Tranquil Retreat

By Katie Faulkner  |  Photography by Morgan Nowland
For Dwayne and Kara Hofstatter, Chattanooga has been home more than once. Throughout their careers, they have lived in several different states, including, most recently, California. But now that they’ve returned to Chattanooga, Kara says they’re home. After choosing exactly where they wanted to be, they had this stunning home custom built by
Dexter White Construction to fit their personal taste.

Tucked into a downtown neighborhood, the Hofstatter home’s exteriors resemble a blend between English Tudor and English cottage styles. With a mixture of brown stone and brown brick, the house’s façade adds subtle dimension to the appearance. “It’s funny because we originally planned to paint the brick ivory and leave the stone, but after it was finished, we loved it so much that we decided not to paint it,” Kara says.

After entering the heavy, beautiful arched front door, your eyes are pulled into the vaulted great room, with plenty of windows and sunlight. “When we moved back from California for Dwayne’s job, we decided to start over and start fresh. We had a lot of burgundies and browns in our old furnishings. And in this house, we went with lighter, more muted neutrals. I love the gray in this room,” Kara says.

The stunning floor-to-ceiling stacked stone fireplace is a design element that defines the space. Flanked by floating shelves rather than built-ins, this fireplace on a focal wall emphasizes the grandeur of the space. The stacked stone accentuates the home’s use of natural materials and carries subdued flair in the straight arch stonework above the firebox. Similarly accentuating natural elements, floating shelves and base cabinets are finished in a flat sheen stain to draw out their grain. Light gray walls and soft gray and blue furniture keep the room light and pull in colors used throughout the home.

The great room flows into the spacious kitchen in the same open living space. Beveled-edge white and gray granite counters partner with the sleek white cabinetry to create a clean, modern, and bright kitchen. An oversized island, which doubles as a kitchen table, was one of Dwayne’s specifications. “He came up with that to save space and avoid needing a breakfast nook or another eating area that we would rarely use. It’s worked great!” Kara explains. Blown-glass pendants and gray cut-glass tilework in the backsplash add texture to the lustrous kitchen terrain. The Hofstatters love to cook, and while Kara says they tend to grill out most often, they also make great use of a pot-filler faucet over the range by frequently cooking pasta dishes. A double oven, built-in refrigerator, and nearby bar area round out the kitchen’s highly useful features. 

Walking through the hallway, which doubles as wine storage and extra cabinetry, you enter the dining room. Twin metallic gold gourd lamps flank the sunburst mirror over the sideboard. A glass mosaic bowl positioned in front of the mirror is one of Kara’s favorite art pieces they’ve collected. It’s subtle, shimmering green and brown tones connect to naturally finished wood and boxwood topiaries, continuing the home’s use of organic colors. “This was the only room we had bought all of the furniture, lighting, and decor for before we moved. It all came from California,” Kara says.

Because they purchased the beautifully primitive, naturally finished dining room table and chairs and all of the room’s furnishings before moving to Chattanooga, they actually designed the home around the specifications needed to keep the furniture. “It’s kind of a funny place to start planning a home, with the dining room, but it worked out perfectly,” laughs Kara.

Throughout the master suite elegant simplicity takes center stage, cultivating Tranquility.

In the master suite, a soothing shade of blue permeates the bedroom and the bathroom. Elegant simplicity takes center stage through the natural cotton white duvet, oatmeal linen headboard and bench, and unobscured views through casement picture windows. Pops of bright color from the dog painting above the bed serve as a focal point in this room. “That’s a funny story really. I bought that on a business trip and mailed it home. I told Dwayne I had picked it out for my office, but when I got home he said he loved it too much and we had to put it in the bedroom! We get a kick out of it,” Kara chuckles.

In the adjoining master bathroom, the same tranquil blue washes the walls. A beautiful dual sink vanity is defined by overhead blown-glass lights and chrome hardware. A truly luxurious, oversized, glass-encased shower with numerous overhead and wall-mounted showerheads is a favorite feature. In conjunction with the peaceful blue tones and natural textiles, this master suite comes together as a spa-like retreat.

Out back are areas that Kara says she and Dwayne probably make the most use of – first, the screened-in back porch. “We absolutely love it out here. As long as the weather is decent, this is where we relax and watch television, and spend our spare time together. We’d rather hang out here than anywhere else!” Kara explains. This isn’t your normal porch either, from a stained wood plank ceiling and potted lights, to a stacked stone fireplace, oversized millwork, and hardwood decking, this space has materials that feel like a luxurious interior living area while retaining the fresh air and gorgeous views of an outdoor space. Sturdy wicker furniture boasts overstuffed cushions in lovely natural linen-colored upholstery, while additional homey touches like an area rug, curtains, and candles add to the cozy ambiance. Just outside the screened in porch is a defining feature – the pool and back patio.

“We were very adamant about wanting a maintenance-free backyard,” Kara explains. “So this was a perfect solution.” A basket-woven vintage brick patio wraps the Hofstatters’ traditional swimming pool and extends to incorporate an outdoor kitchen for Dwayne. “He cooks a lot and actually, he grills more than anything else, so he makes great use of the kitchen out back,” say Kara. A large gas grill, brick and tiled workspace, sink, and two Big Green Eggs compose the kitchen space. It comes in handy for the Hofstatters’ outdoor entertaining as well. Kara says, “We tend to have friends over a lot in the summer. Just very casual get-togethers to enjoy the pool and grill out.”


From the home’s serene color palette to its spa-like master suite and its spacious, luxurious outdoor areas, Kara says they’re enjoying their new home like a tranquil retreat – “We feel like we’re living on constant vacation in this home!”