HGTV Dream Home 2006

Located in Lake Lure, N.C., this cozy cabin is the perfect getaway spot that includes charming rustic accents and plenty of space for entertaining.

By: Kathy McCleary

Soaring Sanctuary

When you walk in the door of your home, you should have an instant sense that you're in a special sanctuary, says HGTV Dream Home interior designer Linda Woodrum. In the living room of the 2006 Dream Home, pale gold walls, a massive stacked stone fireplace, intricate bark and twig detailing on built-in book cases and a soaring ceiling (topped with a magnificent beam of ancient heart pine) all combine to create a special haven. It's a retreat that's inextricably bound up with the natural world, seen through the huge windows that frame an incredible view of mountains and Lake Lure the distance.

Sophisticated Yet Rustic

Woodrum chose a palette of colors in browns, grays, whites and greens to reflect the nature theme. She avoided a clichéd log cabin feel by using more sophisticated colors that mirror nature. The chenille upholstery on the sofa and chairs matches the washed-out white of the sky on a hazy day; the green throw pillows and blanket are the color of moss and leaves, while the brown rug is reminiscent of the forest floor.

Mountain Home

The room is also deeply reflective of its place in a North Carolina mountain home. Woodrum relied on what she'd learned about Lake Lure and the surrounding mountains in choosing accessories for the room. The coffee table is an old apple crate, cut down by 8 inches, turned upside down and covered with a sheet of glass; an appropriate centerpiece for a home in an area known for its sweet local apples. The paintings on one wall of a fox and a bear are by Brevard artist Ann Dergara, and portray animals that Dergara has seen often in the yard of her own North Carolina mountain home (

Mantel Highlights

Almost everything in the room serves as a reminder that this home has grown on a mountain in a forest. Two faux bois end tables on either side of the sofa are sculpted to resemble tree branches. The mantel holds wire baskets filled with pinecones, and a green wooden bucket on one table holds sprays of branches dripping with leaves and small green apples.

"The house starts telling you what works in the house," Woodrum says.

Sunny Master Bedroom

"It's like being in a sunflower," says designer Linda Woodrum of the master bedroom. The airy white walls and ceiling and the bright golden yellow and brown accents in the fabrics evoke a sunny meadow on a warm, lazy summer day. Woodrum originally placed a large urn filled with silk sunflowers at the foot of the bed. The urn didn't quite work ("it was big and clumpy and looked horrible," Woodrum says), but the sunflowers provided the inspiration for all the colors in the room.

Side Table

The walls, window trim and peaked roof ceiling are painted in Sherwin-Williams' "Creamy." A striped rug, striped curtains, striped duvet and striped pillows in various shades of cream, yellow and brown add bright lines of color. "These stripes don't look perfect together when you hold them all next to each other," says Woodrum, "but placed around the room, they work."

Woodrum found the rug first, then used the yellow as a basis for other finds. She found the black and yellow plates on the wall by the window in Hendersonville, N.C., where they were handmade by a local potter. The "great energy" of the yellow in the room is grounded by the black honed granite around the fireplace, and the touches of brown in the rug and on the bed.

The View

The focal point is the spectacular view outside the large main window. Woodrum deliberately chose not to outline the window in a contrasting paint color so the view itself would command the eye. The room's close connection to the outdoors is embodied in a small balcony off the master suite. A door near the bed opens out onto a peaceful little deck with a fence of rhododendron and locust.

Tranquil Master Bath

In the bathroom, Linda Woodrum again used a monochromatic color scheme, with "Creamy" paint on the walls, ceiling and trim. The sense of being surrounded by nature is heightened by other natural materials, including blonde wood floors (the same Australian cypress used throughout the house), and travertine countertops and tile in shades of mocha and walnut.

"It's monochromatic, but it's also warm, natural, organic," says Woodrum. "It should be a space that's restful, a place to go to rejuvenate before you face the world."

A magnificent walk-in shower with glass walls and door and hand-burnished travertine tile fills one end of the room. In the center of the room, a Jacuzzi tub surrounded by windows provides the perfect spot a soothing soak.

Sauna Escape

What truly makes this an HGTV Dream Home for most of us is the self-contained spa. "It's a nice indulgence," says Linda Woodrum, who designed the space in soothing shades of green and cream. Here you can pamper your body with a stint in the generously-sized sauna, then rinse off in the tiled shower which opens into another shower just outside, for those who like to bathe under the sky.

After a Steam

A creamy silestone counter and sink and a faux bois mirror located just outside the sauna continue the color scheme and rustic theme of the rest of the house.

Soft Textures

The family room is an inviting space to curl up on the softly textured sofa in front of the fireplace and watch the huge plasma television over the mantel. Or for an even better picture, shift ever so slightly and take in the ever-changing views outside the big French doors instead. A flagstone floor, rich green walls ("Svelte sage") and plenty of textured wood continue the nature theme that defines this mountain home.

Whimsical Art

Several works of whimsical folk art give the room a playful sensibility. The focal point is the large cow painting on one side of the fireplace. A fish sculpture crafted from old license plates stands on the oversized coffee table, and another recycled metal fish hangs from a piece of twine on the wall next to the fireplace. "We had a lot of fun with the artwork," says Woodrum, who found much of the art in local shops. "It's not a serious space, it's a fun space."

Fun and Relaxing

That sense of fun is intensified by bright splashes of red and yellow in the pillows and throws. "The sitting area is very neutral colors," Woodrum says, "but when you come into this area there's a lot of 'Pow!'"

Woodrum added a dining-size table cut down to coffee table height with a child's chair at one end, providing the perfect spot for little people to spread out their latest artwork or card game.

Rack 'em Up

A custom-made billiards table with a sage green felt top (to match the sage green walls and draperies in the adjoining family room) is the centerpiece of the game area. The rough-hewn log legs echo the natural logs found in the railings along the staircase that enters this room. Two pub style dartboards in their own cabinets line the wall opposite the table.

Rustic Mirror

But the main focus of the room is a large mirror with an intricate frame made of twigs, bark and pinecones. The rustic mirror, reminiscent of Adirondack style furnishings, reflects the view from the French doors in the family room directly opposite. A high, built-in bench (with footrest!) beneath the mirror offers a great vantage spot for viewing the action at the billiard table. The bench cushion is covered in a bright Lewis and Sharon fabric with circles in shades of yellow, red and orange. "I loved the dots, the textures, the colors," says Woodrum. "The cushion colors really pop."

Seasonal Setting

Deep grays, rich brown woods and accents of golden yellow work together to create a room that's comfortable and welcoming. Designer Linda Woodrum wanted to make the kitchen, the heart of every home, as inviting as possible. And the distinctive views of the mountain ridges and lake in one direction, and of the magnificent stacked stone fireplace and the outdoor living area in another direction, begged for special consideration.

Breakfast Nook

In a break with tradition, Linda chose to use four cozy armchairs in the eat-in seating area, upholstered in an inviting brown herringbone. "I wasn't worried about having fabric in here because so many fabrics today are treated and easy to clean," Linda says. The chairs are gathered around a round table that was cut down by several inches to a more comfortable height. Throw pillows on the chairs are covered with a fanciful Schumacher leaf fabric: the very first item that she purchased for decorating HGTV Dream Home 2006.

Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink looks out onto the outdoor living room and the magnificent stacked-stone fireplace that matches the fireplace in the living room. A painting of golden yellow pears propped on the counter next to the sink offers a bright splash of color.

Tropical Hardwood Countertop

The center island is a beautifully handcrafted piece of furniture that is the true heart of the room. Local cabinetmaker Tom Kline built the base of the island out of chestnut he reclaims from old barns and other buildings. The wood is called "wormy" chestnut because it's pocked with distinctive little holes and defects originally created by insect infestations more than 75 years ago. The countertop is made from ipé, a dense tropical Brazilian hardwood. The massive slab weighs more than 500 pounds and required eight men to carry into the house and set it in place.

Outdoor Colors

A floor-to-ceiling window in the dining room "puts you right outside" when you dine, says designer Linda Woodrum. To find her inspiration for the color palette, Woodrum simply looked out the window. As a result, woodsy browns, greens and creams dominate, accented with splashes of red and gold. While it's autumn in the kitchen and summer in the master suite, it's decidedly spring in the dining room, with rich green curtains, the warm mocha tablecloth and rug.

Table for Twelve

Woodrum chose a large round table for the dining room to mirror the shape of the circular wrought iron chandelier above it. The circular shapes are important in a room filled with the sharp angles of the peaked ceiling and the strong rectangles and squares of the windows and adjoining staircase. She purchased a 60-inch round table for the dining room and then added a 72-inch top to extend the table's diameter by an additional 12 inches. She skirted it with fabric and then placed a custom-made glass top over the entire thing for an elegant (and easy to care for) look. The larger table can easily seat 12.

Casual Arrangements

"Rather than have the dining room table become a catch-all for all the junk in the house, make sure it looks good when you walk in," says Woodrum. A lifelike sculpture of a playful beagle puppy on the table is HGTV host Joan Steffend’s favorite thing in the house. "I just want to rub that round belly," she says. A beautiful semi-abstract painting in a recessed alcove captures the eye with strong shades of green, red and gold. Woodrum saw a smaller version of the painting in an art gallery, and asked the artist to create a similar piece on a larger scale. The images of trees outlined against a colorful sky mirrors the images outside the dining room window.

Everything in the room is "a support system" for the scene unfolding outside the enormous window, Woodrum says. "All this has to be rich, wonderful, welcoming – but that view has to dominate."

Fantasy Retreat

With its creamy white walls, soaring peaked ceiling (painted an amazing shade of sky blue), and enormous view window overlooking vast vistas of the mountains and lake, the guest bedroom gives you the sense that you're part of the sky. "It's like being in a cloud," says designer Linda Woodrum.

"I knew instantly the blue ceiling would be the only color for this room," says Woodrum, who chose Sherwin-Williams' "Blissful Blue" for the ceiling as well as the walls in the attached full bathroom. The paint color changes with the light, depending on the time of day, the weather, and the seasons unfolding outside. "This room has the best view in the house," Woodrum says, "and I loved how it's so connected to the sky."


Woodrum added cornice boards above the twin beds with a sheer drape to lend an ethereal, cloud-like feeling. Quilts on the bed reflect the home's North Carolina heritage, and pillows in a variety of prints add to the cottage-y feel. Dust ruffles in a gray-blue and white check echo the colors of the mist on the Blue Ridge Mountains outside the window.

Abstract Art

Between the beds a large abstract painting in shades of blue and green provides a splash of color on the white walls. The painting was the last thing Woodrum purchased for the room. "When I found that," she says, "it pulled everything together." The painting comes from Matilda's, a folk art store in Atlanta (www.

Bunk Room Beds

Bright red bunk beds (painted in Sherwin-Williams' "Cherry Tomato") in the bunk room line two walls on either side of the big window facing the front of the house and a northern view of the mountains. Above the window, almost 10 feet off the ground, is a fifth bright red bunk, nestled beneath the peaked roof. A red rolling ladder, of the kind found in libraries or bookstores, provides access to this top bunk. Small built-in shelves at the head of each bed (and individual reading lamps) create the sense that each bunk is its own little room.

Hickory Highlights

Rough finished hickory paneling reclaimed from an old hog barn lines the walls, and a peg rail extends all the way around the room, ready to hold everything from baseball caps to bathrobes. Linda Woodrum found the trunk beneath the window at an antique store, and used it as the perfect bedside table/display stand (for a lovely wooden rocking horse). The short hallway connecting the bunkroom to its private bath holds one of the home's most charming surprises: A large cubby for a dog bed, tucked under the eaves. The dog bed cubby is complete with a bright red cushion and its own lighting and is sure to be a draw for every child in the house, as well as every dog.

Bunk Room Bath

The generously sized bunk room bath is also lined with a peg rail, with pegs made from branches of mountain laurel. The wood theme plays out again in the rough-wood framed mirror over the deep double sink. The sink, reminiscent of an old-fashioned laundry sink, offers plenty of room for multiple people to wash up at once. Slate floors and a slate shower complete the space. "This is one of the most functional rooms in the house," says designer Woodrum. "You can sleep five people and your dog right here."

Colorful Craft Room

This lower level project room has plenty of counter space and cubbies for sewing, scrapbooking or building model planes. There is also ample light — and an inspiring view — pouring through the large French doors. Two nooks (with built in desks) and a large project table provide room for everyone in the family to have their own personal workspace. An enormous corkboard over one of the desks offers a place to pin up ideas, works in progress, or favorite family photos. Deep pumpkin-hued walls invoke creativity. "It's rich, it envelops you," says designer Linda Woodrum. "You want to get something done in here."

Energizing Exercise Studio

The mirrored wall in the bright, sunny exercise room reflects the view of green trees and blue mountains outside the large French doors. Sage green walls and creamy white trim create a serene, peaceful space. "There's not a lot of color here," says designer Linda Woodrum. "The activity comes from the people using the room, so the room itself is very quiet."

A Pro Form weight machine and a ballet bar along the wall offer just two opportunities for working up a sweat; open the closet doors and a treadmill unfolds to face the French doors and that magnificent view. Down the hall from the exercise studio is a built in storage area with four cubbyholes for towels, four drawers, and plenty of pegs for jump ropes and bathrobes.

Beautifully Crafted Wine Cellar

Down the hall from the family room and game area is an intriguing door with a small window covered with wrought-iron latticework. Inside, in a space roughly the size of a walk-in closet, is a beautifully crafted wine cellar lined with cubbyholes for wine bottles. A built in table for two offers the perfect spot to sit and sip.

Craftsman Tom Kline, who made the impressive kitchen island upstairs, created the wine cellar's cubbies with more than 35 sheets of plywood. The cubbies are modeled on similar ones that the architect, Al Platt, has in his office for holding wood samples and other materials.

"It's very unique," says designer Linda Woodrum. "And a good way to turn a small space into a useful one."

Serene Home Office

Tucked into a corner at the front of the house is a serene home office, lined with built-in bookshelves, a desk and counter space. Two windows offer views of the ever-changing forest outside. Soft gray walls ("Amazing Gray" by Sherwin-Williams) and honey-colored Australian cypress wood floors provide a calm, neutral backdrop for the busy brainwork that will take place here.

"It's a nice little getaway," says Linda Woodrum.

Functional Laundry Room

Conveniently located right next to the master bedroom, the main laundry room glows in a warm shade of burnished yellow ("Golden Fleece," by Sherwin-Williams). Rich cherry cabinets, Silestone counters (in "Blanco Capri") and an unfinished slate floor are a far cry from the dingy cinder block basements most people associate with the words "laundry room."

It's hard to believe that a room this lovely and sophisticated is also so functional. But it's loaded with storage space, plenty of countertops for folding and stacking, and even a built-in ironing board that drops down out of a closest. A window facing the forest at the front of the house is perfect for daydreaming over the rinse cycle.

Guest Quarters Kitchen

An inviting entryway off the outdoor living area welcomes you into the home's guest quarters. In the small kitchenette/laundry room, log cabin walls, dark painted cupboards and stained concrete countertops provide a home-away-from-home environment that's a more sophisticated version of rustic. The logs here are hand hewn logs reclaimed from a local cabin, explains architect Parker Platt, who designed the 2006 HGTV Dream Home along with his father and business partner, Al Platt (

A creamy white half bath between the entry hall and kitchenette shows off the flagstone floors and offers easy access for those dining or relaxing in the outdoor living area. It's all part of what makes HGTV Dream Home 2006 "the most livable of the Dream Homes," says designer Linda Woodrum. "It's the most realistic house for people to live in, for people to function in," she says.

Attic Bedroom

White walls, a soaring white ceiling and a white-painted floor give the attic bedroom a sense of airiness and lightness. Above the bed is an antique floral hooked rug in deep shades of red and brown, stretched on a canvas and hung on the wall. "The rug was the beginning of this," says HGTV Dream Home designer Linda Woodrum. "I loved the brown and red together."

Using the rug as her design inspiration, Linda chose a variety of red and brown accents to use against the creamy white basic palette. A brown and white striped rug warms the floor, and semi-sheer white curtains with a pale brown floral pattern enhance the large view window. Red and cream sheets and a white quilt from Pottery Barn cover the queen-size bed, and red-patterned throw pillows add even more color. Two botanical prints in red frames provide a splash of color by the door.

Sleeping Porch

Just off the attic bedroom is one of the home's many surprises: A screened-in sleeping porch, complete with a pull-down queen-size bed. The walls of the sleeping porch are covered in poplar bark, mirroring the bark siding that covers the upper story of the guest wing, the bays on the front and back of the house and parts of the outdoor living area. Linda had a mattress specially made for the bed that's covered in an outdoor fabric that won't mildew.

"This half of the house is not as formal; it's much more countrified," Linda says. The white quilt has a less intricate, more casual stitching pattern than the quilt in the more formal master bedroom, for instance, and the checks, stripes and cottage prints of the other fabrics in the room all contribute to the rustic feel. "It really is a unique, sweet little bedroom," Linda says, "with a real sense of old Americana."

Attic Bathroom

In the bath, neutral colors provide a restful feel, and the faux bois framed mirror over the sink continues the rustic theme.

Mountain and Lake Views

The heart of this mountain retreat is actually not indoors, but outside, in the magnificent outdoor living room/dining room more familiarly known as a "dogtrot." Back in the day, a "dogtrot" was a covered outdoor area in which the dogs could be let loose for a walk on rainy days. "It's what makes this house a Southern Appalachian dream," says architect Parker Platt.

Indeed, the climate in the mountains here is mild enough to permit year-round use of the outdoor spaces, and the enormous outdoor fireplace and soaring peaked roof offer the opportunity to stay warm outdoors on cool days or cool on warm days. A stone ledge that runs along the perimeter of the terrace provides built-in seating. "You don't have to worry about moving furniture in and out. It's always there and always accessible, just like the view," says Linda Woodrum.

Great Outdoors

A custom-made dining table dominates the left side of the outdoor living area, and a door into the kitchen provides easy access for entertaining. The tabletop is vintage heart pine, salvaged from an old textile mill. Each board is nine inches wide and more than two inches thick. Local cabinetmaker Rob Childress finished the tabletop with three coats of oil and a fine coat of polyurethane. The table legs are made of locust, to match the railings on the terrace, but here the locust is sanded smooth. Designer Linda Woodrum chose comfortable wicker chairs in a muted shade of orange for the seating.

Stones and Timbers

On the right side of the dogtrot looms a stacked stone fireplace made from local Appalachian granite, the twin to the fireplace in the home's living room. A wicker love seat and two armchairs surround a rustic pine coffee table in front of the fireplace. Cushions and throw pillows in warm browns, oranges, yellows and red continue the autumnal feel of this space. Two faux bois concrete side chairs sit on opposite sides of the outdoor living area, a preview of the many faux bois elements inside the home. A built-in Wolf grill, complete with burners, is set just around the corner from the fireplace.

Sit and Stay Awhile

Several steps below the outdoor living room is the wide terrace porch. Low built-in seating, bark-covered railings and the complete lack of any other furnishings make this space feel like part of the view itself, a natural spot in which to fully experience these mountains versus just gazing at them.

Stairs to the left of the terrace lead down to the lower level patio, and to a cozy campfire area. As more evidence that the HGTV Dream Home planners truly did think of everything, this spot offers a circle of large boulders surrounding a stone fire pit—the perfect spot for roasting marshmallows on cool evenings.