COTE DE TEXAS: THE FIELDSTONE HOUSES OF BUCKS COUNTY

THE FIELDSTONE HOUSES OF BUCKS COUNTY


Growing up in Texas – when someone talks about a stone house, we usually think of those German settlers who came to the Hill Country and built small houses using Texas limestone.  To me – that’s what a stone house is.

This beauty was built in Fredericksburg, Texas one of the many original homes of the settlers still standing.

And yet another.
So…. when I discovered that Texas wasn’t the only state known for its old stone houses – it was exciting.
My attraction to these stone houses started while watching Stone House Revival on the DIY Channel:

Stone House Revival is hosted by Jeff Devlin and it revolves around centuries old stone houses in Pennsylvania, especially Bucks County where Devlin grew up.

These stone houses, many located near the Delaware River date back to times before we were even the United States.   The lands they sit on are usually a warrant from William Penn.   These houses have retained their value through the centuries and they retain their value even during the down times.  They come with major issues – low ceilings, huge fireplaces that aren’t particularly efficient, closed off stairs and tiny bathrooms.  But these issues are also what is part of their charm. 

A house that has stood for two or three hundred years is highly desirable. The exterior store is often covered by white stucco – and when the stone is exposed, it is stunning.   The interiors look particularly beautiful when a modern kitchen and bath are added – something that Jeff Devlin excels in.

And while I have wanted to write about these houses for a long while, I never had a “smoking gun.”  But a few weeks ago, a tabloid released photos from a popular reality tv star’s own Bucks County original stone house. 

And so, there sis the smoking gun – the element to a blog story that makes it more interesting to read.  

Ready???  Here are few beauties of Bucks County and nearby.


This 1790s house is available for rent on AirBnB!


I particularly love this bedroom – with the row of wood windows and cozy low ceiling.



This charmer dates from 1810 with a later addition.  Sigh. 



This lane leads to another original stone house, below:



The lane leads to this beauty – with its additions made over the years.



This section has its stone painted white.  The door is especially beautiful with its arch and iron braces.  What a lovely entrance!!!




This Bucks County beauty was built in 1773.




This house has the low ceiling with beams and the traditional HUGE fireplace.  Amazing.  Up the three stairs is probably a later addition.   Oh, I would LOVE to decorate this room!!




The room up the stairs with yet another huge fireplace.  Look how thick those walls are.





Typical of these houses are stone walls and attic bedrooms.





A view from the front lawn.




Winter in Bucks County. 


The host of DIY Channel’s Stone House Revival, Jeff Devlin, was born in the Bucks County.  His work is mostly done in the county, but his houses tend to be smaller and less grand that those seen above. 

What I love about his work is the way he styles the houses.  There have been three seasons on DIY Network.  But…what will happen to this very popular series now that the Waco Gaines are the owners/operators of the old DIY Network?   It’s not clear if Devlin’s show has been renewed for HGTV.  Let’s hope so.  If not, you can binge them all on Amazon Prime.




Here is a house that Devlin redid for his show.  The before shows a renovated fireplace which he wants to return back to its original state:





And after.  With the fireplace restored, along with beams and stucco, you can see how Devlin stylizes his houses.  There is not much in the way of  American Colonial furniture.  Instead, there is a mix of new and repro.




A view towards the front door – a charming original styled Dutch door.  A contemporary slipper chair in a modern stripe looks at home here in a 17th century home.





Before:   This was a favorite of mine from Stone House Revival.  It was my first episode I saw and it hooked me.   There were three rooms – a master bedroom, closet, and bathroom.  Notice the fireplace wall.




After:   The stone behind the wall was exposed and the fireplace was redone.   



                                                                       

Close up of the fireplace wall.  Hard to believe previous owners had hidden the stone!!





Before:  The closet was actually a small passageway/foyer that led to the master bedroom.





After:   Devlin moved the clothes to the opposite wall and hid them behind new closed in cabinets.  The newly painted striped floor leads the way to the master bedroom.





And their master bathroom was enlarged with a modern shower but an antique looking tub. 





Before:  Another episode showed a “new” kitchen from the 80s or 90s which led to a large family room below:  Devlin redid both rooms.




Before:  The family room.




After, the kitchen was completely done in a sympathetic restoration.  Gray painted cabinets in a trendy gray mixed with a modern backsplash.  Between the two rooms there’s a new wooden beam added by Devlin.  Please notice their original door.   It is incredible!!!   Makes me think of the particle board doors in my house and now in our apartment that are so thin and flimsy.  Ugh!!!  Doors should be substantial!!!! 





After:  the adjoining family room is now modernized with new navy shelves and furniture.  Devlin made the coffee table out of a cart he found abandoned in the back yard.



    

This episode was another favorite from the series.  Jeff Devlin tackled this long living room that looked rather boring and resembled an office.




Devlin completely changed it with white paint, a crystal chandelier, and a mural.  He had an artist paint a mural of the Bucks County landscape.




A view towards the fireplace.  The blue and green color of the mural became the basis for the color of the velvet upholstery.  This was the dressiest styling Devlin ever did on the show. 

I just showed a few of the episodes here – there are three seasons worth if you want to watch more and I highly recommend the show – especially if you are from Texas.  What a departure it all is from our design aesthetic here.  

AND, it’s so different from the excessive, large houses built today.  It  makes me sad that there are so few old houses in Houston, much less any that are so solidly built that they would still be standing three hundred years later.

And now, let’s take a look at one of Bucks County most famous citizens.




Yolanda Hadid


Several years ago, I wrote a story about the Bravo star from The Housewives of Beverly Hills – then, Yolanda Foster.  The Dutch born super model was then on the Housewife show, living in a mansion in Malibu with her then husband, David Foster. 




Their Malibu house overlooked the ocean and was famous for two things, the lemon grove Yolanda had planted high on the hill of her lot, and…




The huge walk-in refrigerator, also designed by Yolanda.




Yolanda standing inside her walk in refrigerator.  It is so stunning and so famous, that if you Google “Yolanda Foster’s refrigerator” you will get 10,500 hits!!!

Life changed dramatically right after I wrote that story about Yolanda’s house HERE in 2014.   She and David divorced and he remarried for the umpteenth time to the very young Katherine McPhee.  Yolanda, a Lyme Disease sufferer,  quit the Housewife’s show,  sold her Malibu house,  and moved to NYC to be closer to her now super model daughters Bella and Gigi Hadid.



 
 

The mega, super models:  Bella and Gigi with their mom, Yolanda.  

Her son Anwar is also a model.  Once she moved to the East Coast, Yolanda started posting photos on Instagram from her NYC apartment and from her new farm – in Bucks County!!!!   Yolanda always referred to herself as a humble, simple Dutch girl and the new farm seems to reflect a back to nature time, leaving behind the glitz and glamour of her Beverly Hills & Malibu years.



 

On her Instagram, Yolanda showed beautiful photos of her new farm in Pennsylvania – filled with fields of lavender.  It looked like heaven to me.


The location was never revealed, but a rash of tabloids recently published the real estate photos.  During the Corona Quarantine, her daughter, Gigi Hadid and her boyfriend, the ex One Direction singer Zayn Malik, happily announced they were pregnant. 


  

These photos all come from Sun magazine and Zillow and Real Estate photos, along with Instagram.  Bella Hadid has over 30 million Instagram followers and Gigi has more than 50 million while Yolanda has 3 million plus.  It’s fair to say quite a few people have already seen these Instagram and magazine photos.   But, I’m more interested in the Before & After aspect of the farm, which looks like a tiny village.  I love seeing how the farm was updated since it was bought by Yolanda in 2017. 

Above is the main farmhouse at the very left, the big barn and hidden in front of it is the Carriage House.  To its right is the 2nd Guest House and the parterre garden with its own ex Shop/Guest House.  Three guest houses = three children.  How perfect could this be for the family minded mother?




LIFE & STYLE MAGAZINE:   A new aerial view shows the lavender fields as well as the now renovated Guest House II and Shop/Guest House.  The main house can barely be seen through the trees.   It’s obvious that Yolanda has created a house for herself and one for each of her three children.  Now with a grandchild coming, the farm will be home for them all.





The drive  up to the Pennsylvania fieldstone farmhouse.

A bit of its history:

The farm, originally over 300 acres, was deeded in 1683 by William Penn to a Nicholas Walh.   There have not been many owners through the centuries.

In 2000, a photographer Niko Christou and an attorney David Braff bought the farm as a weekend retreat from an antiques dealer who had added a 40 car heated garage to the farm.   Christou and Braff are the owners who sold the farm to Yolanda.   And it was Christou who changed the farm into a lavender paradise after he had planted over 15,000 of the aromatic plants. 





Through the centuries, the farm has been a dairy and horse farm and more recently in the 1970s, it was an exotic animal farm – the animals were raised to be in the various NYC Christmas shows.   Because of this, the farm’s name became and remains The Carousel Farm.
   
When Christou and Braff bought the farm, there were 16 outbuildings – the five oldest were the ones they kept and restored.  The 1748 barn is the oldest building.  The carriage house, farmhouse, corncrib and springhouse all date from the 1780s.  It took Christou and Braff three years to restore all five buildings.  They restored the carriage house first so they could live in it while the main farmhouse was rebuilt.




Hidden within the tall ancient trees is the front facade of the old farmhouse, shown in summer.  Notice the bark on the tree towards the right which clearly shows its rings!  Is that what that is???  

Amazing!


Christou is a professional photographer and I believe he took many of the real estate photographs – such as this beautiful picture, above.




WSJ:  The same view of the front of the farmhouse – this time taken in the dead of winter.  The stone house is just one room deep.   To the right is the kitchen addition – with the breakfast room windows at the front, right.

The farmhouse was gutted by Christou and Braff, leaving the original stone walls and slate roof.    They put in all new plumbing and electrical systems.  The floors were ruined, so old pumpkin pine wood was bought in to replace it.  They restored the fireplaces and added new/old mantels.



BEFORE:  Real estate photos.   From the front door, on the left, you can see the beautiful great room with its fabulous pine pumpkin floors – they are incredible!!   Notice the stone mantel. 




AFTER:   With a fresh coat of white paint, the room was updated by Yolanda with modern touches, yet the older elements were untouched.   Each year, Yolanda puts the tree up in this corner.




A view at night, where you can see more of the room as Yolanda decorated it.  The white walls with a white rug that only partly covers the floorboards.  Two modern dark gray leather sofas face each other. 

Notice, there are no longer sconces on the fireplace.  Instead, there is a piece of modern art. 
I love the way the room looks now – the old, 1700s house, filled with 2020s furniture and styling.




And, here, you can see the beautiful stone mantel, close up – along with the beautiful Yolanda.   Notice, the old Bucks County stone that makes up the inside of the fireplace.


Yolanda.

 

As an aficionado of Bravo reality shows – I always think of Yolanda as one of the nicest of the Bravo housewives, the kindest and most humble of them all.   And probably, she is the most naturally pretty of a score of beautiful Bravo Housewives.   If you watch the Bravo shows, I’m sure you will agree with me that Yolanda always stood out as the sweet one, the nice one, the polite one – who deserves all the happiness she can get now.




BEFORE:  To the right of the front door is the dining room with the staircase up to the bedrooms.    Yolanda left the built ins that divided the entry from the dining room.   The fireplace in this room connects to the eat in kitchen – a 1970s addition.





AFTER:   Facing the fireplace in the dining room, which its modern fireplace.  I’m not sure if Yolanda replaced this mantel or Christou designed it?    The two openings lead to the kitchen/breakfast room with its new concrete floors.


This painting is one that has traveled with Yolanda from her Malibu home to her LA apartment to Bucks County.




MALIBU:   At Malibu, the media room , you can see the painting in a more ornate frame.





LOS ANGELES:   And at Yolanda’s LA Apartment with its new frame.
I wonder if this is actually an abstract portrait of her family?

Back to Bucks County:



Here you can see part of the light fixture – wish we could see more.  This fixture was definitely placed by Yolanda.  The table is an x-crossed, glass top matched with lilac velvet modern chairs.





Real Estate Photo:   BEFORE   The kitchen/breakfast room and office were added on to the farmhouse in the 1970s and they were completely renovated by Christou and Braff.

Yolanda also renovated this room.  She put in grey concrete floors to replace the Spanish looking tiles.  In the breakfast area, she built an L shaped banquette.




Real Estate Photo:  The previous owners’ kitchen, seen from the opposite view.  You can see the staircase down to the lower, ground level media room.  Yolanda removed the white pickets and replaced them with glass or acrylic.  Where the clock is – Yolanda placed a large collection of framed magazine covers starring her three model children. 





An earlier real estate photo shows another view of the kitchen.





AFTER:  What a difference white paint and concrete floors make!!!  Yolanda in her new kitchen, filming a TV show.  She kept the cabinets – just painted them white and added new hardware.  On the island, she added a large marble slab.  Fifties diner stools sit around the island.

On the left, along where the staircase goes down to the ground level – framed magazine covers of her three children line the wall.





Daughter Bella Hadid poses on the island.  But here – you can really see the magazine cover wall.  Yolanda replaced the white rails with clear acrylic or glass. 


NOTE:   Here, you can see the floors – they look like concrete.  I wonder if a coat of concrete was skimmed over the tiles – a cheaper way to redo the floors rather than removing the tiles themselves. 





On her TV show, Yolanda  takes the camera crew downstairs, showing off the wall of magazine covers.





A view of the breakfast room with the two Dutch plates and modern hide pillows – again contemporary styling versus old elements.




Instagram:  Later, she added a dining room table and bench – brought from L.A.  Notice the large crystals.  I love the pink one!






LOS ANGELES:   BEFORE - Here’s the table and bench from Yolanda’s LA apartment.





And here, in Bucks County, the modern table and bench somehow looks perfect in a 1700s house – doesn’t it?

I think that is what is most amazing about all these Bucks County houses.  Many are from before we were even a nation, yet modern furniture and contemporary art looks so at home.




The ground level – back down the magazine stairs.





BEFORE:   The media room beneath the kitchen.  The stairs were updated, the carpet removed, but the fireplace remains the same.  Yolanda also added contemporary styled glass shelving next to the stone fireplace.





And here, you can see the glass shelves with antique books and photographs – next to the fireplace.

Again, the old versus the new mixed together creates a tension that is exciting!!





In the ground level media room, Yolanda used white slipcovered, modern styled couches.   Notice the glass shelves.





LOS ANGELES:   In her LA apartment, similar glass shelves were added here, along with the caramel colored leather books.  This is probably the same sofa used in Bucks County media room.





I love the caramel colored antique books – they make such a statement.
 
NOTE:   Usually Etsy and Ebay sells antique books by the box.




REAL ESTATE PHOTO:   The office, which I believe is off the kitchen addition.  A charming room with a corner fireplace and lovely antique tufted leather chairs.  This is how Niko Christou decorated the office.





REAL ESTATE PHOTO:  On the second floor – three bedrooms were turned into two by Christou and Braff.   I love the pine fireplace mantel.  Typical in old fieldstone houses, look how low the ceiling is.  Maybe 6 1/2 feet or 7 tall?





A later Real Estate Photo shows the same bedroom, but with different accessories – such as the painting above the bed. 




The second bedroom without a fireplace it seems.





The bathroom is another mix of modern and old.  The pumpkin floors were extended into here.





BEFORE:  The master bedroom is on the attic floor.  The suite was once two rooms.   On the other side of the stairs, you can see into the bathroom.  Storage/closets are painted gray and visually separate the two rooms.  Notice the charming barn door above the bed.





BEFORE:  The master bathroom is fabulous!!!  Those floors are just stunning.  The sink and tub are luxurious – like an English hotel.  The towel warmer is one of the largest I’ve seen.





REAL ESTATE PHOTO:   The back of the farmhouse with the kitchen/office addition at the left.





REAL ESTATE PHOTO:  Another view of the back of the house – the carriage house is seen in the background.




Instagram:    A stone wall with a wooden gate opens to a private, sunken garden.





Instagram:  The hidden sunken garden set up with a picnic table and chairs.





Life & Style Magazine.  The main house, by the pool, is almost hidden by the trees – but the barn and two guest houses are seen around the courtyard.   A third guest house is next to the parterre garden.  What a dream this farm is!!  There’s a guest house for each of Yo’s three children to have their own families live, just as Gigi is doing now.





Real Estate Photo:   The Carriage House sits behind a wooden fence. 





The Carriage House, with the barn/stables behind it.  To the right is the second guest house that Yolanda renovated.  Instead of the barn door, there are now French doors.  





Christou and Braff renovated the Carriage House first, where they lived while the main farmhouse was being restored.

In an interview Christou stated that the carriage house had purple carpet with sheetrock covering the stone walls.   The dropped ceiling was removed, allowing for a loft and a two story high living area.  A new staircase was built and all the stone walls were revealed and repointed.





The beautiful side entrance to the Carriage House with crepe myrtle trees and lavender plants.





Real Estate Photos:  This is how the house was decorated under Christou and Braff.   Later, Yolanda placed a huge TV next to the built-in shelf on the stone wall.  





Real Estate:  Another view shows the new spiral staircase leading to the loft.




REAL ESTATE PHOTO:  Another view, showing the red painted kitchen.





Soon after Yolanda bought the farm, Anwar posed on the beam that holds up the loft.  Be careful Anwar!!!!!





After moving in, Bella’s boyfriend, the musician The Weekend, walked down the spiral.   It shows that the furniture came with the Carriage House.  Later, Yolanda removed the old owners furniture and decorated it with her own upholstered pieces.




Today:   Yolanda put in a huge TV next to the shelves.   You can see the sofa is blue underneath the flatscreen.





REAL ESTATE PHOTO:   The red kitchen.





Real Estate Photos:  The view from the loft.  Wow.  Christou and Braff did such a great job with this restoration – AND all of the houses on the farm. Today, this bedroom has a big white upholstered bed and modern lamps and silver framed photographs.



THE SECOND GUEST HOUSE:



REAL ESTATE PHOTO    BEFORE:   There used to be a barn door at back.  Yolanda changed this door – she added a porch above the new French door and a fire pit here, out back.


  

AFTER:  What a difference from before.  From a small barn to a home with a great backyard.    The old doors were repurposed and placed on either side of the new French doors.

Looking at the girls’ Instagram broke my heart.  Yolanda’s beloved mother from the Netherlands died last year.  It’s obvious she came for one last visit where her granddaughters smothered her in kisses and hugs. 

These times we are living in now really make the cycle of life so much more obvious and emotions are so heightened.  It doesn’t matter if you are the world’s highest paid model, your grandmother is still your grandmother.






FROM INSTAGRAM:  A winter scene around the new firepit.





Another view of the newly renovated guest house as seen from the parterre garden.





INSTAGRAM:  Inside the newly renovated guest house – a fireplace was also added along with the new French doors and loft balcony.  Here, Yolanda and the girls brought the miniature ponies to visit Yo’s mother. 




 

INSTAGRAM:  A stylized bathroom from one of the four houses.  Take your pick!!  Yolanda is a natural designer.   I couldn’t decide if this was from the main house – did Yolanda paint those floor upstairs?  Regardless, I love it! 


THE GARAGE & PARTERRE GARDEN: 




REAL ESTATE PHOTO:   Look how beautiful this parterre garden is!!!!   This was designed by Christou when he demolished the large garage that held the car collection of the antique dealer former owner.    It’s hard to tell if the plants are all vegetables or a combination of flowers and vegetables.     

After Yolanda purchased the property,  she changed many things in this garden.  First, she redid the opening to the shop/guest house.   She also painted the urn white. 




 And recently, she redid the interior of the guesthouse, making it more of a home for her children.    To the left of the house – through the gate – Yolanda renovated the second guest house, seen before, adding the back porch and a firepit in its back yard.

Look at Yolanda’s new doors for the shop/guest house first:



INSTAGRAM:   Anwar holds the miniature goats, standing in front of the newly renovated doors to the shop/guesthouse.  Yolanda removed the barndoor and windows and added three French doors.





I started obsessing over matching all the Instagram photos to the rooms in each of the three guest houses -- to be sure I was right about which room went where.  I probably spent days (not probably, I did) doing this until I felt like I was going a bit crazy and decided I had to stop and just make a mistake or two.    

I finally decided that these Instagram photos were taken in the parterre garden guest house before it was renovated.  As you can see the miniature horses and goats go in and out of the houses and sometimes even the big horses do too!!




Bella and Gigi grew up on a horse farm in Santa Barbara.  They only moved to Malibu in their high school years.  Bella was a competitive rider and still rides quite a bit.   Looking at their Instagrams it’s obvious horses are a huge part of their lives, especially Bella. 


People left comments on their Instagram saying that this guest house was once the shop where Christou sold his lavender goods.







Every Christmas the family makes gingerbread houses.   Right after moving in, the table was set up in the parterre guest house, the old shop, with is spiral staircase. 


 


INSTAGRAM:   After the renovation, here is Bella in the old shop/parterre guest house.  Yolanda added some extra shiplap above that which was there before so that now the entire walls are covered in shiplap going in two directions.
And she added a humongous flatscreen in here too!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

REAL ESTATE PHOTO:  The 1740s barn has 27 stables.  Christou and Bragg put on a new slate roof and wood floors distressed to look old.   

Is that a well????






INSTAGRAM:  Under the overhang, Yolanda decorated for fall.


The 10,000+ sq ft barn houses animals, horses and equipment.  Niko Christou is a photographer and he used part of the barn as a photography studio.  The pool table is an 200 year old antique!!  Christou designed all the light fixtures in the barn and in the other farm buildings.





INSTAGRAM:  In the courtyard with the horses watching, Yolanda hosts meals for family and friends.




REAL ESTATE PHOTOS:  Christou’s photography studio.

I think that Niko Christou took many, if not all, of the real estate photographs.  I found many of his photos of the farm on Flickr HERE and he is truly a wonderful photographer. 






REAL ESTATE PHOTO:  200 year old pool table!  Amazing!





REAL ESTATE PHOTOS:  Another view.





INSTAGRAM:   Lots of family this year – it looks like they made their gingerbread houses in the barn.

In the rear, you can see Yolanda decorated this area with her white furniture and blue velvet chairs.



                                                                                                                     
 REAL ESTATE PHOTOS:   Empty stalls???  Today, these stalls are filled with horses for all three Hadid girls.  Not sure if Anwar rides or not.

The former corn crib has been gutted and converted into a sort of utility area (it too had been carpeted and had a dropped ceiling added) where the distilling operation takes place.




INSTAGRAM:   Now, that is a happy horse!!!  It’s so cute how the stables open to the courtyard. 




The back side of the barn – photograph by SBAsbury HERE.


To see even more beautiful photos of the farm, including SBAsbury and Niko Christou’s – go to Flickr and search:   Carousel Farm Lavender.


THE SPRINGHOUSE:



The Springhouse was renovated into a wine cellar.  Underneath the once abandoned building is a natural spring which keeps the temperature cool – perfect for a wine cellar.



REAL ESTATE PHOTOS:  You can see the white iron table and chairs sitting outside the Springhouse.



 INSTAGRAM:   The spring has sprung!  Amazing!!




Inside the Springhouse, Christou built a wine cellar.  The cold spring keeps the bottles naturally chilled.  He also designed the chandelier.





Photograph of the fields by SBAsbury HERE

Once are the buildings were all restored, Niko began to plant lavender, starting with 5,000 plants.  Eventually it grew to 15,000 plants on 8 acres and the farm was opened to visitors.  They had a shop in the parterre garden house where they sold lavender products and even a book about the farm!   

The lavender dried in the barn and the corn crib became the distillery for the oils.  Besides the lavender, Niko planted a variety of fruit trees.






REAL ESTATE PHOTOS:  Additionally, Niko added this labyrinth.




TODAY:  Yolanda added a crystal labyrinth!!  All the Hadids helped to place crystals around the property, they are found near trees and in trees.  Some are amazingly big.   

Maybe the farm’s name should be changed to Crystal Animal Lavender.


Yolanda and the crystals.


Niko Christou published a book about Carousel Farm Lavender, and used his own wonderful photographs: 


“Images in Time: Portrait of a Bucks County Farm,” 
Christou’s photographs are HERE.

It was once for sale in the shop at the farm, but now you can search Google to find a used book or two somewhere out there.




I hope you have enjoyed this story about the fieldstone houses of Bucks County!


















26 comments :

  1. This was an enchanting trip to Bucks County! i love all the detective work that you do, we just get to sit, read and enjoy!

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  2. I grew up in Bucks County and my family still lives there!! My husband looks up these houses (for sale) all the time trying to sway me to move from Houston to be closer to my sister. Boy are they hit hard with covid-19. Thank you for this post Joni. It is absolutely beautiful and reminds me of home. It made me day. And I was feeling down this weekend.

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    1. Hi!!!!!!! long time!!! y'all ok I hope. I didn't realize you were from there. We have nothing like that in Houston. I think the oldest house here might be 125 years!! Take care!!
      J

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  3. Studying historic gardens across Europe for decades enjoyed learning about stone houses coated in plaster/stucco/paint. It was to hide the fact their stones were Field Gathered, oh-the-poverty, not brought from great distance. BCE, Romans brought marble to build with in Israel, one example of wealth via stone.

    Centuries pass, and new construction builds with a few stones added, uncovered, rest of the home stucco, giving illusion to 'age'.

    Poverty Cycle is my name for designing a new landscape and home, to look old.

    Historic stone terraces at homes across England, and Europe, with, typically, Lady's Mantle growing. Poverty Cycle. During WWI large estates lost their gardeners to war, and the stone terraces went without pointing. Voila, new Garden Design style invented via world war.

    Copied Poverty Cycle stone terraces for myself and clients. Discovered Bunny Mellon, via a pic of her Poverty Cycle stone terrace, in Vanity Fair, https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/08/bunny-mellon-garden-201008 . Great day that was. Off Topic, the White House Rose Garden. Prominently used recently for many press conferences, and designed by Bunny Mellon, a Garden Designer, and simply, magically, top of her game, executed, https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/08/bunny-mellon-garden-201008 . Love how the White House is using its grounds as backdrop for many outdoor media productions. Yet the garden goes without mentioning, a continued 'prophet without honor' in stories, hence this rambling.

    Villas in Italy with exteriors white washed of their painted scenes, only as high as a human could 'throw', Poverty Cycle from plagues when they threw vinegar and any other available cleanser to prevent disease, around doors and windows.

    How Green does anyone truly wish to be, in the North? Low ceilings, and small houses, help keeping you warm in winter.

    Appreciate the off-season view of Yolanda's potager, its Drip Irrigation visible. Adore anything making a garden easier.

    Yolanda's crystals are AMAZING. Mine seem so tiny now, seeing hers.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

    Memorial Day, today, USA. Godspeed our fallen, their families, in honor, thank you.

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    1. Thank you for this comment Tara. I had no idea about that stone!!! Incredible. you are the best!!!
      Thanks again,
      J

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  4. I really enjoyed this article. Thanks for posting, Bucks County is a lovely area.
    hope you are doing well during this crazy time.

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  5. I am probably one of the few that have never watched any of the Housewives shows, but I certainly admire her style. This was fun. Makes me want to move to Pennsylvania!

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  6. Hoping Yoland's daughter is not flashing an illuminati sign in her photo!! Otherwise lovely photos! Thanks!

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    1. She's a little different. But she seems to have a really sweet heart.

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  7. Another gorgeous and well researched post. You spoil us! I love the floors especially. Not as fond of the modern styling but it does look good.

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  8. A big OPA to Niko Christou whose talent and love for this magical farm, make it so very special. The only change that I did not like one bit was covering those baklava slanted terra cotta tiles in the kitchen with garage floor cement.. oh how awful. The overall drama of this wow real estate matches the new owner and her glam family however. A lovely place for them all to enjoy.

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    1. Well, I don't think I hate it as much as you do!!! LOL.
      The kitchen isn't old - 1970. so maybe that's why I don't mind the modern touch so much???? How did you know which tile that was?

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  9. I love stone farmhouses, like those in this post. If you loved these houses, you should look up the Huguenot stone houses historic district in New Paltz, NY. About uncovering stone walls: I love the look, and it would work great in the Texas Hill Country--but it is impossible to overstate the chill emanating from an uninsulated stone wall in the Northeast when the temperature plunges to zero in January. I know, from living in a NYC loft with uninsulated brick walls. Soul satisfying, but chilly without a lot of radiators!

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    1. No way I could make - I hate being cold and wear a jacket when it's 75 outside! oh well.
      Huguenot stone sounds veryyyyyy French!!

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  10. Great post Joni! I thought I was the only one who loved Jeff Devlin's show LOL. Did you ever see The Bronson Pinchot Project? THAT was interesting and hilariously presented of what he was did to a stone house in Hartford PA.

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    1. No, I haven't! I"ll look on Amazon for it. Thanks!

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    2. When I found his show I became obsessed!!! I love him. Hope he stays with HGTV.

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  11. Another great post, so well researched! Thank you..

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  13. I loved this post. I have always liked Yolanda and she definitely was too nice for the Housewives of
    Beverly Hills.

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