Avant-Garde Artisanal

A world-class home newly crafted with modern and luxurious amenities also pays homage to the old-world craftsmanship of yesteryear. Show-stopping features and meticulous attention to detail allowed builder, Greg Calfee of Greg Calfee Builders, LLC, and interior designer, Gretchen Ruvo of Gretchen Ruvo Designs, LLC, to create a home that helps define today’s building and design styles.


Builder: Greg Calfee, Greg Calfee Builders, LLC
Interior designer: Gretchen Ruvo, Gretchen Ruvo Designs, LLC
Architect: River Street Architecture



By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Beacon Imagery

It’s All in the Details

Calfee says, “I think one of the defining features of this home is the Texas limestone used on the exteriors. It gives it a really unique look and adds a touch of Southwestern flair.”  The lavish limestone façade mixed with a slate roof and elegant bronze trim details immediately establishes this home as a luxurious and uniquely crafted abode. The look of natural exterior materials helps the home to feel established. Besides top-of-the-line materials, the layout of the home was purposefully and thoughtfully designed to fit the homeowners’ needs and desires. “The home’s positioning on the lot is one of the things I’m most pleased with. It looks great, we were able to save several of the trees they wanted to keep, and it allowed for a very unique layout with multiple private wings,” Calfee says.

To see more from Greg Calfee Builders, LLC, visit gregcalfeebuilders.com.
FirstBank ad

In the dining room, a thick coffered ceiling, arched and shuttered window, and traditional furnishings create a classic style. The sparkling glass chandelier and oriental rug add to the elegance of this room. However, a nontraditional focal point is the enormous window looking into a well-lit, custom-built wine cellar. Elevating the aesthetic with a rich selection of vintages visible, this unique feature sets a sophisticated tone for this dining room. “We wanted the wine cellar to be the focal point in this room, so we lacquered the walls with the same color as the trim and coffered ceiling. We used the same shade on the silk window treatments to create a monochromatic scheme as the subtle backdrop for the wine cellar to be front and center,” Ruvo says. While being a show-stopping focal point, this custom-designed cellar is walk-in accessible and temperature controlled.


Art: Gallery 1401


Mauldin & Jenkins ad

The wine cellar’s oversized, specialty glass picture window is designed to avoid condensation from the temperature difference, making this room truly unique. A custom-built, heavy, arched wooden door with a specially fabricated iron pull pairs with the aged brick floor, wood-planked ceiling, and custom wine racks to evoke an old-world Italian cellar feel.


Trim, windows, and interior doors: East Chattanooga Lumber & Supply Co.
Wine cellar door and living room beams: Architectural Surfaces, LLC


“This was a very special feature, and the first time I’ve ever done a wine cellar like this. The brick floors, arched door, and heavy iron hardware really evoke that old-world feel you want for a wine cellar.” – Greg Calfee, Greg Calfee Builders, LLC

Beaty Fabricating Ad

Traditional Elegance

“In this home we tried to achieve the homeowners’ personal take on traditional style. I think it turned out to be a blend of elegance and charm, while still feeling comfortable and welcoming,” says Ruvo. In the main living room, divided from the kitchen by a stylish, custom built-in bar and hutch, the colors are soothing and uplifting. Deep and subtle blues mingle with neutrals that have a warm undertone and soft finish. A stunning, marble-wrapped fireplace continues the elegantly traditional style with fine materials and classic lines. Overhead, the beams were specially designed to bring in a grounding color just slightly different from the floors. “Those floors were a fun challenge. They are salvaged heart pine from the old Biltmore hotel in Alabama. We worked diligently to select different width planks and carefully planned how to lay them so the home would feel like it had been there for over a century,” Ruvo explains. “Then carrying the antique flooring throughout the house really helped to ground the home and continue the artisan, old-world aesthetic.”

To see more from Gretchen Ruvo Designs, LLC, visit gretchenruvodesigns.com.
Pella Window & Door Co. of TN

For a serious home cook, this kitchen was very thoughtfully laid out. “The homeowner was very involved in the design and layout of the cabinetry because she really enjoys cooking,” Calfee shares. With ample storage and a warm white tone, these cabinets are highly functional while remaining timeless. Stainless steel and chrome hardware and pendant lights work together to elevate the room’s theme, adding a hint of the efficiency of an industrial kitchen. But a dark leathered granite slab on the island pulls in a more approachable texture, which helps tie in the salvaged floors and other more established-feeling elements in the home. “This home has all the features we want in today’s world with a nod to yesterday’s craftsmanship,” Ruvo confirms.

Plumbing fixtures: Ferguson | Tile: Louisville Tile
Raymond James ad

Walking into a separate wing of the house toward the master suite, the home’s smart layout shines. The privacy of this main suite is marvelous. In this room, the traditional interior design style takes the lead. A mahogany sleigh bed and matching tallboy and nightstands evoke a nostalgic comfort, enabling relaxation. These feelings are supported by the varying shades of serene blue with touches of green, subtly pointing to the homeowners’ love of nature.

Real Estate Partners Ad

The adjoining master bathroom is a decadent and spa-like retreat. A breezy gray and white color palette mimics the peace of a foggy morning or the softness of clouds. Lightly veined porcelain tiles laid in a herringbone pattern lend subtle movement to the room’s otherwise neatly sectioned stations. Mirrored vanities with ample storage in the cabinetry bring in a touch of traditional style with their classic trim work, finished to the ceiling. As Ruvo says, “The design is in the details in this bathroom. The vanity lights match the centered chandelier, and we mounted them on top of the mirrors. That causes the light to glimmer off of the crystals and mirrors simultaneously.” A soaking bathtub is built in beneath a window and wrapped in honeycomb tiles. Meanwhile, the spacious
shower is separated by a glass enclosure and half wall. The walk-in style doorway is curbless with a French drain, thoughtfully designed to stand the test of time. “The homeowners designed and built their dream home and plan to live in it forever, so some of the features, like the curbless shower, were smart decisions to make aging in the home more comfortable,” says Calfee.

Tile: Louisville Tile
Brody Jewelers Web Ad

Outdoor kitchen appliances and plumbing fixtures: Ferguson



From the master suite’s private terrace, the rest of the outdoor living areas can be accessed via a stylishly laid brick paver walkway. The main outdoor living area, just outside the living room, is fully stocked for outdoor enjoyment. The pergola-style roof is covered with a translucent polycarbonate roof, which was an intentional choice to protect the interior living room. As Calfee explains, “That roof allows plenty of natural sunlight into the windows of the home, but it still blocks a good amount of ultraviolet rays.” The patio is composed of the same Texas limestone that wraps the house and features a built-in grilling station with gas and smoking abilities, a cooking eye in the countertop, a pizza oven, a refrigerator, and an outdoor warming oven. On the opposite end is a stacked-stone fireplace, a cozy seating area, and a television. Luxurious amenities such as these are perfectly blended with old-world artisanship to set the stage for truly enjoyable living in this stunning home.


Other Suppliers: Appliances: Plaza Electronics & Appliances  |  Brick and fireplace: Acme Brick, Tile & Stone
Cabinetry: Geren Custom Cabinetry  |  Countertops: Premier Surfaces
Hardscapes and landscaping: Bryant’s Garden Center
Aquarium Pools 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!