Written in Stone

Inspired by an English Manor, a stone-walled Cashiers home overlooking the mountains offers an idyllic getaway for a gracious Atlanta family

ENAMORED BY THE IDEAL summer weather and recreational activities in Cashiers, North Carolina, an Atlanta couple asked architect Ryan Duffey to design a retreat for themselves and future generations. Constructed with time-tested materials such as granite, slate and copper, the English Manor-style home he created looks as if it might have stood there for decades. “[The materials] have a classic look and feel, and they will weather well,” he says.

Low, curved stone walls define the verdant courtyard, creating a welcoming first impression. Surrounded by a wall of glass, the front door opens to a long loggia with bluestone flooring that connects the two sides of the home.

An arch separates the loggia from the great room, mirroring the glass doors that sit opposite of it. Simply slide those doors into the wall, and the space is completely open to the exterior, where a flagstone patio overlooks a golf course and the rolling mountains in the distance. “Nothing is in your way,” says Duffey.

Interior designer Francie Hargrove collaborated closely with Duffey on the interior finishes, weighing in on the cabinetry design throughout and the decision to slather the stone fireplaces with a chalky coating that complements the Venetian plaster walls. “What made this project so outstanding and unusual is the marriage of the stone with soft materials,” she says, pointing to the barrel ceilings and plush furnishings.

Linen sheers with a hint of cashmere, for example, soften the metal windows in the loggia, which she furnished with dining chairs slipcovered in vegan leather and a pair of textural hair-on-hide benches—a color and material palette that flows throughout the interior. “The repetition of materials and textures makes the house feel so good,” says Hargrove.

Indeed, the light oak cabinetry in the open kitchen coordinates with the three-quarter-high wall paneling in the living area, where a pair of plush linen velvet sofas face each other in front of the fireplace. Adding a subtle texture that elevates the design, the hair-on-hide fabric can also be found throughout, showing up on the ottomans in the covered porch and on furnishings in the guest bedrooms.

A departure from the neutral palette in the main living areas, lilac draperies distinguish the primary bedroom suite—a nod to the wife’s favorite color. And the adult son’s bedroom is clad with shiplap paneling painted in a rich navy hue accented by sumptuous fabrics, such as caramel-color suede pillows.

Exemplifying the generational family retreat they envisioned, the owners are overjoyed with the result. “It’s an elegant, casual, family-friendly, cheerful environment,” says Hargrove.

“They always say that this house turned out beyond their wildest dreams,” adds Duffey. “They have a hard time leaving.”  

INTERIOR DESIGN Francie Hargrove, Francie Hargrove Interior Design, (828) 743-1700; franciehargrove.com ARCHITECT J. Ryan Duffey Architect, (404) 816-2325; jryanduffey.com LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Planters, (404) 261-6002; plantersgarden.com cabinetry Marcel Olariu, Kingdom Woodworks; kingdomwoodworks.com CONTRACTOR Sadlon and Associates, (828) 349-0400; sadlonandassociates.com