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The Mountains Are Calling

Answer the Call. Laura Elleby's Guide to Mountain Living.

Sometimes, the only cure for repetitive routines and hustle culture is wide open space. When the urge to run freely, breathe deeply and live boundlessly ultimately takes over, North Georgia's rural landscapes and mountain villages are ready to welcome you. 

As a realtor and resident of Blue Ridge for the last decade, Laura Elleby is a mountain living advocate. She spends her workday traipsing rustic, open floor plans and assessing panoramic porch vistas of north Georgia's most sought-after retreats. Her work with Compass, the country's number one real estate brokerage, has created endless opportunities for her through a network of agents and global exposure.

"I'm so fortunate to work alongside the most talented builders in the country whose craftsmanship is unparalleled," says Laura.

Tommy Wosyluk of Wosyluk Construction is one of these builders. His homes feature a unique blend of modern flair, rustic beauty and industrial minimalism filled with nature-inspired textures and organic warmth. 

Luxury in real estate provides a lifestyle tailored to residents’ preferences and well-being and ensures they feel truly pampered and content at home. To Laura, it goes beyond shape and size. From cozy cabins to sprawling estates, her focus is on the overall experience of her clients.

Whether you're ready to relocate, in search of an off-season escape, or simply looking to appreciate the wilderness already awaiting in your backyard, a few simple touches can transform any humble abode into an alpine retreat. 

"Transforming a home into a mountain home involves incorporating elements that evoke a sense of natural beauty, tranquility, and rugged elegance," says Laura. 

Work With Natural Materials:

Whether you build the foundation from items like logs or natural stone or find ways to incorporate them in more minor details, rustic elements allude to the natural wonders beckoning just outside your door. Laura notes a range of materials that achieve the effect. Eclectic items like textured fabrics, exposed brick, and log cabin walls create a warm and antiquated vibe, while bold hardware made from stone or metal adds character to otherwise stately dwellings. 

Logs and stone can be used as interior walls or exterior cladding to surround a home in rustic elegance. Brick fireplaces are classic and cozy, found in most cabins and cottages. Elements like rough-cut stone and wood beams are slightly less common but known to add personality. Laura suggests wood beams with prominent grain and knots for a sense of craftsmanship and rough-cut stone in small, sporadic spaces like a kitchen backsplash, bathroom walls or outdoor patios. And make sure to extend natural materials beyond architecture. Wool, leather and faux fur add tactile appeal to furniture and upholstery, while wrought iron incorporates an industrial component in light fixtures and railings.

"By embracing unique textures, mountain homes can achieve a distinctive blend of natural beauty, tactile richness, and timeless character that reflects the spirit of mountain living," says Laura.

Embrace your Surroundings: 

Creating a beautiful space takes little work when home is a brushstroke on nature's canvas. Bringing day-to-day activities outside is just one modern luxury of mountain living. Adapting your lifestyle and home to embrace your alpine surroundings is just as important.

Start by relying on natural lighting. This can look like copious floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights and open doors. Sunlight introduces a welcome serotonin boost to every room, natural insulation and a constant light source that doesn't rely on power. But windows can also tie in surrounding scenery such as lush greenery, open mountain ranges and babbling brooks as artwork. There's no need to purchase elusive paintings when the panoramas outside do the job just fine.

Perhaps the most gravitational aspect of mountain living is the renewed sense of freedom that comes with boundless terrain and crisp air. Remember to live a little in your mountain home. The cold waters of nearby rivers provide a refreshing morning wake-up call. Narrow, foot-stomped paths lead to whimsical sanctuaries. And the beaming moonlight and glistening constellations of open skies make for a magical nightlight. 

Experiment with Outdoor Living: 

By embracing natural surroundings and incorporating elements that enhance the outdoor experience, residents can fully immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of mountain living while enjoying the comforts of a well-designed outdoor living space.

Blue Ridge's gorgeous vistas, sounds of nature and mild climate make spending more time outside desirable and simple. Sunrooms, wraparound porches and acres of wild land are all viable places to stage outdoor living spaces. Dream beyond just rocking chairs and wooden picnic tables!

Experimenting with outdoor living can create a versatile and tranquil environment catering to entertainment and relaxation. Here's how to create a few common outdoor living spaces: 

Outdoor Kitchen: Design a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, countertops, sink, and storage. Use durable and weather-resistant materials such as stainless steel and stone for easy maintenance and longevity.

Fire Pit: Position a fire pit as a central focal point for gathering and relaxation. Surround it with cozy seating options such as outdoor sofas, lounge chairs and built-in benches for a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Meditation Space: Designate a secluded area for meditation and mindfulness practice, such as a tranquil garden nook, a shaded pergola, or a dedicated meditation platform with panoramic views.

Laura’s Tips:

  • Ensure seamless integration and flow between the outdoor kitchen, fire pit and meditation space for easy navigation and connectivity. 

  • Use pathways, landscaping, and natural features to create a cohesive layout. 

  • Incorporate natural elements such as wood, stone, and native plants to harmonize with the outdoor surroundings. 
  • Consider multi-functional design elements, such as built-in seating with hidden storage, convertible furniture and adaptable lighting, to maximize flexibility and usability.

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