Firethorn: Contemporary Mountain Rustic

 In Interior Design

This mountain retreat, tucked into North Carolina’s “Crown of the Blue Ridge Mountains” town of Blowing Rock has been given a fresh new contemporary design by the Miami based interior design firm, Britto Charette.  The residence is located in prestigious Firethorn, an exclusive gated community set within the dense forest that offers owners the beauty of the natural surroundings in a private setting; mountain living at its finest.  The homes within the community are designed to exist in harmony with the surroundings.  The architecture and building materials used to create the homes reflect the heritage of the region and provides for visual continuity.  The area’s high elevation results in cooler summer temperatures than the surrounding low lands to the south and east, which is what made Blowing Rock a summer destination many years ago.  Cooler summers, winter skiing, and ample opportunity for outdoor adventure make this an ideal location.

The homes within the community are designed to exist in harmony with the surroundings.

Cooler summers, winter skiing, and ample opportunity for outdoor adventure make this an ideal location.

In Miami, a city where many from the Northern parts of the country migrate every winter for its warmer climate, the summers get a little hot.  The weather that draws the crowds in the winter, sends even the local residents looking for a milder reprieve, which was the case with this home.  A busy Miami couple, who were already clients of Britto Charette, asked them to weigh in on the final selection of prospective second homes in North Carolina, which was to serve as a retreat from their hectic schedules and Miami’s humid summers.

BC-Firethorn-great room-fireplace

The couple ultimately decided on this home with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a powder room spread over three floors, where yellowed knotty pine wood predominated.  They asked the designers to completely renovate the home, beginning with the heavy wood beams and myriad wrought iron brackets that contributed to an outdated and masculine feel that lacked the coziness desired.  The couple agreed with the designers that they wanted to maintain the relevant architecture of the region by preserving many aspects of the home, but they also asked them to bring in some of the light and bright interiors created within their Miami home.

BC-Firethorn-great room-window

BC-Firethorn-great room-detail

First on the designers’ list was the wood flooring. The pitted surface had acquired a mustardy patina with age and it took weeks of painstaking work to grind down and smooth out the ruggedness of the pine.  Once the contractors were finished, the flooring was given a darker and more contemporary finish that instantly updated the rooms.  The next defining task was to remove the original stone fireplace and to create something monumental in its place which would serve as the true focal point of the home.  A contemporary design, slate-fronted fireplace was created with side firewood storage running nearly the full height on either side.  The vertical lines highlight the rooms soaring ceiling height of 22’ with a 25’peak.  The designers removed an overhanging ledge that wrapped around the upper loft area to create a clean volume of space.  The rustic, dark exposed wood ceilings were covered leaving only the structural beams, and all of the decorative finials and traditional brackets were removed and replaced with wrought iron flat brackets to provide a sophisticated design update.  A large incandescent light fixture suspended above the room imbues it with pale yellow light.


Downstairs, the foyer provides a perfect welcome with shades of blue-green in the slate floors and in the contemporary art suspended above the credenza.  The pieces displayed on top of the credenza are from Britto Charette’s own WASI porcelains collection.

BC-Firethorn-family room-fireplace

BC-Firethorn-family room-seating

Just as in the first floor great room, the downstairs family room features a fireplace in the same contemporary design, fronted with slate and with floor-to-ceiling firewood storage spaces along each side.  The rooms are kept light, modern and inviting with soft monochromatic furnishings with clean lines, highlighted with touches of luxe fabrics and upholstery.  Graphic modern art pieces create a perfect contrast to the wood beams for a contemporary balance.  The large ottoman centering the room is of bespoke design by Britto Charette.

BC-Firethorn-dining room

In the kitchen with dining area, the designers concentrated their efforts on editing the space, working around the preexisting island, removing moldings, and cleaning/polishing the range/oven hood.  The couple wished to keep the cabinetry, so the designers had them stained and removed the backsplash tile and replaced it with smooth stone.  The dining table is a bespoke design by Britto Charette, surrounded with chairs from Club Collection.

BC-Firethorn-powder room

The powder room, located on the first floor, features raffia wall coverings to create texture.  A vessel bowl sink with industrial style faucets play with the modern rustic vibe, as does the leather framed mirror reflecting the contemporary wall art.




In the master bedroom suite, the designers took advantage of the generous space and created a cleaner look by covering the dark paneling with drywall and leaving only the support beams exposed.  Custom wall panels by Britto Charette were fabricated by Soto Interiors.  The headboard is comprised of upholstered panels and the custom nightstands are by Britto Charette.  The snakeskin bench at the foot of the bed adds a touch of rustic drama while a bookshelf and upholstered chair create a cozy corner reading nook.


In the master bathroom, the designers left the wood beams and exposed wood ceilings intact.  They added wall coverings and a fabric shade to soften the space and new faucets and fixtures to make the space more contemporary.


The home includes a lovely guest bedroom suite down on the lower level away from the other rooms.  The walls are softly upholstered and the contemporary mountain lodge effect is perfectly articulated in this room.



The remaining guest bedrooms are located on the upper floor and have a little more of the rustic feel in them.  The ceilings were left in their original exposed wood condition.  The colors used are very neutral to capture the essence of outdoor living.  Chevron wall coverings were applied to the main wall behind the upholstered headboards in both rooms.


Lastly, the outdoor porch and deck areas were decorated to enhance the raw materials that make up the property and to provide a comfortable gathering area for long summer evenings.  An outdoor fireplace completes this contemporary take on rustic mountain design.

That wraps up our design inspiration for today my friends.  I hope you all have enjoyed and you have found some inspiring interior design ideas in this contemporary mountain retreat.  This is my second post on a completed project by these designers, Jay Britto and David Charette of Britto Charette.  Be sure to check out my post Luxury Interior Design in the Golden Mile to see a completely different style articulated by this team which really demonstrates their talent and range.  There is lots more info over there as well, so be sure to check it out.  To see even more, be sure to check out their website, which includes a wonderful collection of the designer’s home items like some of those mentioned above, as well as a wonderfully insightful blog.

Britto Charette’s designs reflect the modern tastes and design demands of today’s discerning global clients.

Interior Design: Britto Charette

Photography: Dustin Peck Photography

Thanks so much for reading along my friends!  Let me hear from you all in the comments… Let me know what you think of this project!


If you have enjoyed reading this post, please share it along the social media below!

Please like us and share:
Recommended Posts
    pingbacks / trackbacks

    Leave a Comment

    Start typing and press Enter to search