Perched high atop the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, this breathtaking vacation retreat represents American craftsmanship fused with a desire for simple living. Magdalena Bach, of Bach Design Studio, explained how this seasonal residence was brought to life.

“My approach was to create a simple, yet elegant and well-proportioned residence, one that could accommodate the leisure and luxury of vacation-living, while fitting perfectly into the surrounding nature,” she said. The three structures that comprise the cabin incorporate seamlessly into the environment, creating a variety of interconnected spaces. The mix of minimalistic detailing juxtaposing raw wood against white walls, tall glass panes and simple furnishings gives this rustic contemporary home its character.  

All woodwork was done in either yellow or white pine. Large glass panes provide passive solar heating during winter, and in the summer tall trees shade the house and keep it cool. Terraces surrounding the perimeter create multiple outdoor leisure spaces sheltered from the weather, while delivering gorgeous views. The spaces weave in and out, framing panoramic views of the mountains and lake, blurring the boundaries between inside and outside.

The common area of the house is open and inviting – a flowing kitchen, dining and living room combination blends the interior space naturally with the outdoor terraces. For an open floor plan such as this, the multi-sided Pier-40 wood fireplace by Heat & Glo was selected for both function and ambiance. “We needed a focal point to connect those spaces and the three-sided Pier-40 fireplace was a perfect choice for us,” Bach detailed. “The fireplace connected the surrounding spaces into one, made the fire enjoyable from all sides, and created a warm and cozy atmosphere.” 

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Magdalena Bach is a designer with passion and talent for elegant, contemporary architecture and interior design. Magdalena studied architecture and urban design in Poland and Denmark, and worked for many years as an architect in Denmark.

Since 2005 she has been based in Atlanta. It was there in 2009 that she founded Bach Design Studio, where she has produced a range of works encompassing architecture, interior design and industrial design. She has been involved with the Modern Atlanta movement, organizing festivals and bringing Scandinavian architects and artists to Atlanta. She has also been a part of the architecture faculty at Southern Polytechnic State University, School of Architecture.

Her projects are characterized by harmony, natural light, seamless flow between outdoor and indoor spaces, use of sustainable materials and careful attention to detail.

For the Nantahala Mountain Cabin project, Bach explained, “My inspiration was the surrounding nature, the wish to build a house which would harmonize with the place. I researched traditional architecture of the Great Smoky Mountains, but I also looked to where my heart still is – to Scandinavia, for the best traits of its design: simplicity, importance of light and use of natural materials.” 





Product Details

Pier See Through Gas Fireplace

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