Matt Rooks left his native Wilmington to attend college in Charleston, South Carolina, then took jobs that lasted five years each in the cold climates of Chicago and Seattle. A couple of years ago, he decided it was time to return to the South and put down roots closer to home.
“I chose Asheville because I really love the mountains and outdoor activities. It is also within driving distance of home,” Rooks said.
To settle in, Matt decided to build in an area 10 minutes north of the city. He chose a modern, rustic house plan with some unique architectural features.
His Pinewood Avenue 2½-story house, selected for inclusion in the October 2018 Parade of Homes sponsored by the Asheville Homebuilders Association, is a stacked design situated on a quarter acre. His lot, located within a five-minute walk of Beaver Lake, offers an open view of the area and a partial view of the surrounding mountains from the upper level, he said.
The exterior features two architecturally impressive radius roofs. Exterior stone combined with board and batten and cement board siding blend with the natural surroundings.
More windows, more decks
The house design is unique, with features taken from similar designs found online. Rooks said he came across an online house plan and worked with the builders to switch a few things around to fit the topography of his lot.
He converted what was a bonus room in the lower level of the house plan and made it a garage, which fit nicely into the slanted landscape. He also moved the laundry room from the master bedroom closet and fit it into the bottom level of the house so he could expand it and have more space.
Rooks wanted a lot of windows throughout the home, so he chose Jeld-Wen casement windows that provide not only a clear view of his surroundings but opportunities to catch summer breezes.
“I lived in apartments for 15 years, so there were two things I wanted: a lot of natural light from windows and a lot of outdoor living space.”
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To provide the outdoor living space he craved, Rooks added a third deck to the plan that already called for two good-sized decks. All three decks are covered and feature tongue-and-groove ceilings.
The side deck has space for a gas grill and looks out over a fire pit seating area and Rooks’ small vegetable garden. The larger of the decks is behind the house, where Rooks has added comfortable deck furniture.
“It is a great communal space. It gets the most light during the day and helps extend the living room via large sliding doors that open and basically double the living room,” he said.
Blending with the environment
The third deck extends out over the garage and has a ceiling fan. All the decks are finished with almost invisible cabling rather than traditional wooden spindles. There is also a wooden retaining wall, and part of the yard is fenced.
Landscaping consists of flagstone walkways from the driveway gate to the front porch, where it splits and wraps around the house. The front drive is gravel and lined with crepe myrtles. The back drive to the garage is cement.
In building, Rooks was conscious of the environment and use of natural resources. He had a recirculating pump added to the water heater to prevent waste. He added smart home features such as a nest thermostat for heating and air conditioning that can be controlled through his phone.
“It helps me regulate and monitor the heat and air when away from home,” he said.
Some lighting at the front and back porch and on the stairwell are automatic and only come on when needed. The interior wooden staircase is made of pine and also features cabled railing. It leads to the top-level guest bedroom that Rooks, who owns Roost Home Watch, has turned into his office.
A lover of natural wood, Rooks used a lot of it throughout the house, including the acacia wood floors. The 9-foot front door made of Douglas fir was shipped from Seattle.
“I am very into natural wood but very modern at the same time,” Rooks said. “I always wanted a really nice solid wood door. It harkens back to my time in Seattle.”
Two exposed beams in the entryway help blend the different types of wood in the home. The wooden mantel over the fireplace matches the stairs. An open floor plan with 21-foot high ceilings gives the house a spacious appeal and allows a natural flow from the living room to the kitchen.
The modern kitchen has a large farm sink and stainless steel GE appliances that include a gas range and hood. Counter tops are white quartz with white subway tile backsplash and granite colored cabinetry add some color.
There are heated floors in the master en suite bath, and the darker tile flows from the floor into and up the walls of the spacious shower, entered via large sliding glass doors. The master bedroom, located on the main level, has a walk-in closet with lights that come on automatically. The two guest bathrooms feature subway tile, and Rooks incorporated pocket doors in the house where possible to save space.
The three-bedroom three-bath house was built in 2016, and although Rooks loves the home he helped design to his taste, he is giving it up, as he needs more space for his growing home-watch business. It is listed with the Mountain Star Team of Re/Max Realtors.
Contact freelance writer Angela Nicholas at email@example.com.
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