New Mountain Homes With Touches of the Past

reclaimed building materials

Starting as a trend in certain parts of the country, the use of reclaimed and recycled materials in construction and remodeling of houses has now gone mainstream.  And nowhere has it been more popular than here in the foothills, where the unique and often rustic look of such salvaged items can so beautifully complement the natural ambience of our NC mountain real estate.

Just building a mountain home sets you apart from the crowd.  And freeing yourself from the rigid rules that control construction in metropolitan areas allows your imagination to come into play.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, our design team loves working with people to help bring their dreams to life.  Together, we can find innovative ways to blend traditional with modern to create a dramatic new look that’s uniquely and distinctively yours.  It’s a great way to add character to your NC mountain real estate and at the same time be more environmentally-friendly.

Wood has always been chosen for buildings and structures, furniture-making and other uses because of its density and strength.  In the past, it was plentiful and inexpensive.  But over the years, population growth contributed to the over-harvesting of forest land.  So using wood and other materials from older homes, factories, and warehouses came to be seen as a green solution that provides warmth, value and a bit of history.

There are also practical advantages to recycling vintage wood.   Having come from the tallest, straightest and largest trees in the forest, it offers a level of quality that’s hard to find in today’s lumber market.  And being already air-dried and naturally-weathered gives it rustic good looks, durability and strength.  Finally, you can select from an amazing variety of textures, patterns, grades and species of tree.

Because the concept of using reclaimed and recycled materials is now so widespread, you can find a wealth of ideas online to consider incorporating when you’re building a mountain home.  Some are more obvious, such as installing an antique farmhouse sink, vintage light fixtures, a butcher block or old handles, knobs or drawer pulls.  But there are many others you may not have considered.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we see seasoned lumber used for 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 shrunk into a permanent form and developed a tightness of grain that makes it considerably more durable.  From a cosmetic standpoint, it’s worth noting that reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks.  And old fencing is valued for consistency, structural soundness and its low moisture content that minimizes the need for treatment.

It’s 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.

NC mountain real estate is also ideal for the use of reclaimed slate, clay or concrete roof tiles.  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.

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

You can either find a company that sells them or opt to do the work yourself.  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.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we 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 utilizing reclaimed materials wherever possible.   

Come by soon and take a tour.  We’re sure you’ll be inspired by the ways many of our homeowners have adapted these elements of the past to make their own impressive design statements.

Call 828.754.0700 now!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir | Uncategorized

Mountain Designs Trends Still Favor Modern


Buyers of NC mountain real estate are able to design their dream homes without the restrictions and cookie-cutter designs they were used to dealing with in the old neighborhood.  And builders here are able to take full advantage of natural property features in positioning the house and also incorporate state-of-the-art technology to maximize energy efficiency and convenience.

Like many of our new residents at The Coves Mountain River Club, you may see this as your last home purchase.  So why not make it your best?  Think about how you want to live, and incorporate those features that will enhance your lifestyle when building a mountain home.  And consider the overall look.  Despite the fact that we’re nestled in the Blue Ridge foothills, many of our fine homes are no less cutting-edge than those you’ll find anywhere else.

Three independent survey sources have confirmed that the trend among new home buyers is toward modern design – both outside and inside.  What might be called traditional floor plans are falling out of favor.  We see innovative use of color to create mood, replacement of standard doors with something more ornate, and incorporation of unique and often whimsical accents that allow themes to flow from room to room.

NC mountain real estate is a perfect canvas for the implementation of reclaimed natural elements.  You’ll see old barn wood and metal roofs blended seamlessly into the most contemporary of properties to create an urban country feel.  A craftsman-style front door with sidelights can help to set the tone, while well-crafted handmade pieces and ornate fixtures provide a rural living accent in rooms painted in tones of white and warm neutral colors.  It’s a look that’s perfect for reflecting your desire to live a more balanced and slower-paced existence.

Along those lines, maybe you’ll prefer a Rustic Luxury design theme.  It’s geared toward buyers who need a personal space where they can restore energy and find balance – a place suitable for disconnecting from the constant demands of everyday life.  The focus here is on creating harmony between natural and architectural elements.  There may be sculpture pieces, along with greenery, natural wood doors and concrete benches.  The overall goal is to provide a calming antidote to fast-paced living.

If you’re one of the more than 3.4 million Americans who work from home at least half of the time, you may opt to incorporate transitional spaces that can allow for both productivity and downtime.  If so, you’ll want to consider having furniture and products that can best serve both facets of your lifestyle.

Our design team at The Coves Mountain River Club stays up to date on all of the latest trends, and we’re ready and able to incorporate your ideas into a custom home that seamlessly blends modern styling with traditional touches and personal preference.

Stop by and see us when you’re in the Lenoir area.  We’ll give you a tour and show you how very distinctive and innovative our gated mountain community is. 

You’re sure to leave with some new and exciting ideas for bringing your own dream to life!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Choosing Paint Colors That Compliment Your Mountain Home

paint colors

For those folks who have completed building a mountain home in the NC mountain communities, you may still have one last fun and creative journey ahead of you–selecting the perfect exterior and interior color schemes. If you are feeling overwhelmed or indecisive, there are simple ways to ensure your house reflects the natural beauty surrounding you. So don’t despair as you sift through those color swatches! Just remember with a little expertise, your house will soon be perfectly completed both inside and out.

Choosing to live in the NC mountain communities has made this process so much easier.  Your home’s architectural style is enhanced by the gorgeous landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so selecting a color palette that reflects nature, as well as your personal taste, is the way to go. 

For example, natural earth tones can harmonize with the majestic beauty of the region.   

Envision your new home in the four amazing seasons that we enjoy in the NC mountain communities, and this will help your idyllic color scheme to materialize.   Is your home surrounded by woods with hues of greens in spring and summer, and vibrant reds, oranges and yellows in the fall?  Maybe you’ve built your mountain home high atop a vast green pasture where your horses roam.

Let nature steer you. And keep in mind that the paint swatch can look different beneath the florescent bulbs of a store than it will in the bright sunlight of North Carolina.  To be sure before committing to your color scheme, bring home samples and try them out.   

For the exterior, be sure to choose two to three colors when you’re in the final phase of building a mountain home.  With a stone or brick house, you will only need two colors, but a home with wooden siding will mean three colors are in order—the main color for the siding, a complimentary color for all trim, and a color that pops a bit for accenting.  Shutters and doors are an ideal place for a splash of color to reflect your personality. Don’t forget to take note of your roof!  You will want your roofing colors to compliment your color scheme, whether it’s slate grey, or chestnut brown.    

Now what about bringing the scenic beauty that’s just outside your home inside?  After building a mountain home, it’s finally time to get down to those fun aesthetic touches, like your indoor color scheme.  What palettes work? Warm and natural tones can transform your house into a home whether you adore taupes, or deeper shades of grey. These natural colors will enhance but not compete with the outdoors. If you have a lot of windows with views that mesmerize, let the colors outside guide you.

Neutral colors in deep, warm tones can enhance your view without distracting—like chocolate browns or rich greys or greens. You can also pick a softer shade than your landscape to compliment without competing. Keep in mind, cooler and crisper colors will make spaces feel more vibrant. You can reserve the neutrals and warmer tones for bedrooms and studies to encourage downtime.

Don’t forget to take a stroll through the peaceful neighborhoods in The Coves and take notes or photos of the houses that appeal to you most—especially houses that may be of a same architectural style.  The homes in The Coves, whether a charming cottage, a handsome Craftsman, or a tiny house, are enhanced by their exterior painting.

Your neighbors, who have already settled into their cozy mountain homes at The Coves, may give you some inspiration.  Maybe you adore the warm sage that accents a front door, or a creamy taupe on someone’s shutters. You just may have a hard time deciding which color scheme you love most—the olive house with red brick accent and warm beige trim, or the deep khaki grey with natural wood and warm green accent.  Whether you go traditional or contemporary with your paint, your new home in The Coves will be a stunning addition to the neighborhood. 

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Heat Saving Design Ideas in Western North Carolina

North Carolina mountain homes

As the brilliant colors of fall light up the mountains and the clear crisp air settles in, it’s time to plan for our winter season in our North Carolina mountain homes.  Whether you’re new to the region, just now building a mountain home, or if you’re already settled into your dream house in one of the perfect gated communities near Asheville NC,  there are many effective ways to save as you heat your cozy place before a light blanket of snow falls outside your door.

Even though the snow may melt not long after it’s fallen, the winter season is still the time to ensure our North Carolina mountain homes are kept warm without unnecessary cost.  Here are some easy and effective ways to conserve energy and protect your savings if your home is already completed, or you’ve begun the amazing journey of building a mountain home:

  close shades and curtains at night but let the sunlight in during the day, especially the windows that get direct southern light

  purchase energy efficient window treatments

• tightly install plastic sheeting inside window frames

• program your thermostat comfortably low during the day, and at night turn it down 10 degrees to save at least 10% on your fuel bill.  Remember for every degree your thermostat is lowered, you will save a percent off your bill

  change air filters once a month to allow better flow and require less effort from the furnace for cleaner air and better efficiency– as well as protecting your furnace

• keep hot water heater set at 120 degrees

• seal the leaks in your home with caulk and weather stripping—around doors, unfinished spaces, windows, pipes, chimneys, wires and vents to save up to 20%

• add insulation from the ground floor up–to keep warm air in and cold air outside where it belongs

• make sure all heating ducts are properly sealed and insulated to save 10% on your heating bills

• choose LED holiday lights to illuminate your home in the gated communities near Asheville NC

  use space heaters in bedrooms after you’ve turned down the thermostat for just the right amount of warmth when you’re sleeping

• use humidifiers; the moisture in the air will retain the warmth and keep your skin from getting dry

• maintain or program a moderate setting on your heat pump

• install an air vent booster or fan for problematic rooms that run too hot or cold

• explore air sealing—both when building or in your existing home

• schedule yearly service of your heating system

• regularly clean wood and pellet burning heaters

• keep damper closed on fireplace when not in use; lower thermostat to 50-55 degrees when you light a fire, and consider glass doors and a system to circulate the hot air around the room

For those who live in gated communities near Asheville NC, or who are building a mountain home, these simple practices will help you save while being environmentally-minded.  Lucky folks in the process of building North Carolina mountain homes at The Coves have all the guidance and support they need to construct a house that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also cost efficient and helps them save on heating bills.  And that leaves plenty of cash for fun around The Coves–no matter the season! 

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

Fabulous Landscape Lighting and Outdoor Audio Systems

North Carolina mountain homes

Building a mountain home in one of the gated communities near Asheville NC affords you the opportunity to enhance both the structure and its surroundings with carefully chosen lighting features that blend with the scenic beauty.

The idea behind landscape lighting is to create a treat for the eyes. It’s smart to highlight your home and property in a way that presents an attractive and interesting picture to people driving by.

There’s a huge gap between what the average person tries to do and a well thought out, professional approach to lighting installed outdoors.  And it all boils down to a few simple principles.

Lets start with path lighting. That’s something we rarely do well.  The availability of inexpensive solar-powered lights prompts many people to illuminate the approaches to their front doors for the sake of additional safety and enhanced appearance.  Unfortunately, almost everyone installs more lights than are aesthetically pleasing and ends up replicating the look of an airport landing strip.

This is definitely a case in which “less is more”.  What you want to do – especially with our North Carolina mountain homes that are nestled in such interesting natural settings – is provide just enough artificial illumination to guide your eye.  Keep the lights relatively far apart, and even use different styles for variety.  Some can be right on the path, while others may simply cast light onto it.  Remember that there will be moonlight to help, as well.  Check occasionally for burned-out bulbs and new plant growth that may be in the way.  And consider that uplighting trees and downlighting your house may be sufficient to illuminate the walkway as well.  As a rule of thumb, don’t overdo the use of path lights.

Another concept you might want to embrace is “moonlighting”.  Install lights 30 or 40 feet high in the trees on your property.  That provides the dual benefits of keeping the fixtures hidden from view and augmenting the “woodsy” feel we want to maintain when building a mountain home.  And using a blue filter will intensify the green of the foliage.  Moonlighting eliminates the “on stage” effect of ground-level illumination and produces a much more intimate ambiance for you and your guests.

Hardscape features such as outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, hot tubs, walls, etc., are perfect for the application of LED tape, which is encased in silicone to prevent moisture intrusion.  It’s a subtle, indirect lighting product with uses that are limited only by your imagination. 

If you have a water feature on your land, take into account the entire view when deciding how to highlight it.  Keep in mind that water found in nature is never illuminated from within.  Here, soft downlighting is your best option.

Balance is paramount when you’re lighting the exterior of your home. Illuminating trees behind the house helps to avoid the “shoebox effect” you get by putting all of your efforts into the structure itself.  Uplighting trees and statuary can add depth and softness.  Here again, moderation and the overall look you want to create should guide your decisions.  And don’t forget that shadow can be as interesting as light.

Some of the gated communities near Asheville NC are blessed with year-round mild weather, and that means folks at places like The Coves can spend a lot of time outside.  And state-of-the-art technology allows us not only to take our music out of the house but to do so in a way that offers breathtaking, audiophile-level performance that can fill nearly any space. 

We’ve come a long way from the days of simply hanging up a few speakers.  North Carolina mountain homes can now have 10” and 12” below-ground subwoofers that, when coupled with an array of smaller satellite units, deliver a jaw-dropping, smooth blanket of sound directed exactly where you want it.

When looking at outdoor audio, take into account what kinds of music you enjoy.  Will you be playing it at near top volume, or is a background effect more your style?  You’ll want to get some professional advice before deciding what to install.

Your home at The Coves Mountain River Club will be a virtual palette for design ideas.  Like most of us, you may have developed mental lists of what you didn’t like about where you lived before and what you would do if you had the chance to start from scratch.  Here, your property’s beautiful features will spur your imagination.  You’ll see what others have done and start to think in terms of “what if”.

From creating your dream home to deciding how to spend today, tomorrow and the next day, life here in the foothills is rich with possibilities.

Just stop by The Coves Mountain River Club when you’re in the area and let us show you examples of fantastic outdoor light and designs.

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Five Reasons to Live in a Private Mountain Community

Coves gated entrance

Have you seen beautiful pictures of a private mountain community – or maybe even visited one – and wondered if you’d be a good fit for the lifestyle it has to offer?

The gated communities near Asheville NC are full of residents who asked the themselves that very same question.  In many ways, moving here can be a change from what they were accustomed to. And it’s normal to take comfort in the familiar and be somewhat wary of jumping into anything so far outside of our comfort zones.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of “community” includes the words “the people with common interests living in a particular area”.  It’s important to remember that though the others buying mountain homes near Asheville come from different backgrounds and situations, their hopes, dreams and goals are much the same as yours.  And that is what creates the rich community environment those of us who live here cherish.

Here are some benefits to consider:

We love the wide range of events and activities available to us. It’s so easy to make friends when you’re pursuing a new interest or spending more time with a long-standing hobby.  Whether you’re ready to get out and explore your new surroundings, challenge yourself with more physical activities, enroll in continuing education, or dive into the local culture, you’ll have no shortage of neighbors who will want to share that experience.

A “private mountain community” provides the peace-of-mind that comes with secure gated access.  You can leave your doors unlocked when you’re not home.  But don’t confuse it with what you may see where you’re living now.  There’s nothing bland or sterile or “cookie cutter” about the gated communities near Asheville NC.  We settled here because we love the splendor of the Blue Ridge foothills, and everything we build or do is in harmony with this very special environment and does nothing to diminish its beauty.

The views are nothing short of breathtaking.  Once you leave the city, a vast new world appears – one of open spaces, star-filled skies, majestic mountains, brilliant foliage hues, and refreshingly clean air.  Mountain homes near Asheville are nestled in some of Nature’s most spectacular scenery.  And our year-round mild weather means you can spend a lot more time outside.

A commitment to architectural harmony, such as you’ll find at The Coves Mountain River Club, allows for individualized home designs while upholding important construction and land utilization standards that enhance the feeling of community and ensure the long-term value of your investment. 

You can rest assured that infrastructure maintenance is high on our list of priorities.  Streets and amenities are always kept in good condition, and nothing is allowed to fall into disrepair.  We understand that our residents expect and deserve not to have to concern themselves with this type of issue.  Just enjoy your exciting new life here, and leave the rest to us.

Of course, there are many other attractive aspects to living at The Coves Mountain River Club.  Our ideal location on the Johns River at Wilson Creek means you’ll have endless opportunities for fishing, boating and other water activities.  Miles of hiking and biking trails invite you to discover waterfalls, magnificent vistas and flowering plants that thrive at higher altitudes.  And you’ll find yourself drawn to the unique charm of the area’s small towns and historic legacy.

We’d love to show you more of what The Coves Mountain River Club has to offer.  When you’re in the area, come to see us in Lenoir and take a free tour.  Talk to our design team and see how easy it will be to make your retirement dreams come true.

Is mountain home living right for you?  The answer is “yes”.  We’re sure of it.

Call us now at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir