Designing the Ultimate Man Cave at The Coves

man cave designs

The term “man cave” popped up around the mid 1990’s likely from the book ‘Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. A book attempting to define the differences between men and woman which include home designs. It’s hard to disagree with how most women love a gorgeous kitchen far more than a man.

Men dig a well appointed-garage or high-tech entertainment room far more then a woman, space in the home often nicknamed the man cave. Today’s man cave is whatever a man wants it to be. Individual tastes and needs will dictate the form it takes, but in essence it’s a refuge – a place a man can call his own. A place for his Harley, train collection, sports memorabilia or bourbon and cigar bar.

Popular culture may conjure images of sports events on large screen TVs, ultra-comfy lounge chairs and a well-stocked bar, but what if your personal passion is woodworking, car or motorcycle restoration or some other activity that warrants organized tool storage and a dedicated work space?  Fortunately, building a mountain home affords one the opportunity to design and create your tailor-made personal man cave in the natural splendor of the Western North Carolina foothills.

Gated communities near Asheville NC, such as The Coves Mountain River Club, are known for their wide and diverse options for enjoying outdoor activities in year-round mild weather.  Hiking, boating, fishing, golf, exploring and more greatly enhance the lives of our active residents.  But sometimes a man wants to focus on more leisurely pursuits, whether they be hobbies or just pastimes that serve to refresh the mind and spirit.

Some of the best man caves are in finished basements, but they can also be smaller spaces, double garages and even sheds converted for that purpose.  North Carolina mountain homes are as diverse as the people who own them, so let’s explore some options so you can begin to picture your own perfect private space.

If entertainment is the goal, your man cave will need to include audio and video.  When you plan, take into account the requirement for protection from outside noise and light sources.  And larger spaces may require specific lighting choices for multiple uses that might include such games as cards, foosball and pool.

Media room seating should be comfortable and positioned so that everyone in the room can see your video screen.  Sectional sofas are great for smaller environments, but plush recliners are a nice option as well.  Wall-mounted TV works best for creating space.  Go for the biggest affordable screen and perhaps build a movie collection with all the classics.  Surround sound is recommended for full enjoyment of sound effects and to get the best out of your video gaming experience.

If you opt for cabinetry, it should allow easy access to all components while keeping cables and connectors out of sight.   A nice basket is great for organizing remote controls and keeping them close at hand.

Personalizing a man cave can be one of the most enjoyable parts of building a mountain home.  Have we stoked your imagination?  Here are some more ideas:

A bar or general beverage area should have a refrigerator, a good liquor selection, glasses and bar stools.  You can install a ‘kegerator’ near the sitting area for constant beer on tap.  If your fitness regimen warrants a home gym, mirrors, proper flooring and natural light can create a professional atmosphere.

Like other neighborhoods, gated communities near Asheville NC have plenty of devoted sports fans.  So it’s not uncommon to encounter man caves decorated in a team motif with posters and memorabilia.  Whatever design scheme you come up with should reflect your own interests and personality.

And let’s not forget to include a sign at the entrance.  You can get creative with neon lights or mixed wood work to declare that this is a place you can call your own. A sign that clearly proclaims the man cave is essential at its entrance. Use neon lights or mixed wood work to create a sign at the doorway or just inside the room. Add a coat hanger nearby to hold coats or hats. To make a man cave more comfortable, install a huge framed or angular hammock either in a corner or beside a window. Optionally, set giant bean bags randomly around the room for lounging or just pile a bunch of pillows on the floor in a corner.

Take a peek at over a dozen builder floor plans where it’s easy to include your ‘man cave’.

If you’re looking at North Carolina mountain homes for now or in the future, be sure to see our friendly neighborhood in Lenoir.  Nestled on five miles of picturesque Johns River riverfront, we offer ideal access to everything the area has to offer including nearby Wilson Creek.  You’ll never be at a loss for something to do or see or experience.  And we’re convenient to all the shopping, dining, medical and education venues you need to be part of your life.

Our design team can help you create the ideal home that encompasses an ideal man cave and any other special features that will help to make your life here the very best it can be.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine.

Tags: Home Building

Mountain Architecture Ideas – Western North Carolina

Building a mountain home gives you the an incredible opportunity, not only to invest it with your own sense of taste, but to incorporate bold design elements that make the most of your breathtaking surroundings. Typically, that means using natural materials wherever possible, an application MossCreek, a Knoxville Tennessee architectural firm, commonly applies in their designs. Natural materials include stone, timber, metals and glass. By doing so, you can create a unique environment that’s more at one with these elements that richly define your property.  It’s a look that’s sometimes termed “rustic elegance”.

Mountain homes are popular in the gated communities near Asheville NC.  At best, the exteriors are so attuned to nature that they look as if they’ve grown out of the ground.  And why not?  In this part of the country, the layered mountain views, clear night skies and lush green forests are the real stars of the show.  Because these panoramas are so spectacular, North Carolina mountain homes tend not to be large, symmetrical, obtrusive structures.  They take advantage of the trees, boulders and other land features by designing around them and even making them a part of outdoor living areas with decks or terraces.

Perhaps you’ll be building a mountain home near one of the picturesque rivers or waterfalls that define this part of the country.  You’ll want to plan and orient your layout to make the most of that location.  Building in a variety of levels and carefully-placed windows can give you that flexibility.  And the broad, sheltering roofs of multi-level homes that follow the lay of the terrain create an attractive cascading appearance while providing effective protection against winter snow, spring rain and summer sun.

In gated communities near Asheville, NC, you’ll find that mountain homes utilize bigger and bolder columns, beams, rafters and other structural elements for maximum protection against heavy snow loads.  These are typically Douglas fir and/or reclaimed wood.  Roofs may be constructed of cedar shakes or slate, sometimes with copper accents.  The siding is likely to be cedar (boards, shake shingles or logs) and stone. Recycled barn wood is sometimes employed for a more rustic look. Windows often have wood or metal clad (aluminum, copper or bronze) frames, which can include an aged patina for an older appearance.

Interiors of mountain homes should also include as many natural materials and forms as possible, along with warm, earth tone colors.  The ideal effect is more rustic than the look of a typical home and can be described as “old world” in appearance.

Landscaping is also an important element to consider.  The orientation of your home on the site needs to achieve maximum privacy, minimal visibility, and minimized grading and disruption of natural drainage. Water runoff should be contained, and enhancing the natural landforms and vegetation is encouraged.  Retaining walls are ideally kept to a minimum, to preserve a natural look as well as to keep costs down. Natural stone is the preferred material, and vegetation will help them to blend in.

The site can also include native hardscaping (patios, walkways), and minimal walls, fences and gates. Everything should look open and natural, and relate to the building. A good architect or landscape architect will know some good tricks to help you accomplish your goal.

As you have seen, the goal in building North Carolina mountain homes is to achieve a perfect balance between nature and architecture.  MossCreek designs suggested at The Coves, offer a remarkable selection of luxurious log, timber and hybrid frame floor plans that are easy to build and affordable to meet your family’s individual needs.

We invite you to visit and tour The Coves Mountain River Club. Here you’ll see some great examples of how a well-planned and well-crafted mountain home can blend in perfectly with the outdoor lifestyle here in the Western North Carolina foothills. We have a variety of homesites for sale to show you too. From large riverfront acreage, private wooded estates to pastoral property with beautiful mountain views. Our homesites begin in the high $30’s. From start to finish, you’ll find it is possible to build a new mountain home in the $300’s.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Benefits of Building a Green Mountain Home

green construction

Western North Carolina offers some of the most visually spectacular land for sale in the NC mountains that you’ll find anywhere.  And when you’re building a mountain home in such an unspoiled environment, it makes good sense to consider incorporating materials, techniques and features that will make it as “green” as possible.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we encourage and support efforts to create homes that are healthier, self-sustaining, and more cost-effective in the long run and use up fewer natural resources.

Here are some of the specific benefits you will derive from a taking “green” approach with your design.  It’s important to note that they won’t cost you any more than if you were building a conventional home.

Improved indoor air quality

  • The paints, adhesives, sealants and finishes used in the construction of “green” homes emit considerably less toxic waste, and there’s no residual effect that can cause smells, exposure to formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and even respiratory illness.
  • A properly-sealed “green” home also has a more sophisticated ventilation system that constantly brings clean, fresh air inside.  There’s less likelihood of mold developing, so you’ll enjoy much healthier living conditions.
  • In addition, radon-mitigation systems can be set in the foundation.  They allow harmful radon gas from the soil to be vented to the home’s exterior, so your level of exposure is significantly reduced.  The Environmental Protection Agency believes that radon may be the second-leading cause of lung cancer.

People building “green” mountain homes near Asheville have begun to recognize that there are cost savings involved as well.

Return on investment

A green home is a durable home. For a homeowner, that means less work and expense to maintain the home properly, and components of the home won’t need to be replaced as often, if ever.  “Green” building options that that serve this purpose include:

  • Durable roofing materials – some with 40- or 50-year warranties.
  • Recycled-content decking – can last up to five times longer than traditional wood decking and never needs to be treated or painted.
  • Chemical-free pest controls – discourage termites and other pests by separating all exterior wood-to-concrete connections with metal or plastic fasteners or dividers and by locating all new plants at least 36 inches from the foundation.

Water and energy efficiency can save you as much as 70% on your utility bills. Energy efficiency makes a home more affordable to live in and more attractive to prospective buyers if you decide to sell. Homes with “green features” can command as much as 7% in the resale market. Besides saving on utility bills, a “green” home employs construction techniques that can reduce so2me costs during the building process.  Some of these are:

  • Creating a tight thermal envelope that’s sealed to reduce air leakage, designing and locating ductwork to minimize energy loss and choosing low-emissivity windows to help decrease heating and cooling requirements.
  • Installing a smaller HVAC system is made possible when there’s a high-quality thermal envelope, providing greater comfort and lower upfront and operating costs.
  • Framing with 2-by-6 studs spaced at 24 inches allows the use of more insulation, which can reduce wood use and labor costs.

Finally, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce water use and generate additional savings for the homeowner:

  • Installing Energy Star-rated appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers
  • Using shorter hot-water runs, insulated hot-water pipes, low-flow faucets and high-efficiency  toilets that require 1.3 gallons of water or less per flush
  • Choosing high-efficiency irrigation systems such as low-flow drip systems, bubblers and low-flow sprinklers that minimize overspray and evaporation and reduce runoff

Lower Environmental Impact

Using renewable, clean energy sources and reclaimed materials also lessens our reliance on fossil fuels and other depleting resources.  For people looking for land for sale NC mountains properties present an opportunity to plan “green” homes that blend perfectly with their surroundings – both in appearance and in their respect for nature. 

Building a mountain home is a fun project, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.  Come by and visit us soon at The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir.  See all we have to offer and how much there is to do here.  You’ll soon understand why mountain homes near Asheville have become so popular with retirees who want to stay active.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Tips on Selling Your Home Fast

homes for sale

Sometimes, what we really want is a quick sale, to move forward with our retirement, now that we’ve found the perfect place to live in the mountains. In fact, people from all over the country, like you, are heading Western North Carolina to follow their dreams of living in a beautiful NC mountain home, in friendly neighborhoods like The Coves.

Once the decision to move is made, selling your home can seem a little scary, but it’s easier than you think. Here’s some helpful tips for selling your home fast:

Choose the Right Agent

Finding the real estate agent that’s right for you can be a little intimidating, but it’s 100% possible. First, look around. Find someone who has a high selling rate in your area and is familiar with the landscape, and get some references. Ask an agent to provide a list of what they’ve listed and sold in the past year near your home, with the contact information. Former clients should sing the praises about their experience. In the modern age of real estate, a good agent should also be tech savvy and know how to give the home the best internet exposure possible. The right agent should also come with certifications, such as ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) or SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist).

Price the Home Correctly the First Time

Check out Zillow to get an estimate of what your home is worth, then consult with your realtor and ask for a CMA certified market analysis). This will give you an idea of what homes are selling for around you. Once you have a good idea of the right price, considering shaving off 5 to 10 percent off. This will attract buyers with multiple bids quick, who may bid up the price over what its worth.

Hire a Photographer

The photos that accompany your listing should show your home’s best attributes, and from the best angles possible and in the best light. Hire a professional who specializes in real estate and knows what potential buyers look for.

Make Quick Fixes

Make all necessary repairs! Even something as small as rusted lock or a leaky showerhead can turn off a potential buyer. Consider tackling the easier tasks yourself – such as caulking windows or doors – and hiring a repair man for the bigger fixes – such as rebuilding or repairing a rotted part of fence or replacing light fixtures throughout the home.

Ditch the Clutter

One of the easiest ways to declutter a house, and one of the most important things to do when selling it, is to de-personalize it. Consider putting a big chunk of memorabilia, family photos, knick-knacks, and keepsakes in storage. The less personal a house appears, the more potential buyers can vividly picture themselves living there – and the extra space can make the home appear bigger.

Stage Your Home

What does that mean? It means bringing the home to ‘model’ like condition as if the home is being sold brand new. Paint your home in neutral colors, if it is not that way already. Companies specialize in staging and it’s worth every dime. Your realtor will know which staging company is worth talking with.

Simple changes can make a world of difference. Update your old fireplace screen. Resurface your old dishwasher with a stainless steel stick-on covering. Open all blinds and curtains in order to bring out the home’s natural lighting. Trim any trees or bushes, put flowers in the windowsills, and add a welcome mat. The goal is to make your home appear as inviting as possible.

Have Frequent Open Houses

After your home is staged to perfection, it’s time to show it off. Don’t be afraid to skip the newspapers to advertise online. Write colorful, descriptive ads with your agent and place them on social media and open house directories online. Create open house signs with balloons, put them at the busiest intersections closest to your home, and make sure to make arrow-shaped signs that will buyers in the right direction. Remove all vehicles from the driveway. Take your pets to the pet spa or the park.

Sometimes it’s best to let the realtor show the house without you, so that your agent can highlight the best features of the house without bias.

If you’re looking to buy or build your very own Western NC dream home, why not consider The Coves Mountain River Club. You’ll quickly discover why our residents treasure the amenities such as our mountaintop Pisgah Mountain Lodge with 360 degree long range mountain views. Sip wine or stroll through Evelyn’s Vineyard, and even plant their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs in Isabel’s Garden. Enjoy riverside hiking along the Johns River, or take a dip in Coleton’s Swimming Hole during the summer months.

The Coves offers a good selection of homesites for sale with a generous amount of land for sale in the NC mountains. Residents can choose from a private cul-de-sac to a river frontage on the Johns River and several home sites with breathtaking mountain views. There are many builder floor plans available that include everything from master suites, generous guest bedrooms, detachable garages, vaulted rooms with exposed timbers, and screened outdoor living porches. Homesites start $39,000, where potential residents can choose from 1.75 acres of land all the way to 19. Three-bedroom houses – 2,200-3,350 square feet – start from $289,000.

Selling a home can be intimidating, but with the right tools and the right agent – you’ll be out the door and onto starting your new life before you know it.

Call 828.754.0700 now to schedule a visit! 

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Cumberland Trace – Big Footprint Home, Affordable Price Tag

Many of the popular gated communities near Asheville NC may feature the Cumberland Trace design by MossCreek, a popular architectural firm in Western North Carolina. At The Coves, we know the home design offers an excellent option to buyers who desire a rustic home that blends beautifully with its surroundings using natural elements indigenous to the area. The home’s predesigned floor plan shortens the construction period, so your family can be settled into your new home more quickly. Using a popular predesigned floor plan also makes home building costs more predictable.

Notice how the dramatic use of exterior wood, stone and glass evokes an image of old-time mountain communities.  But don’t let that fool you.  The Cumberland Trace is as modern as today, with an eye toward making your living and entertaining both comfortable and fun. 

Well designed North Carolina mountain homes compliment the mountain scenery and changing climate. They cater to aging Baby Boomers needs which include a spacious open floor plan, and the master bedroom is conveniently on the main level.

The Cumberland Trace home is also available with either two or three stories.  By building several stories, you multiply the floor area without significantly adding costly square footage to the foundation and roof – the most expensive parts of any house. Multiple story homes also work well on mountain property providing easy access basements.

The two-story model has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a total of 1,630 square feet.  In the three-story model, there are five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms.  The total square footage is 2,654.  And you can add a detached garage to either one.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, buyers can choose one to 20 acres or there are cabin home sites that are close to the community’s amenities.  Cabin lots have smaller footprints, and the landscape maintenance is provided for you.

If you’re exploring retiring to one of the gated communities near Asheville NC, be sure to consider our mountain community and let our design team show you how this rustic mountain home can work within your budget.

You’re probably already aware of how popular mountain communities near Asheville for starting a new life of adventure away from the stresses of the city.  But we’re far from being isolated. Here in Lenoir, we’re beautifully situated to take advantage of both small town culture and the Blue Ridge Mountains while still being within easy driving distance of whatever we may need in some of the nearby metropolitan centers such as Charlotte.

Located on five miles of pristine Johns River waterfront, The Coves is a paradise for those who appreciate a clear mountain fed-river and there are plenty of hiking trails to explore along the river. One of the many benefits of living in the foothills is the mild four season weather which means we’re rarely stuck indoors during the winter months. We’re close enough to enjoy winter sports at the higher elevations but we won’t have to deal with snow on a regular basis.

The Cumberland Trace and other North Carolina mountain homes in our community provide a pleasant surprise for anyone who thinks mountain living is quaint and old-fashioned.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, you can be as active and busy as you want to be.  Take a class at the local community college, learn the area’s fascinating history, attend one of the many local festivals, enjoy special events at our magnificent Pisgah Mountain Lodge…the list goes on and on.

Why not stop by to witness one of our indescribably beautiful mountain sunsets at the mountain’s summit when you’re in the area?  We’ll give you a guided tour while you’re here, and you’ll soon see why so many people have chosen to call The Coves Mountain River Club home.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Smart and Attractive Ways To Use Reclaimed Building Materials


Reclaimed building materials – also referred to as recycled, vintage, antique, historic or just “used” – are simply those saved from a trip to the landfill by an architect or interior designer who sees their potential to be re-purposed for another application.

At The Coves Mountain River Club and gated communities near Asheville NC, it’s common to see reclaimed wood, tile and other items seamlessly incorporated into the design of new mountain homes.  The most obvious advantage is that they create a visual blend with the natural splendor of the surrounding property.  But there are more practical considerations as well.

Old lumber easily finds its way into cabinetry, furniture and architectural details.  But it’s particularly popular for use as siding, timbers and floorboards because it doesn’t require much maintenance.  The wood has already settled and shrunk into a permanent form and developed a tightness of grain that makes it considerably more durable.  Most comes from old barns, factories and warehouses, but other sources can be as diverse as coal mines, wine barrels and even boxcars.  And old fencing is valued for consistency, structural soundness and its low moisture content that minimizes the need for treatment.

From a cosmetic standpoint, it’s worth noting that reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks than newer lumber.  And, because the old wood has already expanded and contracted over many years in response to changes in humidity, it is likely to be more stable and can be used with radiant heating systems.  Some attribute the greater strength of reclaimed wood to the absence of air pollution prior to the 20th century and the fact that it was harvested from virgin growth timber that was hundreds of years old.

As you’re building a mountain home, you might consider the use of reclaimed slate, clay or concrete tiles for your roof.  There are several good reasons for doing so.  They’re fireproof, extremely long-lasting and environmentally-friendly.  Even with older material, the quality is likely to be very good.  They enhance the beauty of a property, adding character and style.  Little maintenance is required for a tile roof.  And they’re usually cost-effective compared to the alternatives.

When you use reclaimed building materials, you’ll be adding instant value and unique charm to your mountain home.  And, by choosing vintage instead of new, you’ll be helping to conserve our natural resources.

So where do you find these gems from years gone by?

The simplest approach is to find a company that sells them.  But if you’d rather do the work yourself, there are a number of options to investigate.  With some research, you should be able to find older buildings that are being demolished.  Salvage sites may have exactly what you’re looking for and at a very reasonable price.  Farm auctions are another good place to look.  And check the local ads or place your own, specifying what items you’re seeking.

But beware of imitations.  With the popularity of reclaimed material, it’s becoming more common for some sellers to try to pass newer wood off as antique.

It’s also important that the source of your reclaimed wood be able to verify what it might have been treated with over its lifetime.  You want to avoid possible harmful off-gassing of volatile organic compounds associated with lead paint, stains and other treatments – especially when the wood will be used inside the house.

Gated communities near Asheville NC such as The Coves Mountain River Club make every attempt to be respectful of the magnificent place in which we’ve chosen to live, and we encourage anyone building a mountain home to consider using reclaimed materials wherever possible.    

Whether it’s chimney bricks for a fireplace, a mantle made of an old post, or antique doors, hardware and fixtures…talk to our home design team and let us help bring your ideas to life. 

Stop by and take a tour, and we’ll show you how other homeowners have made good use of reclaimed building materials.  And, you’ll soon see why so many people have chosen to retire here. 

Our five miles of frontage on the Johns River, the splendor of the mountains and their foliage, the mild year-round weather, and the wealth of opportunity for outdoor activities make our mountain community a very special place in which to build a home!

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir