Contemporary Mountain Marvel

Architect: Michael Bridges, Surface Architecture & Design

Interior designer: Brittney Blanton, Surface Architecture & Design

Builder: Hemlock Homes


“Some properties have such an incredible view that the primary architectural achievement is to not mess it up,” explains Michael Bridges of Surface Architecture & Design. In this hilltop abode, Bridges worked the lay of the land to ensure that no matter where you are inside the house, the view is second to none. Natural textures, colors, and materials come into play to create a rustic but contemporary atmosphere that pays homage to nature itself.


By Christina Cannon

Photos Courtesy of Surface Architecture & Design/By Morgan Nowland

Superior Scenic Style

To showcase the bluff views, Bridges designed the home in a linear floor plan, which allowed nearly every room in the home to get a glimpse of the amazing vista. Single-direction shed roofs that slope toward the sky maximize window space, while painted cement board-and-batten siding provides an element of durability and draws the eye further upward on this stately home. Three tall stone walls dissect the spaces and offer up visual interest. Meanwhile, reclaimed wood siding can be found in various places on the home’s exterior and provides a unique juxtaposition with the other materials used. “One of the main goals in this project was to divide the home up into sections, each with a slightly different view and feel,” says Bridges. “These divisions accommodated the separate privacy demands of the home and helped to visually scale down the spaces for intimacy.” To see more from Surface Architecture & Design, visit

Once inside, a formal foyer gives way to an open concept floor plan that effortlessly blends the home’s main living spaces. Warm wide-plank hickory flooring features a custom stain and complements the cool stone walls that run throughout the home. A gas fireplace is capped by a custom mantel, while a large gray sectional offers up the perfect place to take in the view. Black pendant barn lights hang throughout the space and provide a faint industrial flair. These lights are accentuated by a pair of kinetic two-tier chandeliers with filament-style bulbs, one of which hangs above an eight-seat wooden dining room table. From the dining area, the kitchen is just steps away. Shadow Storm quartzite cloaks the kitchen island, which features bottom cabinets painted in a dark matte gray that are outfitted with polished chrome hardware.


Countertops: Granite Warehouse 

Island: Classic Cabinetry 

Lighting and plumbing fixtures: Ferguson

Windows: HomeChoice Windows and Doors

modern dining table with barn pendant light above it

In the kitchen, white perimeter cabinets bring a lightness to one of the home’s signature stone walls. A stainless-steel range hood commands this side of the room, while Gray Lagoon quartz countertops feature a concrete finish and work to reinforce a simple industrial theme. Three floating wooden shelves sit to the right of the range and provide a rustic flair that complements the other materials and provides a bit of warmth. A sleek Kuzco pendant light packs a punch and works to illuminate the kitchen without taking up much space. Motorized window coverings round out this room’s custom features and allow the homeowners total control of lighting throughout the space.


Appliances and lighting and plumbing fixtures: Ferguson

Island: Classic Cabinetry

Motorized window coverings: Sun Catchers Blinds, Shades & Shutters

A sliding wood door to the right of the foyer takes visitors out of the main living space and through one of the home’s 24-inch thick stone walls and into the master suite. Away from the public space, this room continues the home’s neutral color palette and marries an array of whites, grays, and browns. Custom cream-colored bedding is bookended by a head­board with Duralee fabric mimicking wood and leather bench. A silhouette of birds mid-flight accentuates the bedroom’s back wall and carries the eye toward the top of the vaulted ceiling. Stained wooden beams run the length of the room and provide cohesion between the home’s public and private spaces.

In the master bath, porcelain plank tile floors run throughout, while faux marble porcelain tiles wrap the lower walls of the room. Grigio Ve­nato honed mosaic accent tiles run horizontally along the upper half of the shower wall and provide added texture and warmth. A freestanding tub sits atop a layer of Barbados Black micro pebbles for a truly indulgent and spa-like feel. A chandelier with filament-style bulbs hangs overhead and complements the natural light that streams into the space.


Floor and wall tile: Stone Source, Inc.

Micro pebble tile: Louisville Tile

Plumbing fixtures: Ferguson

Shower accent tile: Acme Brick, Tile & Stone

Back outside the home, the structure’s linear nature can be appreciated. The three stone walls, which fea­ture differing angles, serve as a juxtaposition to other homes in the area that often include horizontal stone bases. The stone, reclaimed wood, and board-and-batten siding offers a tasteful balance of materials before treating guests to the lot’s breathtaking panorama.

“There is something very attractive to me about the unassuming street-side façade of the home living in coordination with the large, airy spaces behind,” explains Bridges. “The form of the home is less a ‘design statement’ and more of a reaction to the needs of the structure to appreciate the view.”



Stone: Chattanooga Stone Center  |  Fireplace: Hearthside Hearth & Grill   |  Mantel: Southern Hearth & Patio

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