Prepare yourselves, friends. For some serious heart eyes. And perhaps for some serious heart palpitations when you realize that almost everything in the home I’m about to share was handcrafted by one of the owners. The woodwork? His. The lamps? His. Everything hanging on the walls? His. The metal coffee table and chair frame? His.
Before I go much further, I should share that he can also lay claim to, well, me. At least partially. He’s my dad.
Every time I smell sawdust, it takes me back to childhood memories in Dad’s workshop. My favorite recollection of a workshop project was the summer we built a little wooden boat (with the bottom coated with fiberglass) for teddy bears, and sailed it around the campus pond. Those days he and my stepmom (Lynne) were living in upstate New York, teaching at a small liberal arts college. But for the past several years, they’ve been living in Asheville, North Carolina–in a house my dad built with his own two hands.
It sits nestled on the side of a little ravine in a community called Chicken Hill, directly adjacent to the River Arts district. For anyone who happens to have visited the White Duck Taco Shop, you’ve been merely steps away from their little house. They’re situated perfectly–close to galleries, restaurants, and the beautiful river.
Their home is filled with art, books, and kitties. When I visit, there’s ongoing offers of coffee, delicious (and spectacularly plated) meals, conversations of politics and literature. They’re gracious hosts; both taking me to their favorite spots and allowing me to venture out on my own.
Asheville is known for an arts and crafts culture. But not necessarily a town thought of for modern art. My father is working to change that. Every Saturday morning, they open their home to visitors to the River Arts District, and next Friday will mark the opening of “Form & Function” at the Contempraneo Gallery in Asheville, featuring his works and a temporary art installation. I’ll be heading down for the event, and beaming with pride the whole time. And, lucky me… I’ll be staying in their home while I’m there.
Wanna take a peek?
Rather than trying to fit a couch in their space, they opted to create a place for visiting and conversation with a collection of mismatched (yet perfectly paired) chairs, circling around a coffee table that is always covered with books, coffee cups, and the occasionally kitty cat. The chair near the window is where you’ll most often find me sitting cross-legged while trying to beg the closest cat to come and curl up on my lap.
This gives you a glimpse into their open-concept kitchen, which connects with their living/dining area. Every time I go for a visit, Dad’s added new finishing touches or points of visual interest. I believe the room divider you can glimpse behind the black chair was new the last time I visited. And, if you squint hard enough, you can make out a wooden corner plant stand (in the bottom left photo) that houses a fern. Dad immediately built the plant stand and purchased the fern after a neighbor firmly told him that corner was leaking chi, and he’d be wise to do something about it. (Only in Asheville.)
Though he DOES blend into the background a bit, you can likely see the magnificent Portland Paris sitting on top of the island, “assisting” with breakfast preparation. Their cats are precious to them; they have the run of the house, and there are plans at some point to build a little cat balcony outside the large window in the living room that will allow the furry creatures to get fresh air and sunshine.
From the main photo in the collage above, you can see their front door, their dining table, and some additional artwork.
Finally, here is their bedroom–crisp white and uncluttered, with beautiful views overlooking the ravine. A room that I WISH was the guest room, but alas, tis not.
Hope you enjoyed the home tour! Also, if you’re interested in visiting Asheville, I’ve got an Asheville City Guide compiled from my many visits, highlighting my favorite spots to go, shop, and eat.