Tamara Heather Leicester’s Mountain Retreat Is A Gorgeous Refuge From The City

Tamara Heather Leicester's Mountain Retreat

Charlotte interior designer Tamara Heather Leicester talks about one of her favorite spaces, a family mountain retreat in the Blue Ridge.

What was the inspiration for the space?
The room was inspired by the home’s setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains, situated on a steeply sloping site at about 4,500 feet of elevation with a long-range southwest view. The room is surrounded by windows that draw in the natural beauty of the wooded mountain location. All of the architecture and interior design choices were made out of reverence for the location and setting.

What materials were used and why?
The materials are simple and warm, with an emphasis on natural wood. The dining table is walnut, and the chairs are curly maple on reclaimed schoolhouse frames. The floor is also maple, and the fireplace is clad in pine. The natural materials fit well with the wooded surrounds, and provide a soft, tactile warmth to the space.

What were your major considerations?
One major consideration was using local artists and artisans for most of the furnishings. North Carolina has a strong craft tradition, so I wanted to pay homage to that history.  I designed the round dining table to seat six; the base is an abstracted tree branch structure. It was made by Charlotte furniture maker Mica Sorkin. The chairs are by Asheville furniture maker Aaron Bailey, who has a studio called Edge of Asheville, and the red tree painting is by Asheville artist Phil DeAngelo.

Tamara Heather Leicester's Mountain Retreat

How did you choose the color palette for the space?
It’s a neutral palette of off-white and dark brown and bronze along with wood tones. A mostly neutral palette is best here because it doesn’t compete with the views. I chose Sherwin Williams’ Neutral Ground for the walls, and the color makes the space feel soft and inviting, even under the direct glare of the afternoon sun. There are also accents of red and orange throughout the home that were inspired by fall foliage and drawn from a painting in the master bedroom (not pictured).

What was your client’s reaction to the space and how did that make you feel when the project was finalized?
We absolutely love it! As the designer and homeowner, I’m really proud of how it turned out.