We got an email recently asking if we do weddings for two. It just so happens that we’ve done several around the property. In shady garden spots on a hot summer day. Under our playful Brunelleschi dome in the sunken garden; and high up on a third floor balcony belonging to our honeymoon suite, The Pinnacle. Were it not for a hatchet and a dream, this romantic wedding site might not exist.
More than 20 years ago when we acquired the property, we wondered what we might make of the third floor. Up to that point, the attic had been outfitted with cedar closets and a darkroom used by the second owner in the 1940’s—long since abandoned. Oh yes, and then there was the squirrel that had gnawed the insulation off the knob and tube wiring strung across the rafters, which accounted for the sparks coming off a second floor radiators—but that’s another story.
We thought the third floor might make a spectacular beamed space with the best views in the house. So we asked each contractor bidding on the job if we could get rid of some of the larger beams that were in the way. One suggested we could, but might want to be very near the front door to get out of a collapsing house quickly. We hired this guy.
Once that was out of the way, we asked our new contractor to grab a hatchet and follow us up to the third floor. We picked our way across the exposed joists to the northern-most gable and pointed. “Whack a hole right here.” He looked a bit quizzical figuring this might be another practical joke, but when we insisted, he chopped a hole in the roof large enough for us to peer out into the distance. There before us was a dream view we’ll never forget. An open field, soon to become Kingsbrae Garden, spread out in every direction. Ministers Island and a bright shining sea lay beyond. It was breathtaking.
In that moment, we conceived of The Pinnacle Suite, designing it like no other rooms in the house. It’s a magnificent garret rimmed by massive beams of foot wide girth, two fireplaces, one in the living room, another in the bedroom plus a granite wet bar. The draped canopy bed is layered in soft creams, bronze and gold. The bathroom sports a six-foot whirlpool tub built for two. And there’s a large flat screen TV for those who tire of looking at the view [though we doubt they ever do].
For the past 20 years, guests who have been married here return for their anniversaries year after year. We like to think we’ve been good stewards of this fine old 1897 property. And we welcome our 2018 wedding parties, be they 2 or 20 or more, to share the results of what came from a hatchet and a dream.