Kid Friendly, Pandemic Approved

AHBA tour goes online

“The Marcela” is featured on the latest AHBA tour.

The clean interior lines and stark palettes of some contemporary homes often look rather child-unfriendly, as though there’d be little space allotted for kids, with all their accompanying diversions, to spread out and play.

But The Marcela makes no excuses for livability. Designed for an active family, the 7,830-square-foot dwelling in The Ramble at Biltmore Forest features a “luxurious and timeless aesthetic alongside efficiencies and entertaining spaces,” according to Rick Buchanan, owner of Buchanan Construction. 

The home’s name — “blended” in Italian — reflects a seamless balance of decadent design and kid-friendly amenities. The light, airy kitchen feels voguish thanks to a marble rangehood, accompanying backsplash, and soaring ceilings. But the custom marble island with waterfall edging begs for informal gatherings —French toast enjoyed elbow-to-elbow on Saturday mornings or a dry Sauvignon Blanc sipped after hours. (With five bedrooms and a fully equipped game room, The Marcela can handle even the rowdiest of sleepovers.) 

“This house is prepared to meet every occasion with a timeless and bespoke elegance,” assures Buchanan, who collaborated with architect Tad Dotson to bring the project to life.

Towering above an in-ground pool and expansive backyard, the second-floor patio — though “patio” seems too pedestrian a description — welcomes bare feet with a heated floor by Schluter Systems. A fireplace extends family get-togethers well into wintertime, though the indoor movie theater is sure to please on dreary days. 

A “truly versatile space,” The Marcela echoes Buchanan Construction’s current ethos. This year, staff have toggled between client requests, the Southside Townhomes project in downtown Asheville, and Southern Living’s 2020 Idea House, a 3,500-square-foot village retreat also located in The Ramble. Prior engagements aside, Buchanan Construction will feature a lineup of new constructions — including the Southside Townhomes and The Marcela — in the Asheville Home Builders Association Parade of Homes. (Guests will also be treated to a limited peek inside the Southern Living home.)

Hosted each fall, the Parade of Homes is Asheville’s largest showcase of new residential homes. Though typically held in person, October’s event will be moved to a virtual platform. Homes will be judged by out-of-town building experts and later announced in the organization’s magazine. 

Last year, Buchanan Construction earned a Silver Craftsmanship Award for 15 Stansbury Drive, a woodsy-modern three bedroom with panoramic doors and a low-pitched roof. The Marcela is comparatively nuanced: “an intertwining of excellence in both elegance and entertaining.” 

The Asheville Home Builders Association Parade of Homes kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 22. Free. For more information, see