Friday, April 21, 2017

Touring a French Chateau

I can't think of too many things I enjoy more than traipsing through old houses --
marveling at the amazing craftsmanship,
feeling the soul of the house, and wondering about the people who've lived there before, 

so, when I had the opportunity to explore the best surviving example of 
French Renaissance Chateauesque-style architecture in Denver, I swooned.
Step into history at the Croke-Patterson Inn. 


Chateauesque refers to a French style of design characterized by 
steeply-pitched roofs, elaborate towers and spires. 
Designed by architect Isaac Hodgson in 1891, the Croke-Patterson mansion was based
on the 16th century Chateau Azay-le-Rideau in France's Loire Valley. 
Don't you just love the towers?


Inside, I was greeted warmly by the manager, Michelle, who was busy preparing breakfast 
for guests. She turned me loose to look around 
but not before I snapped her picture on the grand staircase. 


The 12,000 square foot chateau was originally owned by Thomas Croke,
an early irrigation developer.
The Croke-Patterson mansion is now a luxury inn complete with 
beamed ceilings, stained-glass and an attached carriage house. 


The three-story Patterson Inn has nine bedrooms, 


and a lovely dining room


where I drifted away in daydreams of a bygone era.


Here's the grand reception hall.



There's even a cozy pub-style room in the basement. 


 Over the years the chateau has been a dance hall, a boarding house, 
a radio station and an office complex. 
What I noticed most about the Inn now was the attention to details, lending it an authentic feel.



Rumor has it that the house was haunted. 
According to legend, Croke only entered the mansion once and was so shaken 
by whatever was there, he never returned.
He sold the house two years later to U.S. Senator Thomas Patterson 
who owned the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Times. 


Incidentally, the Patterson Inn is located at 11th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street, 
just a couple of blocks from Molly Brown's Denver mansion. 
If you missed my post on the unsinkable Molly's house, you can read about it HERE. 

Oh, and by the way, no ghosts were encountered during my visit!

You can learn more about this luxury bed and breakfast at
www.pattersoninn.com.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

French Country Farmhouse

I have a soft spot for cows.
Those soulful brown eyes.
That velvety-soft nose.
Those floppy ears and knobby knees. 


A little cow creamer, a primitive painting or a milk jug. I just can't resist them.


Not to mention the farmyard adds something special to a French Country kitchen.
Since French Country originated in the country,
it makes sense to have a few farm animals in the mix.


The trick is not to go overboard with the little darlin's. 
A calf here, a chick there. 
Mix them in with your rustic baskets and your copper pots
to warm up a room of stainless steel appliances. 


Roosters and French Country just seem to go together, 
whether it's in a real farmhouse or a modern farmhouse kitchen.
(I won this painting by an elementary school art teacher in a silent auction.)


Maybe it's their bright yellow, orange and black colors.
Or perhaps it's their cocky strut that says, "Look at me!"


I've been searching for just the right ceramic rooster forever.
They're either too big, too colorful or too expensive.
But, at the recent Vintage Whites Market, I found him.
Love at first sight. Sigh.


Roosters not your cup of tea? Try chickens.
 Cuddly chicks or hefty hens, they instantly warm up a cool room.


You can spice up your French Country kitchen with other farm animals,
whether it's sheep, geese, pigs or goats.
I have a set of four of these outdoor placemats with a different farm animals on each one.
So darling!


They'll make you smile every time you look at them
or at least until the cows come home!

***
If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you'll follow me by email.
Just subscribe (it's FREE) in the upper right column of this page.
You can also follow my Pinterest boards to see all my favorite photos.
Thank you!!!

***
Linking with:
Rustic & RefinedDwellingsBotanic BleuBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal Charm,
Cedar Hill FarmhouseA Stroll Thru LifeSavvy Southern StyleA Delightsome Life,
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson21 Rosemary LaneReinvented CollectionAdirondack Girl at HeartCharm of HomeFrench Country Cottage

Friday, April 7, 2017

April in Paris . . . or is it?

April in Paris Denver

This lovely white-blossomed allee could easily be lining a sidewalk somewhere in Paris. 
But actually, it's in Denver, Colorado. 


Everywhere you look in the city at this time of year, these white crabapple trees are at their peak.
Puffballs of pure white against old bricks make me think of the French countryside in spring,


while this lovely tree framing a private courtyard
reminds me of some of the hidden gardens of Paris. 


Here's a little test.
Is this photo in France or Colorado?
(No peeking at the answer).


Answer:  It's actually in the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Did you guess correctly?

One need only stroll down a street in Denver's historic Baker neighborhood
to be reminded we are not, in fact, in France
but, on a quaint street in Colorado in early April. 


Lilacs are just beginning to open and share their intoxicating scent
next to this stately Victorian in Baker.


It's still a bit early here for perennials to bloom
but these gorgeous red tulips in my own garden have sprung to life already.


I have to remind myself that, although it was a lovely day for an early spring walk in Denver,
I could wake up to a foot of snow tomorrow.
And that's exactly what happened in the mountains!
This photo shows a fresh April snowfall on Mt. Evans,
elevation: 14,240 feet rising above our neighborhood.

Photo by Ron Boyd

Happy Spring!

***

If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you'll follow me by email.
Just subscribe (it's FREE) in the upper right column of this page.
You can also follow my Pinterest boards to see all my favorite photos.
Thanks so much!

***

Linking with:
Rustic & RefinedDwellingsBotanic BleuBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal Charm,
Cedar Hill FarmhouseA Stroll Thru LifeSavvy Southern StyleA Delightsome Life,
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson21 Rosemary LaneReinvented Collection,
Adirondack Girl at HeartCharm of HomeFrench Country Cottage

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Quiet Time - April 2017


Sending you a few quiet moments.


Water lilies at the Denver Botanic Gardens
float on calm waters like an Impressionist painting. 





"A flower blossoms for its own joy."  -- Oscar Wilde

Have a beautiful day,
Pat