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Friday, August 16, 2013

renovation photo-story: the terrace




This blog has been a chronicle of the renovation of our farmhouse and property- most projects have been shown as they happened in "real time," meaning you saw the before in a separate post as it occurred, the construction in a separate post as it was occurring and the reveal in its own post when the project was completed.  As I've done in the past, I've pulled together what I call "photo-stories" that put the whole process, from beginning to end, in one post.
Since I recently showed the backside (the garage side) of the terrace wall with its new bed and plantings I wanted to do the "photo-story" on the making of the terrace!
(this is long post, so brace yourself!)  



This is how the "real" livestock barn looked when we bought the property.  The original barn door is now used as art in the barn room!




The luxury of having an attached-to-the-house barn immediately had me dreaming of making the barn actual living space!  I envisioned a large room with french doors, a big fireplace and a gravel terrace just off the french doors.  The house also needed a garage. 
(The opened door and ramp on the right was the entrance for the livestock!) 











The original stone retaining wall was beautiful, it was just in the wrong place to work as a terrace for the barn room.







So, during phase II ( the barn renovation) a fabulous excavator-man took down the original wall and then reused all the stones in the new terrace wall which was 12-feet out from the original wall.




It was amazing to watch him pick up the huge stones with such gentleness and then place them in a pile to be used later.




Notice we hadn't even started the barn room chimney in these photos.  The stone wall was moved at this point in the project so that the concrete foundation for the chimney could be poured and the construction of the chimney and fireplace could begin.




It was difficult to watch the old wall come down, but we trusted that it would be beautiful and look original when rebuilt.







Halfway down.




Removal complete.




The construction of the new/old retaining wall begins.




The temperatures were dropping and to avoid having the ground around the wall freeze every night the wall was covered with a large insulated tarp.




The first tier complete.  The entire wall is "dry-stacked."




The back wall (which faces the meadow and is adjacent to the terrace wall) prior to construction.



The first stone being placed for the back wall.





The back wall in progress.




What a mess.  Some of these photos are difficult to look at, even now, and this is one of them.  But, as I always say- its got to get ugly before it can be beautiful!






From this vantage you can see both the terrace wall (off the garage) and the back wall (facing the back meadow.)






Don't miss the mason working on the chimney!  There were also 4 to 5 carpenters inside the barn working the renovation on any given day.




The placing of the first granite step leading down to the garage.  The large stones came from the original foundation of the barn which had to be removed for the construction of the garage.  Working with the excavator man and placing the stones for steps was one of my favorite projects!






















The stones going up for the terrace wall.






  More of the large pieces of granite removed from barn foundation being reused as the steps for the barn room french doors.









The first scoop of gravel being poured on the terrace.



Actually it's "crushed stone," but... details;)  Most of the crushed stone around the property (the driveway, back porch walkway, the herb garden) is grey .  Here we chose to use a more tan/brown stone that worked well with the colors in the granite wall.







If you look closely you can see the perennials are starting to show in the terrace wall bed!  I'm still looking for the bombshell hydrangeas that will go between the boxwoods and the wall.



The granite steps take you down to the boxwood-lined path that takes you to the the garage.



The terrace this year.




Basically it's the same as last year, but I've added pillows to the adirondacks and used rosemary in a new white planter next to the chairs and in a concrete urn on the table set against the chimney.  I love to sit in the chair and brush my hand over the plant releasing that beautiful aroma!  The tutorial on how to make the whiskey barrel orb at the base of the table here.




Large corner jardinieres are planted with Maiden grass, Helichrysum (licorice plant), white Baopa, and Euphorbia (Diamond Frost).



View to the back meadow.  This is a favorite spot for evening cocktails and star gazing!



This is a favorite photo... it is exactly what I had envisioned it would look like when setting the stones that day!  Don't you love it when a project turns out just as you hoped it would?!


to see the terrace reveal from last year click here and here

to see other renovation photo-stories click here





55 comments:

  1. I absolutely love being able to attest to how beautiful this is, having seen it all in person. Your home is exquisite Joan, and all of the exterior spaces complement the house and property to perfection! Bravo, my friend, Bravo! And to Dan, Ella, Big Blue, the whole construction crew including Mr. Gentle Excavator Man, job(s) well done!

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  2. ...this is absolutely amazing(how many times have i written those precise words in reference to your home?!)...but it is true...beautiful and amazing...the size of those boulders are incredible...as was your vision...blessings laney

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  3. OMW!!!!!!!!!!!! Beautiful...beyond beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $$$$$$$$$$

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  4. So amazing! There's not one thing I don't love about the change. The doors are wonderful.

    Jake's a Girl

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  5. Just beautiful, Joan! We live in a "farmhouse" we built from the ground up - including the site work - so I know what it is to be starting from scratch. Your ability to envision something whether it be landscaping or a room in your home is amazing & inspirational to me. I can honestly say I love everything you've done! xo

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  6. you have an amzing vision! i want to come visit! That view alone won me over!

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  7. This is so jawing dropping amazing! I love what you have done with your home and have enjoyed reading your blog. You are truly inspirational for helping me fix up our new townhouse. I just started in April and have given myself two years to get the main things done. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous ideas and home!

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  8. You are one lucky girl. Sara, Ohio

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  9. Oh Joan such a inspiration ! Your home is just perfect ! Have a wonderful day !

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  10. Absolutely YUMMY!!! Does the retaining wall splay a little in narrow wedges toward the base? Speaking of star gazing - were you able to watch any of the recent Perceid metro showers?

    Cheers,
    John

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    Replies
    1. Not visually John, but perhaps it splays in the foundation. No, we missed the showers- we sat outside for a while and saw a few and then thought we had missed them, but I think we just didn't wait long enough. Heard it was wonderful.

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  11. What a process! Interesting to note the trees throughout the pictures to see this project was indeed a long process! Such a beautiful and peaceful place you have!

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  12. Oh, my goodness. This looks absolutely amazing. And I must tell you that a friend of mine turned me on to your blog when I was designing the kitchen for our new home. I, too, will have mostly drawers for base cabinets. :)

    -andi

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  13. I love your photo stories! Seeing the change over time impresses me even more. You have a gift, Joan, and that gift is creating beauty.

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  14. Oh, what an amazing transformation, and what insight you have! Never in my wildest dreams would I have had the ability and talent to come up with an end result as stunning as yours. Of, course, I had to fall down the 'rabbit hole' and revisit the barn room's interior shots. Pure genius to use the original barn door as a focal point for the interior wall.

    Your terrace and the reclaimed granite retaining wall are lovely, and oh my ... those views. WOW! Beautiful job!

    Maggy

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  15. What a fun post to read! The process was fascinating and what gorgeous results--and what vision you have--lovely!

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  16. Lovely! I can just imagine sitting out there sipping a glass of wine... thanks for sharing, Joan!
    xo Heidi

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  17. STUPENDOUS article! Just loved re-reading in one post all of your magic! Enjoy.
    Regards, NB in Ontario, Canada

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  18. Wonderful! You had amazing help. It is hard to find that anymore. The vision you had is gorgeous. I love the stone steps. Great post from beginning to end!

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  19. I just love everything about your home! It's for sure one of my absolute favorites of all time.

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  20. Great vision and follow through. Beautiful.

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  21. Joan,
    It's lovely and I can imagine sitting there, relaxing with a beverage and a good book! Enjoy your final weeks of summer.
    Karen

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  22. Joan,

    Your home continues to become more, and more beautiful! What a magical place you guys have created. I only wish I lived near enough to come and visit in person. As always thank you for sharing

    Pam Kelley

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  23. Completely stunning! I don't know that I would ever leave that patio. Thanks for sharing the process with us. I would love to know how you plant your rosemary... I have some in large planters and they have struggled. Yours looks so full and lush!

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    1. I am a big fan of Miracle Gro's Moisture Control potting soil(I'm sure any equivalent brand would work) . I've used it in pots for the last two years and have been extremely impressed with the results. Also, the terrace gets full sun, so they get watered every day.

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  24. It is so incredibly beautiful and I am so jealous, I can't stand it. The siting, the stone, that unbelievable view...wow! Congratulations. What a talented team you and Dan are.
    XO, Victoria

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  25. I always feel like I'm back in New England when I visit your blog...you guys are truly an example of what can be accomplished with vision, hard work and love...thank you

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  26. Amazing! Stone wall is a work of art. I build smaller ones around our place and to see the machinery work such large stones is very cool. Amazing! I also would be out there a lot!

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  27. Joan! It all just takes my breath away. I've always dreamed of a barn renovation, so I've lived vicariously, and this post was just fantastic. How beautiful it all is. I love to see people's homes who really feel deeply about them and their surroundings. But I might be most envious of how beautifully manicured it all is ;-) that's a dream, too!!

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  28. I am envious of how you and Dan can start and finish a project so quickly. My husband and I both work so it is really just the weekends that we get to do major projects and then not even the entire weekend because I need to grocery shop and prepare some meals for the week. So it takes us FOREVER to finish a project! Your home is just beautiful and the property is lovely and pristine. What can look forward to next?

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  29. It's so beautiful...and what a lovely setting! Thanks for the tour! ;)

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  30. What an awesome transformation...the new area and wall are just gorgeous...and the view breathtaking...such a bucolic scene to enjoy from the patio area.

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  31. I am in awe of your vision, but even more impressive is the execution is flawless! What incredible craftsmen (including you and Dan!). Best, Beth C.

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  32. I just am amazed how you have such a clear vision of what you want, and you stay focused and make it happen. Few have the gift of artistic vision, you are blessed. It turned out really gorgeous!

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  33. Such an incredible transformation. And I agree with the others...so in awe of your vision and your ability to execute it (or find those who can). xo!

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  34. It's so beautiful....we are tying to plan a backyard renovation and it's not easy task. Like the commenter above, I love your vision and your ability to execute. You make it look easy! Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful project at your home.

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  35. The dry stacked walls are beautiful. I'm always amazed when I see stone walls done this way. The craftsmanship and skill of the masons (not sure if that's the correct label in this case) is extremely impressive. I realize it may not be as pretty as some of your usual spaces, but I'd love to see a post about the garage.

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  36. I am speechless! What a beautiful transformation!!! I loved that you had a vision and saw it through to fruition. Great job on the entire project! :)

    xoxo laurie

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  37. much older sister SusanAugust 17, 2013 at 8:35 PM


    Yep, Joanie's that good!

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  38. What a transformation! It turned out absolutely gorgeous! And you are so right that sometimes things have to get ugly in order to get beautiful. Perfect example of that here.

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  39. Absolutely stunning! What vision you have to take the remnants of the old foundation and use them to create an oasis. Brava! Just beautiful!

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  40. What a wonderful transformation! I have to say that you have an "eye" and you had a vision that many do not. I love visiting here!

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  41. Joan,
    It's true about the ugly is necessary in order to get to the beauty.
    Wowie, what a transformation.
    pve

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  42. What a visionary you are! I am in awe every time I visit this site. Thank you for sharing it. xo

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  43. My heart starts to race when I see your photos!!! I want your vision, energy, and perhaps Dan!! Okay, so I can't have Dan, but I do have a 250 year old stone house that we have been renovating. All its infastructure, and not the pretty stuff, but the much needed stuff. But now I'm out out energy! However, reading your blog does at times inspire me to get going again. So, thanks. Love, love, love what you have done with your home. Thanks for sharing your dream with us all.

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  44. Lovely....the view alone is TDF. Are there horses in that wandering field??

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  45. WOW....amazing...and beautiful and inspiring....KUDOs!!!!

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  46. Love love love this terrace! It looks completely natural in the landscape of the house! The curving steps are one of my favorite parts. Great job Joan and Dan (and Ella)!

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  47. I am TRYING to catch up on blogs and e-mails! Your home is a dream and your VISION is fantastic. This is all gorgeous!

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  48. What a transformation, although I do say its a shame to lose those big barn doors -the terrace is fantastic and outcome looks pretty darn good. What I want to know is, is how does one keep a place lookiing so imaculate. I can't even keep a quarter acre block remotely under control.

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    1. Andrea- We didn't lose the barn door;) If you click on the "barn room" on my sidebar you'll see it there- it has a place of honor.

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  49. I just love your house and looking at the old posts. you should write a book!

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