For Boca Raton couple Jim and Pegi, their dream vacation home was not designed to be the place to get away from it all. “Rather it became the place where everything comes together,” says Pegi.

Nestled among the rolling hills of a 2.5 acre lot within the renowned Elk River golf community in Banner Elk, NC, the 15,000-square-foot home has allowed the couple to surround themselves with many of the things they truly love and enjoy – family, friends, golf, horses, natural beauty and a grand European design that offers space…lots of space.


“I’d always been fascinated by Biltmore and the grand, yet casual looks of European chateaus,” explains Jim, a commercial real estate developer and trained engineer who worked closely with Andrew Scott Kirschner of Jackson, Kirschner Architects and Associates in collaboration with Rick Palmer, Rick Palmer Associates of Banner Elk to design the home. “Habersham furnishings were a natural choice for us. The richly detailed, soft European styled finishes and designs, combined with the character, strength and scale of the pieces, provided the perfect complement for our large rooms, high ceilings and lifestyle look that flows through our home.”


Officially named “Porte Cochere” by Jim and Pegi, the home soon gained the nickname “baby Biltmore” from the county’s Planning and Zoning Department. Living up to that noble title, the magnificent mountain estate truly captures the European architectural styling, design and spirit of entertainment and hospitality that once defined the landmark Ashville, NC estate at the turn of the century.


From beds and occasional tables to dining tables and chairs, Habersham pieces can be found throughout the 6 bedroom, 7.5 bath home. “Habersham fits perfectly with our home, our lifestyle needs and the beautiful natural surroundings,” says Pegi, explaining how the home quickly swells to 18-plus when the couple’s four children, spouses, nine grandchildren, nannies and dogs come from around the country to gather at the family vacation home during the summer months. “We designed each bedroom to be a master suite to allow optimum comfort and convenience. Habersham’s beautiful hand-painted beds and other casual, yet elegant furnishings helped to create the warm, welcoming and unique looks we wanted for each room.”


To help with the massive interior design project, Jim and Pegi enlisted the help of their daughter Jamie, who recently launched her own design business, JKM Design Associates LLC, in the Atlanta area. “Our challenge was to maintain the elegance and sophisticated European home style my father loved, but with a casualness imperative for a mountain estate,” Jamie explains. “We thought that the only way to achieve this difficult objective was through the look and feel of the antique furniture. When I saw the Habersham collection for the first time I was thrilled. I knew I’d found the solution. Not only were they some of the best reproductions we’d seen, but they had such a wide range of finishes, as well as incredible detail and unbelievable craftsmanship. They were better than the real thing!”

“For this project, we genuinely needed pieces that said, ‘Come in. Sit down. Stay awhile,’” she adds. “With Habersham, that is exactly what we’ve achieved.”