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  11. How terrific it all looks. Well done. The house is simply gorgeous, and your landscaping makes that so much more obvious. Congratulations.

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  12. Beautiful pictures! You are living on a dreamlocation! Your house, the porches, the trees, the meadow evertything is stunning!

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  13. Oh Joan, it's as pretty as a picture! What a wonderful job your hubby did! The path is perfect! A-M xx

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  14. Wow Joan, you and Dan have really done a lot of work lately the cobblestone path came out beautifully. Isn’t it rewarding to take something such as our homes and bring them back to life? I know we enjoy every step of our renovations even though it’s hard labor. It really shows how much you two love your home, great post.

    Debra,

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  15. It's easy to spot a well loved home...your home radiates love. What a wonderful place to live....K

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  16. I can’t even tell you how much I am loving your home renovation photos- it truly is becoming a classic New England home that will be a masterpiece for years and decades to come!

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  17. Quite beautiful.

    It is interesting, to me, that last night I met an international stone mason who specializes in dry stone walls, etc. He has no car, no email. His mom answers the phone and connects him to people--most of the time. He hitch-hikes around the world to jobs and he lives in the house of his customer.

    I love your home!

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  18. Just too too beautiful! I am not surprised though. Dan did another fabulous job of executing your ideas. I remember after Patti and Bob saw your Dallas home the first time they said that Dan was not just 'handy' he was an artist. He certainly IS!

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  19. Dan gets sweeter and sweeter with each post! How wonderful to have an idea or picture in your head and have your best friend bring it to life.

    Everything looks so beautiful. The only thing to make it better would to have seen sweet little Ella lounging on one of the steps.

    I also love your commentary about your...colorful stone masons. It made me giggle.

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  20. Your newest projects turned out beautifully. I love your home more and more everytime I see it. Love the porches!!
    xo, Sherry

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  21. wow great job - it really looks incredibly beautiful! the dry stacked stone looks gorgeous :)

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  22. BEAUTIFUL = that field! wow!! it's so pretty. love the walkway.

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  23. love your home. I really need to illustrate it one day.
    Everything about it fascinates me as well as inspires.
    pve

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  24. ...perfect...absolutley perfect...and oh!the rainbow...wasn't God good to give you His blessing...

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  25. I don't even know where to start - everything is fabulous - the fieldstone skirt, the flared walkway, the landscaping...stunning!! Beautifully and lovingly transformed ~

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  26. hi joan,

    the thing that is so amazing about these gorgeous pictures of your gorgeous home is that there is a barn attached somewhere and i know that's coming and i'm not sure i'm gonna be able to take it.

    this is quintessential new england and you 2 brought it to life. so, so beautiful. i adore the winding fence w/the rainbow picture. i would never and i mean never leave.

    ~janet

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  27. Wow, a real New England house! It´s SO beautiful!
    Best regards from Sweden
    (There a lot of New England fans here in Sweden)

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  28. Hi Bella,
    Love it all- as usual. You two are amazing.

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  29. Oh, your home is so beautiful, Joan!
    I just love that husband of yours. A man who is romantic and talented!
    You both did a stunning job. It truly is perfection.

    xo
    Brooke

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  30. I have really enjoyed looking at all the pics of your beautiful home. Thanks for sharing. I'm your newest follower. Stop by and visit with me sometime.

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  31. I looked and read and read and read. Your blog is great and your front yard changes (huge amount of work!) match the house and your property like they had always been there, but better.
    - Joy

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  32. Joan, the house looks beautiful. I love the belgian block path and the gravel driveway -- so appropriate for a New England country home. Dan did a great job.
    I used that same fieldstone skirt treatment in my former country home and it made such a difference. The landscaping looks wonderful too. Congratulations to both of you.
    Best...Victoria

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  33. Absolutely gorgeous. Since you lived in Texas you must certainly appreciate how much greener and colorful landscapes are up north. With the drought here in Texas everything is yellow and dead. I love looking at these photos. Thanks for sharing the beauty.

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  34. Joan...Your landscaping turned out beautifuly. Your DH did a fantastic job with the cobblestones. I'm curious if you had to ammend the soil in your flower beds? I really enjoy reading your blog and just l-o-v-e your home.
    Vikki in VA

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  35. Vikki- Yes, we did ammend the soil. We started with bringing in screened loam and then added tons of peat moss and cow manure. We use this mixture whenever making new beds or doing new plantings.

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  36. Gorgeous. I love the flair you gave the walkway - totally elevates it to a more sophisticated style. And love the semi-dry-stacked wall under your porch.

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  37. hi, beautiful home! random question but how tall is your railing from bottom of porch - 30" or so?

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  38. I love the cobblestone walkway! I want that for my house and was wondering what color they call that (is it gray or white?) and also, what size did you use? Thanks for posting! I've been searching for a photo to show my contractor and your was the only one I found that wasn't with red stone! They're doing this next week 12/1/15 so, if you can reply as soon as possible that would be great! If not, I'll wing it!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply, I just found your questions. They are reclaimed antique cobblestones Stylelinx. They vary in size since they are handcut.

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  39. Also! Are those reclaimed stones? Or, did you faux them up with paint (white, dark gray, on lt gray stone)? The nearest reclaimed stone yard is in Ct. and this home is in NJ- south so, I may have to get pre-fab :( Also- confirm the size because they look just right! Really beautiful. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Stylelinx- see above answers! If you have any other questions please feel free to email me at fortheloveofahouse@comcast.net
      joan

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