The retreat sirs high on a bluff overlooking Norris Lake. However, the owners did not want to call attention to the house and interrupt the natural view one would have upon looking up from the lake. Rather than stone, the owners chose a weathered gray-green horizontal cedar lap siding.
“We didn t want the home to stick up out of the rock, Johnson comments. “The owners wanted it to feel like it had grown out of the hillside.” Johnson designed a meandering driveway that opens to the vacation home site. At the end of the drive, the place reveals itself, low and almost hovering over the ground.
The owners wanted windows hinged at the top that could bo opened outward by a pulley and a rope.
Johnson is keen on melding his designs wirh narure. His use of low-profile decks on this retreat, no more than a foot or two off the soil, helps blend it into the landscape. The roof has a modest pitch with extra-wide overhangs that do away with the need for gutters and downspouts. Rain chains and catch basins are utilized at certain points around the structure.
Kreis Beall of Blackberry Farm Design in Walland, Tennessee, lent her expertise to the interior design. The renowned furniture market in High Point, North Carolina, was close enough for a trip, and Beall accompanied the homeowners to check out the possibilities. They chose hickory furniture and rough textures in contrast to the family’s
The owners chose hickory furniture and rough textures for a more relaxed atmosphere.
“YOU DO WANT YOUR GUESTS TO FEEL LIKE FAMILY.”
Year-round home. “You don’t want your second home to look like your first home,” Beall says.
“You want it to live the way you live on vacation.
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Hooks occasionally take the place of closets. Heavily grained hickory tops the breakfast-har island in the kitchen, and the countertops along the walls are heart pine. To add color to the rooms awash in sunlight, Beall layered in quilts collected by the homeowners, braided rugs to tie in the colors, and deeply textured fabrics. The cabin wras built several years ago, yet the decor remains timeless. Beall shied away from trendy design features and deliberately chose classic patterns and soft, warm colors that would not need periodic updating.
Beall balanced style with comfort and focused on low-maintenance living that wouldn’t be rattled by kids and dogs. “You don’t want your family to feel like guests,” Beall says. “And you do want your guests to feel like family.” I
The cabin has an open-rafter ceiling and no interior walls from one end to the other. Twelve-foot hand-hewn Douglas fir timbers compose a center spine that divides the space.
While cabins can be situated in the woods or the mountains, for many people the quintessential cabin is located on the water.
Unlike most folks, though. Rich and Marla Thomas interpret “on the water’’ literally. Their oasis actually floats. Every window ofFers stellar lake views, and the waters edge is just a few steps right out the door. Its wraparound deck doubles as a dock; along with the requisite outdoor furniture are mooring cleats and a water slide for daughter Katelyn.
The Thomases belong to a unique floating community at Stardust Marina and Resort on Norris Lake, Tennessee.