Lake Effect

Architect Tim Adams and interior designer Coley Cuttino join forces to fashion a relaxing retreat on Lake Burton

When an Atlanta couple’s charming cottage on Lake Burton began to feel too cramped for their growing brood, they made the difficult decision to tear it down and build a larger house, forgoing two summers there in the process. Designed by architect Tim Adams and interior designer Coley Cuttino, the result is a far more spacious stone-and-shingle dwelling. “This house pulls you in,” Adams says. “I gravitate toward a rambling, romantic style.”

 Although the home’s rustic exterior suits its forested lakefront locale, the interior has a more contemporary feel, which is exemplified by a wall of steel-framed windows in the great room, whose lofted ceiling allows light to filter in from the windows on the upper level. “I don’t like dark houses, so I’m always looking for opportunities to pierce spaces with windows,” Adams says.

 The steel windows coordinate with the custom metal hood over the range in the kitchen, which has been outfitted with tall cabinetry in a blue-gray hue and thick black granite countertops with a chiseled edge. The cabinets in the bar and the upstairs morning kitchen are painted in the same hue, as are the doors throughout. “Most of these rooms are open to each other, so repeating the color throughout makes it feel very cohesive and adds a sense of coziness,” Cuttino says.

 Flanked by painted doors with transom windows, a stone fireplace does the same for the open living area, where a sofa and a quartet of matching chairs in neutral fabric surround a large wooden cocktail table. Patterned draperies and complementary accent pillows keep things interesting. “Most of our inspiration images were rooted in a Belgian look,” Cuttino says, pointing to the walnut-stained flooring and plaster walls.

 To maximize the tight buildable footprint, Adams incorporated bay windows and lofted ceilings wherever possible. In the master suite, for example, reclaimed wooden beams frame a cozy bay furnished with a pair of plush chairs. It’s one of the many nooks and crannies that Adams and Cuttino created for the client’s large extended family, including a shiplap-walled bunk room outfitted with double beds. “Shiplap has a subtle texture that’s calming,” Adams explains.

Although the owners missed two summers at the lake, they have more than made up for the lost time. “In the past, it was used mainly as a summer house, but now they use it year-round,” Cuttino says. “It’s unfussy, and they are instantly relaxed as soon as they walk through the door.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Coley Cuttino, Coley Cuttino Interiors;
ARCHITECT Tim Adams, T.S. Adams Studio, Architects, (404) 262-3499;
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Zach Brown, MountainScapes
BUILDER Steve Jones, Steve Jones Construction Inc., (706) 212-2006;