Renovations of the Past and Renovations To Come -  Part V – The Dance Hall Is Introduced

     2014 begins year four for The Barn at High Point Farm – The Wedding Venue.  It has been an exciting, often surprising, and evolving three years. As we have moved forward, we see improvements that we would like to add and  reinvest in our property with a change. 

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     One of our first major changes was converting a couple of our stalls into the Buffet Room.  It was a sensible idea to transform unused space into a food room but it did present some challenges. But – hanging a wall of miscellaneous windows on either end of the Buffet Room helped to jump-start the look.  Talking my husband into drilling holes into some antique store olive buckets to create some funky pendent lights was an interesting plea but he obliged like he does with so many of our odd requests.  The rest came together and we look back now and wonder how we hosted wedding without our Buffet Room.  

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     Year two had us add the Foyer to the front of the barn.  This was a huge decision and expense but it was vital that I find a way to protect the inside of the barn from inclement weather.  I, of course, don’t have the ability to control the weather for my brides but I wanted to make sure that they could still carry on no matter what the weather was.  The foyer not only provided doors to close in order to protect the barn but it added character inside and out.

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     Adding our red trolly doors on the east side of the barn and creating a gravel loop was also a key addition.  This made for better access for vendors and guests as well as produced better flow and access into the barn..  Again – the doors added more than functionality but much character.  I do love my doors.

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     Re-doing the lounge by adding a Family Restroom with a changing station and an extra toilet (handicapped accessible to boot) plus adding hot water to our farm sink made for some very appreciated improvements. 
     Adding a Caterer’s Room in a stall also helped with the general logistics of the food presentation.  Caterers seem quite tickled to have tables and electricity.  Families are grateful that there are a couple of refrigerators plus the ability to tuck all of the mess of the food prep out of sight a bit.
     Adding an extension onto the barn towards the grove was also more of a logistic improvement making it easier for haybales to be stored close to the grove, making it easier for the music providers to have covered access to both the grove and the lawn, and even giving more space and “back door” options for our caterers.

     There were other changes over these years….to the farm and to the broader wedding venue;  Improving the grove so it could be a viable option for ceremonies, adding pathways and rock patios, improving the Groom’s Room, and adding a restroom to the Bridal Preparation area.  As our previous blog has told, we added the Bluebird Cottage to help provide a solution to some of the requests that we have had.  To have an option for guest lodging, to have a nearby option for the bride/groom so they do not have to travel far after their wedding festivities, and to be an option for a large bridal party to have a more spacious place to prepare – all of these now have another option. As we improve – we are able to see the fruits of our labor and how they are being utilized and even appreciated.  We do aim to please.

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     Now for this winter 2013/2014.  Winter is the only time we really have to do our projects but winter is also a very challenging time to get anything accomplished outside.  This year especially since the temps have regularly been frigid.  But….drum roll….we introduce our new addition – The Dance Hall.  It is only in stage one of completion but is beginning to take shape so I wanted to share the news with you.

     The Dance Hall is a 30 ft. x 36 ft. wing that is joined to the barn but will be closed in to be a heated/air-conditioned room to fit the needs of several purposes.  First – a great room for dancing.  On the wall that connects the original barn to the Dance Hall is a wall of windows so that those who remain in the main section of the barn can easily watch the festivities going on inside the dance hall.  One of our signature philosophies is the  open feel and the many doors of our barn so that the lines blur between in and out; that people don’t feel like they are stuck in a closed barn but that the many doors (and windows now) help you see out to various areas – whether to the Pear Tree Patio or to the garden or to the pasture and now….to the Dance Hall.  It means that while you are dancing the night away – that you can do so now in comfort.  This also means that during the day – if Granny comes early – that there is a room that she (and others) could go into to keep comfortable. It is another indoor option for a rain scenario ceremony for those smaller weddings.  This also means that the Foyer now becomes the Stage.  The head table or the photo or cake tables can be on display better and prettier.  This also just gives more room for tables and chairs for those larger weddings.  There are just many pluses to new addition!  Can you begin to imagine the possibilities?
     The picture above shows Jill’s oldest son, Tucker.  He helped me sweep and clean up the Dance Hall before our weekend tours.  The construction mess is continual but it felt good to sweep the floor.  He was a wonderful helper that day. I told him one day he will find it difficult to remember a day when we didn’t have the Dance Hall.
     We have been collecting barn wood for quite sometime now so that the outside will be wearing old aged barn wood so that it blends with the rest of the barn – so it will look as though it has always been here.  There is still much to do.  Adding the barn wood siding on all sides, electrical, insulating, painting windows, adding the interior, creating a funky chandelier to hang, furnishing it with some seating, landscaping, lighting,  and such….so I will likely add some more photos later. We will have it completed prior to the beginning of our wedding season – so no fretting now!   But..if you are a 2014 bride….make plans to utilize this area and then it also gives you more options for the Foyer area.
     There is one more winter project that is up our proverbial sleeve.  It does not get the priority that this project does so until we launch it – I will hold off giving you any clues.  You will just have to put up with this teaser and wonder – imagine – what in the world are these girls up to?
     Till later – Margie