All That Glitters — Weswoods, the Bowers Estate

By Katie Faulkner

This grand estate on Lookout Mountain, dripping with tradition and Southern elegance, is ensconced in a rich Chattanooga heritage. Known in years past as the host home of one of the largest Christmas Eve parties on Lookout Mountain, Weswoods still retains many of the charming features from the original 1954 construction. American Colonial styling carries throughout with vibrant, patterned wall coverings, rich textiles and woods, and numerous chandeliers. But this grand estate is also a home, and after moving their family in 26 years ago, Dr. Rick and Becky Bowers have made Weswoods their own.

The sprawling, nearly 18-acre grounds are an impressive introduction to what awaits at Weswoods. The exterior of the home is cloaked in colonial, hand-crafted masonry in a slightly lime-washed and weathered tone. The custom-made bricks were shipped from Williamsburg, Virginia.

Through extra-wide French doors, the foyer serves as a luxurious greeting for guests. Regal blue tones found in both the Brunschwig and Fils wallpaper and an Oriental rug  are complemented by a gold-leafed ceiling which reflects light from a cobalt blue glass chandelier. “That was actually in another part of the house, but when we redid the foyer, we ended up moving it in here and I think it works,” Becky notes.

“This is probably my favorite room in the house,” Rick confides as he enters the library just off the entry. Walnut wall paneling and built-ins partner with the fireplace, stocked wet bar, and plaid and animal print textiles to make this intimate room a rugged escape. “It’s probably our most used room during the winter,” Becky explains, “because it’s so warm and cozy.”

At the other side of the foyer is the formal dining area. In this room, Scalamandre silk wall coverings in a luscious green and gold floral pattern were retained from the original owners. And a second fireplace with a marble mantle creates the perfect ambiance for entertaining holiday dinner parties.

Down the spacious hallway lined with floor-to-ceiling windows is the formal sitting room and first kitchen. Shades of coral and peach evoke an old-world Southern charm in the sitting room. Views of the valley can be enjoyed from carved, antique furniture. Gilded frames hold custom portraits and paintings while a baby grand piano, enormous Oriental rug, and chandelier round out the luxe feel of this room.

On the opposite end of the first floor is the Bowers’ more frequently used family room. “This is probably the kids’ favorite room,” Becky remarks. Spacious and flowing, the brick floor connects an elevated, eat-in breakfast nook with the family room. Christmas gifts were unwrapped by this fireplace, and several summer parties were thrown here too, due to its proximity to the back patio and pool. “This room is really great for warmer months because it incorporates the backyard so well. We have a lot of great memories in this room.” Memories like hosting birthday parties for Becky’s parents and having their daughter’s wedding near the gazebo out back. The valley views and specialty rose garden lent a picturesque backdrop to treasured celebrations.

Up the spiral staircase that encircles a gigantic, glorious chandelier (another original feature), the master bedroom, dressing room, and en suite offer a tranquil escape. The master bedroom is bright and cheerful with bold, patterned, floral wallpaper. American colonial, carved wood furniture sits under the tray ceiling. Off to the side, a fireplace adds an intimate coziness to the room. It’s also hard to look away from the mountain views out of the room’s three large windows and private balcony. The connecting master bath is a fresh combination of white marble, distressed beige tile, and minimalist features.

The rest of the upstairs contains three more bedrooms and bathrooms, a workout room, and Rick Sr.’s study. Another kitchen and generous sized laundry room are located at the bottom of the stairwell at the opposite end of the hall.

“I’ve loved this house since the first time I attended a Christmas Eve party here,” Becky says, “It was so special that our daughter was married here. I think it’s been a wonderful home for our family.”


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