French Nouveau

Beautiful luxury French country style home foyer sweeping spiral staircase Chattanooga

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Builder: Rob Cuthbertson, Cuthbertson Homes | Interior designer: JL Brewer Designs, LLC

Inspired by French country architecture, this stunning home by builder Rob Cuthbertson of Cuthbertson Homes is a prime example of his trademark aesthetic. “Early in my building career, I was searching for an identity and trying to pinpoint the style of home I felt would be unique and have great appeal,” says Cuthbertson. A visit to North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate and subsequent trips to Europe cemented a penchant for the form and architectural appeal of the French country style.

By Candice Graham | Photography by Morgan Nowland
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Beautiful luxury French country style home sweeping spiral staircase Chattanooga


A Haute Home

Popular French features such as a sophisticated stone façade, pleasing lines, and a steeply pitched roof are all exemplified in this haute home. And while many elements are standalone stunners, nothing has quite the panache of the sweeping spiral staircase.

“When we were in the process of building the staircase, we shared photos with friends and one of the responses was ‘I can see so many memories on those stairs,’” says Rob’s wife Wendy. “It was heartwarming to hear someone visualize what the home is really for – creating a space to live and make memories with loved ones.”

See more from Rob Cuthbertson of Cuthbertson Homes at

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From the foyer and dining room’s vantage point, the staircase provides curved, soft lines, adding an easy elegance.

Early in the project Cuthbertson had to decide whether to curve the stairs halfway and keep the upper section straight, or to curve the case fully. The former option would have resulted in significant cost savings, but in the end, he decided to invest the extra money to spiral the stairs all the way to the landing above. This choice allows for unobstructed lines of sight and one of the most admired attributes of the home. “The staircase is like a jewel in the home – it’s rewarding to see our extra investment in an architectural component create such a beautiful space,” says Cuthbertson.

In the dining area, an oxidized-look table top brings in a touch of modern flair, while the swirling balloon-back chairs accentuate the curvature of the architecture.

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“The homeowners can feel all the light and not feel closed in. It helps with warmth and openness.”

– Rob Cuthbertson, Cuthbertson Homes


An open common area with streams of sunlight and pops of bright color make up the kitchen and living space. The open concept allows for easy entertaining and large family functions. “The homeowner wanted the ability to have people comfortably in the kitchen and keeping room and not feel closed in,” says Cuthbertson.

The large marble island anchors the kitchen and offers a place to cook and to gather. Foregoing cabinetry above the cooktop counter provides a fresh concept in the form of open shelving and allows splashy sculptures to be displayed. A nearby butler’s pantry is a space to conceal meal prep and extraneous items, keeping the kitchen pristine and streamlined.

Wall-spanning windows in the keeping room and breakfast nook provide a much-desired equipoise of privacy and natural light. “We were able to capture the benefit of the natural light and still maintain privacy, which is atypical. This lot afforded that balance because there are so many trees behind the home and no other houses. The homeowners can enjoy the view as the light pours in, inviting the outdoors inside. It creates warmth and openness,” explains Cuthbertson.

A door leading to the deck outside is near the bay windows. The deck connects to the kitchen and continues through the great rooms, kitchen, and breakfast nook.

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The orientation of the kitchen and keeping room are horizontal to the back of the home, creating a sweeping, light-filled space. A rich point of contrast is brought in with dark-stained hardwood floors, which ground the rooms’ more airy elements.

Built-in white cabinetry in the kitchen and the adjacent keeping room add both chic style and convenience. “We’ve found that when you include architectural elements in a home that serve both function and beauty – a spiral staircase or built-in cabinets, for instance – when it comes time to decorate the house, less is needed for décor and furnishings because attractive features are already physically part of the home,” says Cuthbertson.

Appliances and plumbing and lighting fixtures: Ferguson

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The master bedroom looks picture perfect, but a soft throw placed just-so and a plush couch provide reminders that it’s ultimately a place to unwind. A tufted headboard below four pieces of artwork adds symmetry, while gray and cream tones inject an all-around feeling of calm and comfort that is a staple in French country design. Bay windows, recessed lighting, and smartly appointed lamps complete the space.

Nearby, the spacious master bathroom has the feel of a chic retreat. Dual mirrors add a pop of sleek-lined personality, and a large picture window affords the natural light necessary in a top-notch bathroom. Rounding out the space is a vanity, perfectly placed below the window, making it the ideal area for makeup application and proving no aspect large or small was overlooked in this home’s design.

Situated within a neighborhood but with the look and feel of an isolated European getaway, this home offers equal parts convenience and quietness. “The lot is a couple of acres, and the home is situated on a rise as you go up a mountain,” says Cuthbertson. “The backyard is lush with trees, and there’s a stream at the base that rises toward the mountain. That was all very appealing to me in terms of choosing the home’s placement, and ultimately it provides the homeowners with two sought-after qualities – accessibility and privacy.”

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Other suppliers:

Cabinets and granite: Home Products by Design

Exterior hardscapes and landscaping: Craig Design Group

Flooring: Complete Flooring Service

Painting: Brand Painting

Stone and brick: J R Masonry

Tile: Louisville Tile

Windows and interior doors: 84 Lumber Company

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