Friday, November 16, 2012

Over the River and Through the Woods...

1.  Laurel Nest, Highlands, North Carolina.  Photo by Erica Dines
2.  Appalachian Mountains in Fall

Bubble & Squeak has been so unbelievably busy this fall that we’ve almost forgotten to stop and appreciate the leaves changing color.  Luckily, we’re getting our Autumnal fixes in other ways.  Our good friends Bill Cook and Michael Faust have invited us to tour their home, Laurel Nest, in the rolling Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina (which was just published in the always beautiful Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine).  Bill is the founder of Vermilion Designs Interiors and Michael is an architect, both based a stones throw from Highlands in sweet and sultry Atlanta.  Intrigued by fairy tales and a taste for whimsy, their style is truly a mix of fantasy and reality.  Their storybook spirit comes across loud and clear with a mingling of Adirondack-inspired balconies, exposed beam rooflines, and a stacked log and stone façade.  Inside, they’ve created a magical world of Swedish Black Forest ski chalet meets English country house meets Hansel and Gretel (no German children were harmed in the building of this house).  Bill, and his discerning eye for antique furniture and rare objects, and Michael, and his classically trained architectural sensibility have created a uniquely modern and comfortable home-away-from-home. Grab a seat by the fire and enjoy the fairy tale.
1.  Vermilion Designs Interiors, photo by Lou Freeman
3.  1970 Mercedes Benz 280 SE Cabriolet

Resting on the seat next to him is a thoughtfully packed basket containing an apple pie, still warm from the oven, which his mother insisted he take when he left. She can be overbearing, but a bad cook she is not. It will be the perfect treat to end the long drive home. With each twist and turn up the steep road, Hunter tightens his grip around the bony steering wheel of his vintage red ragtop Mercedes-Benz. He’s driven this way every weekend since building his dream cottage up in the mountains two years ago, but tonight something is different. Dusk came early this evening, he thought, as the headlamps catch flashes of golden foliage floating over the dark, damp pavement.  Although the route is familiar, there is an eerie unknown in the air. The wind picks up, and the grumble of thunder can be heard over the rumble of the engine. After a sharp turn, Hunter finds a downed tree branch lying motionless in the road forcing him to get out of the car to clear the way. Dragging the stray limb across the pavement, a howling gust of wind from the shadows knocks him to the ground with the force of a pouncing wolf. His breath is instantly knocked out of his chest, and his lungs begin a long fight to draw in the chilly night air. Regaining his composure, Hunter drags the limb across the road and gets back into his car. Arriving home after an eventful drive, he heads straight for the kitchen for the long awaited treat. “What a strange night”, he says aloud while cutting a giant slice of his mother’s apple pie. “And my, what big eyes you have, Hunter”, he laughs while taking his first bite. 
1.  Fenwick Carriage Pocket Lantern, The Urban Electric Company
2.  Vermilion Designs Interiors, photo by Lou Freeman
3.  Leather and Brass Dog Leash, Sterling and Burke Ltd.
1.  Vermilion Designs Interiors, photo by Erica Dines
2.  Black Forest Hall Tree, Paul Kleinwald Art and Antiques, Inc.
1. Vermilion Designs Interiors, photo by Erica Dines
2. French Art Deco Club Chair, Jean-Marc Fray
1.  Argentinian Wrought Iron Chandelier by Jose  Thenee, Architectural Artifacts
2.  Vermilion Designs Interiors, photo by Lou Freeman
1.  Vermilion Designs Interiors, photo by Lou Freeman
2.  Vintage Hermes Orylag Fur Blanket, 20th Century Interiors 
3.  Vintage Stag Horn and Brass Mirror, Hadassa Antiques 
1.  Woodland Dinnerware, Spode
2.  Vermilion Designs Interiors, photo by Erica Dines
1.  American Hooked Rug, The New England Collection 
2. Ripple Circular Table, Soane Britan
3.  Vermilion Designs Interiors, Photo by Lou Freeman


  1. oh you have been sorely missed but worth the wait. lucky you, this home is indeed a fairytale, with a majestic masculine aesthetic. my head would be spinning!
    i have to go back and take another look. welcome back!

  2. Thank you so much Debra! We'll have to convince Bill to have us all down for a woodsy cocktail party!

  3. Love these boards! That mercedes is gorgeous! Happy Holidays!

    E + J

  4. I am just finishing building my log cabin south of Charlottesville Virginia. The logs and stone came off the property but the cost of building was still very high, about $300 a square foot. But lordy lordy is it ever beautiful, well worth the trouble and money. And when you open the front door it smells sooooo good, woodsy and sweet.

    Don't give up your dream. I am 77 years old.


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  6. Everything looks lovely.