Sunday, November 8, 2015

14 Hands Wins Retail Project of the Year

BCRA design firm advised us last night that our 14 Hands tasting room project won Retail Project of the Year at the NAIOP Night of the Stars event!  “Your Windswept Weathered wood product, craftsmanship and attention to detail were an integral part of the project’s success,” says Kela Gribbons of BCRA.  “We appreciate your partnership and hope we continue to work on many more together.  Thank you!”

BCRA specified our weathered, barn wood appearance siding for both the interior and exterior elevations. “The authentic nature and genuine feel of the Windswept product was ideally suited for the ethos of 14 Hands.  Many products were utilized adding to the overwhelming success of this project but Windswept clearly established the tone we were seeking”, Kela adds.

About 14 Hands

Situated in the picturesque Horse Heaven Hills sits one of the most well respected American wineries; Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 14 Hands vineyards. Critically acclaimed, this Washington wine’s success grew from the shelves of restaurants and select retailers. Ste. Michelle desired a new tasting facility to be the first platform for 14 Hands to create a cohesive customer experience with their already established and successful wine.

BCRA first launched the design process for a new tasting room with an abstract understanding of what the 14 Hands brand experience could be. While 14 Hands celebrates successful varietals, and hails as the official Wine of the Kentucky derby, the customer experience of the wine itself lacked definition. The existing label artwork was the only existing visual expression of their brand. It highlights wild horses, known to be 14 hands tall, that used to be abundant in the Horse Heaven Hills region. Ste. Michelle executives also expressed a desire for a “Cowboy Nouveau" tasting experience.

Our design team’s branding effort began by conceptualizing the space with written narrative. Then came a cross disciplinary approach; bringing together Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Graphic Design working together to capture the unbridled spirit of the brand in a three-dimensional space. 

Honoring Today's Winemaking Process

The site was unique; Ste. Michelle was faced with a decision to utilize a site with an existing 43,000 sf production facility or search for a new location. Many local wineries set up small shops with a mall-like approach to tasting, alluring visitors with one-stop shopping. In turn, this has removed visitors from the craft of wine making itself. BCRA’s designers sought to honor the age old traditions of the region complimented with today’s modern authenticity of the wine making process.

Much like the agrarian concept of farm growth over time, BCRA demonstrated the existing site could organically evolve to accommodate 14 Hands in a variety of ways, including a large 50’ x 20’ mural of the famed label artwork to create a minimalist illusion of a vast building. Moving from the warehouse, slightly rotating the orientation of the 2700 sf addition smoothly transitions the interior and exterior space. Finally, a spacious courtyard flanked by topographic walls break up the view from the parking lot and bring a visual line of interest to the open sky and surrounding hills.

A connected space

The seamless integration of the wine tasting facility and courtyard also sets the stage for future expansions. The 9,500 sf exterior courtyard accommodates 150 guests and prominently features custom sculptural art of wild horses galloping in a bubbling fountain. A gate extends from the sculpture to enclose the space and delineate spatial privacy for private events. Crushed aggregate tunes the visitors senses with the rawness of the land while tall perennial grasses flow in the wind, mimicking the perpetual movement in the region’s rolling hills.

Nodding to the deep agricultural history of the west, many elements of the interior space feature recycled materials reminiscent of the era. Tooled leather on walls, exposed rough beetle kill wood siding and punch tin covered cabinetry adorns the space. Reclaimed wood on the walls feature large graphic panels evocative of weathered barn advertising, exhibiting tones of the 14 Hands winemaking process. A vast 26 foot long, custom old western-inspired bar welcomes discerning wine connoisseurs while industrial style bistro tables and leather lounge furniture invite conversation areas for casual visitors alike.  Fabricated from corrugated steel, a large custom chandelier resonates the free spirit of wild horses. Throughout the interior and exterior area, the variety of textures creates a relaxed space reflecting the approachable 14 Hands brand that their customers identify with.
To accommodate large crowds, Ste. Michelle also sought a flexible space suitable for receptions and events, but also configurable for intimate gatherings.  A warming kitchen hides behind the punch tin wine bar cabinetry for easy catering access. The oversized tilt-up doors that provide access to the courtyard also serve as welcoming awnings through the interior and exterior space. A double-sided fireplace warms seating for the modern ottoman inside and welcomes visitors to enjoy the traditional woven furniture outside. To allow visitors to connect directly with 14 Hand’s vintner and today’s modern winemaking process, a glass wall adjoins the existing production faculty with the tasting room. Finally, above the lower level hangs a ‘hay loft’ accommodating VIP guests for private tastings at an oversized farm table.

For information about Windswept Weathered Wood contact:

Glen Ehrhardt, President

Harvest Timber Specialty Products
PO Box 59 
Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cozy Ranch House Embraces the Beauty of Nature

Tour ISSUU Digital Publication
When Mike and Stephanie Tuttle were ready to move to East Texas after living in the Dallas area, they insisted on a few things: lots of a space for their horses to roam and a comfortable home in the country surrounded by the beauty of nature.

They found property in the Garden Valley area that has pine covered hills, open pastures and a beautiful 25-acre lake. It was exactly what they wanted. However, the decades-old house on the property was too small and did not meet their needs.

“It was really segmented and very chopped up,” says Mrs. Tuttle.
The best thing about the house was that it was perfectly positioned on a hill overlooking the lake on one side and trees on another.

Their solution was to strip the existing structure down to its foundation, stone fireplace and studs and start over. They called in Bill Andreason of Heritage Builders in Lindale to oversee the project.

The new home is a two-story story ranch with lots of stonework and timbering. When pressed to define the architectural style, Andreason simply calls it rustic elegance.

The first floor is dominated by a great room with a 22-foot high pitched ceiling supported by large wooden beams. The great room encompasses a living area centered around a towering fireplace. Dominant features include a chandelier made from dozens of pairs of antlers and a wall of large windows that looks out on woods where deer are spotted on many afternoons.

In another section of this open space is the kitchen with industrial-grade appliances and marble countertops.
The first floor also houses the master bedroom suite and both his and her offices. Mr. Tuttle jokes that his wife, got the better of the two office spaces. In one of their previous houses, he had a huge office. This time he wanted something much smaller.

The second floor houses three guest bedrooms, a workout room and common space on the landing at the top of the stairs.
Mrs. Tuttle used the talents of interior designer Patricia Ridnour of Dallas, with whom she has worked for years, to help her furnish and decorate. Furnishings include antiques with sentimental value that have been in the family for years and new pieces specifically selected for the home.

A pair of fat raccoons paddling a canoe filled with apples forms the whimsical centerpiece on the table in the great room and reflects both their love of nature and sense of fun. A portion of the weathered wooden flooring saved from the original home was repurposed as a decorative element on some of the walls.
The house also holds surprises. Space under the stairway is a secret play room for their grandchildren. Some of the doors are disguised to blend into the walls.

Mr. Tuttle’s favorite features are located outside where tons of white stone mined from a quarry in Oklahoma create spaces for relaxation and entertainment.

“Look at my redneck bathtub,” he says pointing out the  tub located in an open-air, yet private, bathroom in the back of the house. A shower is only steps away. And yes, he sometimes uses both the tub and shower.
On another stone landing sits a fire pit surrounded by red lounging chairs. Nearby, a fountain sprays out water which tumbles down a rock-lined stream into a pond at the bottom of the hill.

Other outdoor features are a fully-functional kitchen and covered living room and a screened-in porch that lets the breeze in but keeps the bugs out. The Tuttles added a balcony off one of the second-story guest room to take advantage of a spectacular view of the lake.  Andreason, who builds homes in many sizes and price ranges, says that the words cozy and comfortable kept coming up when working with Tuttles.
“They wanted different areas, both inside and outside, that would give cozy, enjoyable spaces to congregate in.” The Tuttles couldn’t be more thrilled with the way things turned out. Mr. Tuttle says the ranch retreat provides an escape from the pressures of work. Mrs. Tuttle says the house feels intimate yet is big enough for when their grown children visit with the grandkids and when they frequently have friends over to entertain.
From comfortable furnishings, to relaxing porches to beautiful views, it’s a place that puts people at ease.

For more information contact:

Glen Ehrhardt, President

Harvest Timber Specialty Products

PO Box 59 

Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256

Friday, October 16, 2015

'Fingerprints of Time and Hard-work... in progress'

I’ve always loved travelling to places where the architecture has a story.  Where the fingerprints of time and hard-work, aided by elements and years spent in God’s presence, created a home that held it’s own history and left you wondering what stories it held.  From old barns with hand hewn beams that hold untold hours of work from farmers hands to tiny stone bungalows that held families who ran on cold floor boards to warm morning fires…there is something beautiful those aged axe marks and moss covered stones.

   And the struggle we found as we set pencil to graph paper is how do we create a new home, that looks like it belonged here before we came along…that wasn’t marked by latest trend, that would feel just as relevant fifteen years from now as it would have fifteen years previous. The hope that our home would make others feel welcome, like it was built to house memories shared with family and friends,  and coffee with a neighbor…

  Planning itself began with the aid of internet searches and pinterest boards. I specifically love the aspect of design and have probably always had one or two “what if” houses on paper somewhere.  So when we knew we where building the actual process of planning was probably one of the most amazing creative things I’ve ever gotten to do.  We had originally hoped to build a timber-frame structure, but soon found that financially and creatively it came with a few too many challenges for us.  As an alternative we decided to use timber without the structural component on the interior and structurally for posts on the exterior.  That also freed us to design just about anything we desired with the floor plan.  We took our inspiration for an exterior shot of an old farmhouse online and began working on a floor plan that would meet our needs and create an exterior that modeled the look we were trying to achieve.  I enlarged the design on a large sheet of cardboard and hung it in our room, a sharpie near by waited and anytime over the span of about six months I thought of a change that would function better, we would mark it on the plan.  So by the time it went to the draftsman it was pretty well tweaked down to the last square foot.
  I think one of the most important elements for us was the reclaimed wood we used in the house.  And then from that we choose material that would compliment it.  Deciding where to place the timber was a combination of looking at pictures online that inspired us, and creating something that felt our own...My father was a sawyer and so beams and timber bring back memories of my childhood, and although we love the look of wood we wanted to be careful not to let it overwhelm the house…so every place we put it would feel special.

  From the farm house distressed oak floor, the pebble tile in the shower, and the windswept siding…everything we chose for finishes was picked to compliment the natural aesthetic of the timber.  It also needed to be durable enough handle our four little people and we really tried to stay away from anything too trendy that would date the house, or anything that required considerable up keep or attention.
  We love how the authentic nature of the Windswept Weathered Wood siding grounds our home, allowing it to blend into the farmscape behind it. We struggled to find a product that was new yet still felt “lived in” enough to blend with the timbers.  And we could not be happier now that it has all come together.
  The result for us has been something we love.  From thanksgiving with our big extended family to coffee with new friends, we have gotten to enjoy the moments we hoped to in this house already.  I love the way the materials pulled together, to make the house melt into it’s surroundings.  It already holds memories we brought with us, like the turquoise door from Lorne’s grandparents homestead, and has begun already to house new precious moments.  How special it is to walk up the drive coming in from the fields, or rounding the bend from a long day hauling children or groceries, and feel the smile in your soul as you “come home”.

Robyn for the Ewerts

Contact for Windswept Weathered Wood:

Glen Ehrhardt, President
Harvest Timber Specialty Products
PO Box 59 
Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blue Ridge Barn Compliments Eclectic Home

We live on 55 acres; most of which is forested but our home is located in the middle of an approximately 8 acre meadow.  We wanted to add a barn to allow outdoor activities in the winter (covered space), store larger outdoor equipment, have chickens and space for potting, composting etc. Our goal for it's architectural design was for it to work well with the house, be a simple structure but have some interest architecturally because we can see it directly out of the Great Room windows in the house. 

One part of the trick of building this structure was site.  We eventually chose to put it just east of the house in the meadow, within easy walking distance.  We can get up to 4' of snow in the winter here so the idea of not having to trek real far to get to the barn had tremendous appeal.  We also did not want to block any of the house's primary view, which is expansive.  It looks over the southern end of the Roanoke Valley at the Blue Ridge Parkway on the distant mountain ridge. 

The site was the only larger flat area in our meadow; we did not want to spend a great deal of money excavating. Even still, when the footers of the barn went in they found that area was in fact old fill and there were nails dating back to the early 1900s in the dirt.  We're not sure what was there, but likely some smaller outbuilding for the original owner's cabin, which was located a bit west of where our current house is. 

To both reduce cost and create some architectural interest, the barn was designed in a T shape.  The longer area is my husband's space where he currently has his batting cage, a wonderful stress relief from work.  The smaller front area is mine, we piped in water so I could add an outdoor sink for potting. I've already got a large barrel composter and my garden tools out there and I'm starting to design my workspace.  Rather excited to get in to that next spring.

The bank of windows above the barn doors on the north elevation let in a tremendous amount of light, as do those lower windows, which can be opened, for breeze in the summer.  We chose also to install large square outdoor fans in the peak of the roof (north and south elevations) to be able to force air through in the summer and further cool the barn during the peak of the summer heat.  We are able to turn on these fans and the barn's outdoor lights from inside the house.

Given we enjoy some 'fun' in our architecture, we wanted to leverage the wonderful Windswept Weathered Wood siding for the outside... but use a color that was not used on the house.  We ultimately choose the color Cowboy brown that echoed the tone of the small old barn we have below the house, the last remaining 'vintage' structure on a property that has known only 3 owners since the late 1880s.  We also love this vintage barnwood siding for use in this area where there are wood-boring bees that can cause tremendous destruction in buildings they take a fancy to.It was our observation after moving in to our home that these bees do not like the Windswept siding, we assume it has something to do with the production process and the more deeply embedded finish.  Whatever the reason, by eliminating the threat of those pests it is a highly desirable material here.
The roofing is a classic metal, echoing the roof on the house.  We used the same exterior sconces over the large barn doors that we used on the southern side of the house, large grey barn sconces.  The trim and pergolas were painted the same gray that was used on the house; similarly the barn soffits were painted the 'haute blue' that we have come to love on the house.  All these elements were leveraged to create a stronger visual tie between the structures.

For more information contact:

Glen Ehrhardt, President

Harvest Timber Specialty Products
PO Box 59 
Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256


Friday, July 24, 2015

Hill Country Character and Rich Architecture.

Inspired by the spirit of the Texas Hill Country and rich, regional architecture, home designs at Rancho Sienna™ are responsive to the environment, the strong Texas sun, and local materials.

You’ll find architecture influenced by the history of the area, including Craftsman-style bungalows, Spanish and Tudor styles, as well as more contemporary designs.

The neighborhoods maintain a diverse, but unified character, adding complexity and interest to the street scenes. Native landscaping and indigenous materials, such as local limestone and earth-tone stucco, together with wraparound porches, awnings, and deep roof overhangs add character, while providing solar efficiency.

Kick up your heels and stay awhile.

Situated on the eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country, but with convenient access to commuting routes throughout Austin, the Rancho Sienna™ community is a natural place to live within the indigenous environment of the land.

Mature tree stands, rock outcroppings, and hillside views have been intentionally preserved for generations to enjoy. An extensive open space and trail system connects the community.

For those wanting to live closer to family and nature.

At Rancho Sienna you can balance a relaxed, uncomplicated home life focused on nature, with daily active recreation and meaningful social engagement in a genuine community. 

Austin Flavor. Hill Country Style.

Striking the perfect balance between a secluded Hill Country setting and life’s modern conveniences, the Rancho Sienna™ community provides miles of wandering trails through open space, parks, rock outcroppings, and rolling hills.

The Sienna House

Relax or get in a workout at The Sienna House, where the community comes together for fun, fitness and social interaction. With a large open-air pavilion, splash pad, and playground, The Sienna House provides great views overlooking the Hill Country.  

It serves as the trail head for Big View Trail, part of the community Trails and Parks System. Inside, residents enjoy a gathering room, a large fitness center, while just outside the Sun Porch and multi-use pool beckons. 

The Rancho Sienna project reflects the warm and comfortable nature of our Windswept Weathered Wood sidings.  Windswept adds style, sophistication and practicality to what designers have long called for- a reclaimed appearance with the stability and structural integrity of new wood, backed by regulated industry associations, at nearly half the investment of reclaimed materials and with minimal waste.

Our innovative style and continued focus to customer satisfaction continues to scale upward congruent to the inimitable culture of specialty wood providers as well as the Architectural & Design, Hospitality and Retail Design communities; let us know how we can help!

Contact us at:

Glen Ehrhardt, Business Development
Windswept Weathered Wood
PO Box 59 
Lakebay, WA  98351
P. (253) 884-6255  
F. (253) 884-6256

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