Featured Project: The Balsams Grand Resort, Dixville Notch, NH

Located in picturesque Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, The Balsams Grand Resort has lived up to its name as a grand property.  An alpine ski area, cross-country ski trails and several golf courses cover the hotel’s expansive15,000 acres.  With Post-Civil War Era origins, the hotel first began as a modest 25-room summer inn.  By 1918, with the addition of the towering wing known as the Hampshire House, The Balsams significantly enlarged its guest capacity to 400 guests.  Of note, the Ballot Room of The Balsams has held an important post in the New Hampshire Primaries.  The votes cast by Dixville Notch residents here just after midnight have been the very first to be cast, counted and reported nationally.  Recently, the historic resort has been closed under new ownership.

 In 2007, JCJ Architecture embarked on several renovation projects in the Dixville House of The Balsams Grand Resort including the ballroom, Captain’s Study, Game and Billiard Room, Ballot Room, Sun Room, Board Room, Connecting Corridors, Hampshire House Theater, Exercise Room and Salon. The scope of work included all architectural and engineering modifications as well as FF&E. 

As a lead designer, Julie Garman focused on paying homage to The Balsam’s history by incorporating traditional elements while updating the resort’s charm with modern twists.  In order to achieve this aesthetic balance, Julie drew from her background and expertise in residential design. Throughout the hotel, antique pieces, both original to the property and hand picked, mingled with fun, new items such as a game table in the Parlor.  Updated lighting reminiscent of the period created an atmosphere of casual sophistication while the paint color selection kept with the theme of pairing a traditional color palette with fresh hues. In one case, Victorian styled rattan furniture received a dynamic lift from bright paint.  All carpeting was custom designed based on historical patterns. In the famous Ballot Room, a Federal blue carpet with gold stars provided a distinct Americana feel as did the decision to keep the wood paneling as a backdrop for a captivating display of memorabilia.  Not to be forgotten, the expansive property’s serene setting provided much design inspiration.  From the fabric selection featuring beautiful green ferns in the Sunroom overlooking rolling hills to the furniture placement creating cozy nooks around working fireplaces, the resort’s rooms became transformed into welcoming respites for every season.  The completion of design project provided guests with an unforgettably unique experience of historical elegance blending seamlessly with modern comfort – an experience that certainly deserves the description of “grand”.