Friday, November 9, 2012

In Love With Stone Houses

We just ordered the stone for our house facade this week. It's not actually real stone, but concrete made to look like stone—what's known as cultured stone—from the manufacturer Eldorado Stone. There is something about stone that I just love. Growing up in upstate New York, I've seen plenty of beautiful stone homes, many of them farmhouses like this one shown above. While I'm partial to Provence-style stone homes or those stone farmhouses of Tuscany, stone is a building material used for its practicality and is beautiful in any location. It's sturdy. It's timeless. This beautiful house is located in St. Lawrence County in Northern New York and it's constructed of Potsdam sandstone. This particular house has been for sale for a few years now—one of the many houses I dream about owning. It's located on more than 500 acres, which contains a former dairy farm and robust hunting grounds in the heart of an old order Amish community. This house, like many stone homes, looks like it will be standing for a long time, passing through many generations and lifetimes.

Here's another stone house, Colonial style, in upstate New York. Named the "Horton Sayer House," this historic beauty was  built in 1766. It's been around for more than two centuries already and will likely be around for quite a few more. How many other homes will live longer than a 100 years or so? Stone weathers time like nothing else—and looks fabulous while doing it.
I used to fantasize about buying an old stone church and converting it into a house. But, finding one for sale in an area you actually want to live can be a challenge! This stone church with a breathtaking view to boot is located on New Zealand's South Island. (And to my knowledge is not for sale.)

Nor is this one for sale. But, wow, if it was, I would seriously consider moving to Romania, which is where this church, called Densus, is located. This towering structure feels immediately protective. So, even though it's not far from Transylvania,  yes, that's home to Dracula, its sheer solidity seems strong enough to quell even the discontented spirit of Vlad the Impaler. 

Here's one in the South of France. A great place for inspiration is looking for villas for rent online, which is how I came by this enchanting stalwart facade.

The vibe on this stone house is vacation getaway, well, because it is. You can rent it if you like. I think vacation getaway is the feeling I like to have most of the time, even when I'm not on vacation. Wake up: Be on vacation. Come home: Be on vacation. It's a great way to live.

Another lovely getaway in the South of France. This one is called Lumiere. I guess if you live in such a cool house, you can give it a name without sounding pretentious. Note to self: Come up with some cool house names. Maybe Little Caw Cottage or Lavender Farm or Rosemary Ranch. OK. I'll keep working on this. ...

Is this the entrance to heaven? In my version it is. : )

You gotta love the French. They have the nerve to paint their shutters such funky colors. The stone facade and shutters here are not even the same value or chroma or hue, but they just work. Like star-crossed lovers with a big age gap, they say "unorthodox, never boring and I'll do whatever I please, merci beaucoup."

This incredible image, which nicely depicts the juxtaposition of stone and red roses was taken by Michael  Cosgrove. It's such a striking contrast between that which is unyielding and fixed with something so soft and transient that I suspect this visual metaphor is working on my psyche at a level so deep that I truly can't fathom consciously its full effect. I guess that's why they call Houzz house porn. Do you feel your breath hitching a tiny bit or is it just me?
(Oh, it's just me.)

Another image from Michael Cosgrove. The villa is in a hamlet in the Southern region of France. I do like the pancake cobble by the way.

Another villa for rent in the South of France. But, with the delightful palm tree it looks like it could be in Beverly Hills.

This 400-year-old chapel is actually in Southern California. But, it was moved here—stone by stone—from Dijon, France by the owners of Cal-a-Vie, a spa in San Diego county.

Here's another view of the chapel. I can see why people like to get married here. 

My ode to stone houses would not be complete without a nod to the location used in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. This house, where the movie was shot, has apparently been completely renovated and is now available for rent.

Here is an inside shot of the Under the Tuscan Sun house. When a house is really made from stone (not the cultured kind), you get some great architectural details like this stone arch.

Another interior shot. I do love the bright, airy feeling of this space. Too much stone would be overpowering, but juxtaposed with the white walls it lifts the spirits.

An exterior shot of the renovated Under the Tuscan sun house.

Another interior shot. I could look at images from this house all day. Better get back to work.

Lastly, this is a house from the Eldorado Stone website Imagine gallery. This is Veneto fieldledge, which is the style of stone we'll be putting on the exterior of most of our home. We already used the Veneto on our guesthouse and garage, so we'll continue with it to remain consistent on the main house. It does have some nice dusty terra cotta tones, which are rather hard to spot in this image. But, it is lovely.

No comments:

Post a Comment