A Family Retreat on the Peak

A family-centered home takes relaxing in nature and quality time to new heights.
By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Morgan Nowland


For the Talberts, it was immediately evident that this was the perfect place to call home when they found it in 2006. As Tim Talbert shares, “We were looking for a home on the brow that also was in a neighborhood. It’s a ways out of town, so I get to decompress on the drive home, and it’s wooded enough to feel very private even though we’re surrounded by neighbors. The fact that the lot next door was also for sale was a big selling point. I planned to purchase it and expand as soon as we could if it was still available. So that was our goal.” It was a goal they accomplished after a few years, and now the lot next door holds their expansive garage which features multiple bays, their mother-in-law style apartment, and an epic man cave. The Talberts have patiently composed their family homestead and now raise their children in a serene mountain-top neighborhood with room for all kinds of family and friends to visit and stay.

The walk to the front of the home is lined with lush, sprawling shade gardens. A mixture of materials including mountain stone, brick, and shake-style siding create a mountainous craftsman aesthetic. The columns on the front porch hold birds’ nests that the children love to check in on. “We can see them from the window in the hallway, but we also come out here on the porch and look in at the new little baby birds. McHaney and Trace really love it,” Michelle says. From the front door, the foyer leads into the home’s kitchen and new addition to the right.

Down the hallway there is an abundance of smartly used space, including a new pantry and a spacious laundry and craft room that Michelle has affectionately dubbed, “the mommy hub.” Walking into the kitchen, eyes are greeted with light and airy colors and two expansive islands. The creamy granite countertops veined in green-gray are highlighted by the minty-sage arabesque tile backsplash. The light colors of the kitchen are in keeping with the home’s classic styling that, when partnered with large picture windows, allows the surrounding nature scenes to take the lead. Painted cabinetry retains the home’s traditional styling as well, to make sure the new kitchen and addition tie in with the rest of the home.

“We really wanted to open up this side of the house, so we enclosed the porches and added the large windows to take advantage of the beautiful view,” Michelle explains. The adjoining dining area is a new space that has added plenty of room for entertaining. A mission-style dining suite keeps it light and fresh while woodsy brow views wrap the dining area and nearby seating area in vibrant greens and pale blues.

The gourmet kitchen with double refrigerators, double ovens, and an enormous cooktop paired with the extra seating of the new dining area makes this space perfect for entertaining. “We have a lot of family out of state, so when they all come in for holidays, we have really enjoyed having room for everyone to stay and plenty of room for holiday meals,” Michelle shares.

Right beside the dining area is one of Michelle’s favorite places in the house – a casual sitting area that doubles as a sunroom. “I’m usually the first one up in the morning, and I like to take a few minutes to myself in this room. It’s just such a peaceful place to wake up and start my day,” Michelle says. The two plush slipcovered sofas define the room’s arrangement. The simple, mirrored structure maintains clean lines and a bright vibe, while the woods beyond are welcomed into the room through vertical picture windows and transoms, nearly creating the illusion of an open wall.

Walking through to the other side of the house, guests will find the formal dining room and living room. In the dining room (below), the walls are all custom painted by local artisans to depict a scene inspired by Tim and Michelle’s travels to Italy. Michelle says, “The scene here is from Tuscany, inspired by our Italian vacation. I just described what I saw when I woke up every day on the trip, and this is how the artist interpreted it. I absolutely love it. The climbing roses from terracotta pots are just like the ones on the balcony where we stayed.”

In the adjacent formal living room, more faux painting techniques elevate the appearance of the room to a grand Italian villa style. With a vaulted ceiling and metallic faux fresco wall treatment, the room feels elegant yet relaxed. A beautiful painting of a cobblestone street hangs above the fireplace to support the European feel. Meanwhile greens, golds, and aubergine tones play off each other. Accents such as a marble-topped coffee table and the tasseled skirt of the sofa add sophistication in the details.

Other rooms in the house boast the same special treatment. In fact, upstairs, Trace’s room boasts an especially festive motif. A jungle theme is carried out through the décor and also through the very special wall treatments. Custom, hand-painted murals of jungle animals and scenery are crowned with select three-dimensional elements, like draping treetops and the craned neck of a giraffe in the corner. Stuffed animals round out the jungle cast, while a custom-built bed is the room’s indisputable showstopper. The hand-hewn tree limbs lend an authentic appearance to this wild dwelling.

After completing their garage guesthouse on the neighboring lot, the new building has an upstairs guest suite with an enviable view. The Talberts decided that the best way to capture the room’s position amongst the trees was to employ an avian aesthetic. A bird-themed bedroom makes for a cheerful and relaxing retreat with a view off the mountain bluff that makes guests feel like they’re soaring.

Throughout every detail and spacious room, it is evident that this home was designed to be family-centered and a relaxing sanctuary for Michelle and Tim to enjoy the things in life that really matter. “We just want to give our kids a wonderful childhood in this house,” Michelle says.

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