Chez Herd Tour by Frankie – The Loft

The other day, we posted a blog of Frankie exploring part of the house. Because we received lots of requests for a home tour of the new Chez Herd (we moved from one side of Cataloochee Ranch to the other back in the fall), we thought we would do a small tour. And, of course, what better tour guide is there than Frankie?

Frankie tour upstairs

Come on up and see the loft – my favorite hang out.

The interesting back story to the loft is that we did not have it in the original plans. When we decided to build the great room from timber frame (i.e., giant timbers engineered to form the structure – without a single nail or screw), then we had to engineer a way to move from one part of the second floor to another. So, in essence, the loft is simply a hallway hung from the timber frame.

Frankie tours the loft

Come on up to my hang out.

Each “bay” in the timber frame is 10 feet deep (front to back of house) and 23 feet wide. To hang the “hallway”, it had to be 10 feet wide to hang on the timber frame. Thus, it is the width of a room, so we had to figure out how to use the space (other than for Frankie to snoozervise from up high, of course).

Tour the loft

We created this great reading area with a couple of chairs and a writing desk.

But let’s highlight the snoozervising abilities from here:

Touring the settee

Frankie really likes the settee at the front window.

Front yard

It allows for a good view of the front yard from a most comfy spot.

P.S. – Just for Zim of the A04 – Note that this is just like your sitzbank that no pup ever actually lays on and spies out the window. Right?

Tour of better view

Want to see the better view?

Even better than the window though is looking off the other side of the loft.  Sorry about the glare in the pictures, but the back of the house faces due East and we get the sunshine blaring though the windows.  Great for heating the house up early in the morning, but not so great for picture taking.

Tour of the view from the loft

Woo – you can keep track of everyone from here.

Tour of the great room

Everything happens down there in the great room – and I miss nothing.

On either side of the loft are the guest bedrooms, but we will save those for another tour. Time for a good nap anyway.

Tour is over

Off to find a napping spot.


  1. Stella says

    Your new digs are purely beautiful, beautiful wood, decor, just wonderful! I can just imagine how much you all love it.

    Let us see the rest if you will, too!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  2. says

    Ohhhhhhh….. I am in awe at the magnificence of your house….. and how lucky your dogs are to be allowed to share it with you.

    All the wood… incredibly beautiful. I’m speechless… well… almost (I do see that I managed to type SOME words anyway! *ha-ha*)

    Thank you for sharing!!


  3. Becky Slack says

    How beautiful! How lucky the humans and the Herd are to have this wonderful home.
    And how lucky Frankie is to have a comfy seat at the observation window.

    And of course we want to see the rest of Chez Herd too!!

  4. says

    We LOVE it! My grampa used to build post-and-beam homes and your great room reminds us of the one in grampa & grandma’s old house – mom used to say it was the most beautiful room in the world. We love post-and-beam construction, all the beautiful exposed beams. Our house isn’t post-and-beam, but I have a loft too, and it’s one of my favorite places to hang out because I can keep an eye on the humans. Sometimes they don’t know where I am, then they’ll look up in the loft and see a paw hanging over. Enjoy your new house! (I’m sure you are, and I bet the HERD loves it!)


  5. says

    I kept thinking that the house looked different, but I kept seeing the favorite tree, so I never thought you’d moved! lol The house is gorgeous! I would be lost in the reading nook and might never leave.

    • says

      Ah – that is because we moved TO our favorite tree. Our old house was on the other side of the ranch, but we always wanted to build a house in this field with the tree. So, we finally did it.

  6. Tracy F. says

    Spectacular! Please tell us how you deal with all the shedding. We have a Husky, 2 Goldens and a white Lab/Shepherd/Pit Bull. Our ceiling heights, windows, etc. are similar to yours, and the fur is everywhere, no matter how much I vacuum. Your house looks so immaculate! Help!

    • says

      Chuckling – it always helps to keep the camera slightly out of focus.

      Seriously, fur happens and we are ok with it. We do have a central vacuum system which helps, but it still just takes a lot of vacuuming to keep up with it. And even then, an occasional Siberian Tumbleweed will go past.

    • says

      The tree sits behind the house directly behind the dining room. Thus, you can see the tree from most any of the windows along the back of the house.

      Note that the fenced in dog area (a/k/a, Sibe Quentin) goes around the Tree of Life, so The Herd regularly plays in the shade of the tree.

  7. Elmo & Mouse says

    Such a gorgeous house. Frankie is a great tour guide.

    Now questions times:
    1) I read your comment about having central vac, now with all the husky shedding, does it cause any issues with clogging up the central vac? Like the roller at the bottom from of a regular vacuum gets clogged up.

    2) What kind of floor material did you use? Real wood? Does it get scratches?

    3) What happened to the rest of the herd? Didn’t see them in any of the photos.

    • says

      1 – Thus far, no. But we are not using a beater bar except on the rugs (mostly hardwood floors), so not a lot of moving parts. The central vac has an amazing amount of power.

      2 – Floor is stranded bamboo. We have radiant heat, so we needed a material that could handle that and we needed something very durable to put up with claw marks. Though who knows who would possibly create claw marks?

      3 – Everyone was hanging out outside while Frankie did his tour. Something about concentrating on the task at hand.

      • Elmo & Mouse says

        Thanks for the reply. I didn’t realize stranded bamboo is that sturdy. I’ll keep that in mind in the future when we replace ours.

        Frankie is awesome, such a good brother to young Ty and everyone else.

  8. says

    You know, Frankie, I was thinking, before you even said anything, that your settee reminded me of the sitzbank that I never get on.
    Thanks for the house tour – it is almost as fabulous as the Herd!
    Play bows,

  9. Lisa Myers says

    We are like all the others & just love your new home! It makes Sitka sad that he has to live in such an ordinary home!!!

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