Meet the Team Behind the 2020 Southern Living Idea House

Idea House 2020 Front Exterior Entry with Dog sitting on Porch
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

For our 2020 Idea House in Asheville, North Carolina we brought on a team of creative experts to design the perfect year-round mountain home.

Beau Clowney Architects

Charleston, SC

"We wanted to design a classic summer house with a nostalgic reinterpretation of the vernacular architecture of the North Carolina mountain region. This mountain cottage works for modern living while incorporating the spirit of a turn-of-the century style home. It's full of light and air with classical proportions," says architect Beau Clowney.

"Great Southern homes have a connection between indoors and out. A unique characteristic of this site is the change in grade at the back of the property. The house feels like a quaint cottage in the woods," says architect Kate Campbell.

Buchanan Construction

Rick Buchanan
Rick Buchanan. Malcolm MacGregor

Asheville, NC

"On a corner lot, the home grabs your attention with its architecture, white lap siding, and metal roof. One visit to The Ramble, and you'll never want to leave!" says Rick.

Lauren Liess & Co.

Interior Designer
Great Falls, VA

Interior Designer Lauren Liess
Lauren Liess. Helen Norman

"All the best houses have soul. Interesting architectural details—like V-groove paneling, exposed wooden beams, and historically inspired doors with traditional hardware—add old-house character to a new build. Incorporating pieces that already have patina or will age well (along with a mix of new and vintage furnishings, art, and accessories) lends timelessness too. I wanted to give enough breathing room for the architecture and land surrounding the house to be fully appreciated. The outdoors influenced the interior palette of greens and other natural tones. We designed it to seem relaxed and pared down—not too stuffy but with little moments of sophistication and nods to the Victorian era. I wanted the house to make you exhale," says Lauren.

Cloos Landscape Architecture

Landscape Designer
Horse Shoe, NC

Greg Cloos
Greg Cloos.

"The home's architecture was really my biggest source of inspiration for the design," says landscape designer Greg Cloos. "I love the way the house reaches out into the landscape and steps down with a very comfortable human scale. I'm also inspired by the gardens I see on my travels. The gardens of Charleston, South Carolina, are wonderful, and last year, I went to London to see the Chelsea Flower Show, which is a fantastic showcase of garden design. My overall goal for the Idea House was to use plantings and hardscape elements (stepping stones and boulder walls) to reinforce and accentuate the qualities of the architecture, with a more organized treatment close to the home that transitions to a more natural landscape as you move away."

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