Big Bear Pen Retreat House

Highlands, NC

SPITZMILLER & NORRIS

Big Bear Pen Highlands, NC

Like a favorite old sweater this soft and weathered (new) house wraps its warmth around all who enter. Giving onto an entrance lane (which is such a beautiful room in its own right it has been used as an alfresco dining room for fifty!) this picturesque house seems to rise naturally from the great mountain on which it sits.

Upon entering, the view from the raised foyer merely hints at the three-state panorama that awaits from the porches and terraces beyond. The house is only one room deep so the best of seasonal light and breezes is easily captured and enjoyed. Living room, dining room and kitchen form an enfilade along the spine of the house thus allowing fires from the handsomely-scaled living room fireplace to be visible from all three rooms. Nearby, the main porch is screened and has its own large rock fireplace. Convenience is one of the primary amenities, so the master suite is located on the main level, too, with access to the terraces and the breathtaking valley view. Adjacent to the master suite, but open to the foyer, is a cozy library alcove, lighted by banks of windows on two walls and warmed by a bear-skin rug. The floors throughout are wide-plank, heart of pine stained a dark, rich honey color. Reclaimed hand-hewn beams are part of the structure of the main rooms of the house.

Interiors by Charlotte Cahoon