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“Whether it was growing up in a historic Pennsylvania farmhouse or our European travels (a continent full of cobblestone sidewalks and homes made of plaster, stone and iron), I was unquestionably influenced by the crumbled look of these buildings that had centuries of life. I must admit, it was a leap of faith to think I could successfully emulate an Old World Tuscan facade; I attempting to mirror weathered patches of wear and tear while integrating natural elements such as copper, rusted iron, boulders, stone and plaster. Even a portion of the color was mixed with coffee grounds to get it “just right”. While it is far from perfect, the look elicits mixed reactions. People sometimes ask us if we “ran out of rock or ran out of money”?

The answer is “Neither. We ran out of both!” In all seriousness, we wanted something that looked as if it had been here for 200+ years; big and strong, oversized and solid, natural and permanent – something that looked as if it had grown directly out of the earth. Therefore, with this vision in mind, you will notice the deliberate theme of nature–water, earth and sky–throughout Talus Rock Retreat’s texture, design, color-palette, and decor.

Virtually every rock was hand-picked and positioned, and, in its seemingly random placement, there is order. I remember tagging along behind the mason during his first day on the job pulling off recently set stones and repositioning them on the wall as he was carefully applying them straight and perfect, fastidious, and neat. To his bewilderment, I tried to explain that the look I was after was “sorta Civil War”. I instructed, “Pretend you’re an old farmer in Pennsylvania in the 1700s.  You have only a bit of skill and a heap of rock and mud. Slap it on here and there, rough it up, give it texture and make it messy. Put together a dilapidated house made of stone…and work quickly but with controlled care.” By the look on his face, I thought I’d have to carry him out on a stretcher. He later stated “that was the first time in 47 years as a mason that I’d ever set a rock vertically.” ~ Heather PedersenTR_Spring_2012_Exterior_0036 TR_Spring_2012_Exterior_0039