“Picture Perfect”, as featured in High Country Magazine Oct/Nov 2016, by Linda Kramer Photos by Kevin Meechan,
Retired businessman, Frank Brenner and his wife Nancy, from Greensboro, North Carolina, wanted a comfortable vacation home in the mountains where they could enjoy retirement and entertain a large entourage of family and friends.
In 2013, they found exactly what they were looking for on a steep slope at the top of the mountain, The Summit, at Linville Ridge, a private golf course community in Linville, NC conveniently located to the nearby shopping of Blowing Rock, Boone and Banner Elk. The impressive and lavish luxury estate home was begging to be used by a crowd and the owners were happy to accommodate.
Over-looking the Linville Ridge golf course and clubhouse, at a breath-taking elevation of 5,900, the massive 8,800 square foot, five bedrooms, 7 bath home captures a stunning long-range view of Grandfather Mountain. The home is fun, funky and happy, eclectic in nature while still retaining some traditional mountain accents to add a rustic feel. The interiors center around a lovingly collected regional North Carolina art collection that is worthy of a small museum.
Frank and Nancy Brenner, being avid art collectors, love lots of color. They enlisted the help of Pamela McKay, ASID, of Dianne Davant & Associates in Banner Elk to help with the design details. In the past Pam had worked with other members of the Brenner family, so she came to the owners well-recommended and was given carte blanche in designing the interiors and making art selections.
The Brenner’s knew that Pam could work in any style and that she could push the envelope when necessary. That’s what they were looking for, Nancy says, “It was wonderful working hand-in-hand with Pam because she was able to instinctively pull things together in a way that we loved. It was a pleasure to work with her and she deserves all the credit for the finished product. We couldn’t have done it without her sense of style and knowledge of art.”
In the beginning, the home was a blank palette. As the second owners, the Brenner’s, wanted to place their own imprint on the home, also chose to retain some of the more formal and ornate elements remaining from the previous owner including the iron detail on the interior stair railings and some formal chandeliers. The mix was a perfect fit and contributed to the diverse and eclectic feel. Pam says, “Working on this house was a dream come true. It allowed me to combine my greatest loves, color and art and create a statement that shows them both off. Working with the Brenner’s and knowing their love of art was a thrill for me as an art lover myself. Being given the freedom to fill the space with graphic elements was the icing on the cake and made the project a labor of love for me.”
The impressive square footage of the home spoke volumes and made the design job easier. The large-scale spaces provided a visual backdrop and totally functioning environment, while at the same time all the elements are allowed to breathe. The overall effect is a combination of creativity and comfort. The art, for the most part, is representational of regional North Carolina artists and is an integral part of the house. Pam is also the owner of the Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, a local art gallery and was a major resource for the art that was carefully selected to complement the sophisticated and comfortable interiors and blend well with the Brenner’s existing art.
With her daredevil approach to color, which is bold and uninhibited, Pam began putting together a home that was not just showcased for art but was all about color. Each space repeats a parade of happy hues…aqua, lime, orange and red. The vibrancy of the color mix is ingenious and can be seen reflected in the corresponding art, making a statement that demands to be heard. Even though the Brenner’s art collection has a great span and depth, Pam was able to come up with some unexpected surprises.
But the joy of the home is not limited to the art. Frank says, “I spend a lot of time on the golf course, which was one of the attractions of the location, and we love the amenities of the Linville clubhouse and restaurant and the pool and tennis facilities; but my favorite thing about the house is that it makes me smile. I love sitting on the porch and looking out at the views. It takes my breath away and reminds me that this house is comfortable and peaceful, not complex. Filling it with friends and family is important to Nancy and I and keeps us centered and focused on what’s important in life. It’s a luxury to be able to get away in just a two-hour drive from Greensboro to a totally different ambiance.”
When people go to the mountains of North Carolina they establish their own personal relationship with the environment. The Brenner’s found theirs on the decks of their Linville home overlooking Grandfather Mountain. This home has it all. When you combine personality, attitude, graphically strong art, sophisticated taste, bold color and a medley of fabrics that bring pattern to the rooms in a whimsical but practical manner, you have a picture perfect house.