Veronica Cline Barton
I’m once again in the grandiose rooms of Cherrywood Hall as I write book three and I can’t help but smile at the scale and décor of the rooms my characters have the privilege of living in. There’s something about a room that’s a hundred feet long with fireplaces so big you can walk right into them and stand tall. Our trip to Biltmore House in Ashville last month gave me a refresh of just how grand and elaborate castle décor is.
Biltmore house is has 250 rooms housed in 175,000 sq. ft.(that’s four acres of house, can you imagine!) I’ve shown you the pictures of the park like grounds of the estate. Today I thought I’d show a few of the interior pictures I took with you and share why they spoke to me as I roamed the grand rooms. The featured picture above is a stained glass the Vanderbilt family commissioned that highlights their love and spirit of hospitality and prosperity, Biltmore style (I’d definitely say they knew how to throw a party). Let’s take a look at a few of the rooms I fell in love with (and I could have sworn I saw Aunt Pippa popping around as we took our tour…).
The Dining Room
The dining room with its grand 3 hearth fireplace drew my breath away (sorry my picture only captured two from this angle–they have the room roped off). You could literally walk into the hearths standing tall–I’ve never seen a fireplace so grand. The ceiling in this room was over seventy feet tall and could easily sit a hundred+ people if extra tables were set in the room. The wood carvings, frescos, and tapestries in the room were simply stunning. I kept thinking of Gemma and her crew entertaining in a dining room such as this. Can you imagine the conversations, the dresses, the jewels? The Queen herself would approve, I’m sure (although I’m pretty sure that Pippa would have the chairs reupholstered in blue).
As a writer and a reader, I fell in love with this room. It is basically wall to wall books (over 20,000 volumes). The wood carvings around the book shelves was just magnificent. Can you imagine sitting in this room during a rainstorm with the fireplace blazing, nestled in a chair reading your favorite book? To me, that would be pure bliss. I just have to close with a picture of this carved book ladder in the library—it’s so beautiful with its curves and detailing, I just love it.
The Winter Garden
The Winter Room is one of the first rooms you see when entering Biltmore House. The limestone walls and columns are magnificent. I loved the bronze statue and light posts. The carved wood domed ceiling with individual panes was a stunning detail. I’d take my coffee every morning in this room, before anyone was up. I know Gemma would approve 🙂 .
Architectural Design Details
I kept looking up at the ceilings and doorways as we made our way around the beautiful rooms. My hubby and I both love to see the stone and masonry used. The archways, molding, and beam designs were amazing in their details and I can’t even imagine how many artisans would have had to work to get these elaborate details installed. Stone sculptors, wood workers, and painters would have had a field day working in this house. I would have loved to have been able to watch these masters as their designs came into place. Their craftmanship and workmanship will live on forever.
The Winding Stairway and Chandeliers
I couldn’t believe the scale and grandeur of the winding staircase that goes to three floors of the house. The stairs and wrought iron railings were magnificent. I could just imagine all the fun it would have been to walk down these stairs dressed in beautiful ballgowns and jewels. The grand iron chandeliers at each level were perfectly placed, one right under the other. I tried to take a picture looking down but I had to say I suffered a little vertigo! I’ll have to return during Christmas, I’m sure they have this stairway decorated almost royally 🙂 .
The Biltmore House and Front Lawn
You can see by the people and buses in front of the house how massive this grand house is. I’m so glad it’s open to the public, giving us castle lovers a chance to roam its halls and dream. Biltmore House and Gardens is a wonderful place to visit (I wonder if HGTV is considering a castle decorating show?). I’ll be going back I’m sure.
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. Biltmore House and Gardens in Ashville, NC ( https://www.biltmore.com/landing/2018-summer?cid=ppc:brand:bing:seg-4Wbrand:brand-biltmore&c ) . And just one more picture below—an auntie with her very lovely niece, wearing our crowns (we were at Biltmore House you know—Aunt Pippa and Gemma would approve 🙂 ).