Fresh and Frills-Free

By Candice Graham
Photography by Med Dement

Opting for a natural, fresh feel, architect Jay Caughman helped create a frills-free home that is everything the homeowners wished for.

Contractor: Sun Construction

Architect: Caughman+Caughman Architects

Paring down homeowners’ inspirations and consolidating their ideas into one cohesive home is architect Jay Caughman’s job. When it came to this Ringgold, Georgia project, Caughman was provided with images of mountain lodges out West and open floor plans. Eleven months later, the homeowners’ vision became a reality.


On the exterior, the home is a seamless blend of timber, synthetic stone, and light gray siding. “The homeowners liked the rustic, alpine kind of homes that they saw out West, but they still liked white trim and crisp colors, so we brought those two things together. We got their flavor and architectural style and then married that to the function of the home,” Caughman says. Once the floor plan, function, and flow were determined, builder Steve Ward of Sun Construction was called in. “As soon as they got the basic design set, my team came in. I started to price things and set some budgets up for them,” Ward says.


The completed home is a comfortable, open space that flows freely through the common areas. Stepping through the mahogany front doors, a wall of clear, paneless windows lets in lush green views of the wooded backyard. A woodsy theme is brought through in the common rooms by cedar beams, a bare wood pine ceiling, and oak floors. “We didn’t want it to feel too much like a lodge and we didn’t want the woods to compete with each other, so we used them as accents,” Caughman explains.

A large hearth, which is made of the same synthetic stone used on the exterior, anchors the living room and adds to the alpine theme. Adjustable white built-in shelving designed by Caughman gives books and knickknacks a home to be displayed and a spot for the TV to rest. A leather belt-driven fan with an antique look makes a visual statement while providing a natural breeze.

Adjacent to the living room, the kitchen is white and crisp with pops of vibrant colors. White subway tile makes up the backsplash, and gray grout provides definition while keeping the design from looking sterile. Off-white walls in the kitchen and throughout the common spaces add more warmth than a typical white shade. A solid walnut countertop adds richness to a hip-level island. The height allows the area to be a flat work surface equal to the perimeter countertops, which are made of quartz. Modern-looking quartz provides durability and is impervious to moisture. A farmhouse sink, brushed nickel hardware, and two clear light fixtures with Edison bulbs finish the space.


Making space for ample windows in the kitchen kept upper cabinetry options to a minimum. “We only added two cabinets because we wanted to take advantage of the outdoor view,” Caughman says. “Instead, we opted to put cabinets and deep drawers below the countertops.” Crankout windows to the deck and pool area allow food to be handed off from the kitchen to the deck’s grill. “We moved things around quite a bit, but we found a layout that really works,” Caughman adds.

The master bedroom, painted the same gray shade as the home’s exterior, incorporates the ongoing theme of ample natural light and a mix of wood tones. A natural woven sisal rug and calm water tones make the bedroom an effortless, relaxing retreat. “We didn’t do a lot of frills in this house,” Caughman says. “Even the baseboard casing and crowns are very streamlined and clean. We didn’t do any superfluous curls or frou-frous.” Recessed can lighting in the bedroom serve as functional lighting, while lamps provide decoration and personality. “The can lights have a job to do, and you want them to disappear. The decorative lights create the personality, ambiance, and feel,” adds Caughman.


The attached master bathroom, accessed via a sliding barn door, has a light and bright wash of creamy tones. A white clawfoot soaking tub is given an extra dose of charm by ornate silver feet. Choosing the freestanding tub allowed the adjacent windows to be dropped below the tub’s edge for a clean, elegant look. A quartz countertop holds his-and-her sinks, and dark wooden drawers and mirror frames add a rich pop of contrast. Wide porcelain floor tiles and aqua glass subway tiles in the walk-in shower provide finishing touches.

Outside, the home’s pool and deck area ties in all the elements of the interior. Barn doors open to a lap pool and a roofed patio area is cooled via overhead fans. The same cedar beams used inside the home are used to support the shaded patio space. Dark brown rattan furniture provides a place to lounge in the sun, with deck chairs flanking a cerulean blue pool. Synthetic stone and a view of lush green trees round out the relaxing outdoor space, for a home that is truly cohesive inside and out. “We don’t like design elements to stand by themselves. If they do, you want them to be fairly rare,” Caughman says. “Everything else you want to be recalled in a couple of different elements to create a theme.”


Home Suppliers:

Cabinets: T&C Cabinets

Countertops: Cornerstone Granite

Exterior rock work: Randy Stevens Masonry

Fence and iron work: Pinnacle Fence Company

Garage doors: Chattanooga Garage Door

Hardwood floors: Custom Floors

HVAC: APEX Heating & Air Conditioning

Insulation, custom sliding doors, fireplaces: Therm-Con

Landscaping: Adam Sink, ERMC Landscaping Service

Lighting fixtures, electrical fixtures, appliances, bathroom accessories: Ferguson

Pool: Inground Pool & Design, Inc.

Roofing: The Roofing and Supply Company

Windows, doors, trim, framing, and siding materials: East Chattanooga Lumber

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