This Enchanting Mountaintop Cottage Embodies Coziness

Located 45 minutes outside of Chattanooga, TN, in Monteagle, a historic cottage was renovated with organic materials that echo its picturesque mountaintop setting.

Situated on the brow of the mountain, the 1,800-square-foot, 2-bedroom cottage is straight out of a fairy tale – a cozy stone structure you might happen upon when meandering through an enchanted forest.

Renovated last in the 1970s, the home was ready for another facelift. “The main design concept was to take advantage of the bluff, use the materials of the area – stone and cedar shakes – and make the home blend into the forest,” says Heidi Hefferlin, principal and lead architect at Hefferlin + Kronenberg Architects.

The mountaintop cottage is located in an area settled by the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (MSSA), an organization that hosted eight-week summer retreats with spiritual, educational and cultural activities from the late 1800s through the Depression era.

Throughout the grounds, you’ll find cozy one- and two-story cottages that are now listed on the historic register. This cottage, which originally belonged to MSSA’s physician, is located on a mountain bluff secluded from the other cottages on the grounds.

On the exterior, an ornate bracket was installed by the entryway, along with copper gutters. To help the house blend into its natural setting, stone was added around the base to complement the wood siding. A new cedar-shake roof was installed, and a fireplace cap adds architectural interest.

Interior improvements

Throughout the interior, rustic gray-toned wood paneling was installed by Revival Studio. The Chattanooga-based interior design company also furnished the home through its sister business, Revival Home.

Off the entryway, the original dining room was transformed into a living area. Hefferlin had custom tresses created and installed, and new windows extend upward into the pitched roofline of the dormers.

The dining room, which was originally off the entryway, was moved to the back of the house overlooking the bluff. On the window-lined back wall of the house, french doors with arches were replaced with more contemporary windows and doors.

The master suite, which is raised 2 1/2 feet on another level, overlooks the bluff as well. “You can lie in bed and look out over the brow,” says Hefferlin. The suite’s reclaimed wooden doors were given a barn door treatment, and art was installed on the panels by Revival Home.

In the kitchen, custom wood cabinets are accented with iron pulls and topped with a stone countertop. An oven hood is wrapped with reclaimed wood, and windows open up to a concrete bar on the screened porch.

Off the kitchen, a small 8-by-8-foot butler’s pantry with a bar and refrigerator was created with storage and food prep in mind.

The addition of a screened porch allows the homeowners to embrace the cottage’s beautiful surroundings. And the porch’s organic materials, such as stone floors and wooden beams, connect the space with the natural setting.

A stately stone fireplace provides warmth on chilly days, and a custom black-steel shelving unit was created to hold firewood and a television.

Photos by Sarah Dorio.


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