Snowy Sunday morning


I’m sure that everyone who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the foothills are very glad that the winter’s first snow fell on a Sunday morning. There’s no excuse for leaving home.


15 thoughts on “Snowy Sunday morning”

  1. I stumbled upon your blog while evaluating the house plan you used. Thank you for sharing your process, it’s incredibly helpful. Now that your house is complete, and you have lived there for awhile, how do you feel about the plan design? I noticed you added a roof to the back porch to divert the roof runoff. Would you recommend any other changes?

    Thank you for the fantastic blog (I branched out into other topics).

    1. Hi Cynthia… I’ve been in the house now for more than six years. The house is a great delight to live in. I think that my only advice would be to put as much thought as possible into making the details of the interior suit your needs, to find a way to use the attic space and basement space, and to give some thought to the water and snow runoff coming down those steep valleys on the roof. Also, interior lighting is very important if you want to take advantage of the drama inherent in the height and many planes of the interior. Good luck!

  2. Thank you! I’ve been closely studying the plan for months, but some things are impossible to visualize (such as how the opening of the upstairs bedroom works in relation to the living room, whether the plant shelf dormer is accessible and usable). I still don’t know where to put a clothes washer and dryer, but your interior photos answered many questions.

    1. Hi Cynthia… Visualizing the interior of the house in three dimensions from the blueprints is VERY difficult. Some interior decisions were so difficult that I didn’t make the decisions until the framing stage, when I could say to the builder “let’s put the wall here, here, and here.” I also had them move a couple of walls at the framing stage, which is not too big a deal. The dormer shelf is usable, but you can’t reach it without a ladder! You could potentially reduce the size of the closet beside the dormer (I put a bathroom there rather than a closet) and make a walkway to the dormer from the upstairs hallway. I put the washer and dryer (stacked) in the downstairs hallway, to the right as you come in the front door. I made the washer room larger than is shown in the blueprints by extending it back from its door. You will love the kitchen pantry.

  3. Thank you again for sharing the stages of your construction. I sat down with my builder at my computer showing him your blog diary. He was captivated by your photos, pouring over the framing and finishing photos as much as I was focusing on the final interior. I realized later that while about everyone from surgeons to back yard gardeners share techniques and methods, builders can remain isolated, not able to see how others would approach the same project. A man who has built houses of exceptional quality his entire life, who taught his two sons to do so, who supervises countless helpers, looked at your photos as if I were sharing a secret manuscript and was delighted.

    Building permits were issued today. I can’t wait to see our house take shape. If I were more tech savvy I would send you a photo of our setting.

    Thank you again for the inspiration and for the practical assistance!

  4. Cynthia, that’s fantastic that you’re building the house! Please keep me updated on your progress, and I’d love to see photos.

  5. I am now in the framing stage of this house. What height ceiling did you end up doing upstairs? The plan calls for 11’6″ but my framers are concerned there won’t be a place for a pull down ladder for attic access. I remember you mentioning that you had a good attic space, but I couldn’t recall whether that was over the upstairs bedroom or the other wing of the house. Thank you for being a terrific resource!

  6. The bedroom ceiling is 11’6, but my upstairs hallway and the other upstairs room have normal ceiling height. My pull-down ladder is in the upstairs hallway. This gives you an attic on two levels, but that’s not a really a problem. I floored the attic, and there are three or four steps between the two levels of the attic. You’ll love the attic!

  7. Thank you! 11’6″ it is. I would send you photos of our progress, but I don’t know how to attach them to a comment box.

    We thought about you in May when my son and I were driving through NC touring colleges. When we saw the sign for Stokes county I exclaimed That’s where Acorn Abbey is! I’ve confused my builder more than once by saying “David did it this way” or “David thinks…” and I’ve tried to cool it a bit.

    The gothic windows were a hassle to source. The grade of window we initially settled on did not offer the gothic arch, nor anything other than white grills, so we did upgrade despite the price difference. I made a couple of changes to accommodate our special criteria and hope to show you someday what we did.

    Thank you again!

  8. We are approaching a year and we are getting close to finishing our version of the house (now is the agonizingly slow time, the weeks leading up to the certificate of occupancy). We ran into different problems than you did, and the building process has not been easy. I would love to send you photos so you can see the fruition of your inspiration and the country cousin of your house. I’m not quite sure how to attach or send a photo through a comment, and apparently my go to method of copy and paste doesn’t work.

    I have enjoyed your blog too on non-house related topics. Sometimes I think we are like siblings who don’t understand why people roll their eyes and snicker when insist we are nothing like each other.

    By the way, now when I refer to any David, my friends stop me and ask “Acorn Abbey David? Or a different David.” In the past year you became the default David of our conversations.

  9. Hi Cynthia. Thank you for your nice words. I’d love to see the photos! Could you maybe send them as email attachments to david @ ?

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