The Cutrell Home
When Jonathan Cutrell’s parents began thinking about where they wanted to put down roots when they retired, Chattanooga was an obvious choice. With family in the Scenic City, they enlisted the help of Jonathan and his wife Lauren to help find the perfect property, but that was easier said than done.
By Christina Cannon / Photography by Creative Revolver
“They were having trouble finding a house they liked in a good location, so I said to them, ‘What if we take one of those things out of the equation and find a place you like first?’” says Jonathan.
After looking at lot after lot, the Cutrells stumbled across some property located right on the very same airport where they were renting a hangar for their Cessna 182.
“We had already moved once to be closer to the airplane because we wanted to spend more time flying with family, so we began entertaining the idea of building a home on that lot,” says Jonathan. “My parents ended up deciding that building a house wasn’t what they wanted to do and told us to get the property.”
Lauren and Jonathan Cutrell with daughter Nova and son Liam
After 10 months of constructing a home that suited the needs of their family of four, the Cutrells made the move one warm summer weekend.
For the Cutrells, a modern farmhouse aesthetic provides a light and airy feel that they love, but one they haven’t necessarily always had, so they made sure to incorporate those elements in the design of their new home.
“We had been in our last house for about two years. Although we really liked it, something about it didn’t feel like our forever home,” says Lauren. “We didn’t have a lot of windows, and there were no vaulted ceilings. I think that lack of brightness contributed to that.”
In contrast, their current home immediately conveys a warm and inviting atmosphere with white board-and-batten siding that is dotted with the black accents that are so characteristic of the farmhouse style.
After stepping inside, guests can gain easy access to the family’s formal dining room to the right. White paint and a shiplap accent wall work with two large windows to keep the room bright, and a wooden dining table rests in the center. Each side features a bench, while tufted cream-colored parsons chairs sit at the heads.
Hanging overhead is a piece that holds a special place in the Cutrells’ hearts. “My dad and I made that piece to go over the altar when Jonathan and I got married,” explains Lauren. “It sort of started a tradition, and we’ve carried it with us and installed it at every house we’ve lived in since then.”
Moving further into the heart of the home takes guests into the kitchen. Quartz countertops cloak the entire space, and subtle gray veining in the island makes a nice transition from the whites that dominate the room to the black accents found in the hardware, lighting, and backless barstools.
“We had a big island in our last house, and we knew we wanted to keep that, but we wanted to make it even cooler and do the waterfall edge,” says Lauren.
To the left of the kitchen, there’s a small eat-in area that can seat six, and a standing bar makes entertaining or watching the kids while working a breeze. Just behind the kitchen is a walk-through sunroom, which has been one of the family’s favorite spaces. What is now often home to an array of toys will be transformed into a luxurious seating area where Jonathan and Lauren can relax and watch planes come and go once the children are older.
Just steps away from the kitchen is the home’s great room. Here a fireplace – which was one of Lauren’s must-haves – transitions from white brick to a shiplap accent that stretches to the ceiling and provides continuity with the dining room.
Bisected with a thick birch mantel, the fireplace adds to the cozy feeling of this room, which features neutral colors and natural woods. A gray couch and matching rocking chair are combined with a chesterfield sofa, giving the Cutrells plenty of space to spread out.
When the weather’s nice, however, you won’t find the Cutrells in here. Instead, you’ll likely find them in the adjacent space – a porch that features both open-air and screened-in components. A double-sided fireplace connects the two areas, one of which houses a small picnic table, while the other space features even more seating and a hanging daybed.
Back inside, the light hickory hardwoods, which were chosen for their ability to further brighten the space, lead past the living room and down a hallway to the master suite.
“Since we came from a house that had basically one ceiling height, we wanted to play with the dimensions in here and let it add some interest,” says Jonathan. “We designed this room with a shed ceiling and stepped away from the farmhouse style a little bit, especially by using the skylights.”
At one end of the room, the Cutrells capitalized on the quietness of this wing of the home and created a workspace. With a large window in between the two desks, Lauren and Jonathan are able to take a conference call while enjoying planes scurrying down the runway.
The other side of the room grants access to the couple’s bathroom, which mimics many of the design elements used throughout the rest of the home. A shiplap accent wall once again provides a bit of visual interest, and the same quartz countertops used for the kitchen island can be found covering the vanities in this room.
Large matte black hexagon tiles transition to smaller penny tiles in the shower, which is encapsulated with simple white subway tiles. A rain shower head hangs overhead, while a footless freestanding tub just to the right provides another optimum place to relax.
On the back side of the house is another place where the Cutrells spend a lot of their time. Despite the house being on a runway, the lack of cars and access for outsiders makes the tarmac a great place for the kids to play and ride bikes if being supervised, and the Cutrells make a point to take a family walk down the taxiway when the weather is nice.
The space also provides direct access to the family’s hangar, which is attached to the house for ease of use – something that was top-of-mind for Jonathan, since spending more time flying with his father was a main motivator for building the house.
“We did a lot of research when we were evaluating this, and there’s only a handful of homes in the country where the hangar is actually part of the home,” says Lauren. “We were trying to be very intentional about designing spaces specifically for our hobbies and not just cramming them in another room somewhere.”
Whether it’s taking to the skies, recording a podcast, or watching a movie, the Cutrells are all-in with everything they do, and being able to do it as a family makes the experience just a little bit sweeter. CS