03 November 2013

Mr. and Mrs. H plan a renovation at Tahilla Farm


Wendy Posard & Associates



There is a bit of a 'love/hate fest' going on at Chateau Mango (Saigon) these days as Mr. H and I contemplate renovations for Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire (USA). We have been deep in discussions over the design plans for the house and the 'feeling' we want to create. It has been interesting to say the least...what started as a small renovation is resulting in half the house coming down.

I should mention that in our 27 years of marriage Mr. H and I have never done more than renovate a bathroom, a kitchen, a garage and paint inside and out. Even then, deciding which 'white' to paint the house and which 'black' to paint the shutters nearly sent us over the edge. Who knew there was a difference? I discovered there are plenty! 

Living in different countries has had something to do with our lack of experience around schematic designs so you can imagine what it is like to contemplate taking down half a house in the USA and start again...while living in Vietnam. Throw in a few differences of opinion and you have some hearty discussions...as every good 'Yankee' couple does.

We have to remember that Mr. H is bringing 'Fred' to the party...and this is only the beginning...but more on that another time.

We have been making good use of Pinterest, more specifically my Tahilla Note board. I regularly saddle Mr. H up in a chair next to me and let the slide show begin. It goes along the lines of "Do you like this? this? this? what about this?" I don't dare look at him for most times his eyes are glazed over with that 'look' which says..'boring' 'boring 'boring'. I thought I would keep it simple this time and just focus on windows, a passion of his. After dozens of photos it finally happened...

The photograph above (not Fred) and the ones below came up and... EUREKA! Windows became interesting and Mr. H is now in the game. 
All I can say is...Wendy Posard & Associates, I love you!

Windows and more windows for as far as the eye can see...

Wendy Posard & Associates

Wendy Posard & Associates

Wendy Posard & Associates

Wendy Posard & Associates

Wendy Posard & Assoicates

It is a beginning...we have a ways to go but I feel like a plan is coming together. We have a great architect who has been very patient. I look forward to telling you more about him one day. That's if he doesn't give up on us in the meantime (he hasn't seen all of Fred's relations yet). ;)

Meanwhile...back at the farm, the grass is growing, the leaves have dropped, our big maple tree, 'Martha' had a trim and winter is settling in. My sister Kathleen sent me the following pics...





So tell me...have you ever renovated before?
Any suggestions for us? 
We would love to know!

For those of you who have followed us along on this happy trail..
this movie clip might sound familiar. My guess is there are a few of you
who will be able to relate. A classic !


Sending one and all best wishes for a wonderful week!
Happy November!
;)

Jeanne xx



54 comments:

  1. Well, first off I have been married for 27 years to the ITALIAN HUSBAND!Two,yes, we have done a remodel addition and all went along find until it came to the light switches!I wanted the new "FATTY" ones he wanted the old ones we all grew up with!So, half the house is "FATTY 'light switches the other half the ancient version!DIVORCE almost happened over this so BEWARE!Three, I adore that MISTER H!!Those are the windows and doors I have in my house!!!!!!His color of paint for CHATEAU MANGO and his passion for windows is right on track for me!AS far as FRED..........well I traveled to AFRICA in 1981 and brought back two BEASTIES not as GRAND as FRED but never less the same image.They have an alcove in my living room and bring back good memories of a FABULOUS trip!Perhaps,a FOLLY of sorts in the garden could house FRED and his friends??A cocktail house!!!!Food for thought!

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    1. Love your way of thinking of Contessa...you never cease to AMAZE me! I can tell that GRAND times are to be had around you...wherever you go..LA DOLCE VITA..LA CONTESSA!

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  2. We have lived through many renovations and survived!
    I think it might be difficult not being able to see the progress in NH while you are in Vietnam or perhaps you are planning to oversee the project on Skype!
    You are going to have a lovely home when it is finished.

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    1. Thank you Leslie...I can not imagine a world without Skype! ;)

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  3. Just 'walked-away' from a farm purchase for odd reasons.

    However. 2 months trying to get the farm, we had more heated discussions than I thought possible, or tolerable.

    ALL about the renovations, and garden.

    No, we did not get the farm but it's feeling good. The right farm is out there.

    Love your architect too. Luff!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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    1. I think have the fun is trying to find it Tara...and when you know, you know. You will make a great farmer/gardener...imagine all the land you will have to work with! xx

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  4. It's going to be just so beautiful. And your sister's photos bring New England smack dab outside my California windows.

    And yes, yes, I've gone through a big remodel. Over 20 years ago we redid the house in which I now live. Removed the whole back wall, built a new master bedroom and bath, redid the kitchen and opened it to the living room, turned a small bedroom into an office. A lot of work. It took 5 months, if I remember, from start to finish. We had to move out for 2 of those months.

    But my ex-husband pretty much left the project to me, so I have no advice as to collaboration:).

    In terms of the work itself, pay attention to the roof, the ventilation, the heating systems, and the plumbing. In the long run that's what will need managing. And do not spare expense on materials. To this day I derive joy from the granite in my kitchen, and the slate flooring in my hall and the patio outside, from the solarium windows, and the wood flooring. Paint colors can be changed. Rock and wood is more permanent.

    It's so much fun that you share this abundance with us. I'm jealous, but not so jealous that it prevents me from loving to read what you do:).

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    1. Lisa...I will take your words to heart. It always seems that the things we cannot see cost the most money yet have the most meaningful impact on a house. You covered all the bases, we will be sure to give it careful consideration. Thank you!

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  5. In the middle of a kitchen reno right now and NOT enjoying the process. Oh I loved picking all the pretty things, it's the dust and chaos that is driving me mad! I'm minutes away from going to dad's until it's done. If only the children weren't in school!

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    1. I hope it is done in time for Thanksgiving Stephanie! I imagine you picked a great oven to bake in as well. Looking forward to seeing your future creations.. xx

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  6. Jeanne

    This sounds like such a labor of love for the two of you! I so enjoy seiing all your wonderful ideas come to fruition!

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    1. Thank you Cindy...your blog is a great source of inspiration. When the pinning begins, I start with you and your wonderful blog and Pinterest boards...thank you! xx

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  7. My two cents worth says, having a beautiful view of the outside world is one of the prime requisites of a home, especially like the one you have snagged in New England. It makes me cringe when I drive through residential neighborhoods and see the windows closed over with curtains, shutters, blinds, and the like, and to think that those rooms almost never see the light of day; it must be like living in a cave. I trust you are way ahead of the curve in knowing that the windows you have pictured, which I love, must be able to keep out the cold, blustery New England winter weather, and be able to open up to some lovely soft air in the summer. Good luck to you and Mr. H on a meeting of the minds. I really believe you will be able to point him in the right direction. :-)

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    1. Thank you Judy, you raise two really good points and ones I have brought up many times. Staying warm in winter and cool in summer. Gettting the balance right in New Hampshire is critical...especially the part about staying warm! xx

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  8. Those windows are beautiful. All that light that streams in looks great. Even when it's snowing, it will look like a winter wonderland. Enjoy the journey.

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    1. Kathleen...you got a big smile from me on the winter wonderland thought..you are so right, wonderful! Thx you.. xx

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  9. Oh Jeanne, I feel your pain. My husband and I are the same. In fact I have told him numerous times I would never, EVER do a large renovation or a build a house with him. Currently, we are in discussion to renovate three baths. We had a plan and discussed it many times. I had the contractor one back again so that my husband could discuss his ideas. When the contractor left I asked my husband what he told him and he said....I told him to gut them all and take them down to the studs.

    Needless to sat, we are now back to square one.

    I hope that all goes well with your plans! Looking forward to seeing more, if the windows are any indication the house is going to be fabulous. I am sure there will be room for Fred and all of the others.

    Take care, xo Elizabeth

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    1. Sounds like Mr. H and Mr. Pine Cones should meet.. :) xx

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  10. the farm is impossibly beautiful…especially in the golden autumn/fall light…just lovely.

    My suggestion to you is to trust your architect even more than you feel is comfortable…because a better outcome will result…the architect's job is to push you slightly beyond your comfort zone, and when clients allow and enjoy that process, great things are possible. Sounds like you are already comfortable with him, so my advice (coming from somebody who has been designing buildings for people for more than 20 years) is let him gently guide you, rather than the other way about, and you will (ironically, perhaps it would seem) end up with something far closer to your own personalities than you could have achieved on your own.

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    1. Thank you Virginia...your point is well taken and has crossed my mind as well. The scene in the movie clip below where they start to expand on their ideas cracked me up. I appreciate your advice and I am sure our architect appreciates that you mentioned it as well! ;)

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    2. Yes, I bet he would get a chuckle if he knew what I said…and probably just nod knowingly to himself….! x

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  11. We did actually renovate before and it was quite stressful, nothing every got done quickly but once it was done, it was so lovely!
    You're so blessed to own a home in the beautiful State of New Hampshire and live in Vietnam as well.
    You are doing what only some can dream of!
    Much love to you,
    Tammy

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    1. Thank you Tammy...it is a crazy mixed up world at times but I have to admit it is fun! xx

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  12. Tahilla Farm has a spectacular setting. The images provided by your architect are in keeping with the area.
    We did a major addition to our Toronto house, when in our 30's. We did not have the maturity and on reflection worried too much. It turned out well. Of course, one always learns. We then did a kitchen renovation about six years ago and it went very smoothly. It could have been our slight maturity.
    Fred is entirely another matter and I shall refrain from suggestions.
    We have a friend who installed a large/huge one pane bay window in their country property. They had endless problems with it. The wind and snow storms popped it and they eventually had to install hurricane shutters over the said window and when not in residence had to draw the shutter.
    I see your plans do not include such a large window.

    It will be heavenly and you will pull off a great renovation

    Helen xx

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    1. Thank you Helen...your point is well taken. I had forgotten about that possibility. I suggested to Mr. H that it might be easier to build him a glass house in the field...to fill his desire for windows and light. That was in one of our more heated moments. Ah life! xx

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  13. PS... I absolutely LOVE following your photography!

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  14. My husband and I have done MANY remodels and built one house. For the most part, we enjoyed, even loved, it. I'm an artist, and part of just re-arranging the furniture is creative for me. I don't even bother to vacuum or dust when I do this, I just like the creative change. My husband is a contractor and a wonderful finish carpenter. So it usually works like this-- I get the ideas and persuade him to do the building. We have had some humongous fights over the years, remodeled and moved our kitchen three times, added on four or five times and now live in a colorful, light-filled home in south eastern Minnesota. Light is so important, so our woodwork is white (vanilla ice cream, a Benjamin Moore color) and we have lots of yellow walls and other colors to keep our home as much of Springtime all year round as we can.

    It's a process, just like a good marriage. It has its ups and downs, but when you work through them, your marriage is stronger for it. Have fun with Mr. H. and don't worry if there is stress along the way. There's bound to be. If you have nothing else to do when you're in the states, I love for you to come visit, see our light-filled home and reassure you that "it's going to be okay!"

    Love,
    Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary...yours sounds like a match made in heaven! From your blog pics, I can see you have a wonderful space and if I ever found myself out your way I would love to meet you and see your home. Your thoughts are very reassuring, thank you! xx

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  15. Hey Jeanne, that was a great movie clip! I am excited for you and Tahilla Farm. We have done many full reno's and built one. I love every aspect of it but mostly just having a home that reflects us. I have made all of the building and design decisions except for a consistent 3 requirements from my husband: 1.water closet 2.man cave to watch sports 3. wine cellar . Have fun and keep us informed...we are a nosey bunch;)

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    1. Love your husband's three requirements. I think I will add on a man cave just for Mr. H and Fred. Glad you enjoyed the movie clip...my family could hear laughter from the other side of the house. Ah..the strange things Mrs. H get's up to on a Sunday afternoon. xx

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  16. No big remodels in our marriage :) A new kitchen here, a new bathroom there...my husband stays out of the whole thing. I design it and hire it done. He says he likes what I do.,,,the discussions are really about affordability. Fun movie clip!

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    1. I think you have the perfect balance Becky. You have mastered the art of living in two places during the year...I want some of what you have! :)

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  17. like you, we've only renovated a bathroom (in our amherst, nh home :) and lots of painting in our other homes. this must be SO very overwhelming! i must say, not owning a home for the past year and renting our flat here in paris..is nice. of course, at some point we will return to the states and own again. your land at tahilla farm is gorgeous..my favorite time of year in new england! LOVE the windows!

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    1. Pam...I hope you are able to stock up on items in Paris, you will treasure them when you return. There is something nice about not having the responsibility when you rent..assuming you have a good landlord. I can see you are having a wonderful experience, I love following along... xx

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  18. I don't think my husband & I have EVER lived in a home that we haven't done SOMETHING! Since our first home over 30 yrs ago, it's been a tear-out, tear-down, build new, etc kind of life, lol. We've had 6 homes in those years and some have been a breeze, while others were "tear out your hair" "to "OMG!, it's powder post beetles!".....can you imagine being able to break a floor joist with your bare hands? In our current home it took us 2 YEARS to decide on the kitchen countertops, we lived with part Formica and a plywood island countertops for that time. Our girls loved drawing all over the island countertop, lol :D. As for your windows, I am partial to those in pictures #1 and #2 because we have similar windows. I agree with JudyMac: "It makes me cringe when I drive through residential neighborhoods and see the windows closed over with curtains, shutters, blinds, and the like, and to think that those rooms almost never see the light of day; it must be like living in a cave." The majority of our windows do not have anything on them. I do use wood blinds in my home office, otherwise I'd be blinded by the sun and not able to work (boo hoo!) The bedroom windows do have wood blinds or curtains for privacy, but everything is opened during the day. While we can see the road from the front of our house it doesn't bother me that people can see in it somewhat. As for the keeping out the cold and washing those beautiful windows, I'll email you some information :D

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    1. Thank you Roxane...your information was SO helpful. When I settled into Tahilla Farm last summer I asked friends what I should do about window treatments in the main living areas of the house. The response was unanimous..."why would you?" I was speechless and then as time went by I started to get it. I wonder how I will feel in the midst of winter but until that day comes..I will embrace big, well insulated windows. Many thanks for all your tips! ;)

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  19. Gorgeous pictures! I love the windows, and oh to have the space for a giant island like that! Gah! We have an old house and have renovated every inch of it. It is soooooo hard, especially with old houses, but the results are always worth it. Good luck with yours, and I hope you continue to share here.

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    1. Thank you Mary..it is always great to hear people's experiences with old houses. Part of ours was built in 1790..I can appreciate the challenges already. I will continue to dream here..I reckon it is the best way to keep my sanity through the whole process... xx

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  20. I love your way of telling a story, Jeanne! Renovations are not easy, but must be especially hard when you are so far away. The gorgeous windows are a must with the views you have at Tahilla!

    Have a lovely day!! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Sandy! Crazy but fun, so glad you are along for the ride... xx

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  21. Hi Jeanne, this project in New England sounds very exciting. And I love your inspiration photos. We built our house and I really enjoyed it. We had a great team and it was a pretty smooth experience. Planning it is the most fun!
    xx Sunday

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    1. I have the whole winter to plan Sunday and am appreciating all the comments. I think you are right, planning is fun, keeping fingers crossed for the rest. ;)

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  22. I very much doubt that men and women will ever see eye to eye when it comes to renovating and re-decorating. We argue about paint colours and layouts all the time. But I guess it's part of the fun.

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    1. I think we will have to pretend that it is Loree...isn't it interesting what you learn about your
      'other half' as you go through the process. ;)

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  23. I had (luckily?) forgotten all about Fred:-D

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    1. ...Fred is unforgettable and difficult to hide Carina! ;)

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  24. Have you seen The Money Pit? Sorry, it sounds exciting, but I couldn't resist…Hx

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    1. Helena...it has been years but now that you mention it..I will have to watch it again. ;)

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  25. Does Mr. H have a large office? My husband keep all his travel souvenirs in his office. (thank goodness)

    Have fun ... it will be fun to be in the States again.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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    1. It will Glenda and yes..we are talking about a 'space' in the barn. ;)

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  26. I found your blog through Tongue in Cheek. I’ll come back to read more of your posts to know about you better.
    For now - I love the picture of your future home and a home with the windows you show will be so light and lovely. Yes, I have lived through many renovations, but not here in the US, but growing up in France. My father loved to buy old houses in France, even stores, hotels, and then remodel them and sell them. Since he had grown up in Egypt he spoke fluent Arabic and he had a team of Algerian workers who would help him, but when he needed an extra hand he would ask me to pass the hammer, or fetch the screws, etc. Once he wanted to buy an old castle in Normandie but my mother said no – too much renovation and too old. He did find a house just outside of Paris with a tower, so he bought that and remodeled it, that is where my parents retired. When my father passed away my mother purchased an apartment in Paris, in the Marais, a 16 century building but that had been completely renovated, but not by her, but before she bought it!

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    1. Vagabone..What a fascinating story, thank you! I love that your father was always eager to put his hand to restoring buildings. I imagine life growing up with him was a lot of fun! Thanks so much for stopping by..I look forward to following your vagabonde tales.... ;)

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