Lake Toxaway Lakehouse Entry at Twilight

Lake Toxaway Refuge

Lake Toxaway Refuge

Location: Lake Toxaway, NC
Type: New Construction

Inspired by our clients’ desire for a quiet retreat, we designed the Lake Toxaway Refuge with clean lines and modern warmth that allows the beauty of the natural land to be the focus. This home belongs to a family of five who found this property after evacuating their coastal South Carolina home during a hurricane. Consequently, a sense of shelter and protection was fundamental to the vision for this house.

Project Team
Builder: Morgan-Keefe Builders
Landscape Architect: Osgood Landscape Architecture
Photographer: Ryan Theede

Lake Toxaway Lakehouse at Twilight

The owners did not want to change anything about the land: “we love the site exactly how it is.” Our design process began with a careful review of the native forest of rhododendron, laurel, and hardwood trees. The upper knoll was particularly beautiful, and despite it being the highest point with the best views, we all agreed to preserve this special landscape and locate the house to the north.

The overall form of the home bends to follow the natural topography of the land. The two wings of the home reach around an entry courtyard that embrace guests as they arrive. At the entry is a metal sculpture, titled Shelter in the Storm by artist J Aaron Alderman, that further embodies the original vision of the project.

Lake Toxaway Residence Entry with Sculpture

The metal sculpture at the front door was specifically picked by the owners because it embodies their story of how they arrived in WNC. The piece is called Shelter in the Storm by J Aaron Alderman.

Lake Toxaway Residence Built-in Bar Wall
Lake Toxaway Builtin Window Seat
Lake Toxaway Residence Great Room

The main living space is open with mountain views to the north, while high windows bring in sun from the south.

Lake Toxaway Residence Living Room Fireplace
Lake Toxaway Residence Kitchen Island

Outdoor living spaces were a big design priority. A screen porch extends from the living room, cantilevers into the trees, and also connects to an open terrace with an outdoor kitchen. Three free standing board-formed concrete walls help create a sense of enclosure and screen the terrace from the driveway.

Lake Toxaway Residence Outdoor Kitchen Patio
Lake Toxaway Residence Exterior Windows at Stairs
Lake Toxaway Residence Interior Windows at Stairs

Quality craftsmanship, materials, and systems allow this conventional construction to perform at a high level of energy efficiency. The home achieves a HERS 55 (45% better than building code) and annual savings of approximately $4,400 a year on energy bills.

This mountain modern house responds to the land and brings a sense of calm to the landscape, while the flow of spaces and materials brings a sense of refuge to our clients. The design blends daylight, views, and a warm palette that connects the home to nature.

Lake Toxaway Residence Aerial of House and the mountains