House In Sapphire, United States
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- 4 bedrooms
This estate was aptly dubbed "Ushuata", a Cherokee term meaning "where the earth ends and dreams begin". No other phrase comes close to describing how it feels to enter its gates and step into a garden paradise surrounded by splendid views of the ancient Appalachians. Boasting one of the finest private gardens in the Southeast, the home sits jewel-like amid terraced gardens, which perfectly blend into the remarkable site and take full advantage of the views of Bald Rock and Lake Fairfield.Designed by the noted Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson architectural firm, the home was built by Dearl Stewart Construction and decorated by Amelia T. Handegan. The home is filled with antiques from all over the world, including French, early Italian, Flemish, English, Swedish, Welsh, and British Colonial furniture; Oushak, Turkish, and Persian antique rugs; English, Italian, and Swedish paintings; and French and English mirrors. Faux painting, lighting by Paul Ferrente, and antique oak flooring reclaimed from a Pennsylvanian barn imbue the impression of having stepped back to a more elegant time.The primary bedroom suite sits on the main floor, with two sleeping rooms, two baths, and two closets, while three guest suites share a sitting room upstairs. The kitchen provides a large island, an informal dining nook, and Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, as well as easy access to the formal dining room. A guest suite above the two-car garage offers a private entrance, and an additional freestanding two-car garage is currently being used for property maintenance.Conceived by Mary Palmer Dargan, the landscape design was guided by the owner's desire to create a sustainable environment that integrates the gardens with the emerging architecture to produce a home environment that honors its setting. Along with native granite boulders, many tons of Tennessee fieldstone make up the meandering paths and stepping stones. The gardens were planted and maintained to be a haven for wildlife, particularly birds and butterflies, with myriad sources of nectar. Many species of mountain swallowtails, fritillaries, buckeyes, painted ladies complete the Edenic atmosphere of the garden. The property is also home to a wide variety of breeding birds, including warblers, vireos, hummingbirds, tanagers, bluebirds, and other songbirds. The water feature is a magnet for migrating birds in the spring and fall when one can sit and watch the thirsty warblers descend for a drink. It also serves as a breeding site for green and wood frogs, as well as grey tree frogs, spring peepers, and salamanders.Incorporating over 500 species and varieties of trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, and ferns, many of which are rare and choice, the garden's formal and naturalistic elements add continuous interest as the seasons unfold, from the spring trilliums and other wildflowers through to the splendid fall foliage. Even the winters offer stunning vignettes when the many dwarf conifers and sculptural stonework come to the fore. From the magnificent copper beeches that frame the front of the house to the elaborately layered woodland meander, the garden encompasses a richness of design and planting where texture, form, structure, and color all meld to create a whole greater than any individual element.Your morning meditations on the screened porch will be interrupted only by the aerial acrobatics of ravens, and during the fall migration, the hawks and the occasional bald eagle spiraling down the valley as they ride the thermals heading south. Other features include the 30,000-gallon cisterns for irrigation which are fed by two wells. A 5,000-gallon underground reserve water tank is used by the house. Lightning rods are grounded to large underground cables that circle the house to disperse lightning away from home.
2018, Spring Forest Road, Sapphire, North Carolina, United States
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