Pictures of progress

custom fabric canopy masts tested in michaels back yard

Walnut frame taking shape, see sketches

Team discusses metal ties around locust rain barrel

mock up of birds nest firepit made from found metal cables, wire, & rods

Dan tests upholstry samples prior to stain & seal on locust & rhodoendren


Vision for the space

Our team explores the synthesis of coastal design icons that invoke feelings of relaxation and sensuality, with the Appalachian vernacular of rustic craft and natural materials, in the form of an outdoor room that seeks to engage the beauty and tranquility of the mountain landscape. What started out as an arbor, open to the elements, evolved into a more seasonal sheltered space populated by custom furniture & accessories.

We seek to define a new style for outdoor living in the mountains.

The elements of Earth, air, fire and water are engaged, and the crackle of a fire in our fire pit is the mountain metaphor for the sounds of the surf.

Each piece (except the lawn chairs) started with design sketches by Michael McDonough, exploring the dialogue between natural and man made, and order and organic disorder. Each piece then evolved in the hands and vision of each artist and craftsperson.

The large “Unaka” Black Walnut couch is designed to encourage an afternoon nap. Named for the Unicoi people who roamed this region, the word was used to describe the white mist that drapes the mountains after a rain on summer days.

The Black Locust appadack chair blends Stickley and Adirondack styles, then adds rhododendron branches and upholstery.

The low black walnut table and the “birds nest” firepit celebrate the play between natural and manmade.  The firepit also references traditional Cherokee basket making traditions.

The rain barrel seeks to celebrate the rain, and is made of Black Locust with metal accents.

The large black locust lawn chairs are simple, sturdy and comfortable, recalling traditional Appalachian furniture.

All the fabrics are by Sunbrella, and are made to resist the elements.

rendering of our canopy


This Blog is going to explore the process of creating a space we are calling  “Mountain Veranda”  using local artists and builders to design and build all of the pieces that are going into the space as well as the space itself. This is all for the Handmade in America Design Expo being held at the Arboretum in June.

I am an interior design student interning with the interior designer on the team

Gini Crowder-Marshall  http://www.agespastasheville.comThe other members of our team include

team leader:  architect, Micheal McDonough

Some of Our Contributing artists:

Dan Fowler

Andrew Cachera    www.organicsteel.comRalph Berger      http://rjbalchemist.blogspot.comDavid Humphrey  squarepeginc.netTina Councell/Zoe Dadian

Nathan Rose


Peter Belt                              258.8417

wood worker (Appalachia chair and rain barrel)

Dan Fowler                                             713-7657


Andrew Cachera                                             215-7618

Metal (lanterns, sculptures)

Ralph Berger            

Wood (Nap Couch)

David Humphrey           Office   828-277-5164                cell    828-280-6243

Iron (Birds nest Fire pit)

Tina Councell/Zoe Dadian 712-8254

wood worker

Nathan Rose                704-829-5059

Florist (Flowers & plants)

Courtney Bloomfield                        236-1713

Shady Grove Flowers              

.Ceramicist (tumblers, pitcher, and vessel)

Akira Satake               828-686-9320

Landscape design  (river stone & plants)
Ann Higgins                                                                    

Higgins Horticultural Services, LLC                                                  (828) 713-8688

Upholstery (cushions & pillows)

Pat Moss              

Biltmore Upholstery                        274-6722.

Metal & wood artists (small side table)

Aaron Bailey and Jesse Morgan              

Edge Gallery                        257-3065

Woodworker (Bar table)

Robert Lock              

Robert Lock Studio                        545 0082

Artist (low table)

Chukk Bruursema              

Recherche                          616 990 1124

Sunbrella canopy & furniture fabrics

John Gant

Glenn Raven, Inc