Category Archives: Renovations

The lagoon at the Mad River Barn

“Project Season” at the Mad River Barn

Although it would seem that Olde Man Winter decided to go on strike for the majority of last year, we were lucky enough to have a wonderfully busy season what with the many new and repeat guests to our inn rooms, as well as the continued patronage of said inn guests, loyal locals, and every other much appreciated customer who walked through the doors to the Pub and Restaurant.  With that being said, it is hard to deny human nature, and by the umpteenth round of snow shoveling and ice-salting (a.k.a February) one cannot help but to start daydreaming about what equally productive activities one could be accomplishing outside when the ground starts looking a bit more green… and one’s fingers start feeling a bit less frostbitten ; )

This may not be common knowledge to visitors of our lovely Mad River Valley who are accustomed to seeing it marketed as a 4 season resort destination, but year-round residents know the real truth of the matter. Vermont actually has SIX seasons-  Spring, Summer, Fall, Stick Season, Winter, and Mud Season.  This last weather phenomenon could also be referred to by many other pet names- “Dead Season” to Restauranteurs, “Wake up and raid the Birdseed” season to Black Bears, “Sleep/Recovery Season” to Snowmakers, “Hubcap Eating Season” to our dirt road dwellers, etc. And while occasionally a few of these monikers could, theoretically, be prefaced by some rather… ahem “colorful” language, here at the Mad River Barn we are choosing to view our Lawson’s glass as half-full and have decided on a more optimistic nomenclature- “Project Season”!!!

Another bit of lesser known trivia, is that sitting a little ways back on the upper field, hiding beneath the boughs of some lovely and established Pine Trees, there lives a tiny building formerly known as Poolhouse.  Now, lest some people get all oddly excited at the prospect of a swimming pool hiding back there as well- perish the thought.  That particular feature has long been retired and returned to the earth, and everyone knows that summers are for swimming in the Mad River.

The Pool  House

The Pool House

Leave it to the ever present creativity of Joanne Palmisano to conjure up a vision for the next chapter in the life of the building (formerly known as Poolhouse).  Anyone who is familiar with the history of design work at the Mad River Barn (and if you aren’t you should be!) will know that it physically pains Joanne to watch anything that still has use or value be discarded… and that encompasses pretty much everything she sees. With the continued popularity of DIY weddings, and the seemingly endless imagination with which one can create in an Etsy and Pinterest era, the Barn has amassed quite a collection of decorations.  The only logical next step for Joanne’s mind to take was that of COURSE these materials should be given the opportunity to be further enjoyed, and what better use for our little building than to be re-incarnated as a centralized home for all of them?  (Believe it or not, more than one employee had been heavily campaigning to convert it into a summer residence for their horse, and even WE… I mean… THEY have had to begrudgingly admit this was a much better plan)

Dubbing the idea “Rent-a-Shed”- the endgame objective is to have all of our decorations housed and displayed inside and it will become an option available to any prospective client. For a nominal fee they can “Rent” the Shed and have carte blanche to utilize as many objects as they desire in whatever way they feel would make their day most special.

Wedding decorations

Wedding decorations

In the meantime, however, one of the projects tackled so far this year by the Barn team has been a massive cleanOUT of said Shed’s interior, as well as a cleanUP of the exterior and surrounding land.  The phrase “many hands make light work” truly proved itself accurate during this (rather daunting) endeavor and lucky Andy spent the better part of three days with a ragtag crew of Barn employees gittin’er done.  This brings up yet another reason why Project Season has been proving itself to be invaluable this year beyond just the usefulness of the finished products themselves.

Andrew building benches for outdoor seating

Andrew building benches for outdoor seating

One of the ugly truths to living/running a business in a seasonal resort town is the unavoidable oscillation of tourism. During the slower shoulder seasons the pace dwindles tremendously.  At this juncture you are faced with the difficulty of trying to figure out a way to maintain and utilize the employees that are so integral to running the business during the busier seasons when faced with a comparative trickle of revenue.  It is nothing less than fortuitous that our kitchen crew is full of many multi-talented employees who are agreeable enough to work their hours elsewhere once the insanity of ski season dies down (and between the grounds, guest rooms, and multiple buildings on premise there is no dearth of jobs to be done).  We were able to poach both Josh and Taylor and employ their skills in a plethora of tasks.  Painting, touch-ups, landscaping, carpentry, masonry, chainsaw work, tree work, running an excavator, butcher, baker, candlestick maker.. and one can never discount the importance of sheer muscle (and my personal favorite- eye candy!).

 When the first big renovation was underway in the central Barn Building one of the main concerns was how to keep the basement dry throughout the year- no mean feat with an older building that is happily situated at the base of a mountain range.  The solution was a series of piping that leads underneath the barn and carries the runoff to the base of our tiered gardens and eventually travels through a culvert into the Millbrook across the street.  While the basement has remained drier than British wit ever since its rehabilitation, the last lingering concern regarding our run-off was the ecological effect said water may have on the health of the Millbrook itself. Even with the filtering effect of the soil from the garden there was always the question of whether or not any temperature variation between the original stream and the water our business contributed would affect the natural order.  It was during a pre-Mud Project Season walk around the grounds that Heather expressed yet again her desire for Peeper Frogs to take up residence on the property and the answer to both conundrums became clear- if we built it, they would come. Enter Project Lagoon.

Josh and his helper trenching the lagoon

Josh and his helper trenching the lagoon

The purpose of the Lagoon is multi-faceted. Besides the most important goal of becoming known as the #1 destination community for Peeper Frogs on TripAdvisor, it solves the ecological question by serving as a holding tank for runoff water from the Inn and allowing all the liquid to reach the same temperature before it continues on its journey under the road and into the MillBrook. The Lagoon will also figure into our longer vision plans of utilizing all the different areas around the MRB grounds and allowing them to play various roles during our Wedding weekends (and, of course, a spot where our non-nuptially motivated Inn residents could enjoy their stay).  We envision hosting a reception or cocktail hour among the raised beds of the garden where guest could grab a libation and wander up and down the terraces, across the water on our bridge and back- just in time for a refill- before moving on to their next location for dinner.

Josh and Taylor building the bridge over the lagoon

Josh and Taylor building the bridge over the lagoon

We feel so very lucky to be a property with options for our Wedding Guests to enjoy over their entire weekend stay- Breakfast in the dining room, a walk or run on the Catamount Trail right outside the front door, maybe a hike up the 9th hole ski trail to explore Mad River Glen, a quick game of afternoon shuffleboard in the Game Room is an excellent way to bond with future family members, afternoon cocktails in the garden, Dinner and Dancing on upper field Landing, S’mores and a Bonfire around the fire pit, back to the Pub for an afterparty… The possibilities are endless!!!

The lagoon at the Mad River Barn

The lagoon at the Mad River Barn

 

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you soon!

Meredith Marble, Assistant Innkeeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Longhouse Rooms Design Revealed…

We hope that you guys get just as excited about all the fun and unique design work that goes into our spaces as we do. So we thought it only fitting to give you a detailed “report” of all the fun things that are incorporated into the new Longhouse rooms (formally known as the Annex Rooms).  The recycling, repurposing and reclaimed materials abound… Big huge thank you to Susan Teare for taking some amazing pictures and to Joanne Palmisano, the designer of the project.

Ta Da! The longhouse rooms! In each picture we will reveal a little Salvage Secret about them spaces. Here we'll tell you a little about the side tables. They are made from recycled 2 x4's and plywood. Painted red and then Joanne picked up some scrap pieces of stone at a stone shop and had them cut to fit the tops. The reclaimed wood sliding barn doors separate the bunk areas (this room has 4 bunk beds).

Ta Da! The longhouse rooms! In each picture we will reveal a little Salvage Secret about the spaces. Here we’ll tell you a little about the side tables. They are made from recycled 2 x4′s and plywood. Painted red and then Joanne picked up some scrap pieces of stone at a stone shop and had them cut to fit the tops. The reclaimed wood sliding barn doors separate the bunk areas (this room has 4 bunk beds).

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Where to begin! Let’s start with the vanity. Joanne picked up some reclaimed 2 x 4′s at the Rebuild Center on Pine Street in Burlington. They are from an older building because they are actually true 2×4′s :). Then she designed the look she wanted and asked Brett Bundock, a friend, neighbor and carpenter, to build them (he did all our farmhouse tables at the Inn). Then Joanne did a fun painting technique on them and we polyed the top like crazy. Dropped in a sink and voila — very fun and unique vanity made from recycled materials. Then Joanne had Conant Metal and Light turn the turkey feeders she picked up in Nashville at the Country Living Fair into pendant lights! The subway tile, birch log shower curtain, oversized mirror from Portland Glass, and ceramic wood looking floors, round out the space. The reclaimed wood hooks, reflected in the mirror come in handy and we can never seem to put enough of them up :) And of course, the vintage maple bucket, Joanne picked up at Champlain Valley Antiques, is like the exclamation point on this fun bathroom!

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So here is L2! Each room is slightly different in configuration and number of beds but the look and feel is the same in all the them. Let’s start on the bottom and work our way up. The carpet tiles are made by a company called FLOR. They are made from recycled carpet fibers! We love the pattern and look and the eco friendliness about it. The platform beds are made from plywood (painted red) and reclaimed beams from our first major renovation project.The spread across the bottom of the bed are called Kantha Throws–which is a type of embroidery popular in East South Asia were old saris are stacked on each other and hand stitched to make a thin piece of cushion. Not only are we thrilled about the recycling part but the more important part of the story of these throws, from ShopDignify, are made by women who once were previously living on the street, or working in sex work (often these go hand in hand), or in a vulnerable situation at risk of such. The four throws in these rooms account for one month’s worth of work for these women. (Together we can make small steps to big changes).

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Two of the four renovated rooms have four (4) bunk beds. So those traveling with six people — these two rooms are perfect for you guys! The curtain rod is made from old piping.

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More about the rooms. As you can see, there are TV’s in them! But even cooler than that are the reclaimed barn wood walls that serve as the headboards. Sanded and sealed, they gorgeous pieces of wood! And on each of the side tables are table lamps made from old pieces of floor lamps and other scrap metal parts.

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More hooks on reclaimed wood…

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Two of the rooms come with one set of bunk beds. These rooms are perfect for 4 people. Not to mention the custom made barn door sliders made from the reclaimed wood from the old barn. These doors give everyone a little privacy. Also — the rooms have mini-refrigerators as well.

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Giving the televisions a little more character with some reclaimed barn wood.

 

There's more??!!!??? Yes. The artwork on the walls, Joanne made from scraps of wood from the project and black and white pictures.

There’s more??!!!??? Yes. The artwork on the walls, Joanne made from scraps of wood from the project and black and white pictures. And the small tables have custom made tops from the old barn wood that used to be on the exterior of the Inn. They are wrapped in metal from Metal Works and then we gave them a two-part epoxy.

You can't miss which room is your's when you entrance the Longhouse...We also have shelving made from reclaimed wood for your ski boots and the ceiling is decorated with vintage Douglas fir flooring. Joanne made the sign...just a little reminder :)

You can’t miss which room is your’s when you entrance the Longhouse…We also have shelving made from reclaimed wood for your ski boots and the ceiling is decorated with vintage Douglas fir flooring. Joanne made the sign…just a little reminder :)

Enjoy our newly renovated rooms!

Our best, Heather and  Andrew

 

 

 

Add a dash of recycled wood and stone end tables, a pinch of custom made table lamps by Conant Metal and Light, a wall of reclaimed wood, two custom made pillows by Joanne and her daughter and the recipe is complete!

Introducing the Longhouse at Mad River Barn

Well…we did it! Rooms 1-4 of the once Annex, now called the Longhouse, are now open.  Four rooms…who would’ve “thunk” it would be so much work! But the entire infrastructure of the building had to be redone and basically brought down to the studs. There are so many people we need to thank for going the extra mile — really! BIG HUGE THANK YOU!

Now with all the comforts of a modern home, great lighting, ac and heating, updated plumbing, you will enjoy a comfortable night’s stay in these updated rooms, that still have the look and feel of Mad River Barn, past and present.

So without further ado… we’ll give you a quick recap of the final week and results. Soon we’ll have some professional pictures taken by Susan Teare, to give you the full effect, but for now, enjoy Joanne’s, our designer’s, iphone pictures.

believe it our not, this is how the rooms looked two days before opening! Everyone was burning the midnight oil!

Believe it our not, this is how the rooms looked two days before opening! Everyone was burning the midnight oil!

Then suddenly, it all started to come together. Joanne and Ethan, our son, put up Joanne's scrap wood artwork.

Then suddenly, it all started to come together. Joanne and Ethan, our son, put up Joanne’s scrap wood artwork.

The bed's were being brought in and made.  The platforms where built from the old beams from the farmhouse, with notched in red dimensional lumber.

The bed’s were being brought in and made. The platforms, built from the old beams from the farmhouse, fit perfectly up against the old barn wood walls. The quilts at the bottom of the bed are from the company Dignify. They are hand-stitched in Bangladesh from six layers of reclaimed sari cloth. The women who make them were previously living on the street, or working in sex work, or in a vulnerable situation at risk of such. Good design, good causes… win, win…

Reclaimed barn wood was once again used to create hooks for the bathrooms and bedrooms. Dang... we love these hooks and so do our guests!

Reclaimed barn wood was once again used to create hooks for the bathrooms and bedrooms. Dang… we love these hooks and so do our guests! Fun shower curtains Joanne picked out…

The custom made barn doors that separate the queen bed room from the two bunk rooms, is up and ready... so are the numbers on the doors... you can't miss which room is yours!

The custom made barn doors that separate the queen bed area from the two bed bunk rooms, are up and ready… so are the numbers on the doors… you can’t miss which room is yours!

 

Add a dash of recycled wood and stone end tables, a pinch of custom made table lamps by Conant Metal and Light, a wall of reclaimed wood, two custom made pillows by Joanne and her daughter and the recipe is complete!

Add a dash of recycled wood and stone end tables, a pinch of custom made table lamps by Conant Metal and Light, two custom made pillows by Joanne and her daughter and the recipe is complete!

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We can’t wait till you come and see these rooms for yourself…besides the great decor and amazingly comfortable beds, they also have televisions and mini refrigerators.  We can’t wait to personally introduce you to the Longhouse rooms.

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

Almost there…Annex Renovations at Mad River Barn

We’re getting excited because the four rooms we are renovating in the Annex building (soon to be called the Longhouse) are coming together.  These parts are so important, making sure the place is insulated well, waterproofed, electricity in the right spots, energy efficient, and all that fun stuff…even though it is the design work in the end that gets all the credit.

The new annex rooms not only have plenty of space for you and your family (sleeping from 4 to six people) but these rooms will have televisions in them. Small luxury for those who are not staying in the barn building. Again, four of the eight rooms will be done…next year…the rest of the building.

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Exciting right! Insulation between the rooms. Those who have stayed in these rooms will totally appreciate this extra effort.

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Getting the stairs prepared for sheetrock after the soundproofing is done.

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There is always something to discuss…the details are too numerous to count. Thank goodness we are experts now — after the barn, this is easie-peasie. (Maybe we should not jinx ourselves…but it is a bit smaller of a project.)

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The tiny pieces of wood that we can’t use (according to Joanne that would be about 1 inch by 1/2 inch) we put to good use with some chocolate, graham crackers and a bunch of warm marshmallows!

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Joanne has a plan for these pieces of scrap stone she got at Burlington Marble & Granite! Nothing goes to waste with her!

 

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This is the hard part…paints change colors, depending on the wall, angle of light, time of day…Joanne tells us picking paint colors is the hardest part of her job. Phew…thank goodness that’s not our problem :) She has picked some! Yippee, painting starts today!

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Just getting the tile into the first bathroom. LOVE this old wood tile look… We are soooo excited!

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The stairs are sheet rocked and primed — Look how happy Gizmo is about this…See…he can barely contain himself.

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Joanne asked Brett to make the vanities again…He is happy about it (even though he looks so serious in this picture). Here he is in his garage working away. Everyone loves the reclaimed wood farmhouse tables he made for the restaurant, the pub tables and the bathroom vanities made from our reclaimed wood and metal. We kinda know what Joanne’s design is for the Annex vanities but we are not exactly sure. We know Joanne is having him use wood from our renovation (see the tops) and reclaimed dimensional lumber–that’s good enough for us. He is also making the end tables… We should see these puppies by the end of next week. Not sure we can wait that long — so excited!

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For those who don’t get excited about primer, sheetrock and insulation…you will love our new container gardens! Filled with herbs, tomatoes…and much more for the chef, for the restaurant. We stuck a few things in for ourselves as well. We’ve made a path for all our gardening guests to enjoy these beauties.

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We had to show you the pile of our vintage, reclaimed wood left over from the barn project and from the Annex building. We spent the weekend organizing it all. Now, if the rest of our lives could be so organized… Can’t wait till these pieces of red painted barn wood become round tables for the rooms!

We hope, when you are planning your spring breaks, summer vacations, fall foliage tours or winter ski trips, that you’ll come stay, eat and be merry with us at Mad River Barn.

That’s it for now… less than 30 days! The count down begins…better book your room now :)

Our best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

Renovations Continue at Mad River Barn

Well, things are coming along at the Annex and the Barn. We had a week off in April and are refreshed and ready for some summer fun! The weather has been amazing and we’ve been working away on spring cleaning, a few tweaks at the Barn, and the renovations at the Annex are in FULL SWING!

Loving this reclaimed wood look rug by FLOR!

Loving this reclaimed wood look rug by FLOR!

We’ve added a full wall to wall carpet in the dining room — it is a recycled product and goes in like tile. So if one gets ruined we don’t have to replace the whole carpet. Clever… we know…

Now off to the Annex (soon to be the Longhouse). Things are moving along… the framing is almost complete and we are so thrilled with the look of these rooms! They are going to be awesome!

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The walkways are being put in and some ofthe landscaping will be done. We will incorporate the last two antique grinding stones into the pathway. (Those things are heavy!)

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We know this part may not seem exciting, but check it out — look at the large windows, big room space and the alcove for a wall mounted TV… can you see it?

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It is official… we have caught our designer, Joanne Palmisano’s bug… the “save every little tiny piece of wood — we could use that somewhere”—bug! And we are… checking out what we made this weekend…

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That’s right, from this reclaimed wood and the old square head nails we pulled out of them, and the old pipe hangers, we made menu holders for the dining room and pub. How clever are we?!?

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And the less thick pieces of the left over wood we will add the cast iron robe hooks to and place in the rooms. It seems we can never have enough hooks!

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And while we are all working away, Joanne’s out shopping… hmm…something is wrong with this picture! Just kidding, Joanne! We are so excited she is once again finding some cool old pieces to add to the rooms, including more chicken feeders for bathroom lights. She picked these up while she was presenting at the Country Living Fair in Nashville!

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The relatives are back from the Midwest to help us out. Thanks so much! They are taking a quick break, checking in with the painter, Frances (left). Check out this amazing roof line in the upstairs bedrooms — can’t wait to see how these turn out!

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Future firepit? Not sure…but we had to keep the bottoms of the old tanks…how cool is this!

That’s it for now! More to come soon… follow along (just put your email address in the sidebar and you’ll get the blogs when they post).

Our best, Heather and Andrew

 

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More Demo on the Annex…

So this is the part where you see all the sledge hammers on the TV shows knocking down the walls and smashing the sinks…not us! We are carefully pulling everything out and recycling all the pieces and parts and sending what we can off to Habitat of Humanity, some of it we are keeping to go back into the project, and a little bit of the scrap wood pieces that we can’t save goes in a big bonfire (note to self: add marshmallows to grocery list).

Of course, building in the spring in Vermont means working around the snow and mud…having fun with that! But things are moving along and we really hope you see some big changes in the next few weeks!

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Our son Ethan took this amazing picture of the bonfire and the “spring” renovation project.
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This stair system is moving back about 10 feet. We will have a larger entranceway and safer steps.

 

 

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Jim, the architect for the project and Chris, the structural engineer, are hard at work making sure all the support beams are where they are supposed to be. :) Yup…it’s the details you don’t see that make the difference.

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What would we do without Gary willing to work on all the demo jobs! Piece by piece the plywood is coming up…and it is killing Joanne, the designer that we can’t just leave the original wood floors exposed. We have to admit they are gorgeous. We will be getting some pieces of reclaimed wood we can use in the project…don’t worry.

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I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anyone who lives in Vermont and renovates an old building that there are a few rotting pieces that need removal.

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Here is the rug choice that Joanne picked out for the rooms. It is similar to the ones in the Barn. What we all love about the FLOR product is that it is made in the USA, it is 100% recycled face fibers and they are squares so if we have to replace a small piece we can do that and not have to replace a whole carpet.

 

 

 

Let the Renovations Begin…The Longhouse

Last year's pile of fun things to consider...

Last year’s pile of fun things to consider…

Well, we’re about to begin the renovations on the Longhouse (aka…the Annex). The busy ski season is slowing down (although it is snowing outside) and things are starting to thaw out, so it’s time!

Thanks to Jim Edgcomb, our architect, once again, we have some great architectural drawings that are totally updating the spaces. Thanks Jim!

Of course, the things that you won’t see are the improved sound-proofing, insulation, plumbing, heating and electricity, but they’ll be there and we know you’ll be soooo happy!  What you will see, is the exciting design, Joanne Palmisano, our designer, is working on.

As with the Barn, we are working with the concept of recycled, salvaged and vintage goods, mixed with new and quality materials. We are keeping the overall Mad River Barn theme and coloring, but we will change it up a bit.

Joanne has come up with some concepts we’re really excited about so we thought we’d have you come along on our renovation journey. We’ll start with the bathrooms. Joanne usually starts with a drawing for us to get our minds around one of her ideas. For example, here is the drawing for the dining room.

Here was the first concept drawing for the dining room farmhouse table area.

Here was the first concept drawing for the dining room farmhouse table area.

Mad River Barn Dining Room close up

And here it is now…in reality!

 

This is Joanne's first drawing of what it may look like (things always get tweaked a bit). So once the drawing is done, Joanne starts looking for the materials she has in mind for them.

This is Joanne’s first drawing of what it may look like (things always get tweaked a bit). So once the drawing is done, Joanne starts looking for the materials she has in mind for them.

 

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At the Rebuild Center in Burlington, they had some amazing true 2×4′s that came in from a deconstruction project. Joanne and Brett (who will be building the vanities) went and picked up a whole bunch for the legs and lower shelf. Of course, Joanne keep picking out the ones with the most holes and shook his head, thinking about how much work it was going to be :) (So we heard).

 

This gorgeous Douglas Fir was flooring in an old Vermont house. Joanne will be using it for the detail behind the mirrors in the bathroom. We can't wait to see it!

This gorgeous Douglas Fir was flooring in an old Vermont house. Joanne will be using it for the detail behind the mirrors in the bathroom. We can’t wait to see it!

So we will be donating our old sinks and Joanne is picking up recycled sinks (like this one) to replace them. Full circle!

So we will be donating our old sinks and Joanne is picking up recycled sinks (like this one) to replace them. Full circle!

The flooring will be new tile that is non-slip and has an old world wood look. Joanne's got some plans for how it will be installed...should we warn the tiler? Nah!

The flooring will be new tile that is non-slip and has an old world wood look. Joanne’s got some plans for how it will be installed…should we warn the tiler? Nah!

 

She is sticking with the subway tile in the showers. It is classic and it works well!

She is sticking with the subway tile in the showers. It is classic and it works well!

The old turkey light fixtures in the Barn bathrooms are going to be hard to beat. Joanne is on the hunt for some cool stuff. So we will have to wait and see...

The old turkey light fixtures in the Barn bathrooms are going to be hard to beat. Joanne is on the hunt for some cool stuff. So we will have to wait and see…

That’s all we know so far…still working on shower curtain ideas, faucets and paint colors… :)

Our best, Heather and Andrew

P.S. Want to follow along on the journey, just put your email address in the box on the sidebar and you’ll get automatic blog updates.

 

 

 

 

 

New Name for Annex and The Winner Is…

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So how much fun did we have sending out our first Enewsletter blast asking folks to help us rename the annex. Since we are giving half of it (4 rooms) a serious renovation starting in two weeks, we thought we should have a name that reflects the new and improved Mad River Barn eight guest room building.

We had 164 name submissions. Yahoo!  Also, anyone who submitted a name, was entered into a contest to win a Gift Certificate. And the winner was (selected by computer random drawing) Richard Barry! Congrats Richard!

Okay, we have to share some of the names that people sent in…so fun and funny… Mad River Stable, The Henhouse, Sky Wing, Siberia, The Sugar Shack Rooms, The Barn Mo Betta, The Mad House, The Mad Pad, The Corn Crib, Gizmo’s House, The Hay Stack, The Dog House, The Out Haus, (like spelling it that way as going to make that name better — ha ha).  There were others but this is a family program…

Then there were ones we seriously considered… The Back Barn, The Glen House, The Lodge, The Carriage House…but none of those fit quite right. So we thought about our current buildings names… the barn, the farmhouse…those really fit what they are.  We mean literally…they fit what they are.

So the definition of a historical house type that is for family groups, or serves as a housebarn is called the Longhouse.  Well….dah! that is what that building is for! Since we are already being so literal with the other two buildings, we thought…what the heck…let’s be that way with the annex.

It’s with great pleasure we give you the new name of the annex…drum roll please…The Longhouse! (a.k.a. The Barn Mo Betta)  We will be starting to call it that ASAP!

Thanks again for your participation — it was so great to get such an amazing response.  If you are not on our email list, just email us at madriverbarn@madriver.com and say… Yo! Please Put Me on Your Email List. We will only send a handful of Enewsletters out a year, but you could win something awesome like Richard did!

Soon, we’ll be showing off the progress of renovation of the Longhouse…we hope you will follow along (just add your email to the SUBSCRIBE box on the left hand side of this page to get the blog updates).

Our best, Heather and Andrew

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Current room in the annex…soon to be the Longhouse!

DIY – How to Make Your Own Monogrammed Wool Blanket Pillow

old wool blanket pillow by Joanne Palmisano

One of the many comments we get are about the cool pillows we have on our beds. Keeping with our recycle theme, our designer, Joanne Palmisano, recycled all our old wool blankets and made pillows for both the rooms and the dining room in the Inn.

Old wool blanket pillow DIY Salvage Secrets Design

As we get ready to redo the Annex (new name coming soon) rooms, she is back at it, making more pillows with our old blankets.  A hands-on designer for sure! Not only is she making them but she put together a Do-It-Yourself Tutorial for us, just like she does for her DIY NETWORK project.  Hope you get to make your very own pillow — feel free to monogram yours with the MRB as well :)

DIY Wool Blanket Pillow

First, Joanne washed the blankets in hot water and then dried them on high heat. She wanted to give them a felted feel (and make sure they were clean, clean, clean). Then she cut them to size (working away on her living room floor).

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Pick up some wooden letters at the craft store. Roll on the fabric (or craft) paint onto the back of the letters (remember mirror image) then press that onto the wool blanket. Make sure you place a piece of cardboard under the wool piece so it does not go through. Let the first coat dry and then if you want it darker, do it a second time (carefully!).

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Put the two pieces together and using embroidery thread and needle, go around at an angle. Leave an edge open to add the pillow insert or batting. Then finish up that side with the thread and needle and go around again, the opposite direction to give the thread a crisscross look!

Mad River Barn Inn Wool Blanket Pillow DIY

Voila. The vintage wool blanket from the original inn are now back in the rooms! Hope you enjoy the project! Photo by Susan Teare

P.S. Want to know how Joanne made the faux-leather headboards? Just go to DIY NETWORK and you can make your own!

Have fun DIYing!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

What’s this – another project at the Mad River Barn?

If you’ve driven by the Mad River Barn over the past two weeks, you might be wondering what we’re doing with the construction equipment up at the Annex. Our plans include renovation of 4 of the 8 Annex rooms next spring, and in order to do that, we need to make sure that the building itself is ready to be renovated.

The first priority is drying out the basement so we can put new equipment in there without worrying about corrosion. As many of you may know, the Annex is a really old building, built on an even older loose rock foundation.  The surrounding grade slopes down to the Annex, sending all the mountain run-off water directly toward the basement.  So as a first step, we removed the existing porches (which were in really bad shape), and temporarily supported the porch roof against the building. Then, we trenched around the entire building, installing a full set of foundation and curtain drains.

Installing Drains at the Mad River Barn

Installing Drains around the front of the Annex

Installing Drains at the Mad River Barn

Don’t forget the back!

With the dirt pulled back, we took the opportunity to repair all the cracks in the foundation and fill in the old basement windows that are no longer needed.

Masonry repairs at the Mad River Barn

Repairing the foundation

Then, we reconstructed the porches.

Building porches at the Mad River Barn

Joe and Ray, building porches

Building porches at the Mad River Barn

Look at those awesome hand rails!

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll install new walkways and lighting, and hopefully still have time to install a new concrete staircase to replace the old timber framed stairs leading from the parking lot to the building.

Exciting progress!