2/28/2011 - Blending in Black Mountain
by Paul Clark
"Green and Healthy Built homes are more and more popular in Asheville, and the world, as there is more awareness of our environment and the benefits of conservation. North Carolina is a leading state in America's "greening" and Asheville a model city." - Ben Falcon
Elizabeth and Bill Green's home is built to blend in with Black Mountain lot. / Holli Hartmanfirstname.lastname@example.org
Nuts and bolts
The home: A 3,300-square-foot Arts & Crafts home with four bedrooms a nd four baths at The Settings at Black Mountain.
The homeowners: Elizabeth Green, a retired physical therapist, and Bill Green, an anesthesiologist. They have three standard poodles - Guy, Luci and Sunny.
Defining aspect: Designed as a second home, the house flows comfortably from room to room, achieving a casualness that puts visitors at ease.
Architect: Amy Conner-Murphy, ACM Design PA, Asheville.
Builder: Sean Sullivan, Living Stone Construction, Black Mountain.
Interior: Amy Conner-Murphy, ACM Design PA.
Grounds: Jennifer Brown, Greenmeadow Landscaping, Old Fort.
Things happen in threes for Elizabeth and Bill Green, who built their third house at The Settings in Black Mountain.
"One of the neat things the architect did was for our dogs," Elizabeth said recently, showing her home to guests. "She said we might want a separate in and out (door) for them, with a shower. That was a great suggestion."
The architect - Amy Conner-Murphy of Asheville - was one of three principals who worked on the Green house. The other two were builder Sean Sullivan of Living Stone Construction (Black Mountain) and Jennifer Brown of Greenmeadow Landscaping (Old Fort).
"They all started working together from the beginning," Elizabeth said. Consulting over the slope of the lot, they placed the house and rock walls in the space that makes the best use of the lay of the land, she said.
"When you see the outside," Bill said, "you see how it blends in with the surroundings."
"We didn't want it to stand out," Elizabeth said.
Second home, added features
The Greens live primarily in Cornelius, near Charlotte, where Bill works as an anesthesiologist. They built their home, a gold-level HealthyBuilt Home, in The Settings as a getaway, a place that they plan to be their retirement home. In 2008, the house won first place in the N.C. Home Builders Association STARS Awards in the category of Best Custom House Priced Over $1 million under 5,000 square feet.
"We love the mountains, and Black Mountain is such a neat town," Elizabeth said. And Asheville's being close by is a bonus. "You walk your dogs, and people are always stopping you," Bill said.
Back up and running
A temporary loss of power doesn't affect the Greens for long. The gas fireplaces in the master bedroom and living room don't need electricity to work. A generator powers the house when the power goes down, as it did on Christmas Day 2009. "My neighbor looked at us and said, 'that was a good idea,'" Elizabeth said.
Meeting in the kitchen
Elizabeth likes that when Bill's in the next room working on his computer (a really old, still functional Mac), she's in the kitchen, cooking and (during the regular season, any way), watching their beloved Cleveland Browns on TV. They both like to cook, a passion that in previous residences inevitably had them crowding around the sink. They solved the problem by installing two sinks in this kitchen.
Warm long into the night
Afternoons find Elizabeth in the living room, quietly reading English mysteries and appreciating the view of the rhododendrons outside. One of the dogs will be curled up in front of the fire, on the little rug on the cork floor. The fieldstone in the fireplace holds the heat far into the night