03 February 2015

Building A Dream Home...Tahilla Farm #3


original source unknown*

Many of you have kindly asked about the latest developments at Tahilla Farm...which I often refer to as Tahilla. I am more than happy to respond and hope you are ready for what follows.  For those of you who are new to my blog, Tahilla, is our home away from home, a country retreat, deep in the woods of New Hampshire. 


First glance, 2012

There have been a series of transformations since we bought the property in 2012.  In 2013 we opened the land to make way for a view of a mountain. In 2014 we tackled rebuilding the old stone pasture walls to reclaim the history of the property. All the while, we have been planning and working with an architect to design the house around our lifestyle. It has been a labor of love, a mighty big one. Dream homes can be like that.



Under a rainbow, Tahilla Farm 2014

About designing the house of your dreams. We all think about it, write about it, talk about it, pin photos and tear magazine sheets to our heart's content...it can move onto obsessive compulsive behaviour at times..and we all love it. For it's a dream, right?

Well, I have discovered that dreaming about it and actually doing it are light years apart from each other. It is an education, a process and sometimes I think it would have been simpler, easier and more cost effective to have pulled up a rocking chair and called it a day. But what is life without a few challenges?

For us, assimilating 20 years of life overseas into the design process of our house has been enlightening. Our reference is is not the traditional farmhouse or many of the farmhouses featured in design magazines. It is the past houses and gardens in all the countries we have lived in. We are incorporating details that we loved... architecture, shapes, patterns, art, colour, gardens, wildlife...those memories that you grab onto and say yes, we loved that and want to create it again. 

All of this does not come without disagreements. You hear stories about husbands and wives going to battle over renovations. I say the design should be "sympathetic New England" and Mr. H says  "sympathetic tropics". We are still working on that one and a few other things.

Our greatest asset has been our architect, Sheldon. He is an astute listener, very good at thinking outside the box, gets excited about every idea, every detail and rather than say one of our ideas is not possible and close the book on it...he will show us another idea that could work even better. 

Designing a house and making decisions from 10,000 miles away is not ideal but so far we have made it work. Tim, our general contractor, has become very handy with his phone camera. His photos come into my inbox, in all types of weather. Even through blizzards, he manages to keep us updated on the progress to date.

Construction progress, January 2015


I could explain every detail in the collage of photos above but I won't do that to you. I may be on a writing challenge, but I am not crazy. Let's just say, the new design reflects elements that we love.

We have the original home built in 1790 which we have updated externally with new siding, roof, windows etc... the interior remains the same with the keeping room, study, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a finished attic. We wanted to keep the integrity of the old house and work it in with the new. Off the original home we will have a library/annex into the family wing as shown in the bottom right photo. The kitchen, pantry, porch, open plan family room, mudroom, guest bath, guest bedroom and half bath will be contained in this section of the house. Another annex on the other side of the house will bring you to the master wing with a laundry room, master bedroom and bathroom.

Once the house is grounded, thawed and in place we will begin landscaping. A project we see evolving over the years and one that we are very excited about.

As for the interior design features....here are some of the ideas we are hoping to incorporate. The rooms will not look exactly as the pictures but will contain some of the elements. Wood panelling, cathedral ceilings, wood floors, soaking tub, bookcases, ceiling fans, soapstone kitchen counters, farmhouse sink, painted cabinets, french windows and curves...  I grabbed a few images from my "Tahilla Notes" board on Pinterest... here



Inspiration board: 

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I will end here as there is so much more to say
and I have plenty of posts to go 
in my 28 day writing challenge.

We are off to Tahilla next week so stay tuned 
for another update later in the month. 

If you would like to read more 
about Tahilla, you can start here.

Thank you for your recent comments and emails.
I appreciate every word and will be sure to respond in kind.
You are the best!

So how about that 28 day writing challenge??
 Phew! I think tomorrow may be the day where 
I mention that the sky is blue. Full stop.
:)



Feb 3, 2015
28 Day Writing Challenge, #3
Writing from Chateau Mango
Vietnam time

* with thanks to the friend who shall not be named for creating "Tahilla Life" for me. :)

24 comments:

  1. Jeanne, that is going to be such a beautiful home for your eventual retirement. Having lived in New Hampshire I know how special it is - the countryside is spectacular, the people friendly (after all I married one of them!), good hearted, and down to earth.

    I'm amazed to see them apparently working in a lot of snow - even clearing it off the roof - glad the sun is shining for those guys, not easy being a builder in New England's winter weather. The interior touches you plan to incorporate into Tahilla are wonderful - I love them all and can't wait to see what you do.

    Safe trip back to the States next week - know it will be busy, fun, and hopefully warmer once you arrive!
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary...I have to admit, the builders are a marvel...through rain and snow, they somehow manage to keep going. I think I may have to do a snow dance before we go..to keep away the Blizzard King of the Northeast. Here's hoping.. ;) xx

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  2. love seeing the process + doing well on 28 day writing challenge. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  3. Jeanne, your beautiful farm is making so much progress! I am sure that it will be exciting to drive up and see all of the plans and decisions that you have been making for 100,000 miles away coming to fruition.

    I cannot wait to hear your first impressions and see if your thoughts and plans have come about as you expected.

    Safe travels to NE!

    Elizabeth

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  4. 2012...........REALLY?IT seems like LAST YEAR TO Me..........so HOW LONG have we been LIVING with YOU at CHATEAU MANGO???I'm afraid to ASK!
    I have GOOSEBUMPS for you and your family about TAHILLA...........thats one of my dreams I have had since childhood to live on a FARM.For me it's NOT going to happen.........so I am THRILLED I can live with YOU through your writing!!I spoke with my girlfriend JANE yesterday who resides in MELBOURNE.Seems her youngest daughter is in VIETNAM right now and loving it!I believe she is in HANOI??Spelling where you were the other day!!! I get such a kick out of how small this WORLD really is!KEEP WRITING!!!!!XO

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, we have been living at Chateau Mango since July 2012, hard to believe! You have been with me since the BEGINNING! A small world indeed. xx

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  5. Charming details
    Will there be an observatory or to the cosmos portal? The light there should be good for star gazing.

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    1. I would love one Maywyn...and trust me, it was on the list! We like to dream big...because we can, especially when it is only on paper. ;)

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  6. I am enjoying your daily posts, Jeanne...it is fun to follow along on the progress of Tahilla. I shared this post with a blogger friend who dreams of someday owning a farmhouse. Are you sure you want to leave the tropics and head to the New England tundra right now? Brrrr...I will trade places with you! Enjoy the rest of your week! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Sandy...I am feeling the cold, especially after seeing the ski slope that is starting to take shape in our front yard in NH. I have all my winter gear ready to go...bring it on!. :) xx

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  7. Well, you have great taste and a good eye, so I know it will come out beautifully! Best of luck!

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  8. Wow! I'm excited to again have a new post to look forward to every day! Things seem to be really taking shape at Tahilla and I can tell we have much to look forward to. :-)

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    1. You are so sweet Judy..thank you. We have a ways go...and when I think of how far we have come, I am amazed. So glad you are sharing in the journey. ;)

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  9. Please say that you will be installing an Aga! My sis has one in Sun Valley and simply loves it! So cozy on a cold Winter's day, and the cooking well the Aga is supreme! Her' Aga is a beautiful teal color. My husband and I lived in England and Ireland for 5 years and know the lovely Agassi as well! How cheery a bright red or white or whatever color Aga sitting as the focal point in your kitchen!

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    1. I wish, I wish Mary Anne. I seriously contemplated it, but it just wouldn't work in our design. I have opted for a Wolf stove instead. I am going to kick myself one day for not getting a bright red Aga...how I would love that. :)

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  10. I'm looking forward to hearing about the details, what memories they bring and why you love them.

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    1. Thank you Lisa and thank you for hanging in there with your comment. They all go into moderation. So if it does not appear right away...it will be coming. Warm wishes from Saigon... ;)

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  11. Thank you Jeanne giving us the progress of Tahilla Farm. Beautiful and abundant snow is not a hindrance.
    Keep warm.

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    1. Thank you Edgar and snow does not seem to be a hindrance...at least not yet. ;)

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  12. Jeanne, it is wonderful to dream and plan right along with you. We bought a place in the Texas hill country and before it we had exceeded what we thought was an unlimited budget !!! So many things remain undone, but it is what it is for now. I think this is always the way because as we go we learn about "new" things and just have to incorporate that into what you already have. Tahilla is beautiful, you are blessed to have such a place, even though 10,000 miles away. It is a labor of love (and patience). Good job you guys have done!!!

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  13. It looks like things are REALLY moving along beautifully at Tahilla, Jeanne! And, your writing challenge is well underway. Aren't you the brave blogger?!! Congratulations on keeping up the terrific posting in the midst of trekking halfway across the globe! By the way...the image at the very top of the post was a "photoshop adjusted" cover from Hearst's Magazine, August, 1918.

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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