Category Archives: Remodeling

MAKE YOUR MODERN | Extreme Ranch Makeover

As I previously mentioned this summer, Bill and Michael’s new home was published in the Summer Edition of Western North Carolina Home and Garden magazine. They’ve been sharing photos of their home construction with me over the year. An Asheville styled contemporary grew out of a mountain side ranch home by stacking a soaring living space on top with a new street level entry. (How many times have you heard me tell you and my modern seeking clients there is a lot of potential in our ranch homes here?) Bill and Michael took this idea to new heights – literally. Take a look at the finished construction for yourself courtesy of Western North Carolina Home and Garden magazine.

Retro Renovation

I was online today in search of some retro style countertops for my distinctly mid-century kitchen. I came across this fun and informative site. Enjoy! RetroRenovation

Midland Drive Mid-Century

Yesterday, I took a moment, along with Kelly, to tour a favorite mid-century home in Lakeview Park during a broker hosted open house. As I have written about this sophisticated home previously, I wanted to simply offer a few quick snaps for you. The home provides a great, open backdrop for the owner’s art collection. Enjoy!

MAKE YOUR MODERN | Grove Park Ranch

Grandma’s House Gets Modern Updates 

David Way of Roost, LLC gave me a call today while he was putting the finishing touches on a very traditional ranch house not far from the Grove Park Inn. As I have only spoken to David about the new homes he builds, I don’t think he was aware of my passion for ranch homes and their livability. He soon found out as I was on site in ten minutes. After all, he was in my hood.

I caught David outside scanning his Mac on top of some discarded cabinets along the drive.  As is typical of many ranches in our mountain town, the garage is on the lower level. This means the homeowner is often greeted by an unfinished basement when they arrive home navigating ceilings of dangling fiberglass insulation through a sea of gray concrete. David easily carved out a new downstairs entry that was well lit with new recessed lighting and had a surprisingly nice looking ceramic tile on the floor that he found at Home Depot for $2 per tile. Deal! In the process he framed out a new office and laundry for the owners adding extra square footage and useful rooms with better access.

The stairway was now well lit and open, drawing you upward into a new living space created from deconstructing a narrow corridor of doors, a typical ranch house issue. The house, having given up a few walls, offered a flowing lifestyle from kitchen to hall to living to outdoors. You could hear a collective sigh of relief from the owners who can now breathe in the openness of their relaxing new space bouncing with good chi. Cabinets, flooring, fireplace and lighting were all new of course, sporting a blend of contemporary styling. Sweet.

Though ranch homes are very predictable in their challenges, they offer compact one level living that is so desirable by my clients today. Asheville has a variety of wonderful established neighborhoods that offer walkability and close proximity to amenities. Thanks, David, for giving us a peak!

For more information on ranch home remodeling in the area search my blog or call me for some insight on good areas for buying and design resources for remodeling.

Article and Photos by Troy Winterrowd

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.

MAKE YOUR MODERN | Recycling a Ranch Home Bellwhether Style

As both a designer and realtor I think ranch homes are a valuable and overlooked commodity here in the Asheville area. For those people wanting a simple, one-level home close to town we have some 40’s to 60’s neighborhoods loaded with potential and offering a great lifestyle here. In a recent conversation with some of my favorite design/build talent, Brad and Katie Rice, I discovered their last ranch remodel won some awards and felt it was worth noting. I am simply copying an article published in Western North Carolina Builder/Architect magazine that showcases the home along with their timely philosophy.

Clean lines and open space welcome you as you cross the threshold. Light cascades through sun tunnels embedded in the soaring ceilings and dances off the glass-tiled backsplash of the sleek, modern kitchen.  The 40-year-old home is unrecognizable: a newer, greener, fresher version of its former self.

This stylish remodeld ranch in Asheville’s historic Montford neighborhood embodies the philosophy of Brad and Katie Rice of Bellwether Design-Build, the team behind its award-winning metamorphosis: to bring together innovative design, cost-effective construction and sustainable building practices.

“People usually have kind of a ho-hum opinion of ranch homes,” Katie explains.  “part of the excitement for me was to show what could be done.”

Here is combination of shots showing what is now the soaring great room.

The husband and wife team brings 20 years of experience in building and designing homes of every project. Katie’s interests in design and sustainable building meld seamlessly with Brad’s background in construction and his strong ties with local subcontractors.  The boutique company offers start-to-finish services, including land consulting, home design, renovations, remodeling and interior design. Keeping a home’s design and construction under one roof — whether for a custom-built home or a remodel — helps Bellwether’s clients control their costs.

“The design-build package is not found in many firms,” Brad says. “We also believe that good design is green design.”

And building green doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of green.  The exterior of the Rosewood Ave. remodel that dazzled the Parade of Homes judges was fashioned from a salvaged barn roof found in nearby Waynesville. The luxurious marble countertops in the bath were remnants, costing a fraction of market prices and requiring no new energy to manufacture.  Also remnants were the wool carpets — inexpensive, natural and long lasting. The low-E windows were locally manufactured products that help support the Western North Carolina economy and lock out the Appalachian cold superbly, reducing both heating bills and the home’s carbon footprint.

The exterior before remodeling.

Getting in on Budget

“We offer our customers a better value and a wider range of services,” Brad continues. Both he and Katie are proud to provide clients with options designed to help them complete projects no matter the size of their wallet.

“We understand designing within budget,” Katie says. “The design expenses are always incorporated into the building expenses.”

Many customers go to a designer first, and then bring the result to a contractor. But a designer wiht no building background may create a home far beyond a customer’s budget. Similarly, a contractor may be able to build from a plan, but cannot offer design expertise. “We bring both of these estimates to the table,” Brad says, “and this provides our clients with a well-rounded financial approach to their new home from the get-go.”

Whether a new build of a remodel, Bellwether Design-Build is dedicated to keeping operation costs reasonable.

“Essentially, we’re a small and versatile firm that is capable of doing a lot of projects with very little overhead,” Katie says. “We are happy to be able to provide any service a client might require in order to ensure that he or she is completely thrilled with results and their investment.

This home was the winner of three awards in the Asheville HBA 2009 Parade of Homes: Gold Award for Craftsmanship in Price Category, Innovative Home Award and the Trend Award for the best use of recycled materials.

Gracious Ranch Home living in Grove Park

By now we all know I am a big fan of the Ranch home.  I recently acquired a new friend who just so happens to share my passion for the them.  His own Ranch home is a spacious and gracious home that sits just above the Grove Park Inn quietly embraced by the woods and enjoying a beautiful, long range, mountain view.  Let’s take a look!

One of the first things you will notice about this four bedroom home location is that you are in the mountains, yet, there is no steep driveway and no staircases.  You have easy mountain living all on one level living.  The owner states, ” I have an aversion to steps.”  From the driveway, through the subterranean garden and all the way through to the master suite you can almost glide along this flat, comfortable and open floor plan.  There are large openings from room to room so you can effortlessly move throughout the 3000 sq/ft house.  Overall, it is comfortable and welcoming.

Stylisticly, this unassuming Ranch becomes a neutral background that welcomes you to create your own life.  Whether you prefer antiques, modern or prefer eclectic – the Ranch steps out of the way to let your own belongings take center stage.  The owner here has accumulated furnishings from many periods.  He finds his neutral home a gallery for his own personal style.  The eclectic mix is supported in the dining room by the clean horizontal lines mixed with traditional wall covering and cabinetry.

“Along with decor, the Ranch is low maintainance,” says the owner.  The simple plan and construction are easy to access and manipulate saving time and money.   There is simply less to do which allows more time for living life.

Here in the basement the owner has kept and enhanced the original aesthetic of the house.  As time as past many of us grew up in Ranch homes and now find warmth and comfort in the nostaglia of that period.  Mid-century is the charming, new antique of today.

Due to the Ranch style’s narrow plan and large picture windows you can easily be surrounded in nature.  This house is enveloped by its wooded mountain setting.  Even though the house can appear as a box it opens up to allow nature to spill in.

There is also some built in versatility which is important these days.  The main floor has three nice bedrooms and two bathrooms, while the downstairs has a full bedroom suite with bathroom and another living space.  This flexibility can allow for a renter or multiple generations under one roof.  A trend that we will probably see more of in the future.

In the past, the owner has lived in some heavily designed, architecturally dynamic homes.  At this time in his life he has chosen this clean and simple ranch home as it offers him “livibility”.  “I find a gracious simplicity in living here.  I am so comfortable I find it hard to leave,” he says.  As we sat and talked for three hours in the cozy sitting area by the kitchen while enjoying the mountain view – I had to agree.

Text and Photos by Troy Winterrowd

Modern Safari – Adventure in a Mid-Century Restoration



Town Mountain Road

Designed by:

J. Bertram King


1963 – 2800 sq/ft

I recently toured and photographed the home of John Moody and R. Hardy Holland III.  This 1960’s, contemporary post and beam, by noted local architect J. Bertram King, has been given new life by its recent Atlanta transplants.  Built in 1963 it was still clinging to some of the decorative character of the past, including pea green shag carpet.  Over the past year, John and Hardy, have emphasized the modern characteristics of the house and personalized the decor with treasures from their safari adventures.


On the afternoon the couple closed on the house the old kitchen, shown above and left, was removed along with the carpeting and paneling.  They, literally and figuratively, pumped new life into the heart of the house by installing a rich red, modern kitchen.  What was a typical, enclosed kitchen was now a vibrant and open space to entertain.


 The living room was simply cleaned up to allow for a relaxed living space that showcased the architecture and opened up the dramatic mountain and city views.


On a weekend while John was away, Hardy and a friend transformed John’s office to resemble an African safari tent.  John, a native of South Africa, has a business creating and selling luxury tours in Africa.  You can see his tours at .  Hardy is a Wealth Management Consultant for Smith Barney.  office1

img_48281Architect J. Bertram King, is an Asheville resident who won AIA design awards for his building designs.  In 1968 he was noted for designing the Warren Wilson College Chapel.

(text and photos by Troy Winterrowd)