Blue Ridge Mountain Home Beautifully Details Traditional Southern Living Design & Craftsman Mountain Styling

Posted on | August 22, 2017 | No Comments

From awkward layouts, to dated designs, to fastidious clients, designers face challenges on every job. Sometimes, however, the challenge is stylistic. Such was the case with a Southern Living new build model home set in the Blue Ridge Mountains handled by the Asheville interior design firm, ID.ology Interior Design. Designer Annie Littell led the project, with the support of the company’s principal and owner, Laura Sullivan. The team had to find a happy medium between two very different styles, while creating a seamless design with a wide appeal. Laura was happy to share more about this unique project with North Carolina Design.

Images Courtesy of ID.ology Interior Design ©

The home was located in Madison County, in a beautiful mountainside setting. “It overlooked the French Broad River, and it had this amazing, ever-changing scenery,” observes Laura. “The house had river access for kayaking, boating and fishing. It would make a great second home, or a home for a retiree who loved being out in nature.” Because it was a model home, there was no specific owner to take into consideration. However, the developers had a specific goal in mind: integrating the natural setting, while incorporating Southern Living elements.

“The home’s exterior colors were inspired by the bark on the surrounding trees” Laura notes. “When you look up at the home from the river, it blends right into the background. The color also helps maintain a warm and inviting feel. Also, there were a lot of rocks on the mountainside, and the developers wanted to bring that element of stone to the exterior, to keep the home cohesive with the landscape.”

Designing the home’s interior proved to be a challenging balancing act. “This was very much a Craftsman mountain home,” recalls Laura. “Craftsman mountain style is known for being simple, warm and rustic, and for incorporating a lot of natural elements. Southern Living style is known for being more traditional, more refined, and more detailed. We had to incorporate both of these really different styles, and balance the design so that one style didn’t dominate the other, and everything blended cohesively.”

To bring Southern Living style into the home’s interior, the design team added traditional details, such as built ins, trim, moulding and wainscoting. They also set about lightening the atmosphere. “Southern Living homes are lighter and brighter,” Laura explains. “We chose to use travertine and marble, which had a lighter color and minimal texture. We also incorporated some lighter paint colors. We painted the trim and the built ins white, which is a very traditional choice.”

To further lighten the space, Annie and Laura used furniture with cleaner, thinner lines. “Boxier, more substantial furniture would have weighed everything down, but this furniture gives the home an airy feel.” Laura observes. “We also slipcovered the upholstery so that it didn’t look too tailored or taut. This visually lifted the mood of space, and made it seem even airier.”

Of course, it was important to add in the sense of warmth and rusticity expected from a mountain home. “The developers wanted us to incorporate darker wood,” notes Laura. “So, we used collar ties on the ceiling. They were essentially minimized versions of heavy and large timber trusses. But, they required less material, so we were able to keep the majority of the ceiling open and bright.” The team also painted the walls a warm color, added a stone fireplace, and used natural fabrics throughout.

The kitchen, which flows seamlessly into the rest of the home, features dark alder wood cabinets and chairs that serve to ground the space, while adding a wealth of natural, rustic detail. “The dark wood provides a nice contrast against the white trim and the light tile backsplash,” says Laura “It’s a great balance of warm and cool elements. It was really fun to try and find a happy balance between these different styles, tones and materials, and it turned out really, really well.”

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