February 17th, 2011

Designing My Mountain Retreat

Here in Florida, we can get to a beach within an hour’s drive, but we never go. Our affinity for the mountains and the proximity to our families is why we siezed an opportunity to purchase a small piece of land in the North Carolina mountains in the Village of Breakaway. Our friends Steve and Julie Martin tackled this project about 25 miles north of Asheville.

Our property presents a unique set of challenging design parameters or, ahem, opportunities. First, it’s rather small at roughly 35′ x 50′. In addition, within these dimensions there is a one stately tree that we want to work around.  Second, it’s steeply graded. Our program is simple.  It includes a small kitchen and dining open to a great room, one bedroom, a sleeping loft with bunk niches, and a compact office.

This house provides the opportunity to have fun and be playful in its design. We hope to include a tower element similar to what appears on many Seaside homes. Our property is uniquely situated to view the ski slopes and village center as well as down the mountain. The tower will be a great place hang out with family or read a book in solitude.

I plan to interlock both horizontal and vertical volumes for unique ineractive opportunities. Stylistically, I’ll utilize materials complimentary of the surrounding environment and reflective of the charming character of neighboring homes. Please visit www.beefysretreat.com to view one of our neighbors.

Over the last few years, I’ve sketched countless designs for the house. I find ideas scribbled throughout old sketch books and on napkins and the back of receipts. When I have a new idea, I jokingly admit, “I’m working on design number 859 for our mountain house.” Is this normal for me to continue reworking my design? I hope so. We certainly hope this becomes very real to us at some point. Like Seaside homes, we even named it years ago.

Author: Tory Parish