wrought iron fence
Jay ends up tailless after encounter with cats
By Joan Morris
We have three cats that now run our household. My side yard and backyard are enclosed with wrought-iron fences that I have strung with rabbit wire. We have been pretty successful in confining the cats to the house and backyard. On the few occasions when one has managed to get out I have always found him or her trying to get back in the yard.
I have a bird feeder that hangs by a shepherd’s hook so that any seed that drops to the ground falls outside the fenced in area. However the wind does blow some into the area.
About two months ago I was sitting in the living room with the large cat in my lap when he suddenly jumped down and ran toward the dining area. I followed and found the two siblings on the window sill with a large young adult jay between them. I managed to extricate the bird, which appeared uninjured except that it had no tail feathers.
I carried it to the back fence and when I released it, it exploded out of my hands like a shot and flew off into a neighboring tree, scolding all the way. As I walked back to the house I found a neat pile of 12 jay tail feathers, each is 6 inches long, lying on lawn.
I didn’t see any jays in the yard for a couple of days and then they returned, including the tailless bird. I saw the jay for a couple of weeks several times a day and then he disappeared and I haven’t seen him since.
Welsh Homes – Lan Sôr
Each week we will be looking at the most gorgeous homes for sale in Wales. This week, Kirstie McCrum profiles Lan Sôr, an Elizabethan manor with grace and style in Monmouthshire.
Stepping into the impressive hall of Lan Sôr, it’s easy to feel like history is all around. From the solid stone floor, up through the ornate oak panelling and across the original stone fire place with a cast iron grate, the Elizabethan manor house is one which matches its vintage with its breathtaking style.
Situated in a Special Landscape Area, Grade II-listed Lan Sôr overlooks the Sôr Brook in the rural parish of Llandegveth. Noted for its early medieval church dedicated to St Tegfedd, the parish is four miles north of the historic town of Caerleon, the site of one of Britain’s most famous Roman towns.
Noted for its historical and architectural interest with features from different periods, Lan Sôr reputedly dates back to the 15th century, with a ninegabled, south-facing elevation comprising two wings at right angles to each other. The property has stone mullioned windows with diamond leaded lights, tall chimneys, two turrets and a dove cot to the gabled west end. The interior has some fine features including open fireplaces, carved oak panelling and several built-in matching coffers.
The property is approached from a quiet country road through electric, wrought iron, double entrance gates that lead into a private drive. This sweeps around to the principal south east elevation and also up a gentle incline to the stables, garaging and outbuildings.
Above the entrance is a chevron carved in stone between three wolves’ heads, the arms of the Meyrick and James families, who were owners from the 17th century. A priest’s hole is reputed to have existed there in the days of the Catholic persecution.
From the entrance hall, doors lead to the smoking room, with mullioned picture windows and leaded lights, and the drawing room, with a triple aspect overlooking formal gardens, and an Adam-style fireplace.
Alongside, the dining room features a stunning stone fireplace with carved oak surround of Flemish origin, with dates inscribed in the iron work of 1744 and 1780, and an ornate carved over mantle depicting profile heads and a Pelican feeding young in its nest. The over mantle is inscribed with a Welsh motto which reads ‘Gwell yw pryd o ddail lle byddo cariad, nag ych pasgedig a chas gydaf ef’ – a quote from the Book of Proverbs which translated means ‘Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith’.
to be continued
Edgemont subdivision home for sale at 30 South Cheska Lane
Another of the home’s staircases, this one made of marble and also features wrought-iron railings.
Located within Harris County’s Edgemont subdivision, this estate was built in 1925 but has been significantly remodeled and expanded using antique architectural embellishments collected throughout Europe and Italy.
Situated on just over a third of an acre, the two-story home offers 7,005 square feet of living space and has five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two half-baths, including a master suite that features double sinks, a tub and separate shower.
The kitchen features top-of-the-line appliances, including a French Lacanche range and oven, two dishwashers and paneled Thermador refrigerators. There is also a center island, and in addition to the formal dining room, there is a separate breakfast room. Other key areas of the home include a formal living room, den, wet bar, game room, media room, wine room and a study/library.
External attributes of the property include a fenced backyard, covered patio deck, outdoor fireplace, heated saltwater pool and three-car garage with guest quarters.
Infusing the new with the old
An active couple’s dream property in the Eastern Townships is modern but with classic touches
BY JOHN GRIFFIN
Building lots near the hopping marina in the Eastern Township’s town of Knowlton are rare as hen’s teeth. One-plus-acre packages within shouting distance of the boat launch, Tiki bar, funky terrace and Key West-on-Brome Lake vibe make hen’s teeth look common. So when Sylvie Turcotte and Alain Villemure heard about one such opportunity in 2005, they jumped on it.
“It had everything we wanted,” said the effervescent Turcotte during a recent visit. “It’s close to the water, close to schools, the boat club and public beach for the kids and walking distance to shopping and the centre of town. It’s also one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in a beautiful village.” The only thing missing from the property was a house her family of five could call home. Quick, call the architect.
Turcotte and Villemure did just that. A year later, they put a key in the front door of a brand new, five-bedroom cottage, custom designed and built for the needs of an active couple and their three kids. That the mellow yellow clapboard residence with its wrap-around porch looks like it’s been there for decades is the icing on this confection, and a relief to those neighbours who actually have been there for decades.
One step through the entrance confirms that this place is for people who love the outdoors and are bound to bring some of it inside.
Say hello to the mudroom. Note the low-maintenance ceramic floor, the three-tier, deep-dish built-in drawers for sneakers, caps and winter accessories. There’s a walk-in cupboard with hooks for clothes, and a bathroom handy to the swimming pool out back. No padding through the house with dripping bathing suits to use the facilities. There’s even a urinal for the boys, an inexpensive, incredibly practical touch that should be mandatory for any family with a male component.
“We knew what we wanted,” said Turcotte, “and our architect listened. One of the things we wanted was a hard-working mudroom.” Check that off the list.
Turn left, and up a few stairs to the heart of this relaxed, light-filled abode. Front-and-centre is the open kitchen, anchored by a two-sided stone fireplace, and given oodles of air from a vaulted ceiling high enough for an echo effect and lined at the top with double-hung windows only a giant with a serious ladder could open.
They’re there, Turcotte explained, because one of the inherent problems with wrap-around porches is light. Or, rather, the lack of light that gets into a house when it’s attached to an outdoor space with a roof on it. No problem here. There’s even a window where the stove exhaust vent should be. Cunningly, the design wonks at Jenn-Air built the exhaust into the stovetop. Ceramic counters, custom sideboard by the master cabinetmakers at Knowlton’s Camlen Furniture and a well-used wooden dining table complete the comfortable space.
The living room is casual, too, with oiled maple floor, the other half of the fireplace and a piano. It doesn’t get much use in the summer, though, because the family lives on the porch. There’s a wrought-iron table and seating for eight, right off the kitchen, with views of the in-ground pool, expansive lawn with soccer net and plentiful trees that give the property the privacy of the country in the heart of a busy village.
“That was also important to us,” said Turcote, of a decision to build up a winding gravel lane and to cut down as few trees as possible while constructing a two-storey, three-garage, 2,300 sq. feet home. The judicious planting of new trees and shrubs has all but eliminated the need for curtains.
The second floor is about sleeping. One wing belongs to the kids, with three good-sized bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room with its own toilet, so the call of nature can be answered without barging in on someone in the tub. The other wing belongs to the adults, with pocket doors for privacy, its own little balcony, and ensuite with bidet.
There’s more action in the basement. So this is where the TV is, inquiring minds are relieved to learn. Yes, there’s a cinema room, a thousand-bottle wine cellar, family room, guest bedroom and a space for the mechanicals, the better to monitor an energy system that deploys forced air, electric and an under-floor radiant system for those areas with ceramic tile. Oh, and central air conditioning.
Versatility key to home which offers everything
Versatility’s the key to this three-storey, modern townhouse at Kirby Muxloe. The four/five-bedroom, end-terraced home in Desford Road, fronted by wrought iron railings, is part of a small development built six years ago and has had only one occupant from new.
Bobbie Piasecki has added her own value in the form of a rear family garden room, bringing further style and footage to what really is a deceptively spacious property, big enough for a small family, yet with a cosy feel that would suit someone living alone, busy working professionals, or a couple downsizing.
“I chose this house as I wanted something new, I loved the design and it offered lots of options,” said Bobbie.
“On the ground floor there is a room which could be a bedroom, study or extra reception room.
“The beauty of it is that the accommodation is flexible, with up to five bedrooms if you wish, so can be adapted however you like.”
With its stylish, first floor sitting room, featuring French doors and a front-facing Juliette balcony the house offers a quirky take on modern living.
A surprisingly large entrance hall leads into possible bedroom five on the ground floor and on to the spacious living kitchen, fitted with an extensive range of pale timber effect base and eye-level cupboards, with integral fridge freezer and dishwasher and including a central island.
The family room extension adds an extra dimension to the ground floor, with dual aspect French doors out to the landscaped garden well stocked and currently blooming, plus lawn and three patio areas, neatly enclosed by fencing.
“This room makes a great space for entertaining, especially in summer,” said Bobbie. “But it would also be a really good children’s playroom or TV room for teenagers.”
The bright, first floor lounge is a welcoming space with a fireplace focal point and two sets of windows overlooking the front of the property. At the back is the master bedroom, with space-saving built-in wardrobes and an en-suite, walk-in shower.
Off the second floor landing are three further bedrooms – one with an en suite shower – plus a family bathroom, creating a compact home, with all the space you need and plenty more.