Escapes

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By Brenda Shafer

From home bars to game rooms to theater-esque media
rooms, every guy dreams of the ultimate man cave. Check out these sophisticated and enviable escapes created by local craftsmen.

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Reclaimed Retreat


When this century-old home was rebuilt from the ground up after a devastating fire, the owners took the opportunity to transform the crawl space into a man cave worthy of attention.

All the woodwork is heart pine reclaimed from the rubble of the burned house. “We kept everything as original as possible,” Matt Brown of Raines Brothers says. “The exposed brick is the original wall, sand blasted and pressure washed. This table and bar top is the original wood with an epoxy finish. All the wine cabinets, the door, the shiplap — it’s all the original heart pine from the 1918 house.”

This reclaimed retreat has everything — a custom-built wine cellar, in-home bar filled with Georgia Bulldogs memorabilia, and the ultimate game room. “He wanted a place to hang out and watch football games, and it grew from there,” Brown adds. This ultimate game room includes shuffleboard, pool table, darts, skee ball, ping pong, foosball, and air hockey.


Builder, Woodwork & Cabinetry: Matt Brown, Raines Brothers, Inc.
Photos by Beacon Imagery

 
 

Rugged Reel


With a high-definition projector and 7.1 surround sound, this home theater combines modern technology with the look and feel of old Hollywood. Understated Beaux-Arts style is complemented by rugged accents of a moose-antler coffee table, a moose head mount, and plaid curtains. Vintage movie posters from the Golden Age of Hollywood – Psycho, Rebel without a Cause, Gone with the Wind, and The Outlaw – adorn the dramatic deep-toned walls with shadow box wainscoting. Corinthian columns flank the quintessential red velvet curtain, that when drawn reveals the 110-inch projector screen.

This garage-turned-theater is also wired for gaming systems and TV, making it the ideal spot to watch football or play video games. Cabinets underneath the screen hide the sound system and provide storage for games, movies, consoles, and controllers. The recessed floor lighting and strategically placed antique wall sconces mimic theater lighting. Theater seating of eight plush red leather chairs with faux fur throw blankets create the perfect setting to watch the latest flick.


Home Theater Installation: Smart Systems
Builder: Morton Construction
Cabinets: Built rite Construction
Interior Design: Robert & Carolyn Maum
Photos Courtesy of Smart Systems

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Outdoor Paradise

 


With a panoramic view of downtown Chattanooga and the surrounding mountains, this outdoor paradise is perfect for entertaining. The striking vaulted wood ceiling with pine-beam trusses define the French Country aesthetic that is both awe-inspiring and welcoming. A wood-burning fireplace, sitting area, outdoor kitchen, and dining table furnish the locally quarried blue stone patio. The outdoor kitchen features a built-in grill, sink, refrigerator, and warming unit.

“Until we cleared the trees, we didn’t realize how great the view would be,” Matt Brown with Raines Brothers says. “Then we made sure each level of the house had a view.” Built on a steep hill, the basement-turned-man-cave has picture windows that allow a flood of natural light. This light-filled escape boasts a custom-built bar and kitchen, sitting area, pool table, and foosball. The custom-hewn bar top featuring hand-carved corbels perfectly complements the wood beams and paneled walls. Auburn memorabilia on the wall completes the look and defines this space as the perfect area to watch football and spend time with friends and family.


Builder: Matt Brown, Raines Brothers, Inc.
Architect: Ann Aiken, AMA Architects, LLC
Interior Design: Jimmy Adams, Nell’s Home, Gifts, & Interior Design
Woodwork: Mark Whitlock, Windsor Pine Woodworks
Stone: Majestic Stone
Fireplace: Southern Hearth & Patio
Appliances: Ferguson
Photos by Beacon Imagery

Virtual Green

 


This avid golfer is never without a course. Rain or shine, no matter the temperature, golf is always an option with a state-of-the-art golf simulator housed in the backyard. “The owner designed and built a detached building specifically so he could practice golf and entertain his friends,” says Steve Nicola of Smart Systems.

“It’s the one of the best golf simulators available. The launch monitor uses radar technology to track the club and ball during the swing and post impact,” Nicola explains. “Using parameters like club path, face angle, swing direction, and ball spin, the system can extrapolate where the ball would actually land within a yard or two.” The simulator also allows the golfer to play world-renowned courses like St. Andrews and Pebble Beach. It’s the perfect place to train, and with a stocked wet bar and seating area, it’s incomplete without friends cheering you on.


Golf Simulator Installation: Smart Systems
Photos Courtesy of Smart Systems


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Into the Wild

 


This man cave’s custom furnishings and stunning stone fireplace take second stage next to the striking décor. Filled with hunted game from all over the world, this room features a brown and black bear, moose, red stag, badger, and lynx from North America; tahr and chamois from New Zealand; and hyena, zebra, leopard, and several species of antelopes from Africa—to name just a few.

“This room represents a lifetime of adventure with my dad,” says Dexter White. “Each one is tied to a story or memory.” White grew up traveling all over the world and hunting with his dad. “I’ve been hunting since I was big enough to hang on his britches’ leg,” White says, while pointing out the first deer he shot when he was 13. “It’s about who you are with,” White says. “Hunting is a social event to me, whether I’m with my dad or friends. I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunities I have had.”

Hunting is also about conservation. “Hunting is a billion-dollar industry,” White says. “And a lot of the money goes back into wildlife conservation and supports the local economies of host countries.” White, who regularly donates leftover game to local food banks, is also picky about what he hunts. “I don’t have to get something every trip. I
have shot more animals with a camera than with a gun. I have pictures of everything,” White adds. “They mean more to me than the mounts.”

White has been on many adventures and has countless stories to tell. The Canadian moose, mounted on the mantel, charged him as he was aiming. “He was about this close when I shot him,” White says, pointing out a distance of about 20 feet. “When you see these animals up close, you realize it would be nothing for them to kill you.”

With a stocked wet bar, plenty of comfy seating, and no lack of conversation starters, friends and family love to linger in this wild escape.


Builder: Dexter White Construction
Photos by Beacon Imagery