Saturday, October 31, 2015

Slow and Steady...

It's been a very busy month at work, with stepping up to a new position at work whilst still managing my previous position until someone else is found to fill the post - hence very little in the way of blogging this month. There has been steady progress with the build, and Peter has had a challenging time with the gardens with Spring always requiring a task force to keep them in shape. The green barn gets taken down this month and the concrete dug up for planting the second half of the vineyard.

Here is a photo of the back of the manor from the urn parterre. Hopefully we will be able to start to shift in to the upstairs next month. The carpet is due to be laid upstairs in a fortnight or so, with all the painting and marble being finished next week, and the final fit out of the plumbing and lighting the week after that. Then they will focus on the downstairs area, trying to get us in by Christmas. We are hosting a large Christmas party this year, being the first in the manor, with family and friends flying in from around the world to visit. 

Hopefully November will be a better month for blogging. Thank you to everyone who still stops by now and then to keep tabs on the progress. We appreciate your support.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Progress Report...

Spring has burst forth at Willowbrook, with daylight savings time starting last weekend. Building progress is springing forth too. After the wet and dark winter months we are so looking forward to the sun and light (a metaphor for the long journey with this project in general I think). Here are some photos of where things are up to so far...

Above: The tulip "Princess Irene".

Above: View of the front of manor from the site of the future courtyard fountain.

Below: View of the foyer and front door.

 Above and Below: Photos of the front door and the vestibule under the long gallery

The marble has arrived for the staircase (below) and will be fitted this coming month. In the photo below you can see the salon on the left, the hallway to the dining room to the right of the staircase, the China room to the right of that and the foyer to the right of that.

Above: View towards the piano corner, with ballroom to the right and salon to the left. 

Below: The view towards the salon with terrace on left and doors to hallway and billiard room on right.

Below: Close up of the cornice, column and decorative plaster motif of a lyre, trumpet and garlands.

Below: View through to the ballroom.

Below: View of The Ballroom out to terrace.
Above: View of ballroom towards the mirrored wall (currently in black render), with the music room and terrace to left.

Below: Detail of cornicing and columns and arched French windows.
Above: View from mirrored wall.

Below: View through the Music Room to the Salon.

Below: View of The Salon towards Music Room with loggia and terrace through French windows on right.

Above and Below: The China Room in vivid Jasperware blue ("Jasper" by Resene paints).

Above: The billiard room, looking towards fireplace.

Below: The wooden paneling starting to be placed around the walls. The door architraves and skirting boards have yet to be stained to match.

Above and Below: The Gold Drawing Room, showing plaster details on ceiling.

Below: The Kitchen.
Above: View north towards terrace with panoramic window.

Below: View from window towards  (left to right) Scullery, Dining Room Hallway, and Pantry.

Above and Below: The Dining Room. 

Moving upstairs now, here is a view across the landing towards the long gallery, with dome visible above foyer atrium.

Below: View from long gallery down into atrium and foyer.
Above: Long Gallery.

Below: View to lift and staircase.

Below: View down corridor towards Brideshead Suite, Studies and Private Quarters.

Below: David's Study.

Below: Master Suite.

Below: Master Ensuite

Above and Below: The red Levanto Rosso marble of the Chatsworth ensuite.

Below: The Blenheim Suite.

Below: The gray Statuario marble of the Blenheim ensuite.

Below: The Brideshead Suite.

It's looking a little messy at present, as it is the main access to the upstairs balcony, which the builders are working on at present.

Below: The beige marble of the  Brideshead ensuite, enfolding the spa bath.

Moving outside, here is a view of the north facade of the manor from the sphinxes. It has been a very wet and cold winter, so the lawn is looking a little worse for wear, but we will soon whip it into shape before the opening. We need to wait until the terrace and blade walls have been plastered and had the travertine laid until we can put in the final gardens and complete the lawn, which will include travertine steps between the sphinxes and at either side.

Above: Zooming in on the top left hand corner one can see the square columns have been affixed on either side of the architraves of the French windows, to 'support' the frieze band and dentils.

Below: The columns as seen from the upstairs balcony.

So, as you can see, things are coming together and the manor is growing. So too has Alex, who came back to us after spending some time on my uncle's farm...

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