The other day, James came home and told me he had been to the second oldest shop in Asheville. The Saniway Vacuum Cleaning Company is 54 years old. (The only shop that’s older is Tops for Shoes). This got me to thinking about all of the people in Asheville and how much I loved meeting them all. From shopkeeper to service provider, the stories of the people we meet in this town are always wonderful.
If you are a follower of this blog then you know I recently wrote about the people who put Asheville on the multiple lists of best cities. But our city has so many interesting people that I couldn’t fit them all into one blog. I had to split them into two categories:
1) People our guests might interact with, and
2) People who helped create the Carolina Bed & Breakfast.
This blog is about some of the artists and artisans who have had an impact on our inn.
James and I have a pretty strong ideas about what we like and how we think our inn should look. We want it to be comfortable and we want it to be beautiful. We have a deep appreciation for original art and we like to work it into our home as much as possible.
One of the first groups to have an impact on our inn (and our lives) was the crew from Dry Ridge Builders. James loves to tell the story of the Monday morning I overheard them discussing in depth the impact of Tolstoy on the Lord of the Rings. Not your usual
construction gang conversation! Caine McDonald and his group focus primarily on restoring old houses and their careful and painstaking efforts helped bring the Carolina Bed & Breakfast back to life. We are still friends with Caine and his wife and when we can we go to hear his band perform! (Because everyone in Asheville has two or more interests!)
When, after a few near accidents, we decided we needed a window in the swinging door from the dining room to the kitchen we turned to Pam McCorkhill of Blue Mountain Stained Glass. She taught me a lot about the process of making a stained glass window, design, picking the glass and colors. For that window we stuck to a classic Arts and Crafts design in keeping with the house but when it was time to create something for our own living quarters, we let Pam design something original. Pam choose to make a tree in autumn whose colorful foliage stands before a deep blue sky and green mountain background. Both windows are bright and beautiful additions to our inn.
One day James and I were in the upstairs hall, all of the doors to the rooms were closed and we thought, “Wow, it is amazing our guests ever remember which room is theirs!”. After looking online we decided that we could do better than a metal nameplate. And that’s how we found Lori and Karen at the Village Potters. They visited our inn, looked at the rooms, noted the names and came back with a concept for nameplates which incorporated elements of the Arts and Crafts Style as well as the colors of the rooms and the birds for which they are named.
One of the items we brought back with us from our time in Singapore is a stunning wrought iron screen from Northern India. We used it to provide definition and privacy to our personal living quarters, separating our space from the office but allowing light and air to pass through. We wanted to echo this in the wrought iron staircase of to our bedroom. Enter Barry Bate. Barry is an amazing artist. She worked on the commission to restore the Statue of Liberty and designed the wrought iron railing on Chimney Rock. We are very grateful to her for sharing some ideas and teaching us about how wrought iron can be fashioned into something alive.
I could go on. From repairs to some of our antique furniture to the extraordinary cabinetry work in our kitchen to the pebble dash masonry work on the exterior of the house and more, the Carolina Bed & Breakfast is a creation of Asheville, its artists, history and traditions. Come and visit our Asheville Bed and Breakfast and see for yourself the details, small and large, which are a part of our home.