The Highlander Mountain House is a love letter to Appalachia. Situated within the coronary heart of the Nantahala Nationwide Forest, the boutique lodge feels as if it has stood in situ for 200 years. You would possibly end up watching an outdated portrait questioning if this man was the proprietor of the home, maybe one of many authentic Scots-Irish settlers who discovered their approach into the holler—a narrative acquainted to those that grew up in and round this a part of North Carolina.
Actually, the construction was inbuilt 1885 by a sea captain from Charleston. However the Highlander Mountain Home as it’s at this time has been round for lower than a 12 months. The 18-room lodge was lovingly restored and given a brand new life by Jason Reeves. A hotelier by commerce, Jason has a background in historic preservation and a ardour for design. He stored many architectural particulars that are distinctly Appalachian however imbued the house with the spirit of the English Cotswolds. Jason is a designer and aesthete, however he’s before everything a storyteller. “I wish to journey to a spot and perceive the context of the realm,” he says.
The primary folks of Appalachia have been the Cherokee. A brief drive from Highlands lands you within the house of the Japanese Band of the Cherokee, a sovereign nation inside america. It wasn’t till the 18th century that Irish and Scottish emigrants discovered their approach into the space. Lots of the conventional handicrafts akin to quilting and wooden carving are nonetheless practiced, as captured within the wildly in style Foxfire books of the late twentieth century.
The wonder and harsh nature of the land have served as an inspiration to artists throughout the ages. Black Mountain Faculty, lower than two hours from the Highlander Mountain Home, produced a few of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, together with Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, and Cy Twombly; Josef Albers, John Cage, and Walter Gropius have been among the many school members.
It’s on this microcosm of nature, artwork, and life that Appalachia comes alive. And it’s this backdrop upon which Jason Reeves constructed the tales of his lodge. Every of the 18 rooms is totally different, every a single a part of the broader narrative. Jason likens it to pulling threads, as if he have been a masterful weaver making a tapestry that tells the story of a spot by a number of eras.
Jason wished the place to really feel distinctive, so he sourced a majority of the items from England or France. “We have been pretending that some nice collector lived in the home for the previous 150 years and these have been all handed down,” he says.
It was vital that the furnishings had provenance however felt approachable, rustic but refined. “All the items play off each other,” says Jason, who describes the consequence as “an accumulation of a sum of the components, which is my largest inspiration.” You’d be hard-pressed to nail down a selected interval for the design. It seems as if it has at all times been and at all times will probably be. Victorian items commingle simply with midcentury. Classic oil work are interspersed with up to date. “All the items play off each other,” he says.
If the superbly styled interiors aren’t cause sufficient to fall in love with the Highlander Mountain Home, Jason’s concept that the place needs to be the city’s front room is. “The lodge is designed to attach friends to the native space—that was my first precedence,” he says. “The lodge is Highlands and of Highlands.” The widespread areas are snug and alluring. The on-site restaurant, the Ruffed Grouse, invitations folks to study just a little bit extra concerning the space by sourcing as many native substances as attainable. Stroll into the restaurant and also you’re simply as more likely to see a neighborhood as you’re to see somebody experiencing the magic of Appalachia for the primary time.