Take a deep breath of cool air, and enjoy a tour of Whisper Creek Cottage―our mountainside retreat just outside of Asheville, North Carolina.
Whisper Creek Cottage feels as if it is rooted to the land it sits on. But in reality, the modular home (built by Haven Homes and designed by Allison Ramsey Architects ), was delivered on trucks and finished on site. The design team carefully replicated the look of cabins and houses across the Carolina mountain chain.
Live Off the Land
Natural materials, such as poplar bark, locust tree columns, and salvaged barn roofing, add to the indigenous look. North Carolina HealthyBuilt Homes certification means it's just as environmentally friendly as it looks.
A little bit English country, a touch primitive, and very woodsy cottage, the home opens into the great room that stretches the width of the house and encompasses the kitchen and living room. In this living area, hide-and-hair upholstered furniture gather around a reclaimed wood fireplace.
An original oil painting of a golden retriever hangs above the mantel. "This house needs a dog like that," says designer Steve Chambliss. Plaid draperies recall the comforts of a favorite plaid shirt, and Tiffany lamps enhance the cozy mountain mood.
Kitchen cabinetry, delivered as part of the modular home system, wraps one side of the great room. The granite-topped island suits casual meals and serves as a buffet for larger gatherings.
"It's a big kitchen for a small house," says the designer. One wall holds a custom-built hutch. "It breaks up the expanse of cabinetry and adds another layer to the room," he adds.
Allison Ramsey Architects designed a wall of library shelves in the dining room to enhance the cozy cabin feel and offer homeowners the option of converting the space to an office. A copper dining table establishes the rustic but elegant tone, and its patina sets the tone for the warm, earthy palette throughout the house.
The path from the front door to the back porch is open, offering a clear view. Outside, Chambliss used rustic furniture―a wagon wheel bench―alongside sophisticated accents such as the trio of hanging lanterns.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Developer Charlie Ball insisted on the use of recycled materials in the cottage. Locust timbers, felled on the property provide support, and tin pulled from an old barn lines the ceiling. Porch banisters, made from rhododendron and mountain laurel branches, add to the organic feel of this North Carolina HealthyBuilt Home, a program that follows a six-page checklist of environmental guidelines.
The Right Stuff
King of the Mountain
Painted black furniture, custom made for Whisper Creek Cottage, suits the sophisticated woodsy feel of the primary bedroom. Maple-finished accents, such as the dresser top and drawer pulls, tie into the leather-trimmed pillows and cow painting in the bath hall. While finishes on furniture are refined, a coffered ceiling showcases the same poplar bark as on the front of the house.
Reclaimed wood frames mirrors in the primary bathroom. Hardware is black, tying into the black-painted furniture in the primary bedroom. A tiled shower was delivered intact, just one of the finishing aspects available with the modular home system.
There's just enough room between the foot of the bed and the far wall for a Shaker-style blanket chest in the guest bedroom. Window treatments are minimal―cornice boards wrapped in layers of chocolate brown fabric and secured with leather belts. Views look out to the valley below.