So, it’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog! But I’m excited to say I have something to write about finally! We have been grinding away at the plans and permits with the engineers and the process is much slower and more tedious than I imagined. Budgets have adjusted our vision of what is possible. We have been forced to downsize our vision, at least in the beginning, just to get the retreat up and off the ground.
This is our current vision(pre-permits) of how the retreat will look on a map
So, as you can see from the drawing, we will offer an art studio, dining pavilion with kitchen and 2 large yurts with a bathhouse. We are researching solar power and are hopeful we can integrate it into the retreat. Our goal is to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
You wanna talk about dreams coming true?! Well this is a biggie for me. I’ve been a working artist my whole life and never had a proper studio! Anyway, I digress. This is for you too! The idea here is to provide a beautiful large teaching studio with sky light and fireplace for groups to utilize. I will be providing easels, sculpting stands, tables and chairs…whatever is needed for your group. Also housed here is a separate ceramics studio so we can contain the wonderful mess of clay! I am planning a coffee bar and retail space. I’m hoping to support local artists by providing a place they can offer their art.
As you can see, there is plenty of room for small groups, 12-32 to gather and learn. Oh, I must also mention, I have another studio location in our barn for playing with cut flowers, making wreaths and other really messy stuff! We can set up the space in any configuration that works for your group. We also just built a large walk in cooler so your creations will stay fresh!
So where will you be sleeping?!
I’m glad you asked! We have designed 2 large yurts with 6 private bedrooms and sitting area. There will be coffee/tea set ups in there and a small fridge. Climate controlled and decorated with fine creative touches and antiques. I’ll be dropping by each afternoon with a little treat of some sort. Between the yurts will be a bath house with spa like finishes. Fluffy towels and robes, local organic soaps, huge sky light, and even an outdoor shower option!
My goal is to make you feel pampered and yet adventurous at the same time. You will feel like you’re camping, enjoying the outdoors but yet, you’ll have all the comforts of a fine resort.
Ok yes, that works. But what about food?!!!
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Just like the yurts, when dining you will be enjoying the great outdoors. However, you won’t lack for comfort. Our dining pavilion will have a fireplace, space heaters and drop down wind breaks. In the warmer months, we will have fans and misters to keep you nice and comfortable. For food, it’s really all up to you! I will hire caterers to suit your taste and budget. We are building a fabulous kitchen for them to utilize and serve from. If you want a food truck, you got it! An Italian chef to teach a meal with wine pairings? Done! If you are working on a tight budget, it’s no problem. Vegan? No problem. We will have a rolodex full of catering options to make your event exactly what you require.
We are finalizing our plans to apply for our Plan of Development permit. Our goal is to finish by the end of January. Goochland County will likely need a couple months to review and probably a little back and forth with our team. Things could and probably will change again. It’s just the nature of this beast.
When finally approved, we will hand the whole thing over to my amazing contractor, Daniel Gordon with Gordon Brothers Construction. He is building my silo house right now and is doing an amazing job!
Once Daniel takes the ball, we will break ground. I’m hoping that will happen by April or May. The tricky part is, how long will it take him? I have no idea and neither does he at this point. It’s my hope to host a few artist’s in residence this winter and try out the place! Early spring 2024, I have a few personal retreats I’ll host, just to fine tune my processes. And hopefully by late spring 2024 I’ll be taking reservations from you!
Thank you for reading and being interested in my little dream project! I really cannot wait to meet you.