The Mountain Shack
The original building, shown here, was a Depression-era home sited in a 10-acre cow pasture 25 minutes west of Boone in the Blue Ridge Mountains, most likely built for a farm hand working on larger fields down the road. The home had been abandoned for decades before North Carolina architect Chad Everhart's client hired him for its re-design.
The Re-Shack Envisioned
The architect called for enclosing the original structure in bands of hemlock painted bright white, to celebrate its abandonment, and make it architecturally interesting. He also added a new roof and gutters, and salvaged the stone foundation and chimney.
Everhart reorganized the floor plan on two levels, creating a loft out of two tiny bedrooms above, and a living room, kitchen, dining area, bath and laundry below. Originally 1,000 square feet, the home was reduced to 850 square feet, though the porch was expanded and a deck added.
Everhart was drawn to the home’s unusual fieldstone foundation and chimney, which lack clean grout lines or cut stone. The hemlock skeleton, bridges the divide between old and new and provides a striking visual in the rural North Carolina countryside.
The fireplace in the living room was replaced with a propane gas stove that vents up through the original chimney, and heats the entire house. By reconfiguring the second floor into an open loft area, the space is made light, airy and expansive.
The horizontal hemlock slat-siding detail is repeated inside, painted bright white in contrast to gray-painted drywall and exposed ceiling joists. The exposed structural elements are a common design theme inside and out.
The porch, expanded from its original foot print, uses the hemlock slats to create a side wall complete with mock window. A rear deck was added to provide additional outdoor living space.
Re-Imagined for Living
The re-imagined home now comes with its own narrative to tell. “It’s a story of how the past and the present merge together to show how something abandoned was reclaimed, reworked, re-clad and re-inhabited,” says Everhart.
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