Step Inside a Mountain Home with Modern Touches, a Neutral Palette, and Organic Textures

An Atlanta family’s Highlands, North Carolina, retreat is decked out in details that honor the landscape, from beautiful stonework to a nature-inspired color scheme.

“When you go to Highlands, it feels like you leave your cares down at the bottom of the mountain,” says designer Beth Meyer of Beth Meyer Design. That sense of serenity is what Meyer and lead architect Frances Zook of Frances Zook Architect capture in an Atlanta-area family’s retreat set in the mountains of Highlands, North Carolina.

Rooted in the region for generations, the family of outdoor lovers and golfers envisioned a mountain house with modern touches that would honor and connect with the landscape they love. Zook prioritized framing the stunning vistas of Satulah Mountain, visible from the home’s facade, from as many vantages as possible, and she embraced the challenge of crafting outdoor living spaces on the considerably sloped lot. Broad windows, a balcony off the primary bedroom, and an expansive stone patio built up to flow from living spaces on the main floor encourage reveling in the restorative climate with ease.

Inside, Meyer and Zook created a bevy of what Zook calls “curl-up spaces” that are welcoming and organic. Sofas in a relaxed, moss green linen inspire camaraderie around the limestone fireplace in the living room, where Meyer and her client cut an antique French dining table down to coffee table height to fill out the large space. A majestic painting of an elk by artist Jared W. Knox holds court above an antique French seamstress table topped with turned candlesticks, French linen baskets, and oversize ginger jar lamps found by Meyer and her client, who embarked on many shopping trips together to procure treasures for the home. “She enjoys the process, she enjoys the hunt,” says Meyer of her client’s love of design.

Rooms are sophisticated without being overtly grand thanks to reclaimed-wood beams and textured surfaces like Tennessee fieldstone, wood paneling, and plaster that impart a rustic coziness and pay homage to the great outdoors. The sunroom is wrapped in stone, but softened by expansive vistas of the mountains and long custom sofas that afford everyone a perch with a view.

The gracious aura continues in the dining room, where a round table encircled by skirted armchairs in performance fabric invites guests to linger in front of the raised fireplace with native-stone surround. A wall of folding doors opens to a covered sitting porch with a grill, creating an indoor-outdoor haven that is ideal for entertaining.

The kitchen exemplifies the homeowners’ affinity for clean lines and serene colors. The star of the space is the view of the mountains over the farmhouse sink, says Meyer, who worked with Keri Perry at The Designery to configure the kitchen.

And while the homeowners desired a wealth of places to gather together, peaceful spaces to recharge were also essential. Five of the six bedrooms boast king-size beds, and all are outfitted with en suite bathrooms for guest comfort. The owners’ suite showcases their love of neutral hues, subdued pattern, and what Meyer calls a “relaxed elegance.” With a subtle botanical print that draws the eye toward the windows and the mountains beyond, serenity feels within reach here.

INTERIOR DESIGN Beth Meyer, Beth Meyer Design, ARCHITECT Frances Zook, Frances Zook Architect, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT CMLA, (404)467-1690; LANDSCAPE DESIGN Sitework Studios, (828) 225-4945; BUILDER JW Underwood Construction, (828) 371-2777;