Ever wonder, wouldn’t it be great to live in a cozy home in the woods that would make waking up each day feel like being on vacation? For one lucky winner, that daydream will become a reality, thanks to the much-anticipated launch of the The DIY Network® Ultimate Retreat™ Giveaway 2018! Enter daily for a chance to win from August 6 at 9:00 a.m. through September 26 at 5:00 p.m.
We had a chance to get the inside scoop from interior designer Elizabeth Demos on all the design details of this gem of a home, located in Sapphire, North Carolina, where charm meets luxury.
What was the most creative and fun part of designing this retreat?
The most creative and fun part about designing the DIY Network Ultimate Retreat 2018 was exploring the region and incorporating the ideas and objects I found into the project. Sapphire is situated in a beautiful part of North Carolina. There is an abundance to see and do for sportsmen, nature lovers, history buffs, and antique shoppers alike.
Does the design process differ for you when it’s a renovation of an existing property versus a new build?
My approach for renovations and a new build is similar, but a renovation is definitely more challenging, after all, you inherit the bad with the good and have to make a design work regardless. New builds are technically a clean slate, but in design there will always be something that requires tweaking.
How did you marry modern and traditional elements to create the right balance of wood, metal, color and texture?
Repeating core elements such as color, surfaces or textures help to create a rhythm and flow from one room to another. Mixing more traditional choices with modern ones make the home appealing to a wide audience. The dining chairs are the perfect example. I chose a very traditional Windsor style frame but had them painted in a bright modern color, then I paired them with a modern metal-based table. I’d say I kept the ratio of traditional to modern elements in the home to 60/40.
How did the surrounding environment inspire you for the design and color palette?
The first cue for the color scheme came from the surrounding North Carolina landscape. As a result, earth tones play heavily in the home’s bigger color moments. There were two strong design themes that originated in the shape of the main hexagonal room of the house. I repeat that shape in the door hardware and decorative objects throughout the house. I was also inspired by the rich gem mining history in the area, so faceted items like cabinet hardware, pottery, wallpaper patterns, and planters make an appearance too. During one of my frequent trips to antique shops, I found vintage gem prints and other items with the same local flair.
The master bedroom used to have a sink right out in the open. How did you achieve both function and a spa-like experience to create a true master bathroom?
While roomy, the old master bedroom had outlived its usefulness. After absorbing the square footage of the entire wing, we were able to carve out a generous master suite as well as a cozy study and guest bath off the entryway. It was shocking how much wasted space was discovered on that side of the house. The original bathroom was actually quite small considering the amount of space in the bedroom. The finished space has a freestanding soaker tub, a double shower, a double vanity and a private loo. All of it included without sacrificing flow or space.
One of the most interesting rooms features custom bunk beds and mountain scenery. How did that concept come to life?
I knew the house could use a fun younger looking space and a double bunk seemed appropriate for the room shape. It also needed an equally impressive moment on the opposite wall. I’ve collected vintage paint by numbers for ages and I knew in my travels I had seen interesting mountain-scapes. I found some old pictures and postcards of North Carolina mountain valleys and commissioned a mural from a talented painter friend. He drew up an original image and seamlessly incorporated the paint palette I used in the rest of the house. The mural painting took six days, but the resulting work of art was well worth the wait.
What were your favorite vintage finds that were used in the house?
Oh goodness, I love so many! In no particular order … the antique bird, fish and gem prints because they felt SO very North Carolina. The old wooden crates bought for looks, but the bonus storage makes them pretty fantastic all around. A fat vintage dictionary and the globe, which, really, every good study needs one of each! Two old Windsor chairs I rescued before the construction crew tossed them in the dumpster, and a collection of primitive augers I found at a local antique shop, because they were sculptural and manly additions to the study.
How did you carry the design aesthetic from the interior to the deck so that it flows well with the natural backyard setting?
Because the back deck is visible from every room in the house, I chose furniture pieces and accessories that reflected the color and texture choices from the interior. Keeping the seating areas looking like extra living spaces helped as well. For the more casual lower deck, I picked rustic mountain furniture and a fire pit but painted it to match the main deck furniture and added cedar to connect it to the home’s exterior and the surrounding environment.
What do you hope the winner enjoys most about living in this year’s Ultimate Retreat?
I hope the winner enjoysthe seamless living from inside to outside, the plentiful entertaining and hosting space, splendid kitchen, the sophisticated master suite, the colorful laundry room and smart storage solutions throughout. Most importantly, I hope they enjoy the serene landscape and water views. It’s a magical setting.
How can homeowners balance using wildlife or woodland accents without the décor becoming too cabin-esque?
When it comes to wildlife and woodland accents, a little goes a long way. My advice, if you keep a majority of those items in the accessory category they are easy to edit as you tire of them. Investment pieces and bigger commitments like furniture or cabinetry should be more timeless. There is nothing wrong with incorporating cabin-esque items but balancing it out with other sophisticated or classic items will give your interior longevity?
Which room is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to enter the DIY Network Ultimate Retreat Giveaway 2018 twice a day for a chance to win, from August 6 at 9:00 a.m. to September 26, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.
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No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends at 5 p.m. ET on 9/26/18. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. For full official rules, visit diynetwork.com/UltimateRetreat or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: “DIY Network Ultimate Retreat Giveaway 2018”, P.O. Box 52151, Knoxville, TN 37950. Main Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC d/b/a DIY Network.
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