Welcome to the second Cooking Light Fit House. This year, the serene mountains and forests of north Georgia provide the backdrop for a home dedicated to both personal and environmental fitness. Located about an hour's drive from Atlanta, this Fit House was built by Nick C. Schiltz, Inc. in the 8,000-acre Big Canoe community, which includes 3,000 acres of preserved green space.
With its reserved design and thoughtful use of materials, the Fit House meshes easily with its surroundings. Outside, the combination of brick, shingle, and copper blends with nature's many textures; inside, hardwood floors, river rocks, and cork floors convey outdoor themes. And in every room, gleaming glass windows and doors bring the outdoors in.
From environmentally sound materials to energy-saving appliances, the Cooking Light Fit House offers ideas that can inspire your next home-improvement project-or your next home-and yield a more inviting, relaxing, and healthful living space.
Foyer and Family Room
From the entry, windows and doors in the family room afford a view of the tree-covered mountains. The foyer, kitchen, and family room are joined in an open plan so family members working or playing in different rooms can still be together. The hardwood floors are prefinished; treating the wood before it's installed preserves indoor air quality by keeping volatile finishing chemicals out of the house.
An earthy palette of tree-bark browns and dusty greens projects a feeling of warmth and enhances the woodland view, says Fit House Interior Decorator Carter Kay. The hardwood floor is softened by a handsome natural-fiber rug. The room's balanced seating arrangement invites stimulating conversation.This room is meant for entertaining, so Kay selected a dynamic jalapeño red to draw people in. The extradurable paint used throughout the house discharges fewer odors than regular latex paints during application and drying.
This room is meant for entertaining, so Kay selected a dynamic jalapeño red to draw people in. The extradurable paint used throughout the house discharges fewer odors than regular latex paints during application and drying.
The round table encourages conversation, while the versatile burlap tablecloth can be dressed up or down with an overskirt.
Thanks to a large island and built-in seating areas, the kitchen is comfortable for both cooking and conversation, says Fit House Architect Roger Caldwell, aia. Durable granite and stainless steel top the counters; the natural slate floor is cool underfoot. Warm-toned hardwood cabinets have the presence of furniture and are free of the fumes pressed composite woods can emit.
Appliances were chosen for energy efficiency. The five-burner cooktop features one high-powered eye for wok cooking and two for simmering. The upper and lower ovens have electronic temperature probes that shut off the heat when the food reaches a designated temperature. The refrigerator features ice- and water-filtration systems along with a humidity-controlled crisper. The dishwasher, with a noise-reducing insulation system, has an easy-to-clean stainless-steel interior.
The restaurant-quality wood-fired oven, ideal for baking and roasting, is a focal point in the kitchen. It's a welcome addition on winter nights, when simply making pizza turns into an occasion.
Sunshine bathes the breakfast nook in morning light. All of the windows in the house are glazed and double-paned, so they moderate indoor temperatures and conserve energy.
Look outside the windows of the Breakfast Nook, and see a potting bench just off the garage. It puts within reach everything necessary for working on the raised herb garden―or any planting project. A wooden arbor serves as a gateway to the lush backyard, accented by a large birdhouse set on a post.
A covered porch extends from the kitchen, making the space feel like a tree house high in the woods. The fireplace―surrounded by the rugged texture of antiqued brick―makes the porch inviting when the weather's chilly. The decking is made from a recycled material that resists weathering, warping, and termites.
The brushed-metal washer and dryer combine a great look and smart function. The washer's sensors adjust the water level to the size of the load, which conserves water and energy. Plus, the machine doesn't have an agitator, so it's gentler on clothes. When the laundry is finished, the washer communicates the size of the load to the dryer, which then sets the appropriate time and cycle for drying. Mustard-yellow walls provide a cheerful background for folding and hanging clean clothes.
A sectional sofa enlivens this room designed for family fun. An open area in the center of the space gives children a place to romp, and lots of seating lets adults chat and relax. The art above the mantel is a cog reclaimed from an old factory. The sisal rug underscores the room with nubby texture.
A sink, icemaker, and plenty of cabinet space make entertaining easy. A small integrated wine cellar puts vintage bottles within your reach.
Beyond the rec room, a cozy porch presents the comforts of a well-appointed kitchen. A four-burner gas grill also has a back burner for rotisserie cooking. There's extra prep space on two grill islands. The all-weather dining table accommodates a large group.
Earthy, natural tones foster a serene ambiance, a feeling enhanced by the trees visible through large, unadorned windows. Natural-fiber bed linens are a restful taupe and white. Each side of the mattress is independently adjustable by remote control―air chambers allow either side to go from feather-bed soft to extra firm.
In the master bathroom, a blue-green wall color soothes and refreshes. A massage shower system has two adjustable spray nozzles; the shower also features a scald guard.
Sassy pink walls are at once girlish and grown-up. A vivid palette and fun, eclectic accents suit the evolving tastes of a teenager. The floor is covered with wool carpeting, which―among other attributes―resists dust mites.
In the bathroom, a warm, cheerful color nurtures; a hands-free, sensor-operated faucet conserves water.
This large, fully equipped fitness space makes working out a pleasure. Windows frame the view, and mirrored walls ensure proper form. The resilient cork flooring is more forgiving than harder surfaces on active feet and legs. In the nearby sauna, relaxing dry heat can unkink tired muscles.
After a workout, step through the door to an enticing outdoor spa. The fireplace can take the edge off brisk mountain evenings. The all-weather tub features balanced jetting and a clean-water management system.