A Pickering House New Year’s Update
Despite wickedly cold weather and today’s snow, the renovation is going full steam ahead on both the Inn and the Barn. Thank goodness we have heat inside!
Thanks to Josh and the team from J & L Plaster of Alton, all of the plaster is complete and the Inn is now starting to look “real.” Selections and schedules are well underway for finishing touches such as furnishings, light fixtures, room accessories and décor. In the meantime, renovation work results in daily transformations throughout Pickering House. Here’s a quick update of what is happening in each section of the Inn, Barn and grounds:
The Front: The Original 1813 Homestead
- The original woodwork is being refurbished. We saved everything possible, plus we milled trim and woodwork to match in additional areas of the house.
- The marble fireplace surrounds in the two front living rooms are being repaired, cleaned and restored. The rare yellow marble and ornate marble surrounds had been covered during renovation to protect them from damage. Now that the covers are off, we are reminded what treasures they are!
- The very unique accent wall (details are a surprise!) is prepped and all the carpenters on the team are very intrigued. They have never worked on anything like it!
- All appliances for the kitchen are ordered.
- The cabinets, built-ins and finish details for our “Gathering Room” are underway.
- The original balusters from the front staircase are being cleaned and repaired as needed.
- The new staircase from the reception area to the ells on the second / third floors is in the final design stage. We are looking forward to some very special railing details!
- We retained and exposed the original posts in the corners of some rooms. Our favorite – a 12 x 12 hand hewn post at the base of the second to third floor staircase -- is just amazing!
- In the third floor “Brewster Suite”, we are adding shiplap finishes, skylights, an open flame gas stove and a really unique bathroom. We are loving this space!
The Ells: The Mid-1800's Additions
- The sun-filled second floor hallway / refreshment area has its first coat of paint and the crew is hard at work completing the window and door trim. This space has one of our favorite views of Brewster field!
- The three, spacious, second floor guest rooms each have their own character and special touches. Right now, tile work is underway in each of the bathrooms, including the installation of heat under the tile floors.
- The third floor has been transformed from a somewhat creepy attic into an amazing guest room and the Pickering Suite! The Pickering Suite even has a walk-in closet to store formal wear when events are being held at the Inn and Barn (a rarity for a historic inn!). In the next few weeks, our team will be installing replacement arched windows fabricated by Granite State Glass.
- Kudos and a giant thank you to Patrick Jordan (of Shelley Engineering in Gray, Maine) and the team from Conneston for rising to the challenge of making necessary repairs and structural enhancements without losing the character of our wonderful barn. After a lot of brainstorming, collaboration and patience, we are now in the final phase of work on the lofts and staircase. From the beginning, our goal was to look up and see the original barn ceiling as if we had traveled back in time. Looks like we got it!
- The structural framing gets back underway in about two weeks.
- Nick Lagannas and his team from Carroll County Construction are joining the on-site Conneston team this month for work on the Barn finishes (and some of the accent areas within the Inn).
- The exterior Barn lights are on site and will hopefully go up soon.
- Watch for news about a décor item that Patty has been talking about for quite some time (and for which she has been teased by numerous family members and a few friends in the know). It has arrived and she knows it will look great!
Exterior & Grounds
- After Peter stripped the original front doors of the Inn, Rich Ferguson repaired them and Steve Phillips painted them. The glass is getting installed this month and custom storm doors are underway.
- The fence is in the home stretch of restoration work until we begin re-installing it in the spring. The terra cotta caps to the posts have been repaired and restored, the new railings and scrolls are nearing completion, and those MANY original balusters are stripped, prepped and ready for paint.
- When things warm up a bit (fingers crossed that it will be soon!), we’ll finish work on the porch and install the handmade lanterns that will be at the front doors facing the street and the entrance door facing the courtyard (which will be the main entrance to the Inn).
Stay Tuned For….
- Upcoming news on two featured pieces of art that will be at the Inn. One piece is from an artist with close local ties to the area and one is from Patty’s extremely talented artist sister!
- The announcement of our Inn Keeper
- Our official website with details about guest rooms, private events in The Barn and the Pickering House experience
- Special events open to the public
- Our Opening Date in 2018 (dictated by Mother Nature since we have a spring “to do” list for exterior work)!
We purchased Pickering House in January 2016. What a two years this has been – and how exciting 2018 will be!
As always, thanks for your support, kind words and encouragement. We are so delighted that the “yellow building” will be framing the entrance to Wolfeboro for years to come!
With best wishes for the New Year,