The Story behind This Rebuilt Mountain Home Is Heartwarming

Photography by John O'Hagan, Styling by Yukie McLean

Text by Robert C. Martin

At first glance, Bryan and Anne Moore Baldwin’s rustic retreat is the epitome of living in tranquil harmony with nature. Designed by architect Al Platt and situated in North Carolina, it appears to have always been there—until the homeowners reveal the rest of their story. “We first built the house seven years ago, but in 2011, lightening struck the place and burned it to the ground,” Bryan recounts. “It was a total loss.”

Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Yukie McLean

Many people would have considered moving on, but a chance meeting with nearby neighbors Jeff and Maxine Sikes changed all that. “Jeff and I were concerned that Bryan and Anne wouldn’t rebuild,” Maxine says. “We had just completed our home in the same neighborhood and couldn’t stand the thought of them never returning.” As owners of the company Global Reclamations, Jeff and Maxine proved to be the perfect pair for inspiring the Baldwins to reconsider.

Pleased with the architect’s original design, the Baldwins determined to build it from scratch once again; but this time they were guided by the know-how of their neighbors. The collaboration resulted in an abode more stunning than its previous version.

Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Yukie McLean

Described as “rustic mountain elegance” by the homeowners, the retreat’s décor captures an impeccable yet comfortable ambience. It juxtaposes rustic finishes with elegant elements. For example, using pearl quartz countertops in the kitchen alongside reclaimed beams and barnwood; likewise, they paired limestone in the second master with industrial natural steel vanity bases and skip-planed, heart pine ceilings.

Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Yukie McLean

While the spaces throughout the home are lovely on their own, each room offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain setting. The house also boasts a series of porches and decks that the Baldwins and their guests flock to year-round. “In particular, our sunroom is a perfect spot for catching up on reading while enjoying the cool mountain breezes at an elevation of 4,300 feet,” Bryan adds.

With their haven re-established, the homeowners take full advantage of it by entertaining friends or relishing its peace and quiet as a family. But whatever the occasion, Bryan and Anne will always be grateful to their neighbors for keeping their dream alive. “Jeff and Maxine put their hearts and souls into building and decorating our house, and we couldn’t be more pleased with what they accomplished,” Bryan confesses. “As well as being talented neighbors, they’re now great friends.”

Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Yukie McLean

Shop our latest issues for more inspiration!