Thursday, December 20, 2012

Will Merrill and His Mountain House

I'm so happy- actually, thrilled- that my dear friend Will Merrill's Blowing Rock, North Carolina home not only appears inside the February 2013 issue of House Beautiful, but it made the cover, too!

Will has been a close friend to me for a number of years now, and what never ceases to impress me is his enthusiasm and love of design.  His excitement over the latest design book or an antique store find is infectious, so much so that I usually want to buy the same book or a similar piece of furniture based on Will's endorsement alone.  All of Will's treasures have found a lovely home in Blowing Rock, and what struck me about his home upon seeing it for the first time was how sophisticated it was for a mountain house, and yet, it's completely comfortable with its rustic setting.

When Will bought the 1970s-era home, it was in rather sad shape with avocado colored wall to wall carpet and sliding glass doors.  By adding poplar bark siding to the exterior and salvaged wood floors inside, he transformed the house into a rustic gem.  The bonus to the house is his amazing back porch which acts like an outdoor living room, one that Will can use for most of the year.

I'm including a few photos here, but there are many more in the February issue.  I do hope that you'll read the article because I think that you'll find the house to be charming.

Above, a guest room with usually seen in the city leopard print carpet and a Coromandel screen.

A back porch vignette with poplar bark siding as a backdrop.

The stairwell leading downstairs has a knotty branch stair rail while the walls are covered in tramp art mirrors.

Another guest bedroom in which framed botanical specimens are hung floor to ceiling.

All images used with express permission of House Beautiful.  February 2013 issue, Simon Watson photographer.


  1. I love the warmth, quiet elegance of this house. beautiful!

  2. Thank you, thank you, for the kind words!
    What fun to see the pictures, and now I can't wait to see the magazine!

  3. Really beautiful! Thank you for posting this. The combination of elements is wonderful. Classic, warm & welcoming. Daniel

  4. HMMM sounds interesting. I can't wait to get the mag. Happy Thursday here in "chilly" S CA

  5. I adore the Chinese screen! It is just gorgeous and brings in lots of unexpected colors. What a lovely home. Thank you for sharing it!

  6. Anonymous10:55 AM

    What a wonderful, wonderful house! I am in love with the leather chair in his living room as well as the Chinese screen. I will definitely put this on my list. Thanks!

  7. Fabulous! Can't wait to see the issue. Love everything about Will's home!

  8. Just read the story yesterday. Loved it. Also loved that Will grew up in Oklahoma and that he loves leopard carpet and black walls (yes for me for all three!).So from a 63 year old, Oklahoma native, '71 grad of OU, and a big fan of decorators who lead with their heart, a bit of whimsey, and a whole bunch of history: way to go!

  9. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Love the coziness of this house. I am psyched that I've found my wall color in Will's spread on page 94 of House Beautiful, BM Linen White. But can you share the glaze color that makes it perfect? Thanks, and congrats on your wonderful home!

  10. Will Merrill was the Director of Design for Hickory Chair for 25 years. We at Hickory Chair are thrilled to celebrate with him this beautiful story about his amazing mountain retreat. We are proud that shown in these beautiful scenes from House Beautiful magazine are vintage and current Hickory Chair pieces. Thank you Will!