Transitional Mountaintop Serenity

front door opening to the interior of a house

Feature Home

By Christina Davenport
Photography by Philip Slowiak 

Nestled in a forested thicket atop Lookout Mountain is this charming home that offers up all the warmth of a traditional mountain house with a refreshed and vibrant interior. Built by John Coffelt and his team at HGH Construction, LLC, this home offers the best in relaxed living. 

Upon approaching the home, visitors are greeted with a neutral façade while several styles of Hardie board siding – such as lap, board and batten, and shake – create a subtle visual interest. While at first glance this home might not seem to be an overly complex build, it wasn’t without its share of challenges. 

“The lot was basically a rock bluff that looks over a stream and waterfall behind the house. But from the road, in order for the house to not feel as though it was sitting down in a hole, we had a massive fill project,” explains Coffelt. “We spent more money on the foundation than we would have liked, but this place is built like Fort Knox. Once we started to go vertical, we knew we had done the right thing.”

Builder: HGH Construction, LLC
Architect: Van Deusen Design


On the other side of the home is one of Coffelt’s favorite areas. This screened-in porch boasts plenty of seating surrounding a gas fireplace, and little touches such as a TV and bar cart add another layer of creature comforts.

“The homeowners have great taste and decided to go with a stained yellow pine tongue-and-groove ceiling, which I think was such a smart choice. I think having the darker finish on it gives it a nice visual stopping point and adds to the space’s feeling of intimacy,” says Coffelt. “This space can feel contained and cozy, while at the same time having an open and airy ambience.”

To see more from HGH Construction, LLC,

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“As much as every builder wants to concentrate on giving their client a great indoor space, it’s so important to also have an outdoor space that allows people to extend their home. When you have both a great indoor and outdoor space and they flow effortlessly together like they do here, it really makes for a different quality of life.”

— John Coffelt, HGH Construction, LLC

By walking through a set of sliding glass doors, visitors are transported into the home’s living area. A coffered cathedral ceiling continues the same vaulted shape as the porch, and the entire space is cloaked in a creamy white that, when paired with the recessed lighting, keeps the space bright. A linear fireplace and industrial ceiling fan offer a more contemporary touch, while built-ins on either side of the fireplace present the perfect spot for a pop of personality. Building on the variability of the room is a transitional rug and neutral sectional that lay a foundation for more interesting pieces such as a geometric, glass-top coffee table and a brushed brass sofa table. More so than any other space in the home, this room playfully mixes not only metals, textures, and finishes but also styles.

Exterior doors and windows: East Chattanooga Lumber & Supply Co.
Interior doors and trim: Interior Trim & Supply, Inc.

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In addition to the lightly colored walls, another way this home maintains its cheery demeanor is through its flooring. A wide-plank engineered hardwood runs throughout the home and not only complements the interior design selections, but it’s also a durable choice. 

The stairwell’s spindles introduce yet another metal and sheen to the mix, and the rectangular detail offers just the right amount of divergence from what is an often overlooked feature. Two elongated mirrors provide a distinction of their own and work together to reflect light back into the space.

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Adjacent to the living room is the dining area where a wooden farmhouse table strikes the perfect balance between a rustic mountain style and one that’s lighter in nature. Six upholstered chairs surround the table and are complete with cane backing. 

Juxtaposition continues to emerge in this room, chiefly through the pendant light. While the candle-style bulbs provide a bit of old-world charm, the fixture’s minimalist design conveys a different sentiment. Another unexpected element can be found in the vignettes on either side of the window. Here, two tray tables are topped with several more traditional ornamental objects whereas the framed prints just behind feature tribal artwork.

Everywhere you turn in this charismatic home there are tasteful touches inviting contemplation.

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Steps away from the dining room, the kitchen offers up everything needed to whip up a tasty meal. A large island can seat four, and its gray base is topped with light quartz countertops. Conversely, the kitchen’s perimeter features pale gray shaker-style cabinetry and black quartz countertops with faint veining. An over-island pendant light and cabinetry hardware work with a suite of stainless-steel appliances to carry a metallic element throughout the entirety of the room. A white herringbone backsplash rounds out the space and again marries functionality with subdued beauty.

Countertops and tile: Stone Source, Inc.

“We not only wanted to build a beautiful and comfortable home, but also one that was really functional. Something as simple as adding in a beverage station with a wine cooler and prep sink like we did in their kitchen can make such an impact on the functionality and flow of a home.” – John Coffelt, HGH Construction, LLC

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Also on the main floor is the master suite. Cool grays and blacks have been traded in this room for warmer tans and golds. Natural light streams in from a nearby window and cloaks the whole room with a certain softness. A bench nestled up to the golden bedframe appears in tandem with a pair of upholstered armchairs to provide several seating options. 

In addition to the natural light, recessed fixtures and a set of tabletop lamps help illuminate the space. The green ceramic lamp bases are paired with modern emerald green nightstands, which seemingly pay homage to the natural surroundings just outside.

In the neighboring ensuite, the serenity continues. Wall-to-wall, shaker-style cabinetry features dual sinks and quartz countertops, and an orchid placed in the center gives the space a spa-like feel. The other side of the bathroom houses an oversized shower. Here, a bench stretches the length of the shower, and several styles of tile are artfully combined to add visual interest. The majority of the space is swathed in a faux marble tile, while sections of penny and herringbone tile add a fun flare. 

This room, like all others in the home, represents balance. Whether it’s beauty and function, openness and intimacy, or comfort and the unexpected, this home carries each guest on a unique journey. 

“The homeowners have great taste and were awesome to work with,” says Coffelt. “The finished product is a combination of their own personal preferences and things that I had done in other projects that they saw and liked, and that melding of inspiration is part of what made this such a fun build.”


Other suppliers:
Appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures: Ferguson
Cabinetry: Dakota Concepts

Fireplace: Therm-Con
Flooring: H & H
Flooring installation: Tripp’s Hardwood Floors
Hardscaping: Daniel’s Concrete
Landscaping: Gordon Landscaping

Painting: TruPro
Painting, LLC; Ables Painting
Stone: Acme Brick, Tile & Stone

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