• Laurel Contributor

When Builder Partners with Nature

by Luke Osteen

Some people view life here in this corner of Western North Carolina as an escape from the pressures of 21st century life.

Paradoxically, their vision of this getaway is colored by two wildly divergent lenses.

For those seeking solitude and solace, the mountains are a welcome respite from the cares of the world. The magnificent vistas, with their horizon-spanning ranges of verdant mountains, and the hushed woods laced with shadowed rhododendron thickets are a timeless invitation to contemplate and consider.

Then there are those at the other end of the spectrum – these mountains are an irresistible call to turn the gaze outward and experience this natural beauty on its own terms. There are endless trails to hike, trout to be caught in the silver-slip streams, and a bounty of flora and fauna to be encountered.

Both camps will find comfort in this home situated on 5.75 acres, with 600 feet of frontage upon the Horsepasture River, complete with a breathtaking view of Miller Falls in Burlingame Country Club.

When the owners decided to build a mountain home eight miles east of Cashiers as a retreat from their busy lives, they were seeking a spa-like, spiritual setting. Proximity to a pristine mountain stream and a jewel of a waterfall imparted a deep tranquility upon the property. And being set in the midst of a community where it’s possible to savor the silence of a mountain morning or velvet night sky, it’s almost impossible to resist an abiding sense of peace and completeness.

As a counterpoint to that tranquility and solitude, the home is within walking distance of Burlingame Country Club. The club offers a fitness center, tennis courts, swimming pool, golf course and a clubhouse for fine dining and lively conversation.

The home was built with appreciation of the outdoors and open style living for guests. The Kitchen is open to the Great Room, allowing lively interaction between family and friends. A summer kitchen, overlooking the waterfall, is adjacent for al fresco dining.

Finished in 2003, the home includes 5,000 square feet of interior space and hundreds more feet of covered decks and porches. There are four bedroom suites, all with reading porches (once again imparting that feeling of tranquility – when was the last time you could honestly curl up and enjoy a good book?), two offices, an elevator, a downstairs kitchenette overlooking the flower garden, and a wine room.

Native materials have been used in abundance, and local craftsmen were hired to build with a wisdom born of generations of mountain life. The beams in the 20-foot Great Room are white pine; the ceiling is tongue and groove spruce. The siding on the outside is natural poplar bark and native stone drystacked. In between locust posts on the exterior decks are twigs of mountain laurel and rhododendron. The doors are alder wood, and reclaimed wormy chestnut was remilled for the flooring, the wine tasting room ceiling is reclaimed wormy chestnut wood and beams, and antique chestnut beadboard.

The Entry Foyer is alder wainscoting, with reclaimed wormy chestnut beams, and all the custom cabinetry is also crafted from alder wood.

Over the Guest Bath Jacuzzi is a fireplace comprised of stone and local artwork of bronze trout framing a hand hewn cedar waterfall. The staircase is crafted from an apple tree and is highlighted with laurel branch inserts. A local stone mason handled the intricate work of the river stone walls, fireplace, tub surround and shower in the Master Bathroom. He also built the native stone stacked fireplaces in the Master Bedroom, Great Room, and Guest Bathroom. The Powder Room walls are embellished with copper dust. Many of the focal walls are embossed with native flora from the property’s verdant acreage.

In counterpoint to the features that impart a sense of ease and comfort, all of these natural touches throughout the home act as an almost subtle invitation to actively explore all of the natural glories of the property and the surrounding Southern Appalachians.

To learn more about this home, call Jody Lovell at (828) 226-6303 or visit highlandssothebysrealty.com. The price is available upon request.

The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

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