Top Trends in New Kitchen Appliances

building a mountain home new kitchen appliances


Here you are thinking of building a mountain home, yet you may be at least vaguely aware that the last few years have brought a significant revolution to the field of kitchen appliance design. We are here to help!

The advent of “smart” technology enabled companies such as LG and Samsung to find ways to make ovens and refrigerators communicate their status in ways that could be monitored remotely.  State-of-the-art touch screens on some models allowed them to function as communication centers, controlling far more than just their own basic functions.  And even more advancements have followed.

These user-friendly appliances do tend to cost more, compared to less sophisticated devices.  But they represent a giant leap forward in terms of convenience and offer remarkable features, abilities and build quality that homeowners could not have envisioned in years past.

You don’t need to invest that much to make your kitchen smarter.  There are now inexpensive, easy-to-store “smart” devices that can automate parts of the cooking process, keep you updated on the progress of your food, make sure you’re following a recipe correctly and even help you with cleanup.  You’ll likely spend less than $100, and they can be hidden away in drawers and cabinets when not in use.

Whether you spend hours in the kitchen or just brew coffee and toast bagels, there’s now a wide range of options to make your culinary life easier.  You can find both familiar tools and incredibly useful new ones that may have escaped your attention up to now but will soon have you wondering how you lived without them.  Here are some examples:

The Weber Kitchen Thermometer uses wired probes and a Bluetooth connection to measure the temperature of one or two dishes as they’re cooking.  You’re free to leave, as it works with an app on your mobile device and will let you know when something has reached its desired temperature.

For baking and mixing drinks, you’ll want the Perfect Bake Pro to make sure you use the right proportions of ingredients.  It monitors your mixing bowl in real time, telling you how much to pour, and even makes adjustments if you accidentally dump in too much of one thing.  Its associate app is filled with recipes, and you can add your own.

For your countertop, consider the super-functional, multi-purpose Tovala Steam Oven for baking, broiling, and steaming foods through app control and QR codes.  There’s also the Brava Oven, with a touch screen and an app that let you access a library of recipes and cooking presets.  Alexa users can use voice commands to control the AmazonBasics Microwave.  It costs about the same as a standard 700-watt unit but does a lot more.

Have you heard of the sous vide cooking technique?  It’s relatively new and involves vacuum sealing food and immersing it in a water bath kept at a very precise temperature.  The sealing process keeps all moisture intact, and the water temperature prevents overcooking. The result is tender, perfectly cooked food that can then be quickly seared on a pan for a crisp outer texture.

Rather than using a big sous vide machine with its own water bath, you can simply put an immersion circulator on the side of a stock pot or large plastic box.  Their designs and controls are different, but they’re all available for $200 or less.

When you’re building a mountain home at The Coves Mountain River Club, you’ll be creating a new lifestyle as well.  Why not consider improvements that will make things easier and give you more time to enjoy the many benefits of living in the Blue Ridge foothills?

You’ll have all the latest energy-saving improvements, a perfect blend of natural and man-made materials and design features that blend with the surroundings and unique property features.

Building a mountain home here is like bringing a dream to life.  And it’s your dream – one that can encompass not only everything you wished you had where you lived before but a wealth of new and exciting kitchen options that are just now becoming available.

Come let us show you around The Coves and explore our model homes. Call 828.754.0700 now to schedule a visit!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Mountain Craftsman Architecture of the Carolinas

North Carolina mountain homes

You may be familiar with the term “Craftsman home”.  If not, you’ve surely seen plenty of examples if you’ve been exploring mountain property. Distinctive in their honesty and simplicity, they reflected a revolution in American architectural design and could be found being built all over the country between the years 1905 and 1930.

The early Craftsman homes incorporated simple forms and a combination of natural materials such as wood and stone.  Their main features included a low-pitched, gabled roof that was often hipped, with a wide overhang and exposed rafters.  Some had attics and dormers.  There were porches of either full or partial width that had tapered columns or pedestals extending to ground level.  The interiors offered built-in cabinets, nooks, seating, and shelving.

Much later, toward the end of the 20th century, renewed popularity caused these older structures to be restored, and replicas began appearing.  The Craftsman home came to be seen not only as a functional dwelling but also as a work of art, the style of which is instantly recognizable to architecture students, contractors, and aficionados of the Arts and Crafts movement.  Its inspiration was the bungalow – a low-slung, compact structure that first appeared in India.

Many North Carolina mountain homes for sale exhibit features and philosophies consistent with the Craftsman style.  They’re positioned to greet the sun and are sometimes surrounded by a large garden.  Where possible, local materials are used.  Some, such as timber or rock, may even come from the building site.  Native stone surrounds the fireplaces, and various woods can be found being used as accent features both inside and on the exterior.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, you can see many examples of these solid, beautiful and yet classically simple homes.  Their open floor plans are ideal for both displaying eye-catching art pieces and hosting large gatherings.  Efficient use of space is a must.  Arts and Crafts-style light fixtures and stained glass windows often enhance the décor.

Nestled as we are among such natural splendor, our design professionals always take into account the unique features of a property and its views when deciding how and where to build.  And we try wherever possible to create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living.

With the variety of North Carolina mountain homes for sale at The Coves Mountain River Club, we can safely say that we have something that will meet your particular needs, whether it’s a house, a cottage or a cabin.

This is a chance for you to get expert help with bringing your home ideas to life.  Choose from our existing models or let us build to your specifications on one of our beautiful sites.

The more you learn about The Coves Mountain River Club, the more you’ll understand why so many choose it as a retirement destination.  The abundance of outdoor activities, the year-round mild weather, the outstanding amenities, the ideal location adjacent to the Johns River, and of course the sheer pristine beauty of the foothills area itself combine to make this the mountain paradise you’ve dreamed of finding.

We invite you to stop by when you’re near Lenoir and let us give you a tour.  You’ll notice how familiar elements of the classic Craftsman style have been creatively combined with the most modern, environmentally-efficient construction features to create living spaces that are both wonderfully practical and aesthetically pleasing.

And, as the day draws to an end, you’ll want to be on the upper deck of our Pisgah Mountain Lodge with a glass of wine in hand.  Take a deep breath of fresh air and watch the sun set slowly over the mountains.

That’s when you’ll really start to feel like this could be – should be – your home.

Call us at 828-754-0700 to schedule your visit!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

The Coves Introduces New Mountain Cottages

mountain cottages

When you’re looking for NC mountain homes for sale, what could be better than a River Club Cottage with the highest views of The Coves’ idyllic landscape?  Three cottage models are available with four floor plans to accommodate your every new home desire and provide you with a range of square footage.  These plans have been created to maximize your mountain home’s space, with a master on the main floor, airy and open living spaces and finishes that will stand the test of time.

After you’ve searched out the perfect NC mountain homes for sale and selected the ideal lot for your River Club Cottage—you can choose from the Table Rock, Hawksbill or Wilson Creek plan.   Then it’s time to fine tune your interior design from the floors and countertops, to the cabinets and the colors you envision.  Your cottage will take a mere six months for completion…just enough time to wrap up any loose ends in your old home.

Table Rock Cottage is available in a variety of finishes, mountain accents and two split floor plans with 2,026 square feet–starting at $402,000:

Table Rock Cottage at a Glance:

  • Master suite with spacious private bath, walk-in closet and generous deck overlooking 100-mile mountain view
  • Second bedroom on first floor
  • Single-car garage
  • Large entry foyer
  • Bonus room
  • Laundry room with utility sink
  • Large living, dining and kitchen with walk-in pantry
  • Bedroom and office on second floor with shared bathroom
  • Third bath adjacent to great room and kitchen area
  • 2,026 square feet
  • Three bedrooms
  • Three baths
  • Stone-clad fireplace
  • Solid interior doors
  • Semi-seamless glass enclosed showers
  • Attractive ceramic tile
  • Large closets
  • Expansive windows
  • Wide hallways

Hawksbill Cottage is available in a variety of finishes, and mountain embellishments with plenty of elbow room–1,395 square feet, starting at $369,000:

Hawksbill Cottage at a Glance:

  • One level
  • Two bedrooms
  • Two baths
  • Nine-foot ceilings
  • Classic Mountain and Craftsman architecture
  • Spacious kitchen oversized California island with seating
  • Stone-clad fireplace
  • Solid interior doors
  • Semi-seamless glass enclosed showers
  • Attractive ceramic tile
  • Large closets
  • Expansive windows

Wilson Creek Cottage is available in a variety of finishes, and mountain accents with 2,346 square feet–starting at $439,000:

Wilson Creek Cottage at a Glance:

  • Three bedrooms
  • Three bathrooms
  • Large master suite with private bath on main level
  • Guest bedroom and bath adjacent to kitchen
  • Large living area on second level
  • Spacious guest bedroom and bath on second level
  • Stone-clad fireplace
  • Solid interior doors
  • Semi-seamless glass enclosed showers
  • Attractive ceramic tile
  • Large closets
  • Expansive windows

These three charming River Club Cottages can be found at The Coves, a rare community situated in Lenoir, a charming and welcoming town in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.  The High Country is where folks can kick back and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them.  There’s no end to the outdoor recreation that this gorgeous landscape provides—kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, skiing, trout fishing in Wilson Creek and the Johns River, or some off-road driving—a lotta something for everyone!

Visit The Coves and stop by to see these cozy cottages that are just a short stroll from the Pisgah Lodge where you can swim and work out while soaking in the picturesque vistas that surround you.  The Mountain Cottage Collection is one more reason to make The Coves your home.  Your search for NC mountain homes for sale will surely be satisfied by The Coves.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to tour our new mountain homes!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Bathroom Tile Designs for Your Mountain Home

mountain bathrooms

Remember when choosing the tiles for your new or remodeled bathroom was pretty much a matter of functionality?  As long as they were water-resistant, durable and low maintenance, you just went with whatever color you liked.

Now, when you’re building a mountain home at The Coves Mountain River Club, you’re presented with so many tile options that it’s easy to imprint your own style aesthetic on a bathroom.  Design, shape and texture are just as important as color.  Manufacturers compete to create products that meet the needs of customers seeking to break away from the norm and find a look that’s uniquely theirs.

If you haven’t shopped for tile recently, you may not be aware of trends that are sweeping the market in 2019.

Intricate graphic patterns have quickly grown in popularity.  You see them mostly on encaustic ceramic tiles, but porcelain styles are now becoming available as well.  Whether you choose soft, subtle hues or bold, contrasting colors, you’ll be part of this year’s biggest trend.

Matte finish tiles will continue to hold their own against the more traditional glossy look and texture.  And both have their advantages. 

A matte finish projects an earthy, elegant image – soft and powerful but not overwhelming.  From a practical standpoint, matte tiles are less likely to reveal smudges and water marks and are easier to maintain.  Because they don’t reflect light, it’s important that your bathroom have sufficient natural and artificial illumination.

If you want a more dramatic, attention-grabbing look, glossy tiles are the better choice because of their highly polished appearance and feel.  Because they reflect so much light, they tend to make small bathrooms appear larger.  But remember that they need more maintenance.  And the fact that they can be a slip hazard makes their use more appropriate for walls or on floors that are low-traffic.

Building a mountain home, we tend to lean toward incorporating the subtle hues of nature rather than bright, dramatic colors.  This is in line with most contemporary thinking, where grey, cream and beige continue to dominate as preferred choices for tile.  That’s not to say that white is no longer in vogue.  In fact, it’s perfect for bathrooms that need a little more brightness.  Neutral colors can be layered in to bring the design together and create a calming, sanctuary effect.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we’re seeing homeowners mixing and matching tile patterns or textures and even shapes in new and exciting ways.  The hexagon is coming back, in various sizes, colors and textures, mostly on shower floors.  Subway tiles are getting thicker and longer, with new pattern variations such as dome, beveled, arched, and sculptural.

You’ll find realistic porcelain wood-grained tiles that mimic oak, maple, and cherry, and they can be distressed, weathered, or whitewashed in appearance.  They can both provide stain and water resistance and enhance the organic feel of the bathroom space.

Marble has also come into fashion, with a huge variety of color and veining patterns to choose from.  It’s a high-end material that works especially well in bathrooms that feature the softer tones of neutral finishes.  And the classic look of marble is available in porcelain tiles that resemble the real thing in nearly every way.

Three-dimensional and textured field tiles add variation, depth of color and surface interest.  The effect can be either subtle or pronounced, depending upon how you want to use them.

You may be surprised to learn that the next big trend in bathroom tile may be metallic.  It’s shiny, reflective, edgy and dramatic.  Time will tell if its appeal is long-lasting.

Having so many options can be overwhelming.  Building a mountain home involves making a lot of small decisions as you create a living space that’s a perfect fit for your needs and desires.

Luckily, help is available. Our design professionals at The Coves Mountain River Club are experts at bringing dreams to life.

Stop by and talk with us today!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Collecting Rainwater for Your Mountain Home

mountain cistern

Most of us tend to take potable water for granted. Getting it is just a matter of turning a faucet handle or buying bottles at the store.  So it’s easy to imagine that there’s no end to the supply. 

Over time, however, some have begun to wonder whether might be fooling ourselves. 

More and more, we hear about pollution, waste, extended droughts and the increased usage that comes with population growth and realize that someday we might need to seek alternatives.

Here in the Blue Ridge foothills, the solution’s been around for a very long time:  collecting rainwater.  And now, with more sophisticated methods available, it’s starting to regain popularity.

You may be thinking of a simple rain barrel, and that’s still part of the equation.  But so are complex and sophisticated irrigation systems. 

For a lot of good reasons, using rainwater to supplement or replace other sources is an idea whose time has come – again.  And harvesting features such as roof pitches, gutters and water tanks can be incorporated into the plan when you’re building a mountain home.

The quality is often superior to that of surface water.  There’s no system maintenance involved, other than regular cleaning and inspections.  And, of course, you save money.  Collecting rainwater reduces pollutant runoff and contamination.  In low-lying areas, it minimizes flooding in low lying areas and helps to control erosion and foundation damage.  Watering gardens and planters can be done freely without impacting the public water supply.

It’s important to be aware of certain important guidelines that make rainwater collection safe and viable, especially if human consumption will be involved.  One of the major advantages of building a mountain home at The Coves Mountain River Club is having the opportunity to consult with our design experts.  They have the knowledge and experience to incorporate the features you want, while being attentive to the unique setting and natural environment in which your unique house will be constructed.

A basic collection system can consist of a properly pitched roof that routes the water into storm pipes leading to a large underground cistern for storage and later use.  More sophisticated installations may also include filtration and UV treatment components.

Building a mountain home affords you the opportunity to have things your way.  Maybe you’ve spent much of your adult life in cookie-cutter structures built for the masses, where cost-cutting is the norm and neighborhoods look alike, for the most part.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, our job is to bring your dreams to life.  Write down all those ideas you’ve had for the house you’d build if you could.  Tell us what’s important to you – what kind of lifestyle you’ll have now that you’re finally free to choose. Whether it’s a full-size home, a cabin, a cottage or even a tiny house, we can make it work for you.

Settling into such spectacular surroundings, with all this beauty and splendor right at your doorstep, you can’t help but think more about how our choices can impact the world we live in.  The use of environmentally-friendly materials, minimal disturbance to the land we build on, conscientious care of common areas, and encouraging our residents to conserve water and other precious resources – these are some of the ways The Coves Mountain River Club has become such a popular choice for buyers who understand that nature is there to be enjoyed and not destroyed.

If you’re in the Lenoir area, please take the opportunity to come by and let us give you a tour.  We’ll show you how others like you have incorporated imaginative touches such as recycled timber, local stone, re-purposed antique pieces, rainwater collection systems and more as they worked with us to create their own unique dream homes.

Let us show you around. Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Farmhouse Decor for Cozy Mountain Living

farmhouse decor

Moving into gated communities near Asheville NC, like The Coves Mountain River Club, new homeowners find creative ways to blend distinctive elements of country life with their state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly designs and mountain construction.

It’s a way of reminding yourself that you’re not in the city anymore.  You’re living in surroundings rich with heritage – a place that moves at a different pace.  The rustic charm of a vintage farmhouse carries with it a certain warmth and soul.  Life in the country’s about the simpler things.  And when you tastefully mix the old and new, suddenly you have the best of both worlds.

Start with incorporating recycled materials like worn, reclaimed woods (especially from barns) and oil-rubbed metals as decorative touches, both inside and on the exterior.  Drive through one of the gated communities near Asheville NC and you’ll see countless examples of how creative use of such repurposed items can establish a look for a house that’s both unique and reflective of the owner’s personality.

When you see your mountain home as a blank canvas, and you’re looking for ways to develop your own farmhouse décor, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of items to choose from.  Much of the fun lies in finding them, and you’re right where you need to be to start looking.  Local flea markets and yard sales are a treasure trove of vintage wood-burning stoves, old lanterns and hammered metal sconces, mason jar lights, iron or wooden chandeliers, rustic wood pendants, old baskets and all sorts of copper and brass pieces bearing the patina of age.  You can find them online as well.  Carefully chosen, these disparate things will come together in a way that feels both nostalgic and familiar.

The modern farmhouse look works especially well in bathrooms.  You’ll see an abundance of brass, from cabinet pulls and faucets to lighting and furniture  to mirrors and wall sconces – especially with brushed or matte finishes.  The black metal panes of an industrial shower door can add definition and complement the softer colors and woods in the room.

Toss the old “rules” about lighting out the window.  In this setting, modern glass globes in a chandelier

work just fine in conjunction with the antique look of sconces.  Everything works together to form a cohesive image.

Perhaps nothing says “farmhouse bathroom” better than a freestanding tub.  Paint the feet black or a color of your choice to blend with the rest of your décor.  You can get a tub faucet, towel bars and rings and toilet paper holder in black matte finish that will contrast nicely with white walls.

Don’t be afraid to use different tile styles in your bathroom to define each space and add visual interest.  For example, subway tile on the shower wall, pebbled shower floor and wood-look tile throughout will make a striking statement.

Be sure to make use of open shelving wherever possible.  It makes the room seem larger, and it’s a great way to display your prettiest lotions, potions, towels and baskets.

Finally, consider covering your bathroom walls with shiplap.   It’s a wide wooden sheathing on which the edges of each board lap over adjacent boards to make a flush joint.  You can run it horizontally or vertically and create an aged look that’s long been popular in barns and historic homes.

These are just a few ideas to help get you started.  In the gated communities near Asheville NC, we like to go well beyond the stale home designs we left when we moved here.  For many of us, it’s the first time we’ve been able to build the house we really want.  The expert design team at The Coves Mountain River Club understands, and they’re ready to help bring your dreams to life.

Come by for a tour and see how others like you have made farmhouse décor work for them in new and exciting ways. 

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir