A Nod to Mod

Builder: Tim Burns, Burns Construction Company
Architect: Steve Kemp, Kemp Hall Studio
Interior designer: Yvonne McFadden, Y. McFadden, LLC

At first glance, this home looks like a classic old-world stunner. But take a closer look, and you’ll see nods to a sleeker, more modern aesthetic woven in. “The inside and the outside really have two different aesthetics that merge together,” says builder Tim Burns of Burns Construction Company. “Inside, the goal was to make it look modern and new, but it was important to the homeowners that the exterior of the house retain an older, more European lean.” Meeting the homeowners’ expectations was nothing new for Burns, who had worked with the clients in the past. “I’d built their first home, and they had an interest in building again down the road,” he says. “They gave me a call when they were ready to start that process.”

By Candice Graham | Photography by Philip Slowiak
Inline Lighting Ad

A Finely Crafted Façade

Set against a backdrop of mountains, this house’s wood, stone, and neutral-toned stucco looks at home among the earthy surroundings. The site, however, was tricky to work with as the home sits right on the edge of Signal Mountain’s brow. Yet Burns was able to bring together the amazing views with this stunning home. “It was rewarding when it was completed,” says Burns. “The positioning of the home with its surroundings are unbelievably impressive.”

From the exterior of the home, a wall of windows gives a glimpse of a structured interior staircase, while the curvature of locally sourced stone meets streamlined stucco. Sliding barn doors at the entryway act as a shield against unwelcome weather, protecting an imported iron and glass front door. Made by Burns himself, the barn doors are crafted from Brazilian hardwood.

See more from Burns Construction Company at burnsconstruction.bksites.net.

East Chattanooga Lumber ad

In the living room, floor-to-ceiling windows make the room awash with light. The area centers around a large fireplace crafted from the same stone used on the exterior, sourced from Crossville, Tennessee. The room’s rustic undertones are balanced by the modern thread running throughout. A walnut mantle and two shaded sconces add a touch of mod symmetry, as do herringbone hearth tiles.

Furniture in the room echoes the shades of the fireplace stone. A taupe sofa with structured lines faces the fireplace, and a beige sofa and matching armchairs help anchor the space. Deep blue throw pillows recall the shades of the river, which can be seen through the windows beyond the trees.

Beaty Fabricating Ad

With deluxe appliances and a sprawling island, the nearby kitchen is both elegant and functional. White glazed subway tiles form a backsplash, while windows take up major real estate over the sink. White, heather gray, and charcoal cabinetry provide a muted color scheme for the airy room.

Cabinetry reaches the ceiling, creating
ample storage, and dual ovens and double sinks bring added functionality. Marble countertops add a time-honored touch, while two oversized light fixtures reinforce a modern element.

Hidden from sight, a luxuriantly furnished walk-through pantry creates additional storage. A door at the back of the kitchen provides access to the back of the home, where verdant valley views help the home office feel steeped in nature.

Appliances and plumbing fixtures: Ferguson | Cabinetry: Classic Cabinetry
Cabinetry design: Christy Forester, Classic Cabinetry | Countertops: Stone Source, Inc.

Raymond James ad

Beautiful luxury home modern stairwell iron handrail iron light fixture Chattanooga


“The stairwell goes from the main floor up to the second, and with floor-to-ceiling windows the space is almost always flooded with a cascade of natural light.”

– Tim Burns, Burns Construction Company


As one of the most modern aspects of the house, the stairwell and bank of windows make for a striking space and bring in a pop of nature. Iron is a common element in the stairway, which features a custom iron handrail and a structured iron light fixture. Window panels were painted black for both contrast and as a nod back to the black iron features.

Chattanooga Closet Company Ad

Beautiful luxury home dining room table A line roof wooden beams Chattanooga


On the main floor, the dining room table looks out on views of the snaking Tennessee River. Custom-created built-in china cabinets, which cut back the amount of furniture needed, provide a minimalistic look. An A-line roof with wooden beams elevates the ceiling for an open, almost Alpine feel. Suede dining chairs and a simplistic overhead light fixture make for a smartly designed space.

Trim and interior doors: Interior Trim & Supply, Inc.
Windows: Window & Door Gallery

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Ad

In the master bathroom, cool gray and light white set the tone. A walk-in shower made of solid onyx adds a touch of luxe, as do marble counters that rest atop gray-toned wood cabinetry. Recessed lighting within the shower and oblong sconces opposite the mirror create a warm glow. Shiplap boards across the wall are painted a cloud white, and two wood beams run through the ceiling for both support and visual interest. A freestanding white tub with modern curvature rests below a bank of windows, and a globe-shaped chandelier steps in when the sun goes down.

Cabinetry: Classic Cabinetry

Cabinetry design: Christy Forester, Classic Cabinetry

Countertops: Stone Source, Inc.

Nell's Web Ad

In the basement kitchen, sleek cabinetry in a soft taupe shade with a flat finish pairs perfectly with concrete countertops to give the space a modern yet grounded, earthy appearance. This space serves as a convenient work station to the pool and hot tub area out back, as the basement features a walkout directly to the pool terrace. Meanwhile, the upstairs office, just off the main kitchen, utilizes slightly lighter tones to create a more crisp and contemporary feel.

“The built-in cabinets in the utility rooms, such as the basement kitchen and office off the main kitchen, make these spaces ultra-functional,” says Burns.

From the exterior’s traditional look to the interior’s up-to-the-moment vibe, this home effortlessly melds together two distinct designs into one. Situated on the Signal Mountain brow, Burns successfully built a brand new mountainside home with all the authenticity of a long-established estate.

Cabinetry: Classic Cabinetry

Cabinetry design: Christy Forester, Classic Cabinetry

Countertops: Stone Source, Inc.

Pool and hot tub: Aquarium Pools

Nell's Web Ad

Other Suppliers:

Art: Carylon Killebrew

Flooring: Five Star Hardwood Floors

Landscape design and installation: Mountain Top Landscaping

Lighting: Lifespark Lighting

Painting: Ramos Painting

Stone: Stone House Designs

Tile: D&R Tile

Chattanooga Closet Company Ad

You Also Might Like

[related_post post_id=""]
CityScope Celebrating 30 Years Logo

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!