2820 Thornfield Road
By: Liz Morten
We have loved our house on Thornfield Road for the last 14 years. It was conceived by a Winston-Salem couple who owned a francophile boutique and traveled extensively through France–shopping for their store and home. Collaborating with the Wilmington, N.C. architect Henry Johnston the team gathered artisans, Mennonite craftsman, custom millworkers, old wood resources for floors, beams and paneling to create an authentic, charming French farmhouse aesthetic. The house was finished in 1988, so it is a modern house with old world sensibilities.
Anvil studio artist Bill Brown, created these beautiful roof supports at the front door.
French country houses are designed to flow easily to the out of doors. French doors instead of windows compel you to wander out . Breezeways and pergolas provide shelter, allowing you to watch the moon rise, thunder strike, rain pelt or just watch fireflies in June.
Our Lady Banks Rose in the courtyard is a marvel!! This was the best year ever for our favorite spectacle. It gets’s knocked back a bit in a tough winter but is always a welcome portent of spring.
The front courtyard is also the perfect spot for tent parties. Our guests park up at Reynolda Presbyterian Church and Summit School and walk down. In case of rain, we offer the local teenager valet service.
Our kitchen window box has been an endless source of amusement for me….
This incarnation is my favorite, inspired by Ed Hollander’s
personal garden in Sag Harbor. He brilliantly planted tall Oriental Lilies in the roots of their Hydrangea bushes and they magically dangle over the flowers acting simultaneously as support. It’s a stunner and this is my mini version.
A New Dawn Rose from the back of the house was transplanted to the front courtyard. A great adage to remember for all climbers is: “The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap. This was a mature climber so it immediately embraced the space.
One of my favorite diversions is the container garden in the Spring. I came up with this Cleome/Plumbago combo and it is my favorite. As the heat goes on, they just get more wild and woolly, which is always gratifying to the gardener. The Hydrangeas through the door came in small pots from the grocery store. I enjoy them indoors, but they thrive and grow in the garden, when they’ve stopped blooming.
One year, my neighbor’s tulip Magnolia was ripped to shreds and laying on the ground, so in one of my very early blog posts, I entertained myself with this “Windfall.” Walking into the house and changing seasons we are working on a Winter Wonderland fabulous dinner.
We like the Christmas Tree in the dining room and open our gifts over breakfast strata on Christmas morning.
The entry hall has been a great overflow dining spot. We have seated as many as 22 people in dining room and the adjacent hall.
I would say our happiest times start in the kitchen and end in all the different areas we have decked out for our feasts.
Anyone who follows me on Instagram or FaceBook knows that I am the undisputed Queen of the antipasto platter.
The wonderful courtyard off of the family room is a frequent gathering spot.
The terrace off of the living room/dining room areas draws guests out for conversations. I have occasionally set up for dining out there as well, but notice that guests love an almost desperate proximity to the kitchen. In winter, it is a great spot to gather with a blazing fire.
There are also areas in this house, where believe it or not, are not food locations.
The family room is open to kitchen area, and I admit we eat there too.
The house was designed with 3 master bedrooms, one down and two upstairs. The fourth bedroom has built in shelves and a desk area as an optional office, but we have used it as a 4th bedroom, as have the preceding owners. There is a man’s paneled office downstairs as well with dressing and bath areas adjacent. There are 3 separate energy zones, which make the house energy efficient. When I am the only one home, I turn down the living, dining, halls, and upstairs bedrooms.
My bedroom, which is the main floor master opens on to the dining room/living room terrace and its own secret garden on the opposite side. It is my recharging station. I am sure you are wondering……why this very long post, which could have been broken into at least3?. I have decided to move and am selling the house. Friends have asked me to post images, so they can pass it on to their friends. Also, we have had so many beautiful occasions here, I wanted to keep a memento of all the wonderful times the girls and I have had with our relatives and great friends. If you live in the greater Winston-Salem, Greensboro or High Point area, please share this with your friends.
Price available on request.