The Mountain Craftsman

By Katie Faulkner

Photography by Philip Slowiak

For Marcus and Althea Jones, the perfect home was something they built together. Having met and married here in Chattanooga, the pair has been together for nearly 14 years and has added two sons to their family. Ready to build their dream home, the couple set out to find a larger lot to build on. “I grew up on a farm with lots of land,” Marcus explains. “So, I had always wanted some acreage. When we came across about five acres close to downtown, in the right school district, and wooded for privacy, we were sold.”

After finding the perfect lot, they decided to build their dream home with a mountain craftsman exterior and a minimalist interior, keeping life uncomplicated and completely comfortable.

Marcus heads up Magnolia Developments, LLC, and their home was the first that he built in what would become Magnolia One subdivision.

Marcus and Althea with their sons, Myles and McCorey

The front of their home showcases a modern interpretation of a classic mountain craftsman home. Gables, columns, mixed mountain stone, and shake-style siding, all in warm colors, accentuate the mountain craftsman style. “We handpicked our stone blend at a local rock quarry to find the right color combination, which was a lot of fun,” Marcus shares.

Stepping into the home, an impressive view is the first sight to greet visitors. Across the home in the lodge room is an expansive wall of windows that captures the beautiful wooded surroundings. The foyer, which features a vaulted ceiling, is open to the dining room and adjacent lodge room.

In the dining room, the first glimpse of the Joneses’ minimalistic style is evident. A sleek steel dining table is centered under a white and brushed nickel chandelier and is surrounded by straight-back parsons chairs. Althea says, “I love our dining room table because of the steel top. It creates clean lines while still retaining a subtle, rustic feel to go with our mountain home layout.”

The dining room is faintly defined by wooden posts wrapped in mountain stone bases. They lend support to the lodge room’s impressive barrel-vaulted ceiling. This striking feature immediately establishes the room as a grand gathering place. Employing nearly all of the main wall, a set of arched windows lends the backdrop of woodlands to the rest of the main living spaces in this area.

Muted and soft-toned furniture carries earthy colors that are also found in the rug and on the walls. “We love earth tones and soft neutrals,” Althea shares. “The burnt orange accent color that we used in this room is one of my favorites. It automatically reminded me of the mountains.” The furniture is an understated, comforting feature that supports the architectural details in this room with simplicity. “The way we designed the house was intentional. We didn’t want it to be overdone in decoration or furnishings because we wanted the house itself to have character and be the visual interest,” Althea explains.

With a view of the terrace, this room is often a gathering space when the Joneses entertain. “We both come from large close-knit families, so we host both sides of our family multiple times a year. We also have friends over often and have the boys’ friends over a lot. We’ve hosted Super Bowl gatherings, and we always have a big New Year’s Eve party – that’s our main tradition,” Marcus says. With plenty of space and a natural flow from inside to the outside terrace, it makes sense to enjoy this room with company.

Walking further into the house is the kitchen. Custom black cabinetry is lightly distressed to play on the rustic mountain home theme. In this room, the finest materials come together to create a seamless workspace. Granite countertops cover expansive work surfaces and are light enough to really stand out from the dark cabinetry. A built-in, extra-large refrigerator is centered on a focal wall wrapped in mountain stone. The stone nicely complements the color of the countertops, tying the room together.

“Our kitchen is a great hang-out spot. The kids often pull up a seat and do homework at the island while we’re working on dinner. It’s naturally a cozy place because we have the keeping room just off it, which is our more casual spot to spend time together,” Marcus says.

In the adjoining keeping room, large windows provide more stunning sights, while the same mountain stone makes a cozy, rustic fireplace. Shades of blue lend a vibrant, yet serene motif. This room feels instantly more relaxed and casual. A television over the fireplace, family photographs on the built-in shelving, and a lounge-worthy, chaise-style sectional all contribute to the atmosphere. “We spend a lot of time in here together. This is where we come to watch some TV or play games,” Althea says.

Nearby, an enchanting dining nook provides a place for the immediate family to enjoy a meal together while being wrapped in a charming half-circle of windows.

Accessible from the main level is the grilling terrace and outdoor living area. Here, there is a well-outfitted outdoor kitchen and another relaxing seating area. “We spend a lot of time out here,” Marcus says. “In fact, I’d say when the weather is nice, this is where most of the cooking happens.” The mountain stone fireplace carries the home’s rustic theme, while the comfortable collection of outdoor furniture creates another peaceful place for the family to spend time and entertain company.

Also on the main level is the master suite. This room is smartly designed to be a restful respite. Soft shades of gray envelope the room in a comforting hush. The four-post canopy bed evokes a grand feeling of luxury amidst the peaceful setting.

The ensuite master bathroom is one of Marcus and Althea’s favorite places to relax. A barrel ceiling, free-standing soaking bathtub, television, heated floors, and walk-through shower are just a few of this room’s decadent features. “We also had up-lighting installed in our trim work. It just adds to the ambiance of the room,” Marcus explains. “We love this bathroom, but I think, if it’s possible, the boys love it more. They love to have their bathtime or showers in here!” Althea laughs.

With thoughtful design inside and out and minimalistic, intentional style, the Joneses have created a home well suited for their needs and favorite ways to spend time. Here they enjoy time together as a family of six when their two daughters are home from college. With multiple guest rooms upstairs and a basement that features a recreational space, including a theater room, the Joneses enjoy a multitude of entertaining areas – which is perfect for their social lifestyle. “We love to have family, friends, and neighbors over as often as we can. And we have enjoyed this home immensely since completing it almost six years ago,” Althea says. CS

Shares