It is just about here. The Christmas holiday buying season is, well, right around the corner. Gotta get through the turkey first. And when you open your mailbox this holiday season and you find your new Pottery Barn catalog has arrived, you may not realize it, but you are looking at scenes from the Lakes Region of NH!
You see, back in the first week of April with the grip of winter waning and days getting longer the production crew from Pottery Barn landed right here to do a photo shoot for their Christmas catalog! They were attracted to the area because of a property in Gilmanton owned by Doug Towle, a well known and renowned old home restoration expert.
Doug has created a true masterpiece collection of early American architecture on a 12 acre parcel of land with amazing views on top of Frisky Hill on Rt 107 south of the Gilmanton Corners. The property, known as the Farley House, is a 1665 Pilgrim era garrison home originally built in Billerica, Mass. It was carefully dismantled, stored, and painstakingly reconstructed on this site. An early 1800s "El" section from Deerfield was attached to create a kitchen area along with a wonderful three car carriage house. Other buildings include a late 1700s barn from Deerfield, a water tower from the late 1800s from Brentwood, a 1700s corn crib from Epsom, and a one room school house from Gilmanton. The real marvel of this property is that everything in this home is original and correct for its period and is seamlessly blended with all the desired modern conveniences making this a uniquely livable, comfortable, and completely manageable residence. The property is currently in the market for $1.495 million, which is a fraction of its cost.
This landmark property has received national exposure on real estate related blogs on Yahoo, Houzz, and HGTV's Front Door and it caught the attention of the powers to be at Pottery Barn. They were completely enthralled and captivated by its beauty. After a preliminary location scout of the Lakes Region in February, a green light was given for the product shoot. A crew of fifteen photographers, set designers, stagers, and even special effects snow makers arrived along with Pottery Barn's art director Christopher Winn. With them they brought two truckloads of new exterior Christmas decorations and product to be featured in the catalog. They also brought a fair dose of Hollywood magic.
With a holiday twinkle in his eye, Christopher directed what seemed to be a chaotic flurry of activity similar to St Nick's preparation for his evening sleigh ride. It quickly became apparent, that, just like Santa's yearly production, the folks at Pottery Barn had done this many, many times before. Product was unloaded, sorted, and organized. Christmas trees were set up, expertly decorated, un-decorated, moved and re-decorated, wreaths were hung, lights were strung, and reindeer pranced on the snow covered lawn. And where there wasn't snow, snow was relocated to produce mid-winter scenes. A crane was on site for three days to decorate high atop the barn...you need snow up there, too!
What quickly became very clear was the photographic expertise and work done to achieve that perfect shot. This was definitely not just an amateur point and click deal. Expert care went into the composition, lighting, angle, and exposure of every single photo. It was not uncommon to wait for hours for just the right light. The right tone. Subtle differences could be huge. Photos were critically reviewed, tweaked, and approved on their computer (there's no re-shooting when they get back to California.) After four days at the Farley House, the crew moved to the Canterbury Shaker Village for some additional exterior photos of product on their amazing buildings.
You can see a behind the scenes video of this photo shoot at Pottery Barn's Facebook Page or at www.lakesregionhome.com.
As of November 1, 2014 there were 1,137 residential homes on the market in the communities covered by this real estate market report. The average asking price was $601,877 with a median price point of $269,000. That means there were 568 homes available below $269,000. That's a lot of affordable housing! The current inventory level represents a 13.5 month supply of homes on the market.
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System as of 11/1/14. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.
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