Home is where the heart is. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying many times. Do you believe it? What does it really mean?
I believe the phrase “home is where the heart is” refers to the center of your world: your family. Your safe haven. No matter what is going on in your world or in the world around you, home should be your refuge, the place you go where you are loved and accepted. Without going off the rails, I think we can all agree that we need to be a little more family-centered, and a little less self-centered. Making a warm and inviting home where friends and loved ones can gather, talk, and reconnect is supremely important in our world today. That brings us to our homestead, HartLand.
Did you Name your Homestead?
We felt it was important to give ours a name, and not just to put up a fancy sign, but to lay down roots and make our mark on the land. HartLand is our family’s home base.
The View from Above
During the planning phase, I always stood on the driveway at the top of the tree line and envisioned our home coming into view as we rounded the corner. What I love about that meandering drive is that you can’t see the barn-garage until you turn the corner. First the house comes into view, and then the barn. It’s like a little scene that unfolds as you go down the valley. It’s just lovely.
The Inspiration for Our HartLand Sign
After tossing around names for over a year, my husband, Paul, threw out the name “HartLand”. From that moment on, it stuck, and HartLand was born. After the house and hardscape plan came together, something was obviously missing. I had intended all along to get some sort of HartLand sign made, but I was thinking it would be a small sign hanging outside the front door. Once I looked at the brick pillars that flanked the apron of the driveway on the landscape plan, I immediately thought of Chip and Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” and remembered seeing the sign for their ranch. Their sign became the design inspiration for our custom driveway entrance sign, HartLand. Who in the world could possibly make a custom metal driveway sign around here? This isn’t Texas, for goodness sake!
So Who Made the Driveway Sign?
Interestingly, Galen Shelly, of Misty Meadows Cabinetree ended up making our sign. Yes, our custom cabinet maker! Galen had recently expanded his business to include a metal shop. Initially, Galen was going to make a metal top for our banquette table, but then I changed my mind. Since he could do that, could he maybe also do this? I had nothing to lose by asking, and sure enough, Galen was willing to take on the job.
The Driveway Sign Design Process
The design process was actually very straightforward. After first checking with Shawn, our builder, to ensure that the sign would work with the brick pillars, I simply showed Galen an inspiration photo. He was on it! Just a couple of weeks later, Galen texted me, telling me he had some drawings to show me, and the rest is history. He actually photoshopped a picture of the sign onto a picture of our property that I provided. This way I had a sneak peek of what it would look like with no surprises. Galen fabricated our sign out of aluminum with his metal working partner right in his shop in Littlestown, PA. We then had to wait for Shawn Smith and his crew to do the install, which went off without a hitch. Shawn texted me a few pictures while I was at school to show me the progress. I’m a little glad I was working so I could avoid the stress of actually watching!
What are Your Thoughts? Will you Name Your Homestead?
Just for fun, go online and look at some of the clever names out there. Here are a few funny ones that I found on toughnickel.com: Fifty Shades of Hay, Dairy Air, Almosta Ranch, and Back Achers Farm. Tough Nickel provides steps to naming your ranch, and there are others out there that generate names for you. Just search “farmstead name generator”.
Thank you again, Galen, Shawn, and crew for making our homestead dreams come true! Until next time…