Lakeside Living

By Katie Faulkner
Photography by Philip Slowiak

For Vickie and Allen Coleman, Chattanooga was the perfect place to retire. Their goal was to find somewhere to stay active and enjoy their many interests, including scenic motorcycle trips, foodie nights out, and afternoons spent on the lake. The Colemans found it in a beautiful lakeside neighborhood in Chattanooga, and so the couple chose to move their life from Michigan to call the Scenic City home. After deciding to build, it became essential to find a builder who could safeguard their vision and execute, as they could only oversee from afar. They turned to Dexter White of Dexter W. White Construction to help them build their dream home on the hill.

Allen and Vickie Coleman

For their coastal-style-inspired home perched on a hilltop, overlooking the water was a must for the Colemans. A blue-gray exterior trimmed in white and natural wood is reminiscent of a breezy, coastal Nantucket home. The charming archways and stonework at the entrance provide a personalized touch of the Colemans’ nod to Chattanooga. “We chose Chattanooga because we wanted four seasons. We wanted to be on the water, and I really like the topography for riding my motorcycle,” Allen shares.

Walking through the foyer, a music room is visible on the left. This is where Vickie enjoys playing the piano. Continuing into the home and passing the stairwell, the entrance opens into the vaulted great room. Stunning, bright, and grounded, this space is accentuated by worn wooden trusses and the classic blue and gray hues of a coastal home. Large picture windows display the home’s crowning gem – a gorgeous view of Chickamauga Lake. To one wall is a stacked stone fireplace flanked by built-ins. Here, an old rocking horse is displayed. This whimsical heirloom was Vickie’s mother’s as a child. “That piece is special because it was found on the family farm and given to me when my mother passed,” Vickie says.

Nearby, the adjoining space opens up into the kitchen and dining room. In the kitchen, the Colemans made an effort to disguise their appliances. “Rather than having the look of stainless steel everywhere, I really wanted it to have a warmer, less distracting appearance. So we went with cabinetry fronts on all the appliances,” Vickie says. The white, simple Shaker-style cabinetry paired with a white beveled subway tile backsplash and white and gray marbled quartz countertops creates a fresh color palette. The minimal weathered wood accents in custom driftwood-style stains, found in the custom island and dining room table, work with the light colors in this room to continue the coastal, clean aesthetic.

“We love this kitchen. The industrial cooktop is amazing, and we love having so much counterspace in this streamlined working space. We both really love to cook. We’ll take turns cooking nice dinners for each other. I’m more of a baker, and Allen cooks the savory dishes,” Vickie says.

The white cabinetry continues into the dining room, housing a drink refrigerator, glass-front cabinets, and a bar area. The elegant simplicity of the weathered wood dining suite is complemented by, quite possibly, the best view in the house. From the sliding doors, you can walk out onto the expansive deck, which provides more entertaining space. A mid-lake island off in the distance adds a special angle of visual interest. The space is ideal for entertaining. “Allen’s mother was our first guest. We were so excited to have her come down and see the house after it was completed,” Vickie says. Since then, they’ve hosted numerous other friends and family members. “We love to have company,” Allen shares. “Vickie has luggage racks in each guest room and does a turndown service with little chocolates on the pillows!” Many meals have already been shared at this sophisticated table, and many more are looked forward to.

The master bedroom boasts another one of the best views in the house. Perfectly angled toward the same island in the lake, the morning views from this room are surely stunning. “When we wake up, the sun is rising over the water, and it’s really spectacular,” Vickie shares.

This room also features a bit more personal flair. The Colemans decorated this room with a slightly richer color palette than the rest of the peaceful grays and blues. Here, golds and rich browns lend a warm, intimate ambiance, but still tie in nicely with some touches of gray carried throughout.

Their bathroom continues with the same luxurious quartz countertops and traditional white cabinetry as the kitchen. Vickie explains, “I wanted to create a sense of consistency in this home, so we were intentional about using a lot of the same materials throughout.” A dual vanity is crowned with sconces and a large mirror, trimmed to mimic transom windows. A soaking bathtub, glass-enclosed shower, and opulent walk-in closet round out this room’s decadent features.

From the master bedroom, as well as the dining and living rooms, the Colemans can walk out to their spacious back deck. The vaulted porch and three separate seating areas work to extend the home’s living and entertaining space. However, even when it’s just Allen and Vickie at home, they make great use of it. Allen shares, “We spend most of our time on the deck. We go out there almost every morning that the weather permits to have our coffee.” The built-in grilling area adds to his cooking capabilities as well. And there is no shortage of opportunity to entertain in this space. As Vickie says, “We have the best seat in the neighborhood for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display! The house right across the water sets them off. We had neighbors piling in to sit on our back porch and at our firepit area to enjoy them with us last year.”

After months of meticulous planning, the Colemans not only selected a beautiful city to call home, but also curated their dream home – washed in soothing colors and elevated by luxurious features. CS

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