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Lake Life: Brian and Mandy Welch Built Their Home on a Quiet Cove



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Story by Gay Lyons | Photography by Ben Finch

Mandy Welch said she and husband Brian “stumbled onto the property” where they built their family home in 2011. They purchased the land in 2007 and waited four years to build. The interval gave them time to think about what they wanted prior to working with builder Charles Atkins and designer Paul Law. It was the private cove on Fort Loudon Lake that drew them.

“The lake was important to us,” said Mandy. “My parents had a cabin on the lake. Brian proposed to me there 20 years ago. We love the outdoors. And we’re fortunate to live in a part of the country that allows for outdoor living most of the year.”

The Welches’ sons, Connor, 13, Pierce, 11 and Gray, 9, share a playroom adjacent to their
bedrooms with space for games, watching sports and playing basketball on a goal that Mandy cleverly adapted for indoor use. “We put gymnasium style padding under the goal so I can stop replacing drywall,” she said.

“We wanted a home with a lot of living space,” she said. “But not too formal. It needed to be livable. We wanted a master on the main, a study for Brian, formal dining. The living room next to the kitchen is great for reading, family games and adult entertaining.

It’s where we put the Christmas tree. In the winter, we turn the chairs in front of the fireplace to face the fire. The painting by Ron Williams over the fireplace depicts the property before we built the house.”

The focal point of the painting is the cove that drew them to the property. The cove was also important to the design. It can be seen from almost every room in the house. “We wanted to amplify the view,” said Mandy. “I feel like the color tones used in the house play off nature and the outdoors. This house would look out of place on a beach.”

The dock and the lake draw the boys outdoors for fishing, swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking. “Lily pads are the new thing,” said Mandy. Mandy enjoys the mostly male household. “I had three brothers,” she explained. “Emmie (the family’s two-year-old Goldendoodle) is the only other girl in the family.”

The home was designed to accommodate the family’s preferences and interests. “We entertain a lot,” said Mandy. “We host everything from Easter dinner to football watching to ice cream on the dock for the neighborhood kids.”

“We love collecting art,” said Mandy, pointing to some pieces she and Brian have collected over the years. They’re deliberate in their collecting. “There are places we should probably put art, but we haven’t found the right piece yet.”

The basement features a large, casual family area with three television sets, a bar and a wine room. It offers easy access to a covered porch, a terrace, the lawn and the path to the dock.

“We wanted a home with a lot of living space,” she said. “But not too formal. It needed to be livable. We wanted a master on the main, a study for Brian, formal dining. The living room next to the kitchen is great for reading, family games and adult entertaining.

It’s where we put the Christmas tree. In the winter, we turn the chairs in front of the fireplace to face the fire. The painting by Ron Williams over the fireplace depicts the property before we built the house.”

The focal point of the painting is the cove that drew them to the property. The cove was also important to the design. It can be seen from almost every room in the house. “We wanted to amplify the view,” said Mandy. “I feel like the color tones used in the house play off nature and the outdoors. This house would look out of place on a beach.”

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