Set in Stone

Combining contemporary and rustic influences, a sprawling new residence by FRANCES ZOOK ARCHITECT and CAROLYN MALONE is a stylish gathering spot for family and friends

Walking the property for the first time, architect Frances Flautt Zook knew it was something special—hilly, forested and with enough lakefront acreage to build a home right on the water. 

Her clients had been vacationing there for a few years in a house that once stood on the site. When their children left the nest, they assembled an accomplished team that included Zook, interior designer Carolyn Malone and Charles Moore Builders to build a new retreat for their next chapter. 

The resulting masterpiece features exposed stone walls, dark siding and a cedar shake roof. Columns made from local locust trees hold up the front porch, where a tall steel-framed glass door highlights a breathtaking view of the lake through the living room windows. “The house is all about the lake, so it was important to capture that moment,” explains Zook. “A lake view is relaxing, even more so during a pandemic.”

Besides, the cross breezes are out of this world, the architect adds, noting that there are few bothersome insects at Lake Burton. The black metal window frames juxtapose the living room’s rough-hewn stone walls and reclaimed ceiling beams. “The idea is that this was an old house with modern additions,” says Zook. 

The furnishings also lean in a more modern direction, such as the channel-tufted leather sofa in the living room. And just across the threshold in the bright and airy kitchen, a quartet of linen-covered chairs surround a vintage bench in front of an ultracontemporary white fireplace mantel flanked with steel-lined firewood containers. 

Clad with the same textural plaster as the walls, the minimalist range hood likewise speaks in a modern dialect, contrasting the natural white oak plank cabinetry and concrete countertops. “The plaster changes color throughout the day, and that variation is really interesting,” says Malone, comparing it to the stone walls. “It feels thick and sturdy.”

The quiet palette flows into the first-floor master bedroom, where a dark gray four-poster bed gently contrasts the light shiplap walls. Providing soft illumination, an oversize paper lantern by Noguchi calls attention to the high wood-beamed ceilings. “It felt natural and comfortable,” says Malone.

As did the project itself, coming together little by little over time until every detail was perfect. Shortly after the owners finally saw the outcome, they phoned the designers to express their appreciation. “They loved the house,” says Malone. “It means so much when a client tells you that.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Carolyn Malone and Nona Pappas, Carolyn Malone Antiques and Interiors, (404) 264-9509; ARCHITECT Frances Flautt Zook, Frances Zook Architect; BUILDER Charles Moore Builders, (706) 490-2098