Alleghany County, North Carolina

The North Carolina piedmont and mountains have a rich and vital tradition of crafts and artisans. The clients for this residence wanted to feature the work of these local artisans in their mountain retreat, which is located amid farms and orchards in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For the architecture, Acanthus chose a simple, farm vernacular—clapboard walls under a zinc roof—that is in peaceful harmony with the surrounding environment and allows the craft pieces and interior elements created by local artisans to be highlighted.

The house is composed of two distinct volumes. The first is a two-story farmhouse that is visible from the road and deliberately attracts no special attention. This contains bedrooms and a small parlor.

The second volume is a one and one-half story wing that projects at an obtuse angle with its central axis and main window aimed at Bull Head Mountain in the distance. While the road side of this wing is closed and quiet, the large volume within, which contains kitchen, living and dining spaces, allows entertaining on a grand scale and opens generously onto the porches, landscape, and views beyond.

It is principally in this large open space that the artisans were hired to create cabinetry, balcony railings, furniture, paintings and sculpture. One also developed a whimsical slatted column for the posts of the porch that extends the full length of the rear/garden side of the house.

General Contractor: Saddler Construction Co. Structural Engineer: Engineered Concepts Photography: Neuhauser Photography