Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Located just two hours north of New York City, the Catskill Mountains have served as a popular refuge for city-dwellers for generations. As humans in this complex ever evolving 21st Century, we find ourselves longing for beautiful places highlighted by nature where lakes, fresh air and endless iterations of the four seasons are ours to enjoy.
Mountain houses are a wonderful way to reconnect with nature, reset our circadian rhythms and detoxify from hectic city living. As you ponder the design of your dream mountain home, there are a number of important design features for your consideration:
Architectural Style: Mountain homes are designed to take advantage of their rugged surroundings. Common architectural features include large open floor plans, exposed interior beams and logs, huge windows and large outdoor decks to help take in the surrounding views. Prow-shaped great rooms are also very popular design features.
Natural Building Materials: Most mountain house plans feature rustic materials and are designed for mountainous or rugged terrain with the ability to also be built into steep hillsides. Rustic materials are a beautiful complement to the surrounding nature and usually incorporate some type of local and/or natural design materials including locally sourced stone, timber and metal.
Fireplaces Are a Must: An extensive use of fireplaces, both on the interior and exterior, add charm and coziness to all mountain homes and provide a secondary source of heat that is most welcome in the colder months. Enhancing your entertainment space with multiple fireplaces is an excellent approach to bringing family and friends together when celebrating holidays or hosting family dinners.
Balance the Feng Shui Elements: Wood and Earth Elements are naturally strong and present within most mountain homes. This is a very special combination as the Wood Element feeds the Fire Element, which in turn nurtures and creates the Earth Element. We often talk about the Wood Element in relation to new growth and spring – but it has a critical role to play as we enter fall and winter, as well.
Honor the Five Senses: Honor your five senses with candles strategically placed around your mountain home, with sweet smells for the holidays like mulling spices and cinnamon. Create a special area in the house that captures the most sun and make it cozy with warm yang colors such as burnt orange, yellows, and reds. Be sure to add surprising and delightful cozy nooks where you can curl up with a good book amongst warm throws and pillows. Touch is an important sense to consider too – layer warm rugs with natural fibers throughout the house to protect your feet from cold floorboards and tiles. Heated towel racks and bathroom floors adds another dimension on luxurious warmth.
Universal Design: A walkout basement is ideal for multi-generational living as it provides separate and private entrances for different family members, if an in-law or teenage suite is desired. This private space also allows for the use of plenty of outdoor space that may mirror the main floor’s outdoor living space; either way, it’s a great alternative for extended families as well as difficult and/or sloping lots which are not uncommon in this terrain.
Looking to invest in or take your mountain home to the next level?
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Whether it is directing the flow of chi through the arrangement of furnishings, design or colors; Julie and her team can help you to create the spaces that support your vision of a balanced life, rich in the areas that matter to you.
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