A Relaxed Mountaintop Manor

Feature Homes

comfy and bright living area with fireplace, wooden ceiling beams, and white walls

By Tory Irmeger | Photography by Daniel Neuhoff/Creative Revolver

Modern luxury masterfully meshes with old-world elements in this mountaintop home by Brian and Natalie Burkley of Deep South Custom Homes. When planning this build, Burkley wanted to complement the home’s natural scenery while also creating a one-of-a-kind tailored design. “We originally built houses in Mississippi, where we didn’t have the mountainous topography and rocky landscapes that are here in Tennessee,” Brian Burkley shares. “It was fun to have that as a starting point to inspire the house.”

Builder: Brian Burkley, Deep South Custom Homes

Interior design: Natalie Burkley, Deep South Custom Homes

luxurious, contemporary mountaintop manor

open doorway to luxury home


Among the more striking elements of the house exterior is its playful symmetry offset by the natural terrain. When building on mountaintop properties, there is rarely room for perfect symmetry, but here Burkley was able to create a commanding visual aesthetic on a complicated lot. Sharp gables along the roofline echo remnants of Gothic Revival inspiration, while even dark gutters are emphasized against white brick to create visual balance. “The exposed outcrop was very visually interesting, so we designed the house around it. This posed a challenge in some ways as it limited our footprint on the lot, but architecturally it was fun to work that element in because it makes this house truly one-of-a-kind,” says Burkley.

To see more from Deep South Custom Homes,
visit deepsouthcustomhomes.com.

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clean and bright contemporary kitchen with rustic accents and custom cabinetry

Clean sightlines and dynamic shapes continue in the interior of the home. Stepping into the gourmet kitchen, guests are immediately drawn to the arched window above an apron-front sink. Custom cabinetry built on-site also features an arch motif with glass-front displays. Additional cabinet space can be found in the half-moon island, while a walk-in pantry can accommodate any storage needs.

With careful attention and a balanced hand, this space is a revived take on the Tuscan aesthetic. The countertops and backsplash here are dark-veined gray quartzite, and they work with the room’s wood tones to anchor the bright space. The hardwood flooring, wide-planked white oak, is used throughout the home to create cohesive spaces. In this project, Burkley was excited to repurpose antique beams throughout the home, including the exposed transom supports above the soaring kitchen doorways.

Countertops: Granite Warehouse

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large island bar with arched countertop adjacent to a lounge room

high-end sink with mountaintop view

light kitchen with arched island bar and clean white appliances

“In this build, we wanted something classic but with a slight rustic feel, so we used a lot of antique, old-world elements. Some of our design inspiration came from New Orleans-style homes, and we used repurposed materials to bring some of that character to this project.”

– Brian Burkley, Deep South Custom Homes

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clean white cabinetry

bright and airy lounge room with two arched entrances

Utilizing a semi-open floor plan, the living room is merely steps away from the kitchen. Symmetrical 11-foot arches made of a stucco-like material add a touch of texture to the room in contrast to the brick interior accent wall. Overhead, repurposed ceiling beams crisscross in a grid, with half of the beams exposed and half painted white for a unique effect. A well-defined fireplace mirrors the range hood in the kitchen and is made of the same cast stone material, while recessed built-in shelves complete the arch motif.

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elegant dining room with sophisticated chandelier glass door entrance to driveway

Passing through the entryway to the formal dining room, guests catch glimpses through the wide windows of the huge rock outcrop in the front yard, one of Burkley’s favorite elements. “The outcrop and the trees surrounding the yard – these are things you really can’t replicate,” Burkley says. “Sometimes you just get lucky like this and can incorporate cool natural accents into the house design, which is one of the fun parts of being in this business.”

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bright, elegant master bedroom with fireplace

sleek, luxurious white bathroom with tub, large sink, vanity mirror

Between larger-than-life doorways and vast windows featuring valley views, this build plays with proportion while incorporating comfort. This balance can be seen in the primary suite, where vaulted ceilings with accent beams make the area feel spacious and curated textiles layer in coziness. The ensuite features heated Onyx tile flooring and wainscoting flourishes to complete the refined effect, with pops of gold to tie the space together. As a final flourish, the entrance to the primary bedroom is one of a dozen antique cypress doors from New Orleans that Burkley installed throughout the house to instill some of that old-world personality.

Tile: Louisville Tile

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contemporary lounge room with large open window with view, cozy furniture, and a tv above a fireplace

contemporary balcony with mountaintop view

No mountain home would be complete without a porch to visit with loved ones and take in the beauty all around. The main outdoor living area is easily accessed from the main living area via wide sliding doors, and on the porch, guests will find several seating vignettes as well as an outdoor kitchen. A brick fireplace with a minimalistic wood mantel is the perfect centerpiece, while glass-paneled railings provide an unobstructed view of the scenery.

“This was one of the most challenging houses we’ve ever built, but we’re very proud of the final result. We feel like we brought a little bit of Mississippi to Chattanooga with this design,” says Burkley.

Other Suppliers

Appliances: Ferguson | Architect: Designers II | Brick and stone: Majestic Masonry | Countertops: Rocky Tops | Flooring: Jeremy Walters Flooring | Ironwork: E&K Metalworks | Landscaping: Gordon Landscaping | Painting: Ramos Painting

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