The Poe House to open March 5 in Hendersonville
Grand opening April 16
By GARY GLANCY
In the opening verse of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” a distraught lover awakes to hear the sound of a “gentle rapping” before proclaiming: “’Tis some visitor … tapping at my chamber door — Only this, and nothing more.”
In the famous 1845 poem, the visitor was a bird. Next month, Kimberlee Young and her fiancé, Derek Schuler, will eagerly await the arrival of wine and craft-beer enthusiasts to their new downtown Hendersonville business, The Poe House.
The Hendersonville couple have been working with their friend, carpenter Paul Posthummus, to transform the space underneath West First restaurant — which formerly served as the Henderson County Democratic Party headquarters — into a Charleston-style, Poe-themed retail store that will sell a wide range of wines and craft beer as well as homebrewing supplies and equipment.
Young and Schuler also have obtained their license to sell a host of hand-picked wines and microbrews by the glass for consumption in the shop’s rusticlooking tavern and Charlestonstyle courtyard. A soft opening is planned for March 5, with a grand opening scheduled for April 16.
“I think it’s a wonderful addition and a pretty cool service to have right here in downtown Hendersonville,” said Bob Williford, president of the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce.
A fan of craft beer, Williford said the closings of specialty beer/wine shops Rabbit & Co. and Adventures in Wine and Beer left a void in Hendersonville, underscored by the excitement generated by Sierra Nevada’s arrival in Mills River and the explosion of craft beer in general in Western North Carolina. Young and Schuler agree.
”There’s really nobody here (in Hendersonville) that’s doing anything as far as the beer scene goes,” Young said. “And, unfortunately, with the way the economy went, we lost a lot of our wine shops as well, so we felt there was a real need to have something like this.”
Young, a certified sommelier who has sat on national wine-tasting panels, is equally passionate about wine and craft beer. So is Schuler. The couple own and operate Travels in Wine, which this spring enters its fifth season providing private WNC winery tours out of Hendersonville and Asheville.
They have hired a new marketing director and tour guide, Hendersonville resident Dana Hensley, and also have expanded to Charlotte and Greensboro for tours in the booming Yadkin Valley wine region. Now, Young and Schuler — both Hendersonville natives — plan to begin offering weekly brewery tours in WNC as well beginning in May.
Adding a retail component had been part of the business plan to grow the company, though not right away. However, two things happened that accelerated the process. First, Young and Schuler returned from an outing in Greenville, S.C., inspired after visiting The Trappe Door restaurant, which offers Belgian cuisine and beer in a fittingly dark, Medieval-style basement setting.
Then, back in Hendersonville, Young and Shuler walked into the space under West First, which they planned to renovate into a new corporate office.
“Derek is a visionary, so he walked down here and saw something,” Young said. “I mean, we had a dream to do it at some point, but it was kind of a couple years down the road. But then when he got down here and started looking around, he said, ‘Hey, if we did this and we did that, then we could go ahead and start a couple years early.’” Armed with a vision that includes a love of Poe and the Romantic Gothic period theme, Young, Shuler and Posthummus — whom the couple called a “godsend” — went to work to realize what they’ve called the building’s “Poe-tential.”
First, they rewired the entire place and installed ceiling track lighting and Charleston-style lanterns to set the desired mood. They sandblasted the green walls to reveal the natural brick, built rustic-sophisticated wine shelving into them, and painted the ceiling to enhance the dark look even further.
“It’s made a huge difference,” Schuler said. “You’ve got to create the right environment.” Young and Schuler have purchased furniture from Michigan that — like The Poe House bar — is made from recycled wood, including a table in the tavern’s banquette seating area that will feature the image of a raven burned into it as a tribute to Poe’s poem.
Meanwhile, Young’s brother, David Roark, an artist from Mills River, is busy working on murals that include a portrait of the poet as well as a depiction of Poe’s short story, “Cask of Amontillado.”
Outside in the courtyard Young and Schuler envision a décor of wrought iron and a fountain where customer can enjoy a glass or flight of wine and beer.
A teacher at heart Young’s motto is “educate entice, enlighten and entertain.” The couple assure The Poe House will include it all, with regular beer and wine classes and tastings to complement their winery and new brewery tours.
”With beer, I have the same philosophy that I did with wine: Our goal is to make it fun,” Young said “We want people to be able to understand the craft-beer scene and not be intimidated by it.”
On the home brewing side, Young and Schuler have obtained a brew-on premises license and plan to have educational brew-in sessions in the store. They also hope to collaborate with Blue Ridge Community College to offer similar opportunities for the new beer and brewing-related courses at BRCC.
In that regard, the couple believes solid partnerships lead to healthy, prosperous communities, and they see their venture doing just that in the place they call home.
High heels and country life with Christian Louboutin
When he is not dashing around the world, fitting celebrities with his glorious creations, Christian Louboutin likes to kick back and smell the roses at his enchanting 13th-century French château
A house is very much like a portrait,’ says Christian Louboutin. ‘I cannot disconnect houses from people. The thought of arrangement, the curves and straight lines. It gives an indication of the character at the heart of it.’
So what does the shoe designer’s romantic 13th-century château in the Vendée region of France reveal about him? Each room is unique: a dramatic wrought-iron spiral staircase greets guests in the entrance hallway, filled with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows; the grand salon is crowded with Italian Baroque armchairs, Louis XV mirrors and delicate pencil sketches by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. ‘They were done early on in Ingres’ career but one of them is the exact profile of Meryl Streep! It’s quite fascinating,’ he says.
Shared with Bruno Chambelland, his business partner of more than 20 years — ‘one of my dearest, oldest friends’ — the property sits in seven hectares of enchanting landscaped gardens, with outhouses and a renovated oak barn that is used as an archive of more than 8,000 pairs of Louboutin’s most fabulous footwear.
The fanciful interiors are much more Chambelland than Louboutin. ‘It’s really Bruno who took care of decorating; he used to be an auctioneer. The château was owned by his family three centuries ago, but when the Revolution happened his great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Chambelland, was cut into 200 pieces and the property drifted from owner to owner.’ When Château de Champgillon came back on the market in the late 1980s, Bruno snapped it up and the pair set about restoring it, drawing heavily on 18th-century style. A number of pieces that had been kept in the Chambelland family, including an antique grandfather clock, were returned to their original home; other items, such as some 16th-century Spanish portraits and a woven tapestry by Alexander Calder, were purchased at Paris’ Drouot auction house, and more still were picked up by Louboutin on his travels (he spends more than half the year visiting his 70 stores, from Manhattan to Delhi).
Inside the barn conversion alone there are free-standing Indian rococo columns, Mexican totem poles and searchlights from the Suez Canal. ‘If there is something I like, I buy it and then find somewhere for it. I buy first then I think.’ The restoration of the château is an ongoing project — ‘restoration in France is never finished!’ — but of Louboutin’s five homes (an apartment in Paris’ ninth arrondissement and houses in Portugal, Egypt and LA), it is Champgillon that he holds most dear ‘because this is the one most painted with history’.
The fourth child of Roger Louboutin, a carpenter, and his wife Irène, Christian was born and raised in the 12th arrondissement of Paris with his three older sisters. Inspired by the dancers’ costumes at the nearby Folies Bergères, Louboutin’s childhood dream was always to design shoes and at 16 he dropped out of school to pursue his ambition. A chance encounter in 1982 with Countess Hélène de Mortemart, then fashion director at Christian Dior, led to a year-long internship at the atelier of Charles Jourdan, the brand that designed and manufactured shoes for Dior. After this, the fledgling designer went freelance, designing shoes for Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. In 1987, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris announced a major exhibition of Roger Vivier’s work, and Louboutin became the assistant and secretary of this go-to shoe designer for chic Parisiennes.
With the end of the exhibition came an unexpected sideways move into landscape gardening. In his book, Christian Louboutin, he explains, ‘The garden allowed me to see blends of colours and materials, juxtapositions of gloss and matte surfaces… It was highly instructive.’ The change of direction coincided with the purchase of the château and, while the interior was left to Bruno, Louboutin immediately commandeered the gardens and began restoring. His enchanted idyll was inspired by the great gardens of history, from the Mughal astronomy garden in Jaipur to Hidcote Manor Garden in Gloucestershire. The grand project consumed all the pair’s energies and they ditched the Paris party scene, which revolved around the famous nightclub Le Palace where Helmut Newton and Grace Jones were regulars, for weekends at the château.
‘I never entertain people here — it’s not in my nature. A good host is someone who really takes care of everyone, from the food to their daily programme. I can’t. If I’m in the country, my big idea is to do nothing. It means talking, it means cooking with the leftovers in the fridge — l’art d’accommoder les restes — it means gardening.’
In the early 1990s a chance vacancy in Paris’ historic galerie Véro-Dodat compelled Louboutin to abandon topiary and return to high heels. He opened his first boutique in 1992 and his earliest clients included Princess Caroline of Monaco and Catherine Deneuve. Louboutin’s designs have since become a celebrity fashion staple, with fans including Victoria Beckham, Daphne Guinness and Inès de la Fressange. He still has the original boutique at Véro-Dodat.
These days Louboutin is happiest growing kumquats and mandarins in the 19th-century orangerie, and each season he assiduously selects seeds from catalogues (‘Thompson & Morgan, and Baumaux — between those two I hope to create miracles in the garden’) to cultivate by hand, no doubt under the watchful eye of his partner of 15 years, Louis Benech — one of France’s most fêted landscape architects.
Louboutin’s continually expanding business (there will soon be more menswear and a make-up line) requires constant attention from its creator, and Champgillon offers a much-needed respite. He has just flown from Mumbai to New York and will continue on after the international fashion weeks to Bhutan and Cuba, before taking a well-deserved rest at the end of March: ‘After that I don’t plan on travelling much more this year. It will be summer in Portugal and weekends here. But I have to be careful — I find that if I spend more than four days at the château, I could never leave.’
Hemingway gate to be auctioned on eBay
The gate hung at the side entrance of the property where the Nobel Prize-winning author lived in the 1930s and wrote many of his classic works.
It is believed to have been installed in 1935, when a brick privacy wall was built around the Whitehead Street home Hemingway occupied with his wife and sons.
In 1964, the property became a museum honoring the author. The gate was replaced in 2011 with one that better protected the nearly 50 cats that reside on the property. The original was donated to Helpline, a non-profit local crisis hotline, to be auctioned for fundraising.
Country Living Appraises 1970s Peacock Chair: What’s The Worth?
We’re very excited to syndicate one of our favorite columns, ‘What Is It? What Is It Worth?’ from one of our favorite magazines, Country Living. All text and images below are provided by Country Living. Get ready to be surprised!
“I picked up this chair, along with its mate, at a garage sale 15 years ago. How old is the pair?” -M.D., New Palestine, Indiana
country living what its worth
Professional appraiser Helaine Fendelman identifies and evaluates your collectibles and antiques.
The outdoor seat, named for its resemblance to a peacock’s fanned tail feathers, was likely imported from Mexico or Europe in the 1970s. The design imitates the ornate style of Victorian lawn furnishings — the peacock motif was popular back then, too.
But that delicate aesthetic belies your piece’s sturdiness and durability: Lacy wirework adorns a wrought-iron frame. While not particularly rare, this chair feels on trend and is in nice shape. Plus, the fresh green color adds to its overall good looks.
$135 Million Dallas Palace Is America’s New Most Expensive Home For Sale
While rumors swirled Friday about the alleged sale of a $117 million home in Woodside, Calif., another abode far from the center of the tech universe quietly began attracting attention as the new most expensive home for sale in the United States.
The Crespi-Hicks Estate, which is being quietly shopped off of the Multiple Listing Services, wants a staggering $135 million. The best part: it’s not located in San Francisco, or even New York City. America’s new most expensive home for sale is in Dallas, Texas.
The Dallas estate sits behind wrought iron gates in the ultra elite Mayflower Estates neighborhood. Spanning 25 acres, the compound boasts roughly 42,500 square feet of living space including a five-story main house, a two-story guest house and a three-story pool house. It’s owned by Thomas and Cinda Hicks, former Forbes 400 listmakers whose personal net worth swelled as large as $1.4 billion in 2008.Tom Hicks is the former chairman of private equity firm Hicks and current chairman of Hicks Holdings. He is also the former owner of several professional sports teams including the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, and Liverpool Soccer Club.
The Crespi-Hicks Estate, commissioned by Italian Count Pio Crespi, was the last residential creation of architect Maurice Fatio before his death in 1943. When the Hicks purchased the property 16 years ago, they enlisted architect Peter Marino to restore it. The process reportedly took nearly a decade and as much as $100 million.
Among the home’s outrageous amenities are a a library paneled in 19th-century Italian walnut and burl, a main kitchen tiled in 10th-century Dutch Delft manganese tiles, a mirrored art-deco bar room, and an exercise room. The pool house boasts an outdoor living room and kitchen, an indoor catering kitchen, a massive game room, and a home theater spanning an entire floor. The grounds encompass two guest houses, a tennis court, several greenhouses, a tree house, rose and vegetable gardens, and a second hidden driveway entrance onto the property.
“In this home, one experiences an awe-inspiring majesty along with a gentle warmth and intimacy. The formal rooms have accommodated throngs of guests and received United States Presidents and international dignitaries,” writes Douglas Newby, the real estate agent representing the property, adding that the home is “warm and fun.”
According to Dallas real estate blogger Candy Evans, land in Mayflower Estates commands a lofty $2 million per acre, accounting for $50 million of the asking price; the buildings are valued at $85 million. Mayflower Estates is home to Dallas’ richest and most powerful residents, including former President George W. Bush who is rumored to have moved here to be close to the Hicks family. The home is minutes from downtown Dallas.
It’s not necessarily surprising that the opulent spread has come to market now — and toting such a stratospheric price tag. Billionaires have been plunking down extravagant sums for trophy homes the country over since 2011, injecting would-be sellers with confidence to try their hands at turning a hefty home sale profit. Since the beginning of January alone, two confirmed record-breaking sales have transpired: a $27 million Miami, Fla. penthouse purchase (the area’s highest price ever paid for an apartment) and a $75 million Malibu, Calif. beach house purchase (the city’s most expensive sale ever). And if the blogosphere is indeed correct and a Woodside, Calif. house fetched $117.5 million, then the country even has a new most expensive home sale.
At $135 million, the mega mansion’s asking price tops the $125 million Fleur de Lys estate in Los Angeles, which has been the single most expensive home publicly listed for sale since Miami’s Casa Casuarina reduced its price tag to $100 million in November. Other uber expensive listings include the $100 million CitySpire penthouse in New York City, two additional $95 million apartments in New York, and the $95 million Beverly House in Beverly Hills, Calif.