Goosed Up Lake House

We’d all love to have the perfect home with the perfect view. But in real life, most of us have to make compromises. Dream house, but not on the beach. Mountain view, but we wanted a ranch.

One Dahlonega couple, who plans to retire in Hiawassee eventually, found the extraordinary view they longed for there—along with priceless lake access—and they snapped the property up. The house that happened to be on the property was fine, too, but from the outside, it didn’t really reflect their fun, sociable and warm personalities.

The property on beautiful Lake Chatuge already had lake access, a dock and a dock permit. And no wonder they fell in love with it. A sweeping, wide-angle lake view frames an amazing vista of northeast Georgia’s breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains.

The contemporary-style cabin suited their wishes on the inside, but they wanted the outside to look and feel more welcoming. Permitting issues, septic tank considerations and a host of other rules and regulations dictated the size and footprint of the house, so expanding or renovating it was impractical, if not impossible.

So Art of Stone Gardening helped them dress it up and soften it up a bit.

The home sits on a very narrow lot, and the ivy-covered hill behind the house amounted to a lot of wasted space. One of the first things we did was to cut the slope back and build a retaining wall. The septic system was reconfigured, too.

Now they had a usable back yard area.

We wrapped the bottom of the home in stone to add warmth, texture and architectural interest to the contemporary lines. The “rubble strips” of stone have hand-cut edges. Grey tones in the stone complement the home’s sophisticated dark grey paint color.

A stone “water table” tops the wrap at a slight angle where the stone transitions to windows or siding. This feature deflects rain to keep water from getting behind the stone.

We carried the stone element into the home with an accent wall in the front foyer. Together with the full-lite door and tall windows, this added touch connects the indoors with the natural outdoors setting.

A new stone patio creates an attractive and functional outdoor space for grilling out or just relaxing and enjoying the view. Some foundation plantings soften the house around the edges, while tall containers with pink flowers flank the patio doors, bringing a touch of color and symmetry to the party.

An informal gravel drive leads to the house. We added stepping stones on the path to the new back-yard area, and a clean, well-defined pathway escorts the homeowners and their visitors to the front door.

At some point in the future, our clients will retire here. For now, they spend many weekends and holidays at their lakefront property, where they enjoy the water and the view, and their lovely, unique home reflects their lifestyle and their personalities.

How appropriate that a goose paraded across the yard as we came to a stopping point in sprucing up the home and landscaping. Did you know that to goose up something is to make it better, more attractive, more intense?

If you think this lake house has been goosed up now, watch for an update on the property in a future post. There’s more to be done!

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