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Letter from The Publisher The snow has finally melted and Jack Frost has given way to lush green country side and blooming dogwoods. Birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the Spring 2010 edition of High Country Home is by your side. Although the economy is down, the talent and drive of the American people is not. At High County Home, we expect this spring to be a time of growth and renewal.

Fine Home Builders

What an adventure this has been! Every issue the content gets better and our readership grows. We are setting trends in the local magazine industry, and we hope you will continue to be a part of our success. If you have suggestions on how we can better serve you, or if you know of a gorgeous home that should be featured in this publication, please do not hesitate to call us. We would love your suggestions! In this Spring 2010 issue you will find insight into interior design, including how to stage your home to best suit your living and hosting needs. We have provided advice from talented professionals in the home industry to help you organize your space to utilize its capacity to the fullest. The issue includes delightful recipes to satisfy your spring palette, elegant images of High Country homes, the latest products that are sure to improve any home, and in-depth articles to provide an insight to the latest building trends. This issue will also introduce you to some of the best builders in the area, and let you see their work; our Design Profile section highlights some of the best homes in the High Country. For more information and to stay up to date; join our Facebook fan page, by searching High Country Home Magazine within the network. Don’t forget to visit our website for exclusive content and subscribe now to ensure you don’t miss an exciting and informative issues of our magazine! Now sit back, enjoy the Blue Ridge views, sip a glass of lemonade, and enjoy your issue of the High Country Home. Every issue is a new adventure, and it is time for this one to begin. Chris Rabon, Publisher

4 • • 5




The built-in custom cabinetry on page 75 was designed and built and installed by Precision Cabinets, Inc. The semi-custom Master Bath cabinetry on page 77 was also designed and installed by Precision Cabinets,Inc. Precision Cabinets, Inc is located at 1324 old 421 S. in Boone, NC. You may contact them at 828-262-5080 or

6 •

Contact Us


Please contact us if you would like to advertise in our print or online mediums, contribute articles, request info on home photography, submit letters to the editor, subscribe to our magazine, or just want to give us some feedback.

You can find our premier home magazine and resource guide in racks and stacks across the High Country from West Jefferson and Boone to Blowing Rock and Banner Elk. They are so popular though, that sometimes it is hard to track one down.

Market Connection Publishers of the High Country Home 1082 E. King St Suite 6 Boone, NC 28607 828-264-2670

If you're tired of looking for a High Country Home Magazine and simply want to guarantee that you get one we've got the solution for you. If you live off the mountain and want to receive one in the mail, we've made it easy.

Staff Chris Rabon, Publisher Jon-Paul Grice, Editor Jonathan Triplett, Account Rep. Katie Strasser, Account Rep. Robert Coble, Writer Stefan Olson, Photographer

All you have to do is subscribe! Right now we are offering the next four issues of the High Country Home Magazine for the low price of just $19.99 a year! This offer will cover all your High Country Home Stories, photos, and resources for the entirety of 2010! Look for the blow in subscription card in this issue or send your check or money order for $19.99 (for the next 4 quarterly issues) or $34.99 (for the next 8 quarterly issues, only $17.50/year) to 1082 E. King St, Suite 6, Boone, NC 28607. If you wish to subscrive via credit card please call 828-264-2670.




Introductions 18 People We Admire

Home Guide

22 Businesses We Applaud

Beyond The Box



Out Of The House

50 Hate Your Kitchen?

112 World’s Largest Scavenger Hunt

52 Need To Remodel Your Bathroom?

113 Things To Do In The Summer

56 You’ve come a long way baby! 58 Avery Coalition Of Galleries 62 Outdoor Oasis Tips 64 Sustainable Floors 68 Sweet 16 72 Easy Schmeasy!

27 GreenMan Studios


For The Table

121 The Marketplace 117 Products You Need 121 The Brokerage 127 Corkboard

Other 124 Final Thoughts 126 Sponsor Index

34 34 Recipes from High Country Restaurants

Focus On Landscaping..41 8 •

Custom Pottery Lamp By Bob Meier, Doe Ridge Pottery


Stony Brooke Sofa Table The Cabin Store

Design Profiles


Solitary Refinement The 160 acre mountaintop community of Firethorn has taken shape here in Blowing Rock. Trails and roads have been gently carved around cliffs and streams. Neighborhoods have been thoughtfully laid out and completed with homesites in dense hemlock and hardwood forests, some along a river or stream, and some on high mountain meadows with breath-taking views. Hiking trails have been carefully completed in conjunction with the clubhouse, gatehouse, trout ponds, waterfalls, and green areas. This gated community, located on Highway 321, just one-and-a-half miles outside the resort village of Blowing Rock, is undeniably the last, best residential land in the area. Only 96 distinctive single family homesites will ever be available, ranging in size from one to three-plus acres. Please come visit us and see why Firethorn isn't a plan or promise; it is a dream come true, here and now.

Cover Story: The Chancellor’s House Chancellor Kenneth Peacock and his wife, Rozanne, give us a tour of their residence, The Appalachian House, a home that epitomizes the very essence of the campus it resides on. Cover Photo by Stefan Olson Cover Story by Katie Strasser and Robert Coble

88 < Turtle Creek For developer Dr. Dick Furman, building the number one luxury address in the Blowing Rock area has always been the plan.

< The Jasper House


Design For Aging >

Peaceful Living >

Margot Olson’s home showcases a beautiful design for aging with a transparent result.

Firethorn’s 160 acre community between Boone and Blowing Rock is something to behold.


A rustic sanctuary within the luxury mountain fly fishing community of Twin Rivers

106 The Last, Best Place.

1129-1 Main Street, Blowing Rock • 828/295-7777 www. FirethornBlowingRock .com

10 •

Contributors Colleen Luntzel is the co-owner of House Warming, a newly established design group emphasizing the importance of making dwelling places into homes through architectural design, remodeling, and decorating. She resides in Boone with her husband of thirty two years and their youngest of five children.

Breton Frazier, the DeClutter Diva, lives in St. Augustine, Florida where she works privately with individuals and corporate clients. Breton began tackling closets as a wardrobe consultant more than thirty years ago and evolved into a personal organizer. Write her with your questions on decluttering at:

Judi Beck is a facilitator, art consultant, and freelance writer living in the High Country. She’s been published in Pastel Artist International, Philanthropy International and the Inner Edge, as well as numerous regional publications. She and her husband, Kevin, were owners of the Upstairs Gallery in Blowing Rock. She is the author of “The Ecology of Conversation.”

Leah Parks, an Associate NKBA Kitchen and Bath Designer, joined her family’s business, Distinctive Kitchens & Baths, in 2005.

Katie Strasser is a Creative Writing major at Appalachian State University. She also has a minor in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology with hopes to someday write books and create a magazine of her own. Katie loves food, snowboarding, and spending time with her family and friends. â&#x20AC;˘ 15

High Country Cabinets

TheIntroductions Get to know the businesses we applaud and people we admire in the High Country People We Admire • 18 / Businesses We Applaud • 22

16 • High Country Home Magazine • • 17

Introductions :: People We Admire

Dave Parks


Distinctive Kitchens and Baths

n 2002, Dave Parks had recently retired as a veterinarian and longed to move from Statesville back to the North Carolina High Country where he had practiced veterinary medicine in his first years after veterinary school. With the same commitment to competency, integrity and individual attention established in “his former life,” Dave and his wife Pat opened Distinctive Kitchens & Bath with their partners Chic and Vickie Fuller and became sole owners in 2004. Dave has over ten years of experience in custom kitchen and bath cabinetry design. In 2009, he became a Certified Green Professional, making Dave the only cabinetry design professional in the High Country to achieve this designation. Pat and Dave are joined by their son John and daughter-in-law Leah. Leah is an NKBA Associate Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer. Office manager Billy Norris keeps the operation working smoothly. Distinctive Kitchens & Baths offers custom kitchen and bath cabinetry design, sales, and installation. Many products for the entire home are also available. These products include wine cellars, custom closets, libraries, entertainment centers, home offices and custom furniture. Preconstruction planning that includes coordination of appliances, countertops, flooring and tile is a standard part of their service, along with detailed plans showing plumbing, electrical and appliance locations. At all stages of planning and design, full color 3-D renderings help clients visualize their dream as it develops. Dave has a very simple business philosophy. “At Distinctive Kitchens and Baths, we believe in operating as problem solvers and not as people trying to make a sale. We don’t believe in pressuring clients and assuming they need what we have to offer. Our first goal is to build trust and see if we are a good fit for our client’s problems.” Dave and Pat are avid skiers and cyclists, but their favorite activity is spending time with 4 year old grandson, Aiden. “We are grateful that Aiden will grow up in such a beautiful and exciting community. Our family is here to stay.” The Boone showroom is located in the Shops at Twin Rivers six miles south on Highway 105. Hours are 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, and by appointment, nights and weekends. There is also a showroom in Statesville. You can contact Dave and his staff at 828-963-9633 or by visiting on the web.

18 •

Introductions :: People We Admire


Dean Curfman Oak Hill Iron

ully dedicated to serving the High Country for 13 years, Dean A. Curfman at Oak Hill Iron provides custom railings, gates, sculptures and accessories for public or private use. Officially known as an Architectural Iron and Contemporary Art fabrication shop, Oak Hill Iron has received copious amounts of awards within the industry as well as proud exposure in assorted publications. Originally from Pennsylvania, Dean moved to Morganton, North Carolina in 1986, drawn by the “pleasant climate, craftsmanship, and interesting folks.” Once identifying a demand for high-end custom iron work in the area, Dean created his company along the basis of designing specifically for each client and synchronizing excellent craftsmanship and creativity into one. Dean strives to be a leader in his field, never a follower, as he applies unconventional thinking to his work in order to yield original ideas on a daily basis. As a leader in the iron industry of the High Country, Dean finds both appealing and challenging characteristics of his business. He explains that he enjoys “the act of taking a piece of cold, hard, iron and transforming it into something that has life… a leaf or a branch that then functions as a beautiful gate or stair railing, maybe even a knob for a kitchen cabinet.” Dean believes in the value of not only providing a unique piece of art, but of giving his clients a timeless investment. One important issue within the industry that Dean directly works with is the challenge of building codes and how to compromise between both safety and artistic when creating gates and railings. Concerning the future for Oak Hill Iron, he plans to keep stretching and striving in pursuit of new designs. A dynamic businessman and craftsman, Dean and his shop faithfully stand by their favorite saying when it comes to who to call in the High Country for iron work, “If WE can’t produce it… YOU probably don’t need it!”

20 • • 21

Introductions :: Businesses We Applaud

Art Purveyors


or over 20 years, Purveyors of Art & Design Materials Inc. has been the High Country’s “go-to” establishment for the largest selection of custom frames anywhere, plus the highest quality fine art materials available! In stark contrast to many art service companies that claim to be “art experts”, at Purveyors of Art & Design, the entire staff actually holds university degrees in Fine Art! Company founder Mike Hill graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial art and Computer Science, while Rebecca Serine holds a BFA in Design from East Carolina University! This dynamic pair also hold several industry certifications, assuring thier clients receive the most up to date and accurate advice and service available! Visitors to the comfortable state-of-the-art production facility located at 112 Aldridge Park on the 105 Highway in Foscoe may peruse literally thousands of framing choices! Our constantly changing product lineup includes Adhisa USA, Designer, Roma, Furst Brothers, Michelangelo, Arquatti, International, Crescent and True-Vue-all hand-selected by our staff of credentialed artists, to insure that our clients will find styles and prices to fit any taste or budget, and choices that just aren’t available anywhere else! The Wildflowers Fine Art Editions division publishes and markets museum-quality giclee print editions for over 100 local and regional artists. Visitors may select from hundreds of giclee editions in our extensive catalog, then select the perfect framing package for one of the few remaining truly custom-tailored experiences in our big-box prefabricated day and age! Skilled giclee technicians can turn your digital photograph into a stretched canvas masterpiece that will last for over 100 years, creating a personal family heirloom or gift that is sure to please, and limited only by your imagination! They also provide digital restoration services for your antique photos that is unparalleled in the area! Artists are invited to borrow an easel and sketch or paint from the extraordinary view of Grandfather Mountain, while perusing the fantastic selection of fine art materials-everything an artist might need from paint to paper, canvas, easels and brushes...brands including M Graham, Golden, Silver, Masters, General Pencil, Dr. Ph. Martin’s, Strathmore, Arches, Vincent Rossini and much more. Artpurveyors is stop #2 on the Tour De Art gallery tour, which occurs on the fourth Saturday each month. Check in often for special artist and manufacturer events that will change monthly. Fan us on Facebook for up to the minute information, or visit our websites, www;, or simply pick up the phone and call (828)963-PAINT.

22 • • 23

Introductions :: Businesses We Applaud

GreenMan Studios


reenMan Studios, located in downtown Boone, is a small green design company that provides custom designing of high efficiency and high performance homes. Adrian Tait, head of the company, has also increasingly begun to work with builders to take 2D plans and convert them to 3D in order to give designers, builders, and customers a better perspective on any structure. GreenMan Studios is a unique company, saving everyone within the construction process time and money as they streamline drafting, 3D modeling, rendering, and green building consulting all into one business. Established in the High Country three years ago, Tait’s company is currently an industry leader with over thirty certified green home designs. Using the latest technology to design homes that use considerably less energy, GreenMan Studio’s clients save money year-in and year-out. This technology is also beneficial when it comes to visualizing a concept when working with many different types of construction, from modular and shipping containers, to locally sourced framing. Tait is originally from the Pittsburgh area, but relocated to the High Country in 2005 in order to pursue a Master’s degree in Building Science at Appalachian State University. Pairing his education with several years of working experience with numerous talented local architects, Tait eventually formed GreenMan Studios, striving to provide green design services at a reasonable price. The company has proved to be increasingly dynamic since its conception, as numerous homes range from traditional to modern, and clients have a wide variety of budgets. The design and constructive services that GreenMan Studios provide are not only visible when a home is en route to becoming a finished dwelling, but also in the day-to-day lives of new green homeowners. Establishing a personal interest in each of their clients helps GreenMan Studios best suit each custom design to individual needs, making each home a unique, efficient, investment. Carefully crafting each structure to facilitate maximum sustainable design is top priority to the company, and no detail is overlooked. While the concept of green homes and building has become increasingly popular throughout recent years, Tait and GreenMan Studios do face challenges dealing with balancing every factor in a design. Aspects such as tight budgets, steep lots, code requirements and high performance measures all present obstacles to a designer. The ability to combine each of these facets is what sets GreenMan Studios apart from the crowd, asserting them as a true leader in the industry of green home construction.

24 • • 25


BeyondTheBox Discussions on innovation and legislation, including dialogue on sustainable technologies for the home.

GreenMan Studios Green Technology:

Advanced Prevention Products

26 • • 27

GreenMan Studios uses modern technology and ancient wisdom to produce high performance home designs.


reviously, we’ve featured ways to make existing homes more efficient. Now, we talk with home designer Adrian Tait of GreenMan Studios about using Building Information Models to design high performance homes.

GreenMan Studios is a residential design studio that focuses much of its work on homes that use materials and resources wisely. “By using the latest design software we can not only show our clients what their homes will look like inside and out,” explains Adrian, “but we can tell them how much energy the home will use.” GreenMan Studios recently completed construction of their new home and office in downtown Boone and is predicting that the home will cost less than $1,000 a year in energy expenses. Additionally, the innovative company is also finishing up the paperwork for a Platinium level certification from the U.S Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program. The home was designed using ArchiCAD, one of several leading Building Information Modeling tools (BIM). This type of software allows designers to build a structure in 3D on the computer before any real construction work begins. Although GreenMan Studios models every project during the many steps of designing, they start with simplistic methods, using paper, pencil, and wisdom. “A lot of

28 •

the techniques green builders are using to save energy are things that were done hundreds of years ago,” says Tait, “it’s just that we’ve forgotten them in our rush to build everything everywhere.” These days, a designer still has to map out a good building but modern software allows builders to communicate with everyone involved much more effectively. This type of collaborative communication is more important than ever as the industry strives to design homes that use less energy, are healthy to live in, and inspire us. Tait, the head of GreenMan Studios goes on to inform, “We’re modeling projects for many different builders and other designers. We function just like any other trade. We provide a highly specialized service that deals with information.” Oftentimes, many people don’t realize that having a design professional involved can actually save money. By thoughtfully laying out floor plans that make the best use of square footage and then visualizing those floor plans in 3D, architects and designers can essentially pay for themselves. During the constructive process, the designer begins the modeling by taking information from a surveyor or GIS database and building the site in 3D. The home is then virtually built from the footings to the roof using pieces and • 29

parts from databases. Manufacturers are also beginning to provide files for BIM users so that models contain product information that is as accurate as possible. Once the building information model is created, it can be used to generate floor plans, elevations, and schedules. As a result, the effects of a single design changeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for instance, substituting a picture window with a casement windowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; can be assessed instantly. This building software is utilized not only on two-dimensional drawings like the elevation and floor plan but also in a three-dimensional virtual tour that allows clients to visualize the room with the new window. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is not a new technology. Versions of BIM programs have been in use since the mid 1980â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. However, it is only recently that the construction industry has begun a rapid shift towards using these tools. According to a report by McGraw Hill Construction published in 2008, more than half of architects and design professionals are making the switch to BIM tools and the greatest segment of the industry that will be adopting the use of BIM tools are contractors.

and maintenance schedules are at a designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fingertips. That means BIM can enhance the services designers provide to their clients and streamline the design process. Along with typical construction documents, designers may use the software to extract additional information about finishes, architectural details or energy efficiency. Built-in data about the amount and type of building materials required for the design makes it easier to calculate costs and give accurate estimates without much manual figuring. So, if a window style is changed, designers and their clients can evaluate the effects on the bottom line instantly by factoring in potential energy savings to overall construction costs. Having this type of information readily available is valuable not only to clients but also to contractors faced with tight deadlines and budgets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This puts the designer in a very integrated placeâ&#x20AC;? states Tait, â&#x20AC;&#x153;which means the designer is working with the client and contractor, to help make better decisions about aesthetics, performance, and budget.â&#x20AC;?

Because the software acts as a project database, all sorts of information including construction costs, thermal performance, manufacturer specifications, building materials

App Custom Builders

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InTheGarage Focusing on everything from garage doors, to storage, to the cool cars in the garage.


our dated, damaged, and poorly operating garage door is a liability. You may be loosing energy by allowing the winter’s cold-air inside your home, living with a noisy garage, dealing with an in-operable door or even risking the safety and security of your family. Many existing homes in the area are potential candidates for a garage door upgrade. A new garage door can increase the value of your home, provide protection and security for what’s in your garage, and even help lower energy bills. For many homes, the garage and garage door(s) are visible and a large part of a home’s visual appearance. An ugly or damaged garage door can directly affect the overall look and perceived quality of a home. A great way to increase curb-appeal is to upgrade an unsightly door to a new and attractive one. A new garage door will increase the value of a home and can greatly improve the appearance of the house. New garage doors are typically constructed with steel, wood, or aluminum and may have tempered glass windows. New doors have steel tracks with locking mechanisms and most doors now are installed with automatic openers. The operator can be remote controlled and key-pad systems can be installed at the exterior of the door. These new door systems are stronger, longer lasting and more secure than garage doors from the past. A new door system with properly installed weather-seals will protect the garage from the outdoor elements. A new garage door with an automatic opener includes safety features for children and pets and provides a quiet, efficient and secure means of entry into your garage. A dated or damaged garage door can lead to unnecessary energy loss. Many homes experience frigid garage conditions in the winter due to no insulation or leaking and missing weather seals at the garage doors. New garage doors have insulation and can have R-values up to R-18 (Raynor’s Affina & Centura Doors). New door installations include proper weather-seals at jambs and at the base of the door which prevent weather and draft infiltration. A new insulated door with properly installed weather-seals can prevent energy loss, contain moderate 32 •

temperatures in the garage, and help prevent frozen pipes and uncomfortable conditions. If it’s time for a new garage door, we got you covered. Mountaineer Garage Doors is the High Country’s exclusive dealer of Raynor garage doors and operators. Mountaineer Garage Doors is locally owned and operated. Their showroom is located on 9872 Hwy 105 South in Foscoe. They provide everything from entry level steel doors up to wooden carriage style doors, and have a complete line of automatic operators. They service all types of existing doors and operators. They provide service to all of the High Country including Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties. You may visit for ideas and product information. Give them a call for a free estimate or to schedule a showroom appointment at (828)-963-9217.


Recipes from the heart of the home, the kitchen. Recipes for the gathering place of the house, the dining room table.

Caribbean Cruiser Martini Recipe provided by Crave 828-355-9717 Ingredients:

1 oz smirnoff strawberry vodka .5 oz malibu coconut rum 2 splashes banana liqueur .75 oz pineapple juice .5 oz strawberry puree


Shake all ingredients together and strain into a sugar rimmed or strawberry puree rimmed martini glass. Garnish with delicious and fresh fruit-pineapple & strawberries!

Shrimp And Grits Recipe provided by Char 828-266-2179 Ingredients:

5 jumbo shrimp 1 slice of chopped cooked bacon 1/8 cup sliced button mushrooms 2 tablespoons chopped green onions ½ teaspoon minced garlic ¼ teaspoon to ½ teaspoon blackening spice (according to taste) 1 pinch salt ¼ cup heavy cream 1 ½ cup grits prepared with… (add 3 tablespoons shredded cheddar and 1 tablespoon heavy cream) Canola oil for cooking


Heat sauté pan to high heat Add canola oil When pan starts to smoke lightly, add shrimp Sauté shrimp for about 1 minute Add sliced mushrooms, chopped bacon, and blackening spice Sauté for another minute Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds (be careful not to burn the garlic) Add ¼ cup of heavy cream and reduce by 1/3 Add green onions Add grits to bowl, arrange shrimp, and spoon sauce over dish. Enjoy!



Gideon Ridge Inn Blowing Rock 10 years of Fine Dining, Fine Wines. Join us for Cocktails at Sunset. 4 course menus and a la carte.

Margherita Flatbread Recipe provided by Crave 828-355-9717 Ingredients 6in pita without pockets 5 slices of buffalo mozzarella 6 slices roma tomatoes 3 leaves of fresh basil pinch of salt olive oil


Directions Lightly coat pita with olive oil Place mozzarella around pita Then place tomato slices over it Bake in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown Then garnish with finely sliced basil Sprinkle salt and drizzle olive oil over flatbread Cut into fourths and enjoy! add goat cheese if you would like. 828 - 295 - 3644


FocusOnLandscape A seasonal spotlight for all the peripherals of the home.


Landscape Design In The High Country

40 • • 41

Margot Olson, homeowner, and Elson Green, landscape expert, conquer the challenges of landscape design in the High Country by creating a dynamic first impression with creative tiered landscaping.


ridge, resulting in a tall foundation of wasted volume and added cost. Imagine a preliminary design where the house seemed not to fit the site. Then imagine taking the two ends of the house and bending them forward to fit on the ridge and going back to the drawing board to reconfigure the interior rooms to fit into the new footprint. The resulting angles not only suited the site but also created a more dramatic exterior.

not only recommended the layout of the driveway and retaining walls but also provided advice on the selection of plants to create the more structured layout along the retaining walls and the more natural configuration of plants along the driveway. Plant choices created a landscape of beauty during all seasons and reduced the chances of losing plants to the harsh winter climate.

The home shown here was designed to fit a small ridgeline. The angled design of the house was inspired by the narrowness of the ridgeline. A typical rectangular house would have “hung off” the

Once the house was sited and framed, thoughts went to landscaping and how to make the front of the home complement the architecture and create a dynamic first impression. Elson Greene, site preparation and landscape expert, advised on the creation of retaining walls and the tiered approach to front entry. Elson

As with all design, the overall rhythm and balance of the parts as they create the whole makes or breaks the result. Plant variety introduces interest and inspires the viewer to explore the landscape. Different types of plantings are placed throughout the design. If all the plants were identical, monotony would result. If all the plants were different and randomly placed, chaos would

andscape design is often a challenge in the North Carolina High Country. Many builders and clients chose steep and wooded lots in order to enjoy the natural outdoors and to provide breath-taking views. Site preparation adds considerable cost to construction when compared to relatively level lots often seen in suburban construction. For a well designed home, the site should be a prime consideration in the layout of the footprint and the space planning and adjacencies that go into the design of the interior.

42 •

result. Several large rhododendrons placed near the house coordinate with the wild and abundant natural rhododendrons. The low profile of azaleas made them a great choice for some areas and mountain laurels with their wispy and less dense appearance added a touch of grace. The irregular curvature of holly leaves add interest and some holly was added for interest and some Sky Pencil Japanese Holly plants were used to frame the small statue. A blue spruce provides a focal point. A Japanese maple placed on a corner to create a secondary focal point and Arborvitae plants were used to set off the stairs and doors. Colorful flowers can be optionally added to create even more interest and variety in the warmer months. • 43

Half Page Ad

44 • • 45


We will help you create your own masterpiece... Classic 1710 Linville Falls Hwy Linville, NC 28646 classic stone works hc mag ad.indd 1

ClassicÊStoneÊWorks The Kitchen & Bath Gallery








828.737.0040 5/7/09 11:33 AM • 47

The Quality You Demand.

HomeGuide You Deserve.“

The Home

Discussions on and resources for the kitchen and bath, design and decor, outdoor living, and landscaping.

Distinctive Tips For The Kitchen And Bath

(828) 387- 7711 “Affordable Elegance - High Quality at Reasonable Prices” 48 •

PO Box 2096 - Banner Elk, NC 28604 - Office: (828) 898- 3564 • 49

Love your home, Hate your kitchen?

Custom Mica

By Leah Parks

Have you been dreaming of remodeling your kitchen, but don’t know where to begin? Use your present kitchen to help you plan for your new kitchen.  Take a good look at your present kitchen. Do you have enough countertop area, cabinet storage, and floor space? Pay attention to the location of your appliances. Do their locations provide adequate prep areas or do they leave you wanting more?  Study the efficiency of your current appliances. Do you have outdated appliances? Technological advances can save you money due to lower energy usage and less water consumption. This is also a plus for the environment. Look for Energy Star ratings.  Is the traffic flow efficient in your present kitchen? Is there more than one cook in your household? Do the walkways in your work area feel cramped? If you enjoy entertaining, you may want to consider opening up the kitchen area to include other areas of your home.  What is your family size and lifestyle? If you have children, what are their ages? If your family is growing, you may want to focus on how your family uses your current kitchen’s space and if there are other activities that you might want to do there. Safety is another concern. Are there any “problem” areas that might be a hazard? If so, these should be addressed.  Think about the current layout or design of your kitchen. Maybe the current size no longer fits your needs? Have you thought about an addition to the home to make the kitchen bigger? Adding doors and/or windows to the current space can change the feel of the space. Doors could provide access to that new deck you have always wanted to for outside entertaining. The addition of windows can make your kitchen brighter and more welcoming.


 Now comes the fun part. Let your imagination run free. Put yourself in your new kitchen and picture how you will feel with you beautiful new room filled with family and friends. See the rich colors of your new cabinets, the beautiful luxurious tile and swirling patterns in the granite countertops. Touch the gleaming stainless steel of your new appliances as they silently go about their tasks. Remember these images and write them down quickly. Browse through magazines and the internet in search of pictures and ideas that give your dreams reality. Save these in your kitchen dream book. Now that you have gathered your information, it is now time to seek professional advice. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends choosing a firm that has certified designers on staff. Certification provides consum-


ers confidence that their designer’s professional skills have been independently evaluated and that they are committed to improving skills through ongoing education and professional development. For more information visit Distinctive Kichens and Baths on Highway 105 South in Boone, North Carolina or contact them by phone at 828-963-9633 or

50 • • 51

Designs In Wood


but don’t know where to begin?

Full Page

By Pat Parks It may seem like the list of “things to do” is endless, but don’t worry, just follow the steps below and take our advice. You’ll be on your way in no time.  Decide what you want. What is the main purpose of remodeling your bathroom? Do you want to add extra space, upgrade the bathroom cabinets or fixtures, make changes for health reasons, or just create your own private spa?  What are your options? Is there room to expand or is there enough room to redesign using the existing floor space?  What are your priorities? Figure out what you want to change the most; and what you can keep or just update. Do you want a larger shower or tub?  Consider short-term and long-term implications of your renovation decisions. How long do you plan to live in this house; and will your choices increase/decrease the home’s resale value? If you are planning to live in your home long term, do you want to prepare your bathroom for the “aging in place” concept?  Collect ideas and information. Read magazines and books to get an idea of the look you want in your new bathroom. Make a clip book of all the pictures and ideas that represent your taste and style.  Determine your budget. Establish your priorities and determine where to best spend your money. What’s the total amount you are willing to spend? How much can/are you willing to borrow?  DON’T do the project yourself. A specialized kitchen and bath designer should be brought in to figure out logistics, suggest proper materials and create a functional and cost efficient room that specifically reflects your taste, style and personality. They will co-ordinate all the other members of your remodeling team such as contractors, plumbers, electricians and tile setters.  DO pick a qualified NKBA(National Kitchen and Bath Association) professional. Make sure they are qualified and ask for references and to see their portfolio. Pick the designer that most meets your taste and style. You should never be persuaded to do anything you don’t like or that is beyond your budget. A good designer will work closely with you until your dream bathroom is a reality. For more information visit Distinctive Kichens and Baths on Highway 105 South in Boone, North Carolina or contact them by phone at 828-963-9633 or • 53

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Tatum Galleries

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You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!


By Colleen Luntzel

hen I was newly married and beginning my family, it was the era of, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Suddenly, it seemed, women had choices in life and many (for one reason or another) left home to find themselves in a career. But contemporary culture can be fickle, confusing the issues and making a mess of things. As a generation of women went to work outside the home, somehow along the way, choosing to stay at home, if you were able, to excel in the art of homemaking, became a less than admirable thing to do -- a default for those who weren’t educated enough, or smart enough to “have it all.” Or so we were told. Of course, that wasn’t true. But for the domestic gals like me who hung in there, suffering through decades of luncheons and parties where others introduced themselves by touting their resumes, it was sometimes difficult to remember that we too had brains and abilities – that we were doing something of value. Today, the art of domesticity is increasingly celebrated, as it should be. Not only has the importance of homemaking been rediscovered, hospitality and creative home keeping is fast 56 •

becoming an honored art -- something to aspire to, a ministry, even. A new generation of single, married and mommy movers and shakers have shelved careers in the corporate world to stake claim to their domestic abodes, causing a veritable seismic shift on the homefront that is rumbling across our culture. Priorities have shifted and what was once old, is new again! Home and hearth (and all that goes with it) is back in style. From raising a family and decorating the nest, to car-pooling, cooking and cleaning – young, savvy, executive homemakers have raised the bar, elevating, “stay-at-homemom” to an acronym, SAHM, and a status symbol. I, for one, am glad because I know the power of a peaceful home – of creating a refuge to escape to from the often harsh realities of a turbulent world, of sharing a meal and the events of the day with those we love the best, of laughing and crying and arguing and praying… and after all is said and done, knowing that there’s at least one place in this world where we’re completely known and loved. That’s the power of home. Welcome back. You’ve come a long way baby.

Art Cellar

Carlton Gallery

Greater Avery Coalition of Galleries Expanding Its Reach in 2010 Season


he Greater Avery County Coalition of Galleries—affectionately known as “COG”—has survived infancy, leapfrogged childhood and is careening into adulthood. Initiated last year on little more than a brainstorm, a gathering and ample consumption of wine, gallery owners and studio artists of Foscoe, Shulls Mill, Matney, Banner Elk, Valle Crucis, Grandfather Community, Linville, Pineola and Crossnore formed an alliance of friendship and business cooperation that survives and thrives today. With a desire to highlight the rich artistic talent inherent to our region, the rambunctious result was a monthly gallery ramble—called “Tour de Art”—around the curves and swerves of the High Country—from June through October. The effort was a great success. So plans are underway to repeat the program with an expanded network of contributors and events. Chief among these will be COG’s participation in two “plein air paint-outs,” sponsored by the Avery County Arts Council. At paint-outs, artists set up in public locations where those passing by can observe the creative process as blank canvas morphs into full-color painting. These are scheduled for June 24-26 and August 28th. Artists should be at work at many COG locations. Tours are scheduled for the 4th Saturdays of the month and include: June 26th, July 24th, August 28th, September 25th and October 23rd. Each business will welcome visitors with their own brand of hospitality, which may include beverages, music and/or in-house specials. Look for notice of additional special events in this publication this summer. Maps of the tour are available at each venue. The eleven participating studios and galleries are: The 105-corridor heading north from the corner of 105 and 184: The Linville Gallery (4004 Highway 105, Suite 2,,

Carlton Gallery (10360 Hwy. 105 South,, Purveyors of Art & Wildflowers Publishing (112 Aldridge Park Rd., and Kevin Beck Studio & Gallery (1590 Shulls Mill Rd., www. Banner Elk heading west from the corner of 105 and 184: The Art Cellar Gallery (920 Shawneehaw Ave. Hwy. 184, and The Cheese House Gallery (630 Shawneehaw Ave, Hwy. 184, Matney heading north or south on Hwy. 194: Sally Nooney Studio & Gallery (7137 Hwy. 194 South, Valle Crucis. Alta Vista Gallery (2839 Broadstone Rd., www.altavistagallery. com). The 221-corridor heading south from 105: 87 Ruffin Street (84 Ruffin St. Linville,, Crossnore Weaving Room & Fine Arts Gallery (205 Johnson Ln. Crossnore, and Linville River Pottery (2180 Goose Hollow Rd. Pineola, The public may anticipate a broad array of offerings of: original paintings by professional and emerging artists, pottery, sculpture, glass, porcelain, fine art reproductions, jewelry and framing. In addition to the exceptional artwork created by the area’s finest artists and craftspeople, first time visitors will especially enjoy the tour of some of the high country’s most cultural and scenic byways Enjoy!

Carlton Gallery â&#x20AC;˘ 61

High Country Renovators

Tips for


an outdoor oasis Tatum Galleries shares some of their knowledge about the outdoor living experience.


By Summer Hays ne of the best rewards of living in the High Country is the cool climate and warm breezes of a summer day. The easiest way to enjoy this luxury is sitting on your very own deck. In the spring, summer, and fall our outdoor decks become an essential extension of our homes, perfect for entertaining, dining, reading or just reflecting.

The first step to having your very own outdoor oasis is furniture. Think about how many people will be using your deck area on a regular basis. This will help you decide what pieces of furniture you need to allow you to obtain the most efficient layout. If you average between two to four people, a couple outdoor club chairs and a loveseat would be perfect for relaxing. For dining and games, add a small dining table 36 to 42 inches in diameter with side chairs. Top the entire setting with a coffee table, and one end table between the chairs, and maybe even an outdoor rug to soften the flooring and make it inviting to actually sit on the floor. If your lifestyle includes entertaining often and having a full household, consider a scenario with a sofa, loveseat, two club chairs and two rockers (or spring loungers). Then, of course, add the coffee table and end tables to complete the look and provide surface space. The dining table should be at least 6 inches for six to eight family members and guests to sit comfortably. Again, an outdoor rug is a wonderful addition for the younger crowd to sit while playing cards and games, not to mention keeping small toys, etc from falling through the deck boards. Today’s outdoor fabrics are so fun and bright that they add extra flair to every outdoor living area. These fabrics can be fully exposed to whatever Mother Nature brings their way.

No matter what deck size, there is always a layout that will work for you to enjoy every minute of the High Country weather. The second step is adding home accessories to your new outdoor living room. Why not place an outdoor lamp to continue enjoying your deck into the late evening hours? The warmth of a lamp’s glow beams through to the inside of the house, making a welcoming call to the outside. Add lanterns, candles, guest books, pillows, throws, and even picture frames to the tables for that “lived in” look. Metal wall art is a fun and creative way to add color and dimension to the exterior walls of the house and provide yet another way of bringing the indoors out. BE CREATIVE! An outdoor deck is meant to be fun, fill it with the things you love and it will draw you outside every chance you get. Thirdly, think plants. Large ferns in urns, small containers with pansies, fresh cut flowers in vases on the coffee table all add color and freshness to any room, whether it is inside or outside the home. All of these tips are very easy to do yourself, or if needed, ask for help from experienced staff at your favorite store. Tatum Galleries, located on Highway 105, is a proud dealer of Summer Classics outdoor furniture and very experienced with designing any type of outdoor deck. They can lay out your deck to scale to find out the exact fit of any furniture scenario you may desire. Much of the furniture is available when you walk through the doors of the store, or through ordering. Stop by Tatum Galleries and see all of the possibilities that will inspire you to create your own outdoor oasis for many, many days and nights of enjoyment. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (828) 963-6466.

Sustainable Floors


rue environmentalism in the floor covering industry only began in the last 20 years, and the most progress has occurred since the late 1990’s. One major step was in 2002, the National Carpet Recycling Agreement, a voluntary initiative signed by many manufacturers, state and federal governments, and the EPA. The carpet industry created the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) to meet the goals of the agreement. The goal was to divert waste carpet from landfills by 40%. Most components that make up carpet are recyclable or reusable. Therefore, increasing the reuse and recycling will reduce waste and recover valuable resources. To view the Complete Memorandum of Understanding for Carpet Stewardship go to Not only is the carpet industry improving in the green products, so are many other floor covering manufacturers. These include woods, linoleum, tile, and laminates. Eco-friendly carpet is becoming a prominent floor covering product. When shopping for a green carpet, look for a renewable or recycled material. Recycled content nylon, recycled polyester, and fibers made from renewable resources like sugar from corn, are the most common green choices. Look for the CRI green label on the carpet, pad, and adhesives. This means the product releases very low levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOCs are carbon-based chemical compounds that vaporize under pressure. Exposure to VOCs can result in allergy-like symptoms, asthma irritation, and increase cancer risk. Carpet labels are required by law to list fiber content, and the country of origin. The origin is important due to the shipping processes required adds to energy consumption. 1 out of every 4 recycled plastic bottles are made into carpet. 64 •

A Flooring Outlet shares with us the many eco-friendly flooring options.

That is more than 3 billion bottles each year. It is estimated that approximately 6 billion pounds of carpet is disposed annually, which is why we need to reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as shop for carpets made from renewable resources such as sugar from corn. For more information about green carpets, visit www., and There are many options to choose, when looking for an eco-friendly hardwood flooring. Choose a hardwood floor manufactured from reclaimed, or salvaged wood from demolition or land clearing. Choose a hardwood floor manufactured from trees being grown under stringent standards of sustainability as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Also, look for manufactured hardwoods with solvent free, water-based, adhesives, stains, and top coats. A popular choice is Bamboo a rapid and renewable material. Bamboo, actually, not a wood at all, is a grass. It is attractive as a floor covering material due to its hardness, strength, and it is dimensionally stable. Bamboo matures in 5 to 7 years, regenerates without replanting, and needs very little fertilization or pesticides. However, all Bamboo floors are not equal. Most Bamboo floors are using UF (urea-formaldehyde) adhesives. UF resin tends to off-gas formaldehyde after production, or emit varying levels of VOCs. Quality Bamboo can be 100% harder than red oak and rated to last 30 to 50 years. And some are as soft as pine, depending on how it is manufactured, the species of Bamboo used and the maturity when harvested. Moso (phyllostachys pubescens) is among the hardest of the 1500 species. It has greater compressive strength than concrete. To reach this strength and hardness it must be harvested between 5 and 6 years. The Bamboo is hollow, round shoots, sliced into strips, boiled to remove starch, then dried and laminated into solid



boards. Natural Bamboo is available in two colors. Natural and Carmel/Amber color. The darker color is achieved by the pressure steaming that darkens by carbonization. A great choice of Bamboo is the Teragren line, with many options of color, as well as a strand bamboo line. Teragren is the first FloorScore-certified Bamboo. To learn more about the Teragren Bamboo floors visit the website www. Another option is cork. Durable and ecofriendly, harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, without damaging the tree. Cork oak trees live an average of 150200 years. The bark can be harvested every 9-10 years, up to 20 times over the trees lifetime. Cork contains Suberin, is the chemical that gives cork the ability to withstand and resist moisture. It is a waxy substance, with its main function to prevent water from penetrating the tissue. Because of the impermeability, buoyancy, elasticity, and fire resistance, cork is fast becoming the green solution. Even hardwoods that have long growth periods are finding their way into the sustainable wood market. Many organizations have started certification programs to mark wood products being produced from sustainable forest. For more information on standards of sustainability, or certified forests go to The Forest Stewardship Council. ( A choice that is often forgotten, is Linoleum. Genuine linoleum, not to be confused with vinyl, is one of the most environmentally responsible flooring materials available. Linoleum is made of linseed oil (from the flax plant), wood or cork flour (reclaimed from lumber mills), and rosin (tree sap). Because of the organic nature of ingredients, it will biodegrade in landfills with no off gassing, and it can be burned in power generating furnaces. The products are mixed together, rolled out between two cylinders onto a jute backing. Then cured in ovens 14-21 days. Most manufacturers bond a high performance coating to the surface to improve the cleaning ability, resist stains, and prevent scratches. Most linoleum is sold as a sheet product. Although, Forbo offers a Marmoleum in a “click” system that uses no glue or adhesives. For more information about Forbo Marmoleum go to Laminates can also be environmentally friendly. Many manufacturers of laminate are using pre-consumer recycled content. A true testament to modern green engineering are Mannington, Shaw, and Mohawk. They each maintain operations facilities between North Carolina and Georgia. 66 •

All three are going beyond the everyday recycling, these operations are transforming waste into fuel, packaging, and other laminate floors. Shaw uses a high-density fibercore that is derived from recycled wood fiber. 99% of Shaw laminate packaging is the use of recyclable material, diverted from landfills. The Ringgold Ga. facility uses 100% of the post-industrial laminate as fuel, diverting it from landfills. Mannington laminate is 74% recycled content and the only laminate holding the FloorScore certificate. ( Mannington laminate is made in the USA, with the exception of the Diamond line, they use paper printed with waterbased low VOC ink systems, finishes, and formaldehyde-free adhesives. Laminate is durable and easy to clean. Laminate emulates other hard surfaces, at a fraction of the price, with no natural material draw backs. With the adhesive free installation, laminate can be taken up and installed in another room. With the increased knowledge and concern of the environment, all good and responsible manufacturers are aware that they need to be ecoconscious of their practices with manufacturing and disposal issues in the floor covering industry. Some of the manufacturers are striving to be eco-friendly with the use of renewable, recycled products, and by turning waste into fuels. The internet is a great research tool, so you don’t have to be mislead by the over claimed greenwash by researching the material you are interested in purchasing for your flooring needs. However, consider the following before purchasing over the internet. Professional installation is key to long term performance and your satisfaction. The #1 cause of consumer dissatisfaction with flooring appearance and performance is poor installation. Most manufacturers can not and will not guarantee that flooring purchased over the internet is first-quality merchandise. Only first quality merchandise is covered by a manufacturers warranty. Finally, please consider more than the price when selecting a new floor. Consider the value of advise from trained salespeople; the beauty of professional installation; the assistance in helping the local economy, and the peace of mind in knowing that you have a local businessperson to call on with any future questions about your purchase. Regardless of your style, there is a beautiful, an environmentally friendly floor for everyone. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact A Flooring Outlet, 828-898-5484 or email



Open Up

Your Living Space


Another Successful High Country Home and Remodeling Expo

he 16th annual Home and Remodeling Expo, hosted by the High Country Home Builder’s Association, was once again an enormous success. The venue for the expo, the Holmes Center, contained a wide expanse of resources and solutions for your home. With a total of 90 vendors in attendance for this two day event, homeowners were able to gain an invaluable perspective in various aspects that make up the home construction industry. Businesses not only showcased their services, but also provided information on home construction and remodeling, which was directed towards both new and existing homeowners. This visually-driven experience allowed homeowners to see how a particular construction material, for example, compared to a lineup of other materials. Free seminars were held, offering information on everything from finance to energy efficiency. Helpful, friendly experts were available to answer any and all questions and offer suggestions in their area of expertise. Although the concept of “going green” has been around for decades, it has recently begun to increase in popularity. Leftover construction materials once destined for the scrap yard are now being reduced, reused, and recycled to cut back on the high cost associated with building green homes and reduce the impact on landfills. This was the place to be if you’re into the green movement.

Fun and business were mixed to lighten the atmosphere of the expo. With the nail driving competition, a crowd favorite, a door prize and raffle drawing were just a few of the exiting events that went on during the expo. The Daniel Everett Scott Memorial Scholarship was awarded to three senior high school students; Joshua Coffey and Gabby Romano from Watauga High School, and Taylor Jones from Avery High School. Recipients of this scholarship will be able to apply the funds towards a study with anything in relation to the construction and remodeling industries. Awards were given to vendors for “Best in Show”. In third place: High Country Stone; second, Hickory Lane Gardens; and first place went to Watauga Wood Products. David Scott, president of the High Country Home Builder’s Association, would like to extend his thanks to all those who participated in this year’s expo. Don’t worry if you missed out, because the show will be back next year. If you would like more information or would like to be featured in next year’s show, please contact susan. or call (828) 297-6566.

Let fresh air into your home without unwelcome insects or glare of direct sunlight. When you don’t need the screens, they retract completely out of sight. Suitable for doors, windows, and large openings, Phantom Screens complement any décor.

Contact your local Authorized Distributor, Retractable Screens of Western North Carolina, at (828) 524-0595 or 1-888-PHANTOM (742-6866), or by email at Visit to find out more. Ret. Screens of W. North Carolina Full Page Ad Template Phantom.indd 1

6/9/10 8:17:31 AM â&#x20AC;˘ 71

Schmeasy! Easy

Sometimes clearing clutter can be difficult. Learn what it’s like to work with a professional organizer. DeClutter Diva has invited a client to write from her perspective about the process of transforming the office in her home.


eople who’ve been in our house probably would be surprised to learn I’d need an expert in the area of organization. Everything in sight is tidy, reasonably clean, well ordered. (Of course, not everything is in sight!) So why did I desperately want help with my home office? Because I knew the space just wasn’t right and didn’t know what to do. My brain turned to mush just trying to think about it. The cause of this mushiness became clear as I watched a huge wall of resistance spring up at every turn when it came time to actually clear out clutter and move things around.. A few times the resistance was because of genuine disagreement with what was suggested. Very few. Mostly there was an emotional element – a gut-wrenching, dig in the heels, don’t-wanna sort of thing that I couldn’t really explain.

Thanks to the TV makeover shows, I didn’t feel bad about this. Maybe you’ve seen those shows where the professional organizer comes in and helps a big-time hoarder tackle mountains of stuff, coping with tears and tantrums in the process. So, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in having unexpected emotional issues surface when someone suggests getting rid of my precious stuff or changing where I put it. Of course, not every lifestyle lends itself to tidiness. I’m in the fortunate position of having been brought up in an orderly household and of now being able to control my own work space. But the problem is that I was too close to it to see the possibilities. Over the five years I’ve used this room, I’ve rearranged it twice and at this point was convinced it was as good as it could get. Then I heard about an acquaintance, a personal organizer, 72 •

doing business as The Declutter Diva, and found out how wonderful it can be to be wrong. Enter the diva However, before I could have this great experience of being wrong, I had to get to the other side of some personal hurdles. I did not realize this when I asked Breton Frazier to start work on my office. So I’m blissful to have been ignorant, otherwise I might not have begun. Thankfully she is persistent because at some stages in our process, not only did I resist, I actually didn’t believe her. For example, she had to bring up the idea at least three times before I would even consider getting rid of the six-foot tall plastic shelf unit I’d assembled myself, a bit crookedly. It loomed large as you entered the room. It was an eyesore and a clutter magnet, but to me it was an immovable part of the décor. (Did I say décor? Nothing about the space justified the term.) One of my problems involved the three-ring binders I love to use to organize notes from self-improvement workshops, goal setting and so on. You name it and I’ll punch holes in it and file it with tab dividers. But let’s face it, if the contents haven’t seen daylight in 15 years, the binders may be expendable. Still, I couldn’t just toss the contents and while my expert was there, also could not get my brain to function about what to do. This may be related to a quirk I discovered years ago in work situations – some types of thinking I can do only when nobody else is around. So the binders got set aside in the hall to be reviewed later. Soon the binders were joined in the hall by stacks of blank paper. And then boxes of empty file folders, plastic page protectors, laminating material and on it went.

Breaking through

ruthless efficiency.

In addition to wanting to get rid of the tacky plastic bookcase, Breton objected to my piling things on the floor. She just wouldn’t let up about getting stuff off the floor, and I did not see the point of this . . . that is, until I actually got everything off the floor. What an amazing difference it made – not only in the appearance of the space, but also in how I felt there. For some reason, it was calming.

Office, sweet office

I see now that the more clutter we cleaned out, the more comfortable I felt in the office. And that translated into more productivity because the tension was gone. Unconsciously, I had resisted being there. And I resisted getting rid of a low shoji screen I’d positioned in front of the computer table to conceal the wires. The screen stood charmingly between me and the door when I sat there working. Some insensitive people (family members) remarked on my “hiding” behind it. Of course, I didn’t see it that way. I liked how it felt. Plus it was a nice screen and I was sort of attached to it. Too bad. It had to go. How could the room be at its best, I was challenged, when the flow into the room was blocked by that screen? Well, she’d been right before so I took the professional’s advice. I shifted the computer table so it and the tangle of wires were against the wall and then put my desk facing the door. I expected this would make me feel too exposed and vulnerable. Turns out I was more at ease in the room which suddenly felt bigger and brighter. The fact that people could walk in and see my computer screen had been a big privacy issue and I just took the leap and let that concern go. Shifting my resistance created a shift in the whole feel of the room. It took some days for me to psych myself into actually moving the furniture. Meanwhile, back at the session with my organizer, we emptied out a small closet to make space for essential office supplies. As a result, more stuff went into the hall to be dealt with later. By the time later arrived I’d put in a grueling two hours fighting change. With that over, I felt happy but energy definitely was fading. Then I looked at the hall and it was so packed I was afraid someone would trip, so I set myself a goal to have it cleaned up before bedtime. And no fair stuffing any of it back where it came from. It took at least two more hours to reach my goal, during which time I had become sufficiently annoyed that I was able to approach those blasted binders with

My next hurdle to overcome was resistance to suggestions to move one of the two-drawer vertical file cabinets into a corner near the desk. My work would be much easier, my advisor advised, if the files used most often were close enough that I could roll on the desk chair across the bamboo mat and get at them. Finally, just to shut her up, I tried it. Pardon my blush, she was right again. With each change, I felt more settled in the office. And now that my mind had been opened, other ideas came up. For example, I had a flash of insight that the office didn’t have to be sterile and stark. With everything in such good order and all that open flow to the space, maybe it also could be – dare I think it? – not ugly. So I decorated, inexpensively. Deep sigh. Now I’m really at home A huge factor in making this happen was Breton’s firm focus on the office, despite my attempts to sidetrack her into other areas. No, she insisted, first we must address the heart of my operations, the hub of activity, the place I most felt at home – the office. Now that it’s over, I’m especially grateful for this focus. I appreciate the understanding and respect for my close identification with my work space. That acceptance put me fully into the teamwork which resulted in a place where I now feel comfortable and more in control, able to manage the rest of my life more powerfully. Thanks, I can’t take it from here. I tackled furniture arranging and putting things away with such enthusiasm, sometimes the work Breton and I planned for our next session already was done when she got here. She might have had the impression I didn’t need her any more, but I soon demonstrated that wasn’t the case. What happens is I get to a certain point organizing an area and then it’s like a wall goes up. My brain shuts down, I can’t concentrate, nothing works. Maybe it’s another of those hidden emotional reactions. Whatever. That’s when I contact Breton. Knowing she’s available gives me the confidence to just set the project aside. She’ll help me see what to do. As for those emotions that came up and blocked me, I never have figured out what they were. Why did I resist getting rid of binders? What made me think it was okay to keep stacks of stuff around, clutter which dragged me down and sapped my enthusiasm every day? What was • 73

the big deal about moving a file cabinet? Don’t know. Probably never will. Don’t care. The important thing is the emotional barriers came up, they were experienced and I got past them. R.I.P. What are friends for? Of course, bringing in a professional means spending money. When you know you need help and funds are scarce, this can be an issue. Or maybe it isn’t such a big deal. Depending on where you live, the services of an organizer could be surprisingly affordable. As an alternative, you might want to enlist the help of a family member or friend. Or not. It’s a rare person who can wallow around with you not only in the physical mess, but also in the emotions which come up around it. First ask yourself what will happen if you become impatient or angry. Can they be there without taking it personally? It’s risky business and not worth losing a friend over. Maybe the TV makeover people have the right idea in sending the residents away for the duration. Where to start? Yes, the how-to methods are important. But I’m not getting into that because anyone can go to books and the Internet and get the information straight from top professionals. To me, the real starting point is our own intention. Right now, maybe you need a vivid imagination to picture yourself in a neat, clean environment. But it is possible. Not necessarily easy, but definitely possible. I wish for you the blessing that you may simply begin. – Gail Geary, St. Augustine, Florida The DeClutter Diva Comments When I first met with Gail, she was frustrated that she hadn’t been able to accomplish what she wanted with her office. She seemed to feel somewhat overwhelmed and 74 •

discouraged. I wanted our work together to bring about positive change right away to inspire hope and confidence to sustain us through the process. Our first step was a guided visualization for her to imagine the space exactly as she would like it to be. This works like a charm to ease anxiety and to create intention and focus. It is my job to bring fresh eyes and to solve problems. I suggest different approaches for using the space and share ideas about alternate ways of doing things. For example, we removed things that didn’t belong in an office: a closet full of tote bags and gift wrapping supplies. This created convenient storage for needed office items. I ask hard questions: How long have you had this? When is the last time you used it? Do you still need it? The client and I discover the answers working together. Often, a person may need to hear a new idea more than once. When s/he is ready, the idea will take hold. What’s exciting is the way a space transforms little by little with each modification. Removing one piece of furniture, such as the six-foot plastic shelves, can unlock the room. Gail and I worked together about five hours in three sessions to create an office space which would be welcoming and nurturing, one where she could be super productive. We wanted an area with uncluttered work surfaces and supplies close by. Our process required patience and dogged determination but Gail has a can-do attitude about maintaining her work space now. She has some tools to use in tackling other areas of her home and some ideas for overcoming her organizing hurdles. Email your organizing questions to Breton at: For more information, visit


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Explore the beautiful homes and communities of the High Country

The Chancellor’s

80 • • 81

Chancellor Kenneth Peacock and his wife, Rozanne, give us a tour of their residence, The Appalachian House, a home that epitomizes the very essence of the campus it resides on.


By Katie Strasser and Robert Coble

his house could easily look at home on the front of a postcard, yet it stands as one of the most unique and distinctive structures on campus. Embodying beauty and elegance, the Appalachian House, the Chancellorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House (or more simply the ASU House) epitomizes the very essence of Appalachian State University. The current owners are Chancellor Kenneth Peacock and his wife, Rozanne. They have been residents of the home since Mr. Peacock assumed the position of Chancellor of the university in 2004. Although the Peacocks did not design the house, they have the pleasure of living in a residence that was recently constructed and cleverly crafted to fit their needs. Albert Olszewski of Olszewski Construction Company, Inc. began construction on the house in the summer of 1999. Borkowski, the Chancellor prior to Peacock, moved in nearly three years later in February 2002. The decision to build an entirely new residence for the Chancellor came about due to the potential high remodeling cost of Borkowskiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original home. Currently, The Living Learning Center for students now stands at the original Chancellor residence. The new home is located up Stadium Drive towards the Broyhill Inn and Conference center, located on the ASU main grounds. This location is close to the heart of campus, while also nestled into the woods to create more secluded, residential atmosphere. With over thirty years of experience in the home construction

Chancellors House

industry, Olszewski was more than qualified to undertake this project of designing and conceiving a new Appalachian House, a dwelling that is immensely well-known among Boone. David Moses came on board as architect for the home, who personally designed the entertainment area of the home. Of course, no house can be built without some form of financial backing, so private contributions were raised. Those who donated were duly commemorated as art hung in the first floor hallway. At first sight of the home, the stone exterior lends itself in such a way that it mirrors the surrounding mountainous environment. A driveway lined with lampposts similar to those strung across campus, and grey mats that are found at the entrance to every residence hall, are further proof that the house incorporates every aspect of the university architecture into one. “The house is built over a trail students used walking about campus,” indicates Olszewski, “during construction, it was very common for students to walk through the house while going from point A to point B.”

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Chancellors House

Upon crossing the threshold, one immediately sees that the official university seal is inlaid into the foyer, establishing the feeling of an “Appalachian welcome,” as the Chancellor uses when addressing members of the university. Further inside the two-story home, guests may be awed by the works of extraordinary craftsmanship. Custom stone archways frame each room, and expansive, beamed ceilings keep the floor plan open and inviting. Each tall doorway is lined with rich, polished molding, and walls are artfully textured to add depth to each surface. Venues specifically designated for entertaining are bound to the main floor, while the second level is exclusively reserved as the Chancellor’s private quarters. Through the foyer is the dining and gathering room, which can accommodate up to sixty six, and is a particular favorite of the Peacock family due to the fine, intricate detailing of the wood work. In fact, Mrs. Peacock has received numerous comments about the craftsmanship of the flooring, ceiling, and other details from everyone who visits. She also indicates that people cannot resist letting their hands trail

along the third generation rock build that makes up the hallway, each stone piece fitting in together to create unique and authentic natural features. In its entirety, the main floor boasts a professional grade kitchen, a breakfast room, elevator, guest rooms, and a faculty lounge. While the stunning features of this home are easy to identify at first glance, its individual beauty lies in the attention to details throughout the house. This specific consideration to every component of the abode is shown in the study, where Yosef, the Appalachian State mascot, is inlaid into the hardwood floor. Even in his private life, Chancellor Peacock never wavers in the pride that he has for his university. The Chancellor’s home serves as a focal point for several events, including both student and faculty functions, and fundraising activities. Anyone who has the privilege of receiving an invite to the Chancellors house knows that a lot of thought and creativity was dedicated to the layout of this house, which now plays such a large role for certain events throughout the university. Public restrooms and a large coat closet have been added to the main floor to facilitate such gatherings, and a full bar and spacious pantry allow for the maximum degree of hospitality possible. • 85

Chancellors House

“Using wood, stone, and glass make this house timeless…and [it] will stand the test of time,” says Mrs. Peacock. If the weather is nice, she further adds, the fully furnished screen porch is a “wonderful retreat space.” The expansive great room and its fireplace ensure an even homier atmosphere, making this room another favorite of the Peacocks. The three university football National Championship trophies are proudly displayed next to the hearth, representing one of the most celebrated and well-known aspects of Appalachian State. It is clear to see that the Chancellor’s house is truly a sight to behold, and most certainly not something to be missed. As far as the architectural layout is concerned, the entire home is over 9,000 square feet; 9,453 of which are heated and 1,396 unheated. Areas of the house that are heated are done so in a “green” fashion: by channeling the steam from the campus bell tower. This environmentally conscious characteristic of the building is another factor that makes the structure such a true gem. In recent years, the university has made increased efforts to become more 86 •

energy efficient, and the landmark home of campus is no exception. Personally, builder Olszewski feels that the master bedroom and breakfast room, complete with a pool table, are the most striking features of the entire home. The stone archway, along with the beamed dining room ceiling and floor, proved to be an exacting task. He also accentuates on the home’s seemingly natural way of blending into its surrounding mountainous environment. Olszewski has been in business since 1976, and has built many homes in the area. Examples of his work can be seen in Valle Cay, Vilas, Valle Crucis, Linville Ridge, and Elk River areas of western North Carolina. Chancellor Peacock and his wife are quite possibly one of the most iconic families in the High Country area, and their striking home directly mirrors the magnificent people that they are. Both a household and a hub for university activities, this home is a perfect manifestation of family and friends into one. • 87

Turtle Creek

A Sanctuary perched on the Blue Ridge Parkway. For developer Dr. Dick Furman, building the number one luxury address in the Blowing Rock area has always been the plan

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espite a humble and soft-spoken demeanor, long-time Blue Ridge Parkway resident Dr Richard Furman doesn’t approach things in a small way. For kicks, the retired surgeon likes to pilot his plane through mountain passes in Alaska, or motorcycle up unpaved roads clear to the Arctic Circle. And, when it comes to philanthropy, he doesn’t just write checks and donate, he helped found a medical

outreach that has lasted over 30 years—and recently spent three weeks in Haiti at the peak of the disaster there. This all-in approach has served him well in his many real estate endeavors, too, perhaps most of all in his dream of creating the finest residences on the heralded Blue Ridge Parkway: a boutique sanctuary named Turtle Creek.

Perched literally 100 yards from the famed Blue Ridge Parkway off mile post 286, the Turtle Creek Villas and a soon to be launched Private Residence Club at Turtle Creek, are setting a new benchmark for luxury homes in the region. With striking timber-framed architecture and genuine poplar siding, the award-winning Villas are Furman’s dream project, an old farm he bought in the mid-70s with the notion that when he retired, “I would create the finest community in the area.” After three decades of planning, Furman’s vision is now becoming reality at the hands of local builder, craftsman and artist Ronnie Ray, a man he has worked with for over 20 years. From the start the goal was simple; quality, beyond anyone’s expectations. “I’d like to see it end up as the number one luxury address on the Parkway and in the Blowing Rock area and to see it recognized as the best in the region, that had always been my goal.” He says with pride and conviction. Exceeding expectations has always been his modus operandi. Back in medical school, he competed with 14 other Interns for only seven available positions. Recognizing a shortage of manpower with the Residents that the Interns trained with, he decided to do more than expected, and started rising early so he was able to visit his patients before the other Interns even arrived. Good fortune soon combined with his decision to do more than was expected, and he was promoted to Resident after just seven months of internship. Now, he applies that credo “do more than expected” to both 90 •

humanitarian endeavors and his project at Turtle Creek. Back in 1977, he and his oldest brother created a medical branch for Samaritan’s Purse called the World Medical Mission. The goal; to encourage Physicians to travel overseas at their own expense to work in mission hospitals. In 1978, WMM sent out four doctors, but today, an average of 450 now travel the globe to help others, and the good Doctor is still one of them. The retired chest surgeon spent three weeks Haiti in two trips that he will never forget. “I’ve just never seen a disaster that bad, just so many dead and so many injuries,” he says. “You don’t usually get that many injuries, probably 90 to 95 percent that we operated on were orthopedic and broken bones of some sort, amputees,” he says. Dick’s recent time in Haiti renewed his appreciation for everything we have here in the U.S. “Being there does make you realize how blessed we are in America—whether you’re working fast food or mowing lawns— we’ve got it better than so many people around the world, and Haiti puts things into perspective…you truly feel blessed.” Whether his humanitarian efforts or his project at Turtle Creek on the Parkway, Dr. Forman’s desire to exceed expectations is reflected in the results of his endeavors. His real estate efforts already show that perfection. With 14 luxury Villas built and over half of them sold, Turtle Creek’s uniqueness and exceptional quality has allowed it to sell - even in this real estate market. “Quality was going to be our main objective from the start and we held to that and we are going to continue holding to it,” • 91

he says. “Nobody will find anything built to this quality in the area…and that is what I’m most proud of.” Bill Shea from Residence Club Partners, the Company hired to design and manage the areas first luxury Private Residence Club agrees with Dr. Furman. ”When I first came around the corner and the Villas and open space came into view, I knew this place was special” “We have worked on projects around the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean and it’s not often that we get to work with such high quality construction standards and craftsmanship” Shea adds. “The Builder, Ronnie Ray, and his team truly have used old world craftsmanship and the finest materials to build these Villas”. “When we tour people interested in becoming owners at Turtle Creek, they barely make it inside the front door before saying “Wow!” at the sight of the timber framed wood work high above the living room. “It’s actually fun to watch,” says Shea. “It’s a beautiful and incredibly relaxing setting with ponds and groomed fields and a feeling of openness you wouldn’t have if you just had individual lots and homes scattered around,” he says. “People prefer beautiful open areas to look at and to enjoy, and it gives you a feel that you are in the mountains. That is the bottom line, the feeling that you are in the mountains, not in a subdivision or group of homes.” Shea adds. And that quote is coming from a guy who lived in the luxury ski areas of the Rocky Mountains for 15 years. Large, fish-ponds lie, peacefully, in various preserved zones, to be enjoyed by all residents—especially those for whom having a stocked, private trout pond out their back door is the epitome of leisure and relaxation: Turtle Creek is even partnering with the only Orvis Fly-Fishing shop in the area to provide special services and tours including fly-fishing classes at the ponds, which will be stocked with rainbow and brown trout. There are only four counties in North Carolina with waters cold enough to support trout, Watauga being one of them, and these private waters in Watauga County will only be available to Turtle Creek owners and guests. Both the inviting ponds and the overall welcoming contours of the land are no accident. “It’s usable land because it was a farm, meaning it’s not a house on a cliff with no yard. That in part makes the common areas unique, so that everybody can enjoy them,” Dr. Furman says. Another first for the area: In July Turtle Creek plans to introduce the first luxury Private Residence Club in Blowing Rock or on the Blue Ridge Parkway –The Residence Club at Turtle Creek. This increasingly popular way to own luxury real estate through shared ownership in a completely carefree manner will start in the low $200’s for an elegantly furnished unit with concierge services, housekeeping and other 5-star pampering. It’s a seamless and carefree way to own a new Turtle Creek home. Whole ownership begins at just over $1M. Long before Turtle Creek graced the region, The Blue Ridge Parkway and the town of Blowing Rock, something Furman has enjoyed in the 25 years he has lived there and cares for deeply, have been known throughout the U.S. as pristine and beautiful environments to live and play. “It’s been a resort area forever, 92 •

with 12 degree cooler temperatures than in the areas below the mountains and has always been a great place to live and visit. The Parkway is a beautifully maintained as a National Park that adds a lot of appeal to the area by itself, and now we have golf courses, restaurants and luxury amenities such as spa’s and galleries to compliment it.” Says Furman. The Boone Golf & Country Club only 5 minutes from Turtle Creek is one of many courses in the area that can be played, and active people will find innumerable trails for mountain biking, hiking and running, as well as fishing in the lakes nestled amid places like Grandfather Mountain and many other scenic areas. And the Blue Ridge Parkway is the access to all there is to do. Furman’s favorite aspect and the trademark of Turtle Creeks’ architecture grew out of respect for that indigenous beauty of the region and the heritage of the area’s older buildings. Back in 1900s chestnut tree bark was commonly used for siding and a lot of the older structures still have it, lending them a distinctly charming rustic look. But a blight took out the chestnut trees later in the century and no bark-sided structures were built until about 10 years ago, or so, when they realized poplar bark had similar qualities and appearance. Now at Turtle Creek Furman’s builder is combining the poplar bark with stone and cedar roofs, along with the handsome timber frame structural features outside and inside. Other fine touches include huge panoramic windows offering views of the mountains and the Turtle Creek ponds, vaulted ceilings, custom tile and hardwood floors and large custom gas/wood log fireplaces. The effect creates a unique combination that you don’t see much of anymore. Construction started in 2006, and six of the 14 Villas—each just over 3,000 square feet—are sold with four units are intended for the popular Private Residence Club concept. Furman decided on the timber frame design—which is very visible, both outside and inside the homes—after he saw a home an architect in Colorado had created. “It was the nicest I’d seen, such a mountain look and with high quality, not a log home, not a stone home, it just really fit the area and I knew that’s what we wanted,” he said. As for Dr. Furman today, he’s headed back to Alaska, for a “relaxing” vacation—a 4,000 mile motorcycle ride to the Arctic Circle, close to a thousand miles of which are on a dirt road, from Anchorage to Dead Horse on the Arctic Ocean, following the pipeline that the Ice Road Trucker television series made famous. He’s going with his buddy Franklin Graham, with whom he rode from Boone to Anchorage last year on motorcycles. Furman also likes to pilot his plane on the same route. “You can fly just above tree the tops and you see everything, and talk about scenic…it is the greatest trip, you fly right down on that road right through passes with the mountains on each side,” Dick says. OK, but given Alaska’s weather and possible survival scenarios…why? “Why? I’m not sure why…it’s just fun to do,” he says. Or maybe, even in vacation or getaway-mode, some people just have a need to do more than is expected of them.

“It’s a beautiful and incredibly relaxing setting with ponds and groomed fields and a feeling of openness you wouldn’t have if you just had individual lots and homes scattered around.”

Design For Aging


A Transparent Result By Margot Olson

ith 78 million Baby Boomers, 83% of whom want to stay in their personal residences, the residential interior designer has an opportunity to make a difference in the comfort levels of the Boomers’ later years. Existing housing has numerous functional impediments to accessibility: steep stairs, narrow doorways, cramped bathrooms, slippery flooring, raised or lowered living areas, cramped laundry areas, limited storage, outdated kitchen appliances and much more. An interior designer, among all members of the design and construction team of professionals, is uniquely qualified to assess individual needs, to consider human factors, and to provide strategies for accommodation within all types of living arrangements. Interior designers are skilled in space

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Photos by Stefan Olson

planning and functionality of design as well in the aesthetic areas of selecting finishes and furniture to create beauty. A specialty area of residential housing has emerged in recent years—aging-in-place. Aging-in-place is a philosophy that provides design strategies to allow aging and physically challenged individuals to live comfortably in their personal residences and to delay moving to specialized housing for the elderly or disabled. Not only is life satisfaction enhanced by remaining independent but costs of health care can be reduced. The challenge of design for aging-in-place is to incorporate accommodation into the environment without creating an institutional look—to create solutions to potential design flaws that are transparent. The bonus is that all ages of individuals can

benefit from the simple solutions to accommodating the aging population. For example, how often, as a 20 something, did you step out of a tub and nearly slip wishing you had a sturdy grab bar for stability? People of all ages step from wet pavement onto the slick tiles of restaurants or stores while barely keeping their balance. Why not use exterior tiles with a rough surface texture in your foyer, kitchen, and bath? Exterior tiles can be beautiful and provide a transparent element of safety as well. The house shown in the photography of this article embodies many design strategies associated with aging-in-place. As an interior designer, I was able to start from the beginning by drawing the plans for the • 95

LIVING ROOM: Considerations of aging-in-place can be transparent. Great style and beauty predominate as the underlying design philosophy prepares the home for comfortable living through all stages of life.

house with the inclusion of spaces and adjacencies to meet my objectives. I was fortunate to work with Eddie Greene of Eddie Greene Construction, who was patient and willing to take his valuable time to think through a number of features with me. We struggled together over the curbless shower, for example, and finally created a lovely shower with no step to trip people of any age and no door to impede access or create a cleaning challenge. Eddie Greene also worked with me to consider numerous sustainable construction 96 •

options as well. The beauty of aging-in-place is that it is also a green strategy—if design is done well at the start, the need to create waste by remodeling for accommodation is eliminated. The Kitchen remains the heart of the home even though much of our food preparation is now facilitated by packaged products and pre-cooked items. Remember your last party—where do people tend to congregate? Kitchen

Top Right: KITCHEN ISLAND AND ZONES: A kitchen island provides space for dining as well as better access among the preparation, storage, clean-up and cooking work areas. Also, dual sinks separates the preparation and clean-up areas while facilitating the work of multiple cooks. Directly above: INTIMATE DINING SPACE: Dining areas must be close to the kitchen for ease of serving. Multiple dining areas can provide an intimate space for the empty-nesters who need seating for one or two diners. Directly to the left: FLOOR TRANSITIONS: Often an afterthought is the coordination of different flooring products. For aging and beauty of design, the transition from one material to another must be flush. Shown here is a slip-resistant, exterior-grade porcelain tile and bamboo wood. Carpet is found elsewhere in the house with transitions from both the tile and the wood. None of the three are the same thickness so the three different floor installers coordinated their installations to achieve the beauty and functionality of the flush transition.

design strategies are well documented and easily adapted to aging-in-place. Consider the following design solutions that help cooks of all ages. The Private Space of the home is focused on the owner’s retreat. A well designed bedroom, bathroom, and dressing area enhances the lives of all ages but can facilitate the accessibility for those whose mobility becomes limited due to natural aging or injury. A good owner’s retreat is 98 •

separated from the other bedrooms and living areas so that privacy is achieved. While interior design is often associated with the finishes and furnishings, a well-designed home includes considerable thought on how the home flows and how one space transitions into another. Space Planning is a stage of the design process in which interior designers have particularly keen insight.

Top Right: ELEVATOR: With the sloped lots of the High Country, multi-level houses can be designed with a smaller footprint for the same square footage. A residential elevator is a plus for easy access to multiple floors and can be useful for gaining access during injuries, pregnancies, or for aging legs, knees, or hips. The elevator appears to be a closet. Directly above: CURBLESS SHOWER: Often called roll-in or walk-in, no curb is in the way of access. The bench provides a place to sit, the interior space is large enough for wheelchair turn-around, and the handheld spray makes rinsing easy. Other showerheads can add a touch of luxury to the bathing experience. Directly to the left: SITTING AREA: A sitting area in the bedroom is perfect for getting away from activities throughout the house and also helpful for short transitions from bed to sitting during convalescence. The low sofa arms shown in the photo help with transfer from a wheelchair to the sofa.


Jasper House

A rustic sanctuary within the luxury mountain fly fishing community of Twin Rivers


By Katie Strasser

scending the gravel driveway of this home creates an almost tangible sense of rustic beauty that coincides with the natural environment. Driving through the Twin Rivers neighborhood, it is difficult to tell if houses actually exist in the lush forest that surrounds each road. Every residence has been carefully crafted to reflect the rich landscape that surrounds, and each private lot is full of thick, secluding foliage. The Jasper home is no exception. Upon walking through the front door, one notices the majestic stacked-stone fireplace that acts as a centerpiece for the main floor. As opposed to many other houses in the area, the design plans for this home opted out of a conventional hearth positioning and instead utilized a centrally arranged fireplace. Through closer examination, one can see that a rock keystone feature was added to the arch of the fireplace, paying homage to the family’s partial Pennsylvanian origins. The importance of the keystone in any feature is its function: to hold the two sides of an arch together, unifying the shape into one. In fact, keystones can be found throughout the interior of the home. At 6,500 square feet, this home is masterfully wellconceived in its design. The plans for every aspect of the house were meticulously detailed, all the way down to the model fish (signifying a passion for the outdoors) that are placed on nearly every wall around the home. The Jasper family played a crucial role in the designing and building of their home, brainstorming with builder Bill Drummond and making suggestions as they felt needed. Drummond, still a close friend of the family, praised their consistent involvement with the home and pointed out that when homeowners are more invested with the creation of their dwelling, it becomes a more valuable and personal investment when completed. Impeccable taste is immediately evident when strolling across the custom wide plank floors in the foyer and taking in the open sunlit floor plan. The home may be described as “rustic yet contemporary” and fits the bill for either an extended family vacation or a quiet getaway for two. 100 • •101

Throughout the house, one notices details such as textured walls, angular vaulted ceilings, and stacked rock fireplaces. The heavy timber molding and columns found in every room of the home are not only an aesthetic addition to the home, but function as an intricate foundation of the building’s structural integrity. Mirroring the beauty of its outdoor environment, this Twin River’s gem is a flawless example of mountain living. Windows sprawl across almost every wall, and there is no need for curtains or blinds due to the surrounding thick forest that keeps the lot private and tucked away. However, the trees still allow views of nearby mountain ranges, and the brilliant autumn leaves of the High Country are nothing less than picturesque once the seasons start to change. Through the foyer, the open main floor boasts a full, wellequipped kitchen and a cozy dining room and study, all situated around an ample, warm, great room. Granite countertops create smooth lines all the way from the covered cooking range to the elevated eat-in bar, and custom lighting fixtures cast a friendly glow over throughout the common area. Right off of the main 102 •

living area, the master bedroom suite offers plenty of room for retreat. Lofty, beamed ceilings frame the large stone fireplace, and a private deck is just three steps away from getting out of bed. Perhaps one of the most unique and interesting features of the house, the master bathroom was designed to be precisely bisymmetrical, as if one could draw a line down the middle and each side would mirror the other perfectly. His-and-hers sinks are separated by a free floating mirror hung on a custom wooden hinges, creating a subtle barrier between the two sides of the room. An expansive walk-in shower and soaking tub also add to the character and luxury of the bathroom. Moving up the post and beam stairway, it becomes clear that the utmost attention has been paid to every detail of this home. No two locus pickets that line the stairway are alike, and the slight open space between each step makes one feel as if they are climbing up to an inviting loft. A common seating area is positioned next to a balcony open to the great room below, and the flat screen television mounted on the nearby fireplace allows space to relax and enjoy shows without being amidst the busier

downstairs. Three bedrooms sit just off the stair landing, serving as retreats for either guests or the children of the Jasper family. A balcony exclusive to two side-by-side bedrooms displays the same locus pickets as seen in the main stairway, yet a shingled knee-wall was added for extra security and safety on the second floor. Complete with a full laundry and guest room, the top floor may be entirely selfsufficient if its occupants so choose, adding to the appeal of this roomy vacation space. The bottom floor is a level of multiple uses, from a full guest quarters efficiency to space for a future workshop. The two car garage is large enough to not only shelter vehicles, but to offer space for organization and utility needs as well. A mechanical room and mudroom area are centrally located on the floor, and plenty of room has been set aside to someday create a space for outdoor equipment such as the family’s fishing materials. As to not let anything go to waste, custom furniture has been built with the wood left-over from construction that corresponds fluidly with the visual effect of the house. Back on the main floor, one last feature of the house sits comfortably above the garage. Across a

“Crafted to reflect the rich landscape that surrounds, each private lot in Twin Rivers is full of thick, secluding foliage. The Jasper home is no exception.” •103

“It is clear to see that each element of this house was given specific individual consideration, making this project more than a vacation destination and ultimately, a true home.”

covered walkway off the kitchen, the “man cave” is an entertaining and leisure room designed specifically for socialization and enjoyment. With radiant heated floors, a stone fireplace with column features, and nothing but windows on each of the four walls, this space exhibits the comfort and relaxation of true mountain living. Fully outfitted with a poker table and copious seating, a pool table will soon complete the area, making it an ideal destination for the men of the mountain to retreat and unwind. Although the home was designed to exude a sense of austerity, its rustic “cabin” appeal does not make it appear dated or unlivable in the least. On the contrary, the house welcomes those who come to visit with the sense of a perfect lived-in feel. This home truly exemplifies the concept of designing a house for a homeowner, and not a builder. It is clear to see that each element of this house was given specific individual consideration, making this project more than a vacation destination and ultimately, a true home. Taking the area into consideration, the Twin Rivers community is a premier trout fishing resort, with plenty of private stream area for residents to fly fish and enjoy. Pairing such a magnificent home with flawless natural surroundings proves to be a match made in Blue Ridge heaven when it comes to this mountain getaway.

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Peaceful Living A

Firethornâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 160 acre community between Boone and Blowing Rock is something to behold.

day of peaceful living at Firethorn could begin with a walk down a pebbled trail along a pristine creek, segue into an afternoon of trout fishing in the middle fork of the New River, and end with a friendly conversation while sitting by an outdoor fire. And all of this can be done without leaving your neighborhood.

106 â&#x20AC;˘

by Jim Lester

Firethorn is a 160 acre community nestled between Blowing Rock and Boone that boasts some of the most picturesque home sites ever offered in the High Country. With majestic views of Grandfather, Flat Top Mountain, and Aho Gap, it is the premier neighborhood of the area. Within the residential area, one is surrounded by a bevy of weathersculpted rocks, towering groves of trees, meandering green space, a clubhouse, and several walking trails

This remarkably inspired project is a result of the combined efforts of two local development teams—brothers Joe and Bob Todd and the husband-wife team of Jim and Phyllis Lester. They have been developing High Country properties for years, as the Todds developed Sorrento Forest and the Lesters developed Timber Creek in recent years. Jim Lester calls the properties in Firethorn a “well kept secret.” Only a mile and a half north of Blowing Rock, off Highway 321 on Roaring River Drive, is the entrance to the community of Firethorn. There are neither billboards nor flashing signs, only a peaceful, serene entrance beckoning you home. There are only 96 home sites in the neighborhood and each site is between one and three acres. 108 •

Blowing Rock is just a charming village with a great school, wonderful restaurants, and many cultural amenities,” said Joe Todd. “And you are right here, not thirty minutes away.” Being this close to town belies the fact that when you are in Firethorn, you are where the outdoors truly comes to life. The rolling hills, open meadows, and dense forests reflect a reverence to nature that developers hold close to their hearts. “We want it to be a place that reflects our commitment as stewards of the property, so that it will always remain this way,” said Jim Lester. Turn into the neighborhood and the gatehouse with its bark, stone, and beamed construction sets the tone as it calls you to see what lies ahead. A portion of the middle fork of the New River gently flows through the front of the

property and the shade from a canopy of towering hardwoods makes it feel secluded from nearby towns. In the earlier days, the Old Goforth Road once bisected the property, a lane that many folks in horsedrawn wagons used to traverse between Boone and Blowing Rock. These days it isn’t a surprise to see fawns resting in the high grass, a gaggle of turkeys traipsing past, or an occasional silver fox slipping by. These elements won’t be replaced. The owners want the acreage to keep its natural allure and the homes to become one with the landscape. “We have come a long way since we hiked this property in its native state, climbing on hand and knee just to get through the thick undergrowth,” said Bob Todd, “and we are excited about how it has all come together.” These days there is no need to crawl through the underbrush; extensive gravel hiking trails have been carefully 110 •

placed alongside pristine creeks with the occasional small brook trout darting in the water. The property backs up to National Park Service lands that will be continually preserved in their natural state. Fly fishing in the river, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, and waterfalls flowing into a stocked trout pond are also on site to be enjoyed by the property owners. The use of natural building materials is evident throughout the development and will be seen in all future construction as well. “This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it has to be done correctly for the benefit of future generations,” states Joe Todd. Firethorn is full of contrasts: it evokes the past with its glorious mountains and towering hardwoods, yet it is also a tasteful testament to modern mountain living.

Out House of the

This section is dedicated to showcasing all the reasons why people choose to build beautiful homes in the High Country. “Out Of The House” is your seasonal guide to exploring the wonderful and unique places this area has to offer.

The World’s Largest Scavenger Hunt


By Katie Strasser

here are more than 12,000 within 100 miles of Boone, the Heart of the High Country. They can be found at Tweetsie Railroad, Linville River, and even on Grandfather Mountain. Hidden objects lay where one may never notice, even in broad daylight. It’s the world’s largest scavenger hunt, and it’s called Geocaching. Geocaching (pronounced “geo-cashing”) first emerged in 2000, originally coined by Matt Stum as the “GPS Stash Hunt.” Completely free, it’s a recreational hunt that can be done in just about any location, especially in the United States. Searching must be done inconspicuously and leads participants through parking lots, parks, and forests. Geocaching’s essential goal is simple: use coordinates and a GPS to hunt out hidden “caches” all over earth. The concept seems generally easy as you are provided with specific coordinates to plug into a GPS system. However, these coordinates do not always guarantee a straight shot to the destination. There may be obstacles along the terrain where the cache is positioned, making it harder to pinpoint the exact location of an object. Most entries of coordinates include clever clues or hints as to the relative placement of a cache and perhaps its size. While many newcomers may believe that they are actually searching for a reward or item of worth, this is not completely accurate. A traditional cache as described on is “at a bare minimum, a container and a log book. Normally you’ll find a Tupperware container, ammo box, or bucket filled with goodies, or smaller container (“micro cache”) too small to contain items except for a log book.” In my personal experience with Geocaching, I’ve encountered everything from miniscule magnets stuck to the back of road signs to a bison tube suspended on a thread of fishing line over a freeway (accessible only from a pedestrian bridge). Even though cache-hunters do not receive anything per say, Geocaching is definitely rewarding. Each new cache found comes with a strong sense of victory followed by a thirst to dis-

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cover more. Upon finding one of the hidden containers, protocol is for one to record their Geocaching username on the provided log. The hobby is incredibly dynamic, as it can be done solo or as a family expedition. You’ll find that there is an entire “caching community” online that organizes events, discusses chances, and maintain all of the logging upkeep required. Although this particular activity is still on the rise and is yet to be widely recognized, caches exist in every region of the country. Whenever you may find yourself with a GPS and some free time, try saving a couple coordinates to some close-by caches (easily found online) and explore your city while participating in a worldwide hunt. While there are only so many caches in one immediate area, trying out Geocaching in a new city or on vacation is a great way to find aspects of the High Country that you may have otherwise overlooked. Happy hunting! In order to access coordinates on the official Geocaching website, you’ll need to create an account (easy and spam-free). But if you’re interested in just giving it a try, here are some near-by caches to get you started: -Drain Monster #9…I got Yoself: N 36˚ 13.476 W 081˚ 38.901 -A Walk in the “Park” : N 36˚ 13.046 W 081˚ 41.083 -Welcome to App State! : N 36˚ 12.760 W 081˚ 40.562 For more information:

Cool Summer Stuff To Do

Horn in the West

Dilley Const.

The Nation’s Oldest Revolutionary War Era Outdoor Drama

June 18- August 14, 2010 Tuesday-Sunday

at the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre Gates open at 7:30pm with Curtain at 8:00pm

Dan’l Boone Inn Dinner

Served on the grounds 6:30pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturday

Hickory Ridge Homestead Step into the past with our living history museum Open Tuesday-Sunday 5-8pm

For more information and reservations

Call 828-264-2120 Or visit us online at

Va mag ad1.indd 1

5/21/2010 6:28:00 PM • 115

Spivey Construction


ProductsYou NeedSummer2010 Pottery Steamer by Bob Meier Find it at: Doe Ridge Pottery 585 West King Street Suite D Boone, NC 28607 828 264-1127

John Littleton and Kate Vogel “Acro Bags” – blown glass Find it at: Carlton Gallery 828-963-4288 10360 NC Highway 105 S # 2 Banner Elk, NC 28604-6623

Vessel sink atop a concrete pedestal table by New River Concrete Countertops Find it at: New River Concrete Countertops Melesco Builders, Inc. 204 East Main St. Independence, VA 24348 Ph: 276-768-8225 Ph. 276-773-3175

Products You Need

21” Tall Custom Pottery Vase by Bob Meier

Big Green Egg “The World’s Best Smoker and Grill”

Garage Vac Find it at: A1 Vacuum Solutions (828) 264-1515

Find it at: Doe Ridge Pottery 585 West King Street Suite D Boone, NC 28607 828 264-1127

Find it at: Superior Spas “Your Backyard Specialist” 828-963-6624 4090 Hwy 105 South, Boone, NC

Stony Brooke Sofa Table

Connelly Billiards Pool Tables Hickory Azteca

Find it at: Superior Spas “Your Backyard Specialist” 828-963-6624 4090 Hwy 105 South, Boone, NC

Made of Reclaimed Barn Wood Individually Hand-Crafted in the U.S.A. Heirloom Quality Custom Sizes and Pieces AvailableFind it at: The Cabin Store 866.610.5647 (toll free)

Barn Wood Telephone Tables

Made of Reclaimed Barn Wood Individually Hand-Crafted in the U.S.A. Add a warm, rustic touch to your home. Find it at: The Cabin Store 866.610.5647 (toll free)

Andrew Braitman – “Little River Cascade” oil on canvas

Find it at: Carlton Gallery 828-963-4288 10360 NC Highway 105 S # 2 Banner Elk, NC 28604-6623

Jacuzzi Hot Tubs J-400 Designer Collection

Find it at: Superior Spas “Your Backyard Specialist” 828-963-6624 4090 Hwy 105 South, Boone, NC

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38” Tall Pottery Table Lamp by Bob Meier Find it at: Doe Ridge Pottery 585 West King Street Suite D Boone, NC 28607 828 264-1127 •119

The Brokerage

“EVERYTHING IN ART” SINCE 1989! • museum grade framing • most extensive frame selection • full line of fine artists’ materials • fine art giclee publishing • local artists’ giclee prints • your photos printed on canvas • digital imaging / custom signs • advertising & corporate id’s • graphic design services • four color offset printing • custom artist cards & stickers • fine art consulting & installation

112 Aldridge Park • HWY 105 South-Foscoe local: 963-PAINT • toll-free: (888)3-GICLEE online: follow “” on Facebook!

120 • • 121

Mountain high Realty

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Final Thoughts

Where is


By Judi Beck

the second in a series…

Home is a multi-dimensional concept.

An unwelcome critter—of some sort—embedded itself underneath my thumbnail while gardening last month. Literally, before I knew it, he’d created a comfy little habitat for himself—a large, red, pulsating universe—that robbed me of sleep and nearly sent me up my bedroom walls before landing in Urgent Care after two hopeless, helpless nights of sleepless frustration. Armed with antibacterial and pain medication, together with the caution of “no tennis” ‘til the swelling subsided, I began my assault on the little guy through a regimen of pill popping and Epsom salt soaks. Almost immediately I began fretting and worrying about the other little critters in my oh-so-human system that were innocent bystanders of this regimen—slain mercilessly by the giant drug “cartel” of Teva with the street name of Cephalexin. Here I was, knowingly contributing to the slaughter of millions of friendly bacteria for the sake of killing one (who admittedly had probably multiplied by this time). Guilt and self-loathing set in. The prescription on the bottle said, “Finish all medication.” Right. Who do they think I am—some sort of homicidal megalomaniac? I don’t think so. I turned to my husband—as any good “wifey” would do. He promptly retrieved his moustache scissors and, without warning, cut an elongated slice out of the tip of my disgustingly pussy thumb. I obligingly howled in mostly imagined pain and protest. He proceeded to force the puss to the surface of my poor obscene appendage—by pressing it between his thumb and middle finger—all the while gripping me like a dog straining on a leash. I know, too much information… My cries of protest presently turned to sighs of relief as the pressure subsided within minutes. I slept like a baby and my worry turned away from my resident critters and toward the impending 124 •

bill from Urgent Care. Employing an Urgent Care doctor before allowing my paint-under-his-fingernail artist husband to “operate” cost a cool $276.00 plus the anguish of killing those sweet little critters that live in a lovingly symbiotic relationship with my digestive system. What kind of a host am I anyway? Selfcentered, for sure. Who or what else were the victims and beneficiaries of my pharmacological folly? Well…I’ve been double-dosing on yogurt to rebuild the friendly bacteria population in my gut—so Stoneyfield might see an up tic in sales. Certainly the medical center was grateful for the two x rays that were taken of my thumb (God knows why)—for I’ve contributed to payment of the new x ray machine. Armed with the new knowledge that I’m not impervious to microscopic invaders, I’ve finally begun to wear gloves while gardening. I couldn’t play tennis for a week so I’m hoping my tennis team missed my athletic contributions—though this may be wishful thinking. It did make a good story if nothing else; “Tennis player sidelined by throbbing thumb.” The drug store appreciated my purchase of three half-gallon containers of Epsom salts—though I realize this was a bit excessive for one little thumb. Finally, my husband’s feeling pretty puffed up—after all, he was the hero of this story. The little intestinal critters and I are both grateful.

But oddly enough—and more poignantly—I’m reminded that I am never, ever alone. My body operates in lovely symbiotic teamwork with millions of hard-working little critters that call me “home,” not just in my gut, but literally everywhere in and around my being. It’s an immense, complex, self-sustaining biofeedback system of which none of “us” can operate productively alone. I’m a pulsating, interrelational, interactive universe unto myself—and that’s enough to make me feel good for today. I am home, after all. •125



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126 •

Resource Index A Flooring Outlet.......................62 A1 Vacuum Solutions.................70 Aldous Construction....................5 APP And Associates..................26 App Custom Builders................30 App Manufactured Stone...........78 Art Cellar................................... 58 Art Purveyors ..........................120 AS Construction ........................25 Baxter Norris Construction..... 125 Blue Mountain Metalworks........13 Brian Rogers – BRIP............... 120 Burchell Construction................31 Capehart And Washburn ............23 Carlton Gallery ..........................59 Carrington Design .....................12 Classic Stoneworks ...................47 Closet Design Center................. 57 Covey Hollar............................. 55 Creekside Electronics ...............65 Critcher’s Auto Parts .................33 Custom Mica & Woodworks......51 Designs In Wood........................52 Dilley Construction .................115 Distinctive Kitchens & Baths.......2 Docs Gem Mine ........................65 Doe Ridge Pottery....................... 9 Doug McGuire Construction......15 Dougnet........................................5 Fine Home Builders.....................5 Firethorn.................................... 11 Foscoe Fishing Company ........114 Gamekeeper ..............................39 GHI ...........................................26 Glidewell’s ................................39 H & H Drywall ........................120 H & H Drywall........................ 123 Harry Stroud Roofing ...............47 Hawk Mountain Garden.,..........44 Headwaters Enterprises................6 Heather Buchanan Electric ......123 Heritage Propane .......................75 High Country Cabinets ..............16 High Country Renovators .........63 Horn In The West ....................114 Hunter’s Tree Service............... 44 Kevin Beck Studio ....................61 Knox Group............................ 120 Lehmann Construction............. 48 Logs America ............................80 Main Street Discount ...............123 Mastercraft ................................77 McGuire’s Grading ..................120 McKee Tree Service ..................46 Mike Smith Builders ...............128 Miters Touch............................... 4 Mountain Heritage Systems ......76 Mountain High Realty ............122 Mountaineer Garage Doors .......23

NRConcrete Countertops........... 7 New River Tire Center.............. 33 Oak Hill Iron .............................60 Orkin .........................................44 Orkin............................................4 Outdoor Lighting Perspect.......126 Precision Cabinets.................... 68 Randy Blake Carpentry ............13 Restaurant G .............................39 Retractable Screens Of WNC... 69 Rocky........................................ 40 Roof Master ............................120 Skybest........................................1 Spivey Construction ...............116 Sugar Top Resort Sales........... 113 Superior Spas ...........................45 Tatum Galleries .........................55 The Cabin Store ........................21 The Country Gourmet............... 51 Tom Eggers Construction......... 19 Twin Rivers ...............................14 Walker And Divenere ...............13 Wallace Propane .......................71 Wolf Creek Traders................... 67 Xtreme Construction....................5

Tracy A Lunceford Construction North Carolina Residential License

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High Country Home Magazine Summer 2010  
High Country Home Magazine Summer 2010  

High Country Home Magazine Summer 2010