With valley views as far as the eye can see and easy access to the major hub of East Brainerd, this home balances seclusion with convenience for the best of both worlds.
“This view really captured us,” says Mark West, when asked what compelled them to build their family home near East Brainerd and Apison. With back porch views of the nearby region, and sightlines all the way to downtown Chattanooga, the location feels both private and part of a community. “You feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere because you’re shielded from everything way up here. You have tranquility in the front, which is very natural and has no development, or you can look out the back and see the bustle of activity,” he says.
Arched solid-wood double doors swing open at the home’s entry to reveal a cascading view of mountains and blue skies. A similarly arched window above gives another glimpse of blue sky and provides added light to the foyer. Faux-painted walls add the illusion of texture, and oak wood floors throughout the house add an extra natural element.
To the left of the entryway, a family room houses musical instruments and serves as a place to gather and perform. “I enjoy music and have played the piano on and off most of my life,” explains Mark. Two Taylor guitars, safely displayed in a black case, are enjoyed by the Wests’ son when he drops by. An avid pianist, Mark’s sister plays when she visits, while his brother brings his trombone. Furniture in the room is plush and comfortable and provides space for the whole family to gather.
Across the hall, the dining room has a sophisticated color palette of burgundy and navy. The patterned walls were faux-painted by a specialist, and they offer unique visual interest without the hassle of wallpaper. A shaded chandelier hanging from a ceiling pendant casts a warm glow, while the nearby window boasts the same mountainous view as the foyer. A matching oak dining room suite ties the room’s components together, while black corner cabinetry adds drama and houses family heirloom china pieces.
“We can watch the fireworks every year at Coolidge Park and see the East Hamilton High School football games and hear the sound of the marching band. It’s really cool to be able to experience all that.”
In the kitchen, knotty alder cabinetry adds rustic appeal, while brushed nickel hardware gives a touch of polish. Two types of marble – a black, green, and tan mixture on the perimeter, and a light, neutral scheme on the island – make the kitchen’s countertops the star of the show. Pendant lights over the island make for a well-illuminated workspace, and a built-in china cabinet adds function in the look of furniture.
Another function-forward feature is a built-in workspace off the kitchen. Painted to coordinate with the center island’s base, the space includes drawers and cabinets to corral bills and mail, and a work surface for a laptop or PC. Nearby, a round table serves as a convenient spot for family meals.
Boasting clear sightlines, the great room and kitchen feel like a shared space. A stacked-stone fireplace extends to the ceiling, while built-in bookshelves extending from either side house an assortment of books and décor. The TV incorporates a simulated multi-media experience with speakers for a surround-sound feel. Gas logs on the fireplace provide glow and warmth. “Because the kitchen, great room, and eat-in area are all open to each other, you’re never far removed from anyone. There’s always a lot of opportunity to interact,” Mark explains.
On the same level, the master bedroom boasts deck access and valley views. Deep red automated shades are designed to coordinate with the sunset. Tied into a global clock, they are lowered each day in conjunction with the setting sun, and they rise again as the sun disappears. The master bedroom’s tray ceiling draws the eye up and adds a look of grandeur to the space. Speakers in the ceiling stream music throughout the house for a completely tied-in multimedia experience. Rich wood furniture keeps the bedroom’s look timeless and classic.
The en suite master bathroom features textured, faux-painted leaves, which seamlessly blend with the lush view of trees outside the window. Knotty alder cabinetry creates cohesion with the kitchen’s cabinets, and a slate-tiled floor and shower make for an all-around natural feel. An attached walk-in closet provides additional cabinetry and storage space.
The bottom floor of the home has a completely finished area with plenty of space for recreation and relaxation. An additional great room provides an area to lounge and play pool, and it’s complete with a miniature kitchen perfect for grabbing drinks and snacks. Its proximity to the backyard offers prime convenience on hot summer days. Nearby, an in-house movie theater is complete with leather reclining seats and a 110-inch screen and projector.
Doors downstairs lead straight out to the backyard oasis, consisting of a pond-shaped swimming pool and a waterfall constructed of boulders directly from the original lot. Lush shrubbery and flagstone complete the natural outdoor look. Above, a large deck houses rocking chairs and a screened-in area – the perfect spot to enjoy
the view. “Most evenings we view breathtaking sunsets,” explains Mark. “We can also watch the fireworks every year at Coolidge Park and see the East Hamilton High School football games and hear the sound of the marching band. It’s really cool to be able to experience all that. We feel like we have a front row seat.”