Blending with Nature

By Candice Graham  •   Photos by Med Dement

This Signal Mountain home takes cues from its woodsy surroundings for a result that perfectly blends indoor with out.

PL-2When Abe and Denise Watson relocated to Chattanooga from Atlanta, they chose Signal Mountain as the place to make their home thanks to its natural scenery, hiking trails, and scenic cycling roads. Settling on a woodsy lot with sweeping views, the Watsons began to build their contemporary craftsman, letting the natural beauty that surrounded them shine.

“The thought process behind the house was to take advantage of the view,” Denise explains. “The whole premise of the house is kind of blending in with the woods and being set up to make the focal point the outside.” On a nice day, she says, the couple can take in a spectacular 100-plus mile view of the Tennessee River, Chickamauga Lake, the valley and downtown, and the Appalachian Mountains.

Outside, the house’s warm mossy-green shingle siding mixes with stone in varying sizes and colors. The stone, a natural/synthetic mix manufactured in Knoxville, uses real stone and rock which is ground and reshaped. Blue, yellow, and green stone hues make the home’s façade unique. Twelve-foot cedar beams frame the front porch and a custom-made alder front door lends an additional earthy punch.

“We wanted to make the house look like it belonged here but also have its own unique character. The house blends very well in the setting, with the woods and the view,” Denise says.

Inside, the home transitions from the exterior with similarly hued walls and accessories. The dining room features a similar green shade as the outside shingles, while pops of jewel tones make their way in through glass bottles, pottery, and a painting of Tuscany, where the couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. Recessed lighting over the painting helps highlight the vivid colors, while an iron chandelier brings an ornate touch.

Near the kitchen, a built-in butler’s pantry has rich detail in the form of butcher block countertops and a square metallic backsplash tile. A functional space, the area serves as a bar as well as extra storage for kitchen essentials. Wrapped around the wall to the left is another area where organization is the star – the mud room. “It’s a good functional space that wraps around with cubbies for coats and purses,” says Denise.


The kitchen is set off with a large center island and dual-colored cabinetry – dark espresso for the island, and an American walnut stain for the perimeter cabinetry. Space underneath the island allows for simple storage of large, seldom-used appliances. A glass tile backsplash laid in a vertical pattern brings shine and shimmer when cabinet lighting is turned on. Dark grout with a sparkle characteristic provides unique visual interest and plays well with the stainless steel appliances. Light fixtures with an industrial vibe feature Edison bulbs and a chic, streamlined silhouette. “The fixture keeps the kitchen basic, clean, and contemporary. It gives it a little bit more of an industrial look,” Denise explains.

A continuation of the kitchen, the breakfast nook serves as a casual dining area. Large windows let in the long range mountain views through stained casement window panels that are left unpainted – raw wood is a detail that makes its way into the home in several areas. For example, 4-inch  hardwood floors offer texture and variety, says Denise. “We selected number two white oak, which has a lot of contrast and character.”


Additional elements of rustic and contemporary design can be found in the great room, from the 25-foot natural stone fireplace to the minimalistic streamlined mantle and shelving. “We wanted a design that was clean and modern. We were trying to keep it simple and let the stone fireplace be the focal point,” Denise explains. A door from the great room leads to the wraparound back deck with cable railing, which lends unobstructed sightlines and a modern look.


The master bedroom maintains the home’s rustic continuity, but has pops of personality with cushy bright velvet pillows and a cerulean blue pot. A fresh spin on a traditional bedroom suite is provided by a ruched silver comforter and a pair of eye-catching metallic lamps. In the space leading to the bathroom, a built-in maple-stained dressing area provides sleekly concealed laundry hampers. A bench in between offers a convenient spot to put on shoes and is positioned directly in front of the walk-in closets.


The attached master bath utilizes the same cabinetry stain and style with a modern quartz countertop. Sky blue walls make the space feel fresh and bring out the subtle blue shades in the porcelain tiled floor and shower. A white freestanding tub adds sophisticated oomph and rests in front of a window with front yard views, allowing a seamless transition between the outdoors and the home’s natural interior.

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