MAKE YOUR MODERN | Bringing a Bert King Contemporary into 2011

I recently toured 10 Crowningway in one of my favorite Asheville neighborhoods, Sunset Summit, just off Town Mountain Rd. The current owners, Bradley and Peggy Holmes, purchased the 1964 built, Bert King home in 2006. Having lived in it for a few years they were slowly exploring renovating the home when a pipe burst causing extensive damage and forcing them to seek repairs. This presented the opportunity to expand and bring the house into the future at the same time.

As I pulled into the drive of the home I did not recognize it from the photos as I had found from its 2006 MLS listing. It was similar, but not the same house. I pulled out again to check the address. This was it. The confusion stemmed from the house looking so originally 60’s that I thought I was at the wrong house in the same neighborhood of mid-century homes. The house had seamlessly been altered within its original aesthetic. The owners had been careful to match the original wood siding and other appropriate details.  Cool!

Mid-Century Make0vers – Allow me to pause and make a point here. You will often see around the country and in Asheville mid-century and ranch homes that get a traditional makeover by their owners and become a mix of conflicting styles. In Asheville you will witness many being “dragged out” in craftsman style garb such as windows, doors and siding. The end result is conflicting and uncomfortable and often times challenging to sell. I find that maintaining the homes true nature is the best way to go long term. Let’s look at people as an analogy. We have all watched those make over shows where they find people who are 40-something trying to wear clothes of a 20 year old, a man trying to hide his balding head with a come-over or a woman trying to shove her breasts into a shirt that is way too small. Without fail the fashion expert will make them over wearing clothes that fit their true proportions and nature, age appropriate and working with their natural bones. In the end they look more fashionable, approachable and walk with more integrity by doing less. The same is true of a house. You don’t have to be a designer to know that it just feels right. Keep it simple and work with what you have.

In continuing with my tour I found that the entry space was the most visible, but subtle departure from the original styling. The contemporary slat wall was crafted by a local artist, Craig Wies, using slats of rich Walnut. The choice was a personal statement and reflection of Brad’s upbringing in Pennsylvania and memories of building family homes using walnut off the land. To avoid isolating this feature they tied the wood into the entry flooring and the cap to the kitchen cabinetry.Originally, the home had no internal stairs to the basement. In removing the flooded and damaged laundry from this area and expanding it in the front they created an expansive entry and circulation area. As I toured the bedroom wings there was mention of the house having been expanded in one area to allow for a closet and other closets and doors being rearranged. If they hadn’t told me I would have thought it was all original. Again, it was seamless in its updating. This played out further in the den. Despite closing off an entry to the living space and rearranging a closet they were able to salvage all the paneling and place it back. The warm wood maintained the integrity of what was appropriate to the period and lifestyle keeping the contemporary and cozy feeling of the room while adding a needed third bedroom to the home.Overall, the house was clean, open and comfortable like most of the Bert King homes I have been in. I can’t say much more than they just feel right. Peggy states, “Some architects bring the outside in, but she feels that Bert King’s designs really bring the inside out.”  They definitely balance function and flow and make for a quality livable home for generations. Just ask the Holmes who plan to live a quality life in their own for many years. I commend them for their sensitve updating to this Bert King classic contemporary home and hope they inspire others to do the same.

One response to “MAKE YOUR MODERN | Bringing a Bert King Contemporary into 2011

  1. The best house I’ve ever been to in my life! If I needed to rent a beautiful house I would rent this house.

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