Old English Meets Adirondacks

By Katie Faulkner  |  Photography by Morgan Nowland

Homeowners Bob and Carolyn Maum moved to Chattanooga from Connecticut 10 years ago to follow Bob’s job south. They decided on Chattanooga after falling in love with the schools. Their home was a fortuitous discovery, stumbled upon as Carolyn and Bob passed it playing golf occasionally. “Every time we saw it from the course, we would talk about its potential and what we could do with it,” Carolyn recalls. After purchasing the rancher, the Maums began a three-year remodel to turn the overlooked gem into their dream home. They relied on Ralph Lauren paint, fabric, and furniture lines to marry their old-world European taste with their personal affinity for Adirondack flair. “We love the rustic, upstate New York style of the Adirondacks and collected European antiques over the years. Ralph Lauren perfectly blends those two styles,” Carolyn says of their unique abode.

“The views from this house are so surprising, and you can see them from almost any room.”

–  Carolyn Maum


To enter the home, one passes through a vaulted portico and extra wide porch to open custom-designed double doors. “Our superintendent brought us those from an old project he had done for Eddie Rabbit in Nashville, and we loved them,” Carolyn says.

The open floor plan was the result of the remodel and showcases the home’s amazing views. From the front door you can see through the living room’s back windows to peer from the sweeping hills of the golf course all the way to the mountains beyond. As Carolyn explains, “The views from this house are so surprising, and you can see them from almost any room.”

Adjacent to the entry is the dining room where, Carolyn says, they love to entertain guests. Every seat of their custom-built table has great sightlines. “Our original dining room table was an English antique and much too big for this room. So our builder crafted us a replica, scaled down to fit in here,” Carolyn says.

From the dining room, the living room is also in view. Its deep blue toned walls are a Ralph Lauren custom color. The richness of the blue is balanced by the flood of natural light from ample windows, a light ceiling, and a large, light marble fireplace. “We went ahead and moved the fireplace to the center of the room and widened it, so that the master bedroom’s and downstairs’ fireplaces could all feed through it. We love to have fires!” Carolyn says. Unique, tall, ladder back chairs and birch branch ladders create interest in the room. Designer Lorna Lee in New York custom made these pieces for the Maums, to complement their Adirondack décor.

Antique heart pine flooring runs throughout the common areas,
including the kitchen. In this expanded room, the showstopper is the crackle-finish cabinetry. “We love that these are one-of-a-kind,” Carolyn explains, “You never know how they’re going to crackle. They may look like alligator skin or even a giraffe pattern. We liked the unpredictability of it when they were being made.”

The natural flow from the kitchen’s eat-in breakfast nook, to the dining room and back porch creates a perfectly accommodating space for all of the Maums’ entertaining and family time. “Even though our kids are older and doing their own things, we love to have big family meals and just hang out together when they come home. We spend a lot of time in these common areas playing board games or roasting s’mores in the fireplace,” Carolyn smiles.

Down the hallway, the Maums added on several new areas. The library is a very traditional room filled with English antiques including an authentic partners’ desk. The faux-leather wall treatment was done with another Ralph Lauren collection paint and complements plush leather chairs, and the cherry wood trim and book casings. A tin ceiling is another element that the family carried over from their last home. “That was a feature we really loved in our previous library, so it was a given in the remodel,” Carolyn explains. Custom-built bookcases mimic antique libraries, with pull-out shelves for extra desk space all around the room. A custom mantle and eclectic accessories round out the gentlemanly atmosphere of the space.

Across the hall from the pocket French doors that encase the library, is the theater room. Another favorite hangout spot for Bob, Carolyn, and all the kids when they’re visiting, this room is an entertainment epicenter. Carolyn notes, “We love to have family movie nights in here, or host in this room for big sporting events.” She and Bob will also occasionally have the stock exchange on in this room. And the entire unit is wired for multiple gaming consoles as well. Comfortable seating makes going out to the movies seem like a second-rate entertainment option.

At the end of the hall is “The Barn,” as the Maums have dubbed their guest room, which is really a second master. “This room is basically a replica of our daughter’s old bedroom from our previous house,” Carolyn explains, “Except that we roughed it up a bit with the Adirondack style.”

A custom-built Lorna Lee branch bed
and an Elk antler chandelier meld perfectly with the rustic décor. The walls and floor of this room are crafted from repurposed wood sourced from a barn the Maums bought in North Carolina. “Hence, ‘The Barn!’” Carolyn jests. A private loft, complete with ladder and bookshelves, serves as a secret respite for guests, and a view of the backyard adds to the aesthetic appeal. “I love this room so much,” Carolyn says, “Sometimes I just come in here to read or have a little alone time.”

On the opposite end of the house is the master suite. In the master bedroom, a rich brown tone anchors the room while a light-colored ceiling, elaborate mill work, and plenty of sunlight from the windowed wall keep the room light and airy. A moose-antler chandelier from their previous home pulls together the fur throws and plaid Ralph Lauren tartan in the corner. “I love waking up in this room!” Carolyn says, “The sunrise over the golf course is gorgeous, and looking out across that view is a great way to start the day.” The room’s marble fireplace is made with its own herringbone brick firebox and hidden log storage. “When we redesigned this house, we didn’t purchase any new décor or furnishings. So it was really interesting to see where everything ended up fitting. It’s really neat to have a totally new home with belongings that have decades worth of happy memories attached to them,” Carolyn says of the remodel.

Adjoining the bedroom are the master bathroom and walk-in closet. The walk-in closet resembles something straight from an old-fashioned Saks Fifth Avenue. Complete with antique, swinging dressing room doors, this fully encased closet looks like a wraparound storefront. “This might be my favorite room in the house,” Carolyn jokes, “I’ve been known to take a nap in here!”

One of the most loved and used spaces of the whole home, however, is the outdoor area in the backyard. The yard is lusciously landscaped with fruiting trees, limelight hydrangeas, custom ironwork gates, whiskey barrel herb gardens, stone-lined strawberry patches, twisted branch furniture gathered around fire pits, and an expansive upper deck. The second story deck houses the Maums’ original dining room table – an oversized English antique perfect for their large and growing family to gather around at holidays or random visits. “We have so many family meals out here. We have other guests out here a lot too. This table is special. Our daughter used it for her Italian feast style wedding, and there’s plenty of room for all the kids when they come home,” Carolyn explains.

The downstairs includes plenty of additional living space with five more bedrooms, an original fireplace, a living room, and incredible views from the patio.

This sprawling home started with a linear floorplan and has been extensively adapted with dynamic charm to the Maums’ personal taste. 

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