America's Largest Home: Asheville

2012 began with a step back in time. The crony and I took a road trip to Asheville, North Carolina to visit the Vanderbilt's.

Soror Monya and I after we did a bit of damage in the gift shop.

I visited Biltmore Estate years ago, but it was a totally different experience. Just thinking of the magnitude of wealth, audacity, and creativity George Vanderbilt needed to just envision what was suppose to be his " little mountain getaway" is overwhelming.
The brochure clearly states that photography is prohibited, but there were some people who took pictures anyway. Begrudgingly, I followed the rules. Well sort of. I did sneak in a few of the backyard.

Of course my favorite room belonged to the lady of the house.

Photos courtesy of Google Images

Library: Home to 10,000 of the 22,000 books in the house.

If you decide to visit, I recommend the audio tour. It reveals information that you'd otherwise miss during the self guided tour. For example:

  • Even though madly in love, why the Mr. & Mrs. had separate bedrooms. " The years seem all like a moment. A happy marriage is the true fortune of life." -G.W.Vanderbilt.
  • The Conservation Technician used 18,000 Q-Tips during the restoration.
  • Decorators used minuscule swatches from the 1800's to recreate silk velvet and linen walls with gilded 24ct gold leaf.
Videos linked to the Biltmore website.
Next stop on the estate :
Most people hear the name Tiffany and the coveted little blue box springs to mind. However, in addition to jewelry, the Tiffany's also had a presence in the art and home decor world.

Video courtesy of

There are conflicting stories online about who was the true mastermind behind the Tiffany lamp designs, Clara Driscoll or Louis Tiffany. Either way, one will add a certain je ne sais quoi to any living room or home office.

Most lamps you'll see today are Tiffany Designed or Tiffany Inspired.
QVC has a huge collection of Tiffany Inspired indoor lamps.

Thanks for reading,