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Andie MacDowell allows a glimpse of a storybook home for a storied life

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6/13/2009 - Andie MacDowell allows a glimpse of a storybook home for a storied life
by Paul Clark

When Andie MacDowell decided she wanted to build a house in Biltmore Forest, architect Robert Griffin gave her a book of various style homes. Rainey, her elder daughter, liked the looks of one that looked like it belonged in a fairy tale. So-called storybook homes were an architectural style popular in England and the USA in the 1920s.

It's romantic, MacDowell said of why she too liked the look that led to the comfortable house she had built in 2002. I wanted it to look like an original Biltmore Forest house. And I wanted it to look old. And I wanted a house that fosters conversation.

With walls and panels of furniture-quality cypress, it's a substantial house that has what its designer Robert Griffin of Griffin Architects says is a fourth dimension: time. The house has not only a sense of antiquity but also of having existed on the landscaped lot for decades.

New this season are the strawberries MacDowell planted near the drive and the small green tomatoes appearing in her vegetable garden. Her roses, flowers and herbs attest to her love of gardening.

You can see her garden during the Asheville GreenWorks Father's Day garden tour June 21 in Biltmore Forest.

I can't say I'm a great gardener, she said, smiling as the sun winked off her unadorned lips. But I'm an enthusiastic gardener.

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