Gulf coast interior designer Melanie Martin is well known for her work throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond, but her reach extends well beyond the beaches to the mountains of North Carolina. Her signature style, combining natural, organic materials juxtaposed with sleek contemporary pieces and bright pops of strong color, shows throughout the spacious family home she created from the ground up some seven years ago. “We have loved this house,” she says. “It’s a great family getaway, perched on a mountaintop overlooking Lake Fontana, high above the renowned Nantahala Outdoor Center. We will miss this very special place and we will take amazing memories with us as we move on to another mountain home, and a new set of memories.” Orange Beach architect Stedmann B. McCullough designed the home, with input from Martin, who says, “Sted was and is amazing! We work well together, as this home demonstrates, and we have become very good friends as we continue to work together on many projects.”
The elegant, welcoming home boasts incredible connectivity with the outdoors, with nearly 360-degree views of the beauty that surrounds it. “We installed French doors, with interior screen doors, all along the west side of the house for unobstructed views of the mountains and the glorious sunsets. On the east side, we have an expanse of retractable doors, so the house can be totally open to the outdoors,” she says. “We have the best of both worlds!” The home, which is on 2.3 acres, faces west, and the front yard boasts a stone fire pit and an oval swimming pool with a stone surround. Inside the doors is a spacious open living area with soaring natural wood ceilings, wide white plank walls, native stone, and dramatic pops of brilliant red in textiles and artwork.
The dining portion of the great room is centered by a ten-foot table that Martin had acquired years before and saved for just the right spot. She found the spot here in the mountain house and took full advantage of the opportunity. “Sometimes I just don’t want to hang anything from the ceiling,” Martin says, “and this was one of those times. Instead, I used some very spare, modern lamps on the table, tall enough not to impede sight lines, and wired them right through the table – no cords, no visibility issues.” She also flanked the sleek long table with chairs on one side and two dramatic, bright red upholstered benches on the other. The gourmet kitchen, with its sleek industrial lines and glossy finishes, provides great contrast to the organic wood and stone featured elsewhere in the room. The well-equipped wet bar serves the entire living area from space near the kitchen but also adjacent to the master suite.
The master suite is amazingly open – to the great room, to the porches on both sides of the home, to the great outdoors. The master bath contains a deep soaking tub, an oversize walk-in shower, and an expansive vanity area with a long stone counter punctuated by a unique wooden sink. “I found this hand-hewn dough bowl years ago,” says Martin, “and I saved it for something special. This surely fills the bill.” Laundry facilities and ample closet and storage space are nearby, making the room truly an oasis and a refuge. Completing the main level of the home is a well-equipped guest site that has its own bath and access to the outdoors.
The home’s lower level is geared to handle house guests, focusing largely on Martin’s family and particularly her three granddaughters, who are now all teenagers. “We built the bunk room with them in mind, and it contains three sets of bunks, all brightly outfitted with colorful florals and set off by bright geometric rugs and whimsical artwork. Plus, there is ample room for games and books, a bathroom that can handle a crowd, and access to the porch,” she notes. Another room on this level can be used as an office, a media room, or an additional guest room.
Melanie Martin has put a great deal of her talents and energy and expertise into this showplace family retreat and is now in the process of selling it and moving on to another mountain project. Additional information on the home is below.
Sotheby’s International Realty
10 Brook Street
Asheville NC 28803
24820 Canal Road
Orange Beach AL 36561