Industrial chic meets cabaret glamour
For an ex-New Yorker who loves his animals and his privacy, moving to the Asheville area was all about finding a lush buffer of land. “I wanted the space and the seclusion,” he says. After discovering a home with 25 acres near Fairview, he chose to renovate instead of building fresh.
“I want to eventually build hiking trails on the property, a treehouse, maybe an all-glass guest house,” muses the reclusive, self-employed doctor, who favors Great Danes and would like to acquire a herd of goats.
The hidden lot, with its enfolding mountain views, appealed to this frequent world traveler, who immerses himself in the local culture when he’s in town but is also a self-described introvert. “Basically,” he says, “I had the house [designed] so that people can come to me. It has everything for guests, but it’s my environment. I can go to bed whenever I want.”
And although the original home was grand, its many classical arches had to go. What was once a stately 6,000-square-foot affair with gables, decorative woodwork, and other flourishes expanded to 11,150 square feet, thanks to a lower-level space styled like an upscale urban hotel.
The vision below shimmers like a Parisian disco, but the home’s primary aesthetic went the opposite way: clean and spare. Industrial-chic materials replaced lodge-y wood and stone. “The pattern language became rectilinear,” explains architect Wayland Shamburger. Walls were demolished and exposed steel beams erected in their place. The kitchen was gutted.
“The whole thing opened up. It’s clean and crisp now,” says Shamburger.
Because of foundation and waterproofing issues, the project took two years. “None of us recognized the tremendous amount of work that would be needed to bring it back to starting condition,” reveals builder Kevin Reed, owner of BlueStone Construction.
Interior designer Ronal Fenstermacher is well experienced with luxury properties, including working on past residences with the owner’s family. However, “this home is unique,” he says. Whereas the great room, dining area, and bedrooms are sleek and trim, below deck, as it were, the vibe is undeniably posh.
“There was a lot of dynamic in planning all these spaces,” says Fenstermacher. “Sometimes people want the whole menu. [When that happens], my job is to make certain it all hangs together in the end.”
He adds, with humor, “It was a normal house before Wayland and I approached it collectively.”
Outsized houses get outsized attention. This one netted BlueStone Construction three 2019 Star Awards from the North Carolina Home Builders Association: Best Whole House Remodel, Best Outdoor Living Space, and Best Room Remodel, for the kitchen. The statement island in that space, sourced through Stone Connection Granite Interiors, “was quarried in Brazil,” notes Kelly Motes of the family firm in Zirconia.
After so many months of tunneling through logistics, “the fun,” says Fenstermacher, “was celebrating afterward.” And indeed, the homeowner is fond of hosting shindigs at his secluded hideaway.
“He hires the best local chefs,” says Reed. “It tends to be a really big deal.”
Despite all the sophistication, though, the youthful doctor reportedly engaged family-friendly aerialist group Imagine Circus for his last event. He says he invites neighbors over to use the breathtaking infinity pool, designed by Shamburger. And one reason for all the extra space downstairs is just practical: “I don’t want my guests to have to drive home after a party.”
Natural-stone chevron tile and a brass range hood keep things earthy. But it’s a polished-gemstone kind of earthy, as proven by the gold-toned hardware, pendants, and bar seating — not to mention the turquoise stove. “All the textures reflect the raw steel used throughout the house, giving it edge,” says interior designer Ronal Fenstermacher (R.F.I.). A statement island of Brazilian “Val Dorcia” quartzite (Stone Connection Granite Interiors, Zirconia) was engineered with a double waterfall edge. The kitchen received a Star Award for “Best Room Remodel” from the North Carolina Home Builders Association.
It’s like a bit of Seven Sisters in Dubai: The situation in the fully loaded club is Euro-club glitz with undertones of Middle Eastern and Asian, including banquette seating (not shown). Picking up suggestions from the traveling homeowner’s knowledge of world-class clubs, designer Ronal Fenstermacher (R.F.I.) went deep cabaret with the bar and lounge, appointing glowing Lucite chairs, Art Deco pendants, and gilded black wallpaper that reads like tapestry. Sleek floor tile from Crossville Studios.
Absinthe Lives Here
This is where the volume of the Fairview property gets cranked from high-end mountain home to extravagant estate. The club space, billiards room, theater room, spa, and other resort-like oases double the home’s square footage. Gallery lighting and heavy art globes (from ABC Carpet & Home in New York) distinguish the full-service bar. (Edimax Fusion dark floors by Crossville Studios.)
Best in Show
Interior designer Ronal Fenstermacher sourced the pair of silver-studded French-blue doors — think Graceland meets Louis XIV — that lead to a state-of-the-art theater room. Whereas the main floors of the home speak to today’s industrial-chic aesthetic, down here everything is redolent of old-school glamour. In the theater, the luxe factor goes through the ceiling — a ceiling that’s padded with top-of-the-line acoustics. (Simply Wired of Asheville; BlueStone.) The plush, sunken oasis is replete with decadent lounge seating, the whole thing toned like a Moorish hookah room, or maybe a Hollywood sunset.
A pebble-floored shower and Spanish Arabesque walls (both tile styles by Crossville Studios) in the spa/steam room add to the idea of multiple textures throughout the home, although sleek cabinetry (from Mountain Showcase of Hendersonville) stays the modern course.
The home’s contrasting aesthetics — industrial vs. voluptuous — seem to embrace in the master suite’s modern canopy bed, its utilitarian lines and natural textures echoed by the contemporary frameless windows and ricocheting mountain view. Midnight-blue walls, a rock fireplace (surround by local G&S Stoneworks), and an appealingly furry rug (Carpet One Floor & Home of Candler) keep it all warm.
Out of Sight
On the rear terrace leading to the pool, the fireplace is distinguished by a surround of locally sourced fieldstone and river rock (G&S Stoneworks). Sleek cubist chairs have a Mid Century look, but the real modern touch is motorized “phantom” screens — from Retractable Screens of Western North Carolina in Franklin — that can evaporate and reappear as the weather dictates. (The room won a Star Award for “Best Outdoor Living Space” from the North Carolina Home Builders Association.)
Winds of Change
Surrounded by 25 acres in rural Fairview, the home underwent a massive two-year renovation. Builder Kevin Reed notes the bluestone pavers (Greater Scapes of Weaverville) and a “very, very cool” shiplap siding with metal detailing, combined with stucco and fieldstone.
Builder: BlueStone Construction (Hendersonville)
Architect: Wayland Shamburger, Shamburger Architects (Hendersonville)
Interior Designer: Ronal Fenstermacher Interiors, Inc. (R.F.I.)
Cabinetry: Mountain Showcase Group (Hendersonville); Downsview (Juno, Florida)
Countertops (kitchen and bath): Stone Connection Granite Interiors (Zirconia)
Doors: interior – Sun Mountain Custom Doors (Fletcher); front doors – Modern Steel Doors
Kitchen island: Stone Connection Granite Interiors (Zirconia)
Landscaping: Ben Fotusky, Greater Scapes Landscape & Lawncare, Inc. (Weaverville)
Tile: (lower level and bathrooms): Crossville Studios (Fletcher)
Ceramic Matrix: (Vero Beach, FL)
Floors: Burchette & Burchette Hardwood Floors (Elkin, NC).
Furniture: Custom pieces sourced through R.F.I.
Millwork: Smokey Mountain Lumber, Inc. (Asheville)
Windows: Marvin and Kolbe
Acoustics, lighting control, multi-zone sound system: Simply Wired (Asheville)
Pool: Medallion Pool Company (Woodfin)
Steel/iron: BlueStone Construction
Fixtures, lighting, appliances: Ferguson (Asheville)
Stonework: Gary Stroud, G&S Stoneworks (Black Mountain)
Front stone pavers: Greater Scapes Landscapes & Lawncare, Weaverville)
Screens: (outdoor room, den, and kitchen balcony): Retractable Screens of Western North Carolina (Franklin)
Rugs: Carpet One Floor & Home (Candler)