Featured Designer: Diane Laskoski, Villa Verona Design | The Blind Side ;
Builder: Fairview Builders LLC;
Architectural Plan by Garrell Asssociates Inc. —
When Diane Laskoski purchased a lot in one of the stunning Cliffs Communities, she got more than she bargained for.
Situated in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Cliffs is a collection of residential communities on millions of acres of protected national forest reaching from Asheville, NC to Greenville, SC. Learning that Fairview Builders, one of the Cliffs’ preferred builders, was seeking a firm to guide the interior design for its model home in The Cliffs at Mountain Park, she saw an opportunity.
She called the builder, shared information on her award-winning, Pennsylvania-based design firm, The Blind Side, and promptly got the job overseeing and directing the design of the 4300-square-foot sophisticated mountain style home.
“Model home design is challenging since you’re not designing for a single client” explains Laskoski.
“You need to create an environment that appeals to a larger audience, while still making a statement. We wanted to put our best foot forward with our first project for this builder, so we looked to Habersham,” she adds.
With an Interior Architecture and Design Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Diane calls upon the architectural elements of a home to enhance the interiors and her special touches can be seen throughout.
The home itself is designed for entertaining as evidenced by the kitchen.
As its centerpiece, Diane and her talented team worked with Habersham to create an expansive island finished in Greystone.
Designed so that hosts and guests can easily interact during meal preparation and serving, the spacious island has two dishwashers on either side of the sink.
“Some designers want to put their stamp on interiors regardless of the exterior design direction,” Diane explains.
“We really try to create a harmonious look between the interior and exterior. The Greystone finish used here offers the perfect complement to the Tennessee field stone on the exterior,” Diane says.
Everything about the kitchen’s flow is seamless. A range is right across from the island and integrated refrigeration cabinetry conceals cold storage, also within reach.
A butler’s pantry, complete with prep sink and wine chiller, offers additional space for entertainment needs.
All of the Habersham kitchen cabinetry is finished in Muslin.
“We designed the kitchen with the Habersham team and it was such a wonderfully smooth experience,” Diane says.
“We met the installer and went over all our measurements and changes on site before the cabinetry was built – and the installation was flawless,” she adds.
At a recent open house, the kitchen was far and away the most popular gathering spot of the home. And it wasn’t just potential homeowners who were drawn to the inviting design.
The model home received the award for “Best Kitchen” for New Homes between $1-5 million in the Southern Home and Barden Bridges Awards presented by the Home Builders Association of Greenville. In addition, the kitchen also took the Pinnacle Award from the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Home Builders.
Moving in to the lodge room, Diane also looked to the exterior for design inspiration for her interiors. “The home doesn’t stop at the window,” she said, pointing to the warm , welcoming greys , greens and stones of the exterior.
Here, Habersham bookcases flank the fireplace . Cedar beams and the washed stone around the fireplace enhance the Huntington finish on the bookcases.
Storage cabinetry for media equipment and more also flanks the fireplace in the Keeping Room. Here too, the interior calls upon stone and natural finishes, like Habersham’s Huntington style, to reflect the exterior.
Diane also used Habersham for the laundry and mudroom areas of the home. Both rooms created challenges with their angled space limitations.
But Diane and the Habersham team worked around those challenges, creating fabulous, functional designs finished in Seaspray.
The Master bath includes a his and her vanity designs, as well as peninsula tub by Habersham. For this cabinetry, Diane chose the masculine Brittany finish.
“I love this vanity. When the door opens, the left column also opens to allow more storage area below,” explains Diane.
All of the tile on the floor was custom designed and laser cut, offering the perfect foundation for the cabinetry style.
The space also features a wine chiller right off the master bedroom.
Habersham cabinetry , in the Connoisseur finish, was also used in one of the guest baths. “Habersham got everything right,” Diane said, pointing to meticulous detailing, including the flat area the Habersham team added to the paneling around the mirror to allow for light fixtures.
For her game room design, Diane chose Habersham’s Antique Honey finish for the cabinetry, explaining that it brought out the colors in the Quartzite top, tiled back space and the porcelain wood look of the floor tile.
Laskoski has gone on to open a second location for The Blind Side. Villa Verona Design, a European-style studio in Travelers Rest, SC . This new addition now provides interior and home design and remodeling services for The Cliffs Communities and surrounding areas.
Diane plans to use Habersham whenever she can. “Habersham shares our passion and attention to detail.”