A drive in the mountains often takes us through interesting twists and turns. A long view over the valley and the next range, a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint, or an explosion of autumn reds and oranges are all just around the bend. But these surprises are hoped for, expected. Sometimes a drive through the mountains brings something unlooked for -- inspiration. In our story, a house around the bend in a North Carolina road is the instigator, a first step in journey for our homeowners. This isn't just anyone's story, it's Ben and his family's, and it's not just another remodel. This is a design and build from the ground up. We are so pleased to share their story with you.
While on vacation, the Kitchen family drove past a quaint cottage near the center of town that caught their eye. The Royal and Louise Morrow House stands just off Main Street in Brevard. And while many of us may have had the experience of seeing a beautiful old home and relishing in its setting, its quaintness, its uniqueness, Ben and Stephanie began a different conversation.
"If we ever built a home," they said, "we would base it on this home."
They even snapped a few pictures. When they arrived back in Atlanta, they continued to talk and dream about the possibilities of designing their own home. . . one day.
That day came sooner than they expected, when an opportunity to purchase some land in Forsyth County fell into their laps. Not only did God providentially bring this land to them, it was the perfect setting for the Craftsman home they had been designing for their future. Ben consulted with the architect and some sketches and blueprints emerged. The plans retained the side gable, the three-bay dormer, and the central front door with entrance porch (now turned vestibule).
On another trip to the area later in the year, Ben and a friend decided to stop by the historic home and see if they might find out more about the home and its history (and get a peek at the inside!).
The owners Mac and Veronica were gracious and welcoming. Mac's grandfather Royal Morrow had built the cottage in 1915 reusing stone from the burned-down Hume Hotel, a property also owned by the Morrow family. Transylvania County considers the historic property, built from a William Stickley house plan, to be the oldest stone cottage in the county. Mac and Veronica opened up their home to Ben and later, he returned with the entire family for an engaging tour through the home, furnished with many original pieces from the J.J. Elliott Grandfather clock built in 1892, the Spode dishes stored in the built-in kitchen cabinet, to first edition copies of a Dickens novel collected by Royal and Louise still in their library.
More than a year later, with many steps taken on this interesting journey, Ben and Stephanie are grateful for the house that started them on the first step -- dreaming about the possibilities. Their inspiration is rooted in the history of the mountains, and lives from the past and the present. Do not despise the day of small beginnings - a drive through the mountains that led to groundbreaking in our own Georgia red-clay.
We can't wait to share a true behind the scenes view of a true ground-up project.
Interested in your own ground-up project? Let's talk!