Natural Retreat, with Chip Wade

It started as a New Year’s Eve off-road vehicle excursion to Chattahoochee National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia. The following weeks resulted in finding and securing land in one of Chip and Pauli Wade’s favorite wilderness spots in the same area. Dreams began hatching and plans followed.

During that fateful day in Chattahoochee, the Wades saw numerous trail marking signs that said “pinhoti” and featured the footprint of a turkey. They later found that this was the Pinhoti Trail, a 335-mile trail that starts in Alabama and ties into the Appalachian trail system. “Pinhoti” is the Creek Indian word for a turkey’s home, a foreshadowing that wouldn’t be lost on the Wades.

Small home office tucked into a corner of the mountain home.

Working with the Terrain

The remote location posed several difficulties for transport of materials and services but all it took was a little ingenuity to make it accessible. They were also working on mountainous terrain, which required plenty of planning and adjustments as well.

There was only a 20 foot wide road leading up to the property so they needed to create a larger space for semi-trucks to get in and out of the site. They found the flattest spot then leveled out a 100 foot diameter for the large trucks to be able to make a u-turn.

They also made a receiving area that had space for loading, unloading, and storing materials.

Large, cozy living room with sweeping mountain views.

Navigating the Climate

The area can be a snowy wonderland in the winter and balmy in the summer so it was necessary to plan for HVAC that could handle both effortlessly. They went with a forced air system and installed floor vents throughout to deliver air conditioning and heat.

For the floor vents, they chose Reggio Register’s cast aluminum grilles in Square pattern and Black color. The solid nature of the vent covers didn’t require recessing or mounting with screws.

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Cast aluminum vent cover installed in a wall with topo map wallpaper with wood slat ceiling.

Natural Design

“Our family has always felt most fully awake, fully engaged, when we are submerged in nature,” Pauli Wade said, so it was a natural first step to create a home that was in harmony with their surroundings. They carefully planned the site and the footprint of the home to be in harmony with the lot.

As the project went on and the emphasis turned to the interior, nature continued to play a big role. Natural materials and colors plus modern-rustic styling was a must. The Wades also made it a priority to add details that reflected their specific location.

Topographical map style wallpaper, and 3-dimensional topo map concrete coffee table set the tone for a unique space that invites the outdoors in.

Utility room with rug, art, and vent cover from Reggio Register.

When Pinhoti Peak house was finished, the result was everything the Wades could have hoped for. It is the perfect base for the family’s adventures from hiking and biking to spelunking. Whether they are taking a dip in the pool or relaxing around the fireplace in the living room, Pinhoti Peak continues to inspire them to discover and explore.

Take a closer look at Pinhoti Peak.

Explore the Mountain Home


About Chip Wade

As an Emmy-winning television host and producer, Georgia Tech engineer, HGTV designer, and third generation craftsman, Chip Wade’s career is dedicated to helping people and businesses make educated and inspired decisions in the home and lifestyle category. Chip is the owner and lead designer of Wade Works Creative, offering services in video and digital productions, residential and commercial design, architecture, and building one-of-a-kind amazing stuff.

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