Striking Style

Atlanta architect D. Stanley Dixon and interior designer Heather Dewberry fashion a singular retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

While many turn to the likes of Pinterest and Houzz for interior inspiration when building a new home in this day and age, Ross and Sally Singletary opted for a more instinctive approach when it came to the design of their mountain retreat in Cashiers, North Carolina. They handed over creative license to architect D. Stanley Dixon and interior designer Heather Dewberry; the pair also oversaw the design of the couple’s other homes in Atlanta and Jacksonville.

“Once you’ve worked with a client that many times, there’s an immediate trust,” says Dixon. “It really gives you the freedom to be creative. There’s no second-guessing, just letting you do your job and do it well.”

The Singletarys’ main directive? To show them something they hadn’t seen before.

As soon as you step inside this newly built home, it becomes apparent that Dixon and Dewberry did not fail to deliver something extraordinary. Visitors are greeted with a gallery-like foyer that features a pair of paned interior windows that offer views into the sunken living room, effectively setting the tone for the home’s unique charms. Underfoot, a graphic and vivid blue David Hicks–inspired rug—smartly juxtaposed against warm-white shiplap walls—also hints that this is no ordinary mountain getaway.

The mix of traditional and whimsical is a common thread throughout the home, where bold, saturated colors and vibrant wallpapers hold court next to classic lines and silhouettes. “We wanted people to be surprised when they walked through the front door,” says Dewberry. “While the Singletarys have a lot of their own personality and flair, they were willing to take exciting design risks and were very open to more striking combinations.”

Case in point: A downstairs vestibule plays up Sally’s love of chinoiserie with a dragon-patterned wallpaper. Rather than simply paint the adjoining walls a complementary color, Dewberry selected a modern wallpaper that not only adds balance but further ups the intrigue. Daring design decisions weren’t reserved for the home’s smallest spaces; the library and even the bedrooms are wrapped in eye-catching color schemes and patterns.

While the home is a testament to creativity, it’s foremost a welcoming retreat where the couple regularly hosts family and friends. One favorite gathering spot is the sunny dining nook where guests can pile into the curved banquette that mimics in size and scale the couple’s favorite booth at a beloved restaurant in Atlanta. “We actually went to the restaurant and took precise dimensions of that booth and its relationship to the table,” recalls Dixon. “It’s a spot that’s held many fond memories for them and their family, and we wanted to re-create that here.” Covered in a fresh yellow leather, the nostalgic nook faces a floor-to-ceiling steel window with stunning mountain views.

“It’s very fun to design for Sally and Ross, as they appreciate detail and originality,” says Dewberry. “They added so much of their art and family antiques to the mix once we provided the colorful backdrop. They trusted that it was going to be great and going to be different.” Mission certainly accomplished.

INTERIOR DESIGN Heather Dewberry, Huff-Dewberry Inc., (404) 355-7600; ARCHITECT D. Stanley Dixon, D. Stanley Dixon Architect, Inc., (404) 574-1430;