They are variations of the same question: So what are the plans for the farm? When is the first wedding? What kind of time frame do you have? Anyone we talk with ultimately asks the number one question we get, which is wanting to know when we’ll be done with all the renovations.
And truthfully, I wish I knew. I wish I knew our schedule with certainty. I wish we never encountered unforeseen problems. I wish everyone had the same urgency that I did. If it were up to me, everything would have been done yesterday. I know, however, that is unrealistic. The reality is that 48 Fields is a passion project with a long-term timeline. We knew that before ever getting started.
With 2 houses, 3 barns, and dozens of open acres of land, there’s a laundry list of projects big and small that we need to work though.
We do, though, have a vision of what we will ultimately create.
It can be hard to decide where to concentrate our efforts sometimes with so much seeming like an urgent need. For instance, do we put a new roof on a building we won’t use for many years to stop the ceilings from collapsing and causing more damage and work for us down the road? Or do we create doors for a barn to help secure the space and save it from being wide open to anyone and anything? Do we finish one building completely? Or do we work on establishing the basics like updated electrical for all buildings at the same time before moving on to other elements like plumbing and other repairs? For the record, we were fortunately able to do roofs and barn doors. We also decided to focus on one building at a time so we can better see our accomplishments and be able to open the farm in phases. So our initial plans include:
- Focusing on the main dairy barn. It was one of the main selling points of the farm for us and it will be the heart of our event spaces. There are two levels, and each one will be quite different from the other. The lower level is white and bright. It will be a blank canvas of neutral light colors that will easily host events for up to 75 people. It’s our goal to have this space ready for use later this year! It’s a rare deadline that I’m assigning, but we’re quite hopeful that it’s attainable.
- The upper level, on the other hand, will be known for it’s gorgeous dark woven wood cathedral ceiling. It’s a space that is completely open and unencumbered by posts or support beams, and I can’t wait to see how others envision using it. This will always be the primary area for hosting larger events. There are bigger projects involved here though such as new windows, creating a new main entrance, and building a substantial deck off the entrance among other things, so the timeline to complete this space is unknown at the moment.
- To continue our work from 2014, we’ll finish cleaning up the remaining overgrowth and introduce new landscaping to freshen up the exterior, the entryway, and the ceremony lawn.
Those are the shorter term goals we’re focused on at the moment. Of course longer term we have plans to establish dual sets of restrooms inside the barn’s side work rooms, convert the cottage into office and administrative space, and renovate the farm house into bridal suites. I also envision wrap around verandahs and porch swings there. We may plant grape vines or apple orchards out in the fields, or turn the lower level of the barn into a tasting room one day, keeping the upper level for events. I also have so many inspiration photos saved for formal gardens I want to plant. And a pond. There something about a pond that I really want to have. With a little dock. Can you imagine how cute that will be?
Of course it’s easy to dream. The whole idea of 48 Fields was a dream at one time! But we’re determined to bring our visions to reality one project, one contractor, one work day at a time.
And since every post is better with a picture, here’s one of my many inspiration photos I have saved away. There’s a grove of tall trees that I think would be great to nestle in something like this one day for all the other Leesburg cities around the country.
About 48 Fields: Our rustic barns and vast fields are peacefully set on 48-acres in the heart of Northern Virginia wine country. We are available for elopements, photo shoots, and soon will be a Northern Virginia wedding venue for celebrations of all sizes.