The Eye Never Stops

Stone, glass, and Italian furniture inform the flow of artisanal estate, built by Glennwood Custom Builders. In the great room, floor-to-ceiling windows get a touch of tradition in a gridded clerestory while still soaking in the entirety of the view. Furniture from B&B Italia, Maxalto, and North Carolina-based Hickory Chair, as well as custom rugs, were chosen for their soft textures and warm neutrals — including cowhide and mocha-hued ottomans, charcoal linen chairs, and a bronze coffee table. Garner Woodworks (Swannanoa) installed the walnut TV surround and built-in cabinetry. Photo by David Dietrich

From a barrier island to a Blue Ridge mountaintop, Joe and Laura have got the Carolinas covered. Toggling between their named estates in Kiawah Island and South Asheville — respectively “The Nest” and “The Perch” — these parents of two grown children and a chocolate Labradoodle named Hershey enjoy the microclimatic escape of their high-elevation home. But they brought their “long time [interior] designer and friend” Emily Woollcott, of Slate Interiors in Charleston, on board when it was time to appoint their mountaintop retreat. 

Erected by Glennwood Custom Builders of Hendersonville with Young & Young Architects of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, this Mountain Modern masterpiece is sited in a luxury development that was once better known for traditional builds. “Some years ago, I wanted to break the mold and bring something fresher [to the neighborhood], with more contemporary, cleaner lines,” says Dan Collins, president of Glennwood. His success is in every gesture of the residence, made splendid by local rock and massive glazing, with “spectacular long-range views from virtually every room,” says Laura. 

While the home sits on the spine of the development’s most prominent ridgeline, it doesn’t dominate the landscape like an old-school gabled affair might do. “We’ve always been big believers in snuggling a home into the mountain, not having it soar up,” says Collins. This site-sensitive approach is achieved, in part, by a low roof profile and diffused massing, so that daylight walkout areas are accessible from all levels of the residence.

Project Manager Bret Hartzog, with Glennwood, points out all the steel-reinforced cantilevering that makes the terraces look weightless. Corresponding elements in the interior — “certain bumpouts, a floating staircase”— mimics the gesture. “Credit for that goes to the architect,” says Hartzog.

First, though, Collins credits the precision and consistency of his core subcontractor team of framer Ahren Palmer, trim carpenter Chad Corey, and painter Brian Cannon, who “work seamlessly together to make our projects so special.” He reveals that his tight-knit team has been together for more than a decade, “fine-tuning the process” that results in such large-scale, show-stopping houses.

“The site is phenomenal,” says architect Todd Young. “The house sits right where the mountain drops off, and the [structural elements] dance precipitously away from the ridgeline.” A bridge-like connector balances the house’s sections. “It’s so important to be able to stretch the various structures along the spine of the ridge,” says Young. “As soon as you can pull the architecture apart, you end up having these wonderful outdoor spaces.”

Back inside, Michelle LaVictor — Young & Young’s in-house designer, who worked with Woollcott — incorporated bold natural materials (limestone, fieldstone, concrete) to honor the mountaintop location. “The eye never stops,” says Young, referring to the way LaVictor’s interior hardscaping segues from one room to the other. 

In the common areas, such elements contrast artistically with sleek walnut custom cabinetry and built-ins by Garner Woodworks of Swannanoa.

“[This residence] was a project we could easily get excited about,” says firm founder Josh Garner. “Combining the natural richness of walnut with soft, painted surfaces helped create a genuinely bespoke cabinetry package.” He emphasizes the “clean lines that accentuate progressive design elements over sheer simplicity … blending [a] modern [look] with traditional craftsmanship.”

The floating interior stairs are a distillation of the home’s modern magic. (The Heirloom Companies, Campobello, SC.) Photo by David Dietrich
Practical double garages and a big statement in stone unite the vision of this South Asheville home, which features multiple outdoor spaces and long-range views from every room. Photo by David Dietrich

Dark and sleek, the custom cabinetry, fabricated by Garner Woodworks of Swannanoa, is set off by Mount Blanc quartzite countertops and island top, from Mountain Marble. The stools are powder-coated steel with quilted leather seats, from Studio Piet Boon, adding subtle but stylish texture — the project’s interior motif. The cabinets’ ultra-slim, brushed-nickel hardware is echoed in a refined trio of pendant lights. Photo by David Dietrich
In the home’s entertainment room, earthier elements hold sway, including beams on the vertical-grain Douglas Fir ceiling and live-edge columns of regional Elk Mountain fieldstone (via Glennwood Custom Builders). The custom walnut shuffleboard table by 11 Ravens is another striking expression in wood, set against more of Garner Woodworks’ fine, dark-stained walnut cabinetry, including gallery shelving for Murano glass vessels from Italy. Photo by David Dietrich
In the dining room, the graceful Hubbardton Forge contemporary light fixture, suspended from a tray ceiling, presides over an elegant Maxalto dining-room table. Interior design by Emily Woollcott (Slate Interiors) and Michelle LaVictor (Young & Young Architects, Inc.). Architect: Todd Young. Photo by David Dietrich
Interior designer Michelle LaVictor of Young & Young Architects had the spa-like master bath surfaced with natural silver Travertine stone sourced in Michigan. A “neat feature,” as LaVictor points out, is the sculptural bench running behind the slipper tub, designed by Chris Harrington, project manager with Young & Young. Countertops are quartzite from Mountain Marble. Photo by David Dietry

Sophisticated tone-on-tone neutrals in the master bedroom are approved by Hershey, a Chocolate Labradoodle with courtly posture who enjoys resting on the European-style platform bed. Designer textiles for the accent pillows and bedding used throughout the home include choices from Dedar, Pollack, and Brentano. “All fabrics are exclusive to the trade, so my clients get something hand selected,” says Emily Woollcott (Slate Interiors). Floor-to-ceiling glazing accesses the mountain view in southern Buncombe County. Photo by David Dietrich
A great view deserves a great outdoor room, and this home comes with more than one: The residence is embedded with a screened-in porch and a trio of open-air decks. Here, on the front terrace, the swivel-chair seating (surrounding a Brown Jordan Fires firepit) is from Restoration Hardware with Perennials outdoor fabric. The other outdoor spaces feature the bronze-finished 1966 Richard Schultz collection — considered the bellwether of high-end outdoor furniture, these pieces appear in the dining area on the back deck, in the jacuzzi area, and on Joe’s outdoor office deck. Photo by David Dietrich
“The bridge separates the home into private and public spaces,” notes Michelle LaVictor, interior designer with Young & Young Architects. Todd Young worked with Dan Collins (Glenwood Custom Builders) and his crew to erect this Mountain Modern masterpiece. It’s a style that Collins has gradually introduced into the luxury development in recent years.  Photo by David Dietrich


Builder: Dan Collins, Glennwood Custom Builders; Bret Hartzog, project manager (Hendersonville)

Architect: Todd Young, Young & Young Architects, Inc. (Bloomfield Hills, MI)

Interior Design: Michelle LaVictor with Young & Young; Emily Woollcott (Slate Interiors, Charleston SC)

Cabinetry: Garner Woodworks (Swannanoa)

Countertops: Mountain Marble (Asheville)

Stairs: The Heirloom Companies (Campobello, SC)

Fine-art selection: Blue Spiral 1 Gallery (Asheville)

Interior trim, custom interior doors: Phillip Elenbaas Millwork (Grand Rapids, MI)

Landscaping: Cloos Landscape Architecture (Horse Shoe), Natural Touch Landscaping (Etowah), Autrey Tree & Landscaping (Mars Hill)

Stone: David Ayres Stone Works (Seneca, SC)

Windows: Thompson Windows (Hendersonville)

Fixtures: Bella Hardware & Bath (Asheville)

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