Mountain Modern: A Dramatic Timber Home

An Atlanta man returns to the mountains of North Carolina to build his dream home.

Photo by James Ray Spahn

Jack Fisher believes you can go home again. The Atlanta-based developer scoffs at author Thomas Wolfe's famous mantra when he considers the home and community he built amid the old forests and ridges of North Carolina's Grassland Mountain. "I grew up in the area," Jack says of the gorgeous setting just minutes from Asheville, "and my mother and sister still live nearby. We've been in the area for three generations."
Jack's 4,000-square-foot house is part of The Preserve at Little Pine, a low-density 1,800-acre development he created, which is protected by a conservation easement. Even before it was built, the Arts and Crafts-style home was destined for fame. Three years ago, Southern Accents magazine chose The Preserve at Little Pine as its 2005 Showcase Community. Which meant Jack had less than a year to build a picture-perfect house.

What a View

Dramatic views called for a dramatic house, but its unusual arches proved a bit tricky. "The joinery for the home was challenging, because we wanted the trusses to have traditional mortise-and-tenon joints," says Dan Kiser, senior designer at timber provider Harmony Exchange. The house's grand Douglas fir arches are 8 by 20 feet, and one massive timber in the great room measures 12 by 12 feet.
Jack hired Asheville designer Ron Clemmer of Fireside Interiors to get the house ready for its close-up. Smitten by the view, Ron chose muted earth tones for most of the upholstery, going for what he calls an understated "organic" look. Since North Carolina is known for its artists, Ron peppered the house with handmade side tables, pottery, tapestries and paintings, all by local artists.
By May 2005, the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom house was completed. Deadline over, Jack's team had a party that was as successful as the house itself. "The house flows very well," Jack says. "It's great for entertaining; that's why I like it. It's a unique place, a contemporary mountain home that evokes an emotional response."