High Country Renovation
June 11, 2016, Charlotte experienced its first heat wave of the year. With the impending heat to blanket the city on our free weekend, we headed out of Dodge and into the cool mountains of NC. The cooler temperatures made scenic outdoor activities more manageable- it has been just plain relaxing. The cool mountain breeze planted thoughts of one day transitioning us from visitors to mountain dwellers.
We have often thought of summer living by the sea or hiding under the canopies of trees fenced in by majestic mountain views. We even considered the grand dream of living in some remote European provincial setting. We abandoned that grand idea and settled for the majestic mountain views with elements of European provincial life when we came across Paris Road- in Foscoe North Carolina. A town just two hours shy from Charlotte, NC that is!
“Welcome to This Side of Paris where you can keep your glamorous attitude in the mountainous setting of Western North Carolina” ran through our minds. Sandwiched between Grandfather Mountain and Appalachian State University, the town of Foscoe offers four seasons living. State Route 105 offers many tourist attractions centered around the scenic surroundings of Boone, Banner Elk, and Blowing Rock with less than five miles to the nearest vineyards and of course the many ski resorts in the high country. For those who have children, Tweetsie Railroad will keep them entertained in their tracks. Everything that we love to see and do is within a short unhurried drive. It was a match made in heaven for a weekend getaway.
Scenic Photos @Jim Neal Photography
If a true, peaceful, unhurried home away from home is what you are seeking, the grounds allow for that. Nature surrounds this charming cabin and the quarter mile driveway from the house is secluded enough to give you the quiet surroundings you expect. The “Jardin” stone wall serves as a backdrop for beautiful endless summer hydrangeas and French lilacs all contained in the garden awaiting the tender hands of a patient gardener. I am inspired by all the French garden photos and pinned a few on Pinterest. The twenty-eight best French gardens published in Veranda are breath taking. Most especially Marlston Luce restored farmhouse in Southwest France. The mind is racing to carry out dinner parties, an afternoon croquet, and a quiet evening by the fire in "This Side of Paris."
Gardens That Inspire
Exciting as it may be to stay entertained by this place, Grandfather Vineyard and Banner Elk Winery also offer a quick trip for an afternoon wine tasting during the summer and fall months. With tomorrow being another day, a short stroll on the gravel path down past the old Calloway Cemetery to the bottom of the driveway awaits another adventure. A fishing pole and a bucket in hand, fly fishing might just be the next favorite sport. If all else fails, take a short walk to Grandfather Trout Pond for a sure catch. You can even stop by the Foscoe Mining Co. on the way back to pan for gold dust. “Oh, heaven done come down!” is what an old friend use to say when good things are in abundance.
This Side of Paris might just be the perfect location for a winter wonderland come ski season. Seven Devils, Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain are some of the closest ski and tubing trails around. If the unhurried home away from home is what you truly crave in a weekend getaway, well, strap your skis and down you go from the top of the drive, and you’ll experience the bunny hill all on the property sans the conveyor belt.
Just like that on June 18th, we were officially in a binding contract to purchase the gem on Paris Road - an early jubilee in celebration of my existence on planet Earth. Forty days later, we crossed over the threshold of another world. It is where the simplicity is practiced, and a timepiece is unnecessary.
It didn't matter that the garden wall is covered with strings of unwelcome greenery that seek to cover the natural patina of the river rocks. It didn’t matter that the gravel driveway is littered with a variety of unknown sprigs. It didn’t matter that the kitchen cabinets looked their best fifty years ago. It didn’t matter that the house did not have a sweet fragrance of lavender in the summer time or did not have the smell of pastry baking in the oven. What mattered most is the potential this place has. That day, we proclaimed all the events that will be held in this small, peaceful little house set atop of a hill surrounded by the beauty of nature. That day, we declared “as for me and my house this will be a place of laughter, relaxation and a time to declare the goodness of the Creator.”
All four rooms in the house have been in the process of a mini makeover in my mind since we first set eyes on this tiny cabin. The upcoming days and weeks will breathe life into tired rooms and propel them in a modern aesthetic style of Parisian Americana on This Side of Paris. The fifty shades of brown will change into fifty shades of cuteness. Every wild and hybrid flower and shrub will find their perfect light to grow their best. This tired old cabin will soon welcome guests into its walls for a peaceful retreat. For each that journey here, this place will be home away from home.
As we share our DIY experience in seasons to follow, we hope that our venture in design is helpful in the ins and outs of High Country home renovations. From gardening, plumbing, kitchen, and interior design we will share what works and what does not. Will share the places you curiously want to visit. The best views to picnic. The best places to hike. The people you will want to meet and places where you will want to visit. These local points of interest will surely be the spots where everybody knows your name. Follow our journey as we breathe life into "This Side of Paris."