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...


  1. It's so exciting to see such progress! I can't wait for more updates on the decor - the Jasperwear blue is a complete delight!
    As I rad this post I was reminded of beautiful homes I have seen in Architectural Digest and it crossed my mind that they should get in touch with you!
    Bravo, both...
    Best wishes from a cold but sunny England,

    1. Thanks for following the updates. It sometimes feels like a long time between photographable differences, despite the hard work being put in. Enjoy fresh but sunny England, before Winter sets in.

  2. I'm coming at this rather late, but it is wonderful to see the progress. I'm very keen on the pilasters both inside and outside. Hope things are sticking to your schedule and budget. (Or as near as these things ever do!)

    1. Thanks Columnist. Unfortunately 'time' and 'budget' both got off their leads and ran amock, but they are firmly restrained again, and thanks to some family help we are back on track for Christmas in our own home.


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