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Why does the barn have a colonial feel?

The shortest answer is you can blame me - Autumn! I'm the youngest in the family and a huge history nut. Growing up, my mom and I would spend out weekends at Mt. Vernon when we were still living in the DC area. I think George Washington is one of the most amazing men of integrity to ever live in-spite of his flaws. I've been a fangirl of history ever since.

Since living in DC, I have gone on to live in France and Hawaii. Since my time in France, my interest in the French-Virginian connection has grown to an obsession. I was always interested in both the French and American revolutions, but now I am really digging into the niche of where those two worlds collide. For me, a personification of that connection is the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.

Monticello is Jefferson's home in Charlottesville, VA. During the construction of the barn, I visited this place often and read books about Sally Hemmings and Martha Randolph - two prominent women in Jefferson's life and estate. I also delved into the local history of the area and learned of Jefferson's connection to the Natural Bridge and how he purchased it. (Side note: George Washington surveyed the area during his first job as a surveyor, sooo Lewis and Clark didn't discover it.)

Throughout the construction of the barn, I kept saying, "This will be my family's Monticello." Just as both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson retired from their service to the country to their properties, my dad was retiring from his military service to this "New Field."

That said, for the barn, I pulled a lot of design choices and inspiration from Monticello - specifically the cellar. This means the white walls, the metal painted black and exposed wood all has design elements that can be traced to the refurbished cellar below Monticello. Below I've attached pictures of the cellar and a picture from our venue. You can see the wooden ceiling of the cellar in the lower levels of the barn.

When selecting furniture, I looked for pieces that alluded to the simplicity and craftsmanship of colonial America. I also wanted to keep the pieces as local to the area as possible. This meant that instead of shopping online, I spent weeks traveling around the area to thrifts stores and antique stores. I even when to local colleges to see if they had anything in storage for purchase.

Most of the furniture is actually from stores like Goodwill, the Restore, and other local thrift stores. That's why I was able to find some local treasures, like these blue chairs that are original from Waynesboro that all our brides love!

The mirror behind the bride is also a local purchase from Southern Virginia University. This mirror was originally from the main hall on their campus, but they were giving it a way during their renovation. I loved the mirror and I wanted to keep it in the area, so.... Now brides can see themselves in this gorgeous mirror on their wedding day.

In keeping with the theme from the main level of the barn, I left random trinkets from the original owners where they have been placed for the past hundred years. This includes nails and random big of wood added to the frame of the barn as well as larger pegs.

Right now, we are renovating the farmhouse and I am excited for you all to see the plans and process for that project. For the farmhouse, I will be pulling inspiration from the main part of Monticello. This means more color, texture, and history coming together to make more of a comfortable home environment for you and your guests to enjoy.


Autumn Barraclough

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