Welcome to The Potter's House, an art-filled modern gem, built in 2007 by a well-known local potter/artisan.
With his primary residence on the main floor and his working pottery studio and kilns below, he created the perfect work/life balance on two sunny rolling acres of land. He spared no expense in building a light-filled house with 13-ft ceilings atop his studio/workspace. With radiant in-floor heat under gorgeous polished concrete floors, the house is completely separate from the pottery studio below, which has its own driveway and entrance and no interior staircase. (It’s not a working studio anymore, so you have the house all to yourself!) The residence is filled with his works and those of many of Asheville's best-known River Arts District craftspeople. (After 30 years in the San Francisco's art scene, I have added many of my own curated pieces as well.) There is information available at the house about the creator of each piece with contact information when available.
THE MAGIC OF THE POTTER'S HOUSE
Even before you enter, you'll be swept up by the outdoor art at The Potter's House. The giant pot on the front steps was made by River Arts District potter Cayce Kolstad at Odyssey ClayWorks. The central courtyard near the front is anchored by WM Lofgren's cast iron sculpture, Oscar. Upon entering you are greeted by a folk art pony (made from children's blocks) that I found at Asheville's treasure trove, Antique Tobacco Barn. (To get a real taste for Asheville, spend an afternoon wandering through the gigantic tobacco drying barn on Swannanoa River Road filled with antiques and more!)
Above the fireplace is a seminal work of William Gatewood that I purchased at a charity auction more than 25 years ago, just after William's death.
The living room of The Potter’s House features one-of-a kind armchairs from Italy and a rich, deep couch. At least eight people can gather around the gas-fired fireplace in comfort. Using the cushioned built-in benches near the fireplace, the room can easily seat ten. Pottery displayed throughout the main room reflects the River Arts District but also pieces I collected in Mexico, China and
Peru. (Don’t worry! The house is very child and pet friendly. The more valuable pieces are well-secured to walls and tabletops, and the others are pretty but replaceable. (I view breakage as a chance to go shopping!)
The kitchen is huge, and includes a bar area that seats four (featuring cool stools also from the Tobacco Barn!). In the cabinets you will find dinner service and utensils for 16, so no need to run the dishwasher after every meal! The cabinet and drawers are fully stocked with everything you need for in-home cooking. (I do mean everything. You will not find a better kitchen in a vacation rental. Lemon zesters, garlic press, skewers for the grill, butter brushes, flour sifters, you name it.)
The long and narrow dining room table seats 8 comfortably, with easy access around it to reach the French doors that open onto the deck. The deck area includes a four-burner gas BBQ grill and dining table with umbrella and six patio chairs. Check out the exterior walls of the house. They aren’t wood or brick or plaster. They are corrugated steel sheets designed to rust on purpose to a beautiful (and maintenance free!) brick red color.
I own the huge expanse of open land behind the house, so be sure to check out the hall closet for the croquet set, the bocce balls or the volleyball net. (The same closet also contains the pack-n-play crib and child's high-chair for infants, if needed, as well as a portable wheelchair ramp for the front step.)
The three bedrooms flow compactly through the house. The large Master Bedroom looks onto the fields around the house. It features a giant king sleigh bed and several craft pieces with local history. The sunny master bath has an incredible walk-in shower and the bedroom features a private relaxing screened-in porch that faces the sunset. (The walk-in closet contains a twin rollaway bed for use in Master bedroom if needed.)
The other two bedrooms share a bath. The blue room features a queen bed with a fabric headboard made of Uzbeki tapestries. It includes a locally made "splattered" dresser, and a child's schoolroom desk playfully converted to a night table.
The green room contains another queen bed. In addition to access from the hall, this room's French doors open onto the great room, but can be closed and curtained when the bedroom is in use. There is enough space in this room to add the twin trundle bed if needed. (It is stored under the queen and rolls out into place.) Check out the nightstands I made from vintage suitcases!
In total, the Potter’s House easily sleeps six in the king and two queen beds, but the twin trundle and twin rollaway accommodate two more.
Parking is available for three cars on the two parking pads in front. Please pull all the way in so neighbors who share the drive can pass through.
There are two slight steps up to the front door. There is a portable handicap ramp in the front hall closet for those with mobility issues. While the house is accessible to your visitors with mobility issues, both baths are too tight for wheelchair access for overnight guests. The master shower has a bench for sitting, and the other bathtub has a safety grab bar.
EXPLORING THE REGION FROM THE HOUSE
You are only about a five minutes away from the River Arts District, home to one of America’s largest and most diverse artists’ communities. I know several potters, painters and fabric and encaustic artists to whom I will gladly make introductions. (Across the river is the New Belgian Brewery, offering probably the best beer tour in Asheville - also just 5 minutes from the house.)
There are brochures at the house for local inner tube rafting, zip lining, hot air ballooning and more. But there is also info on yoga, massages, pilates, fine dining and golf for the less adventurous.
You are about ten minutes drive to the famous Grove Park Inn, where every visitor to Asheville should have lunch on the terrace to take in the panoramic Smoky Mountain views. Ten minutes’ drive south takes you right to the front gate of the Biltmore Estate, Asheville’s (and America’s) most stunning single family home. The year-round tours are amazing, but the Holiday décor tours in November in December are staggering. And the gardens are over-the-top nearly any time of year.
Want to see fewer buildings and more wilderness? The house is only a few minutes drive from the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you will then have access to over 500 miles of scenic drive, protected US National Park, and some of the best biking and hiking trails on the Eastern Seaboard. (Asheville is the hiking capital of the South East, and there are dozens of brochures and maps at The Potter’s House featuring hikes of different lengths and abilities.)
RICHMOND HILLS: RURAL BUT CENTRAL!
The Potter's House is located in Richmond Hills, the neighborhood of Northwestern Asheville, just across the French Broad River from University of North Carolina at Asheville's campus and the turn-of-the-century mansions of the historic Montfort District. It's less than a mile to Patton Ave for groceries, banking, coffee and restaurants. Or about 2.1 miles to galleries, brewpubs and restaurants downtown. A scenic five minute drive along the river gets you to the River Arts District and an additional 5 minutes puts you at the gate of the Biltmore House!
It's rural, so there are not sidewalks or local cafes, like you would find downtown. But full-house rentals within the City limits are not allowed, so this is one of the very closest options.
Neighbors Karen and Ken (and their adorable friendly dog Katie) are delightful. Except for their house, the Potter's House feels very private, especially in summer. (In winter through the bare trees of the woods you can see other houses). There is a school admin building across the road, so there are no prying or loud neighbors in the evening or weekends.
I am gradually remodeling the pottery studio below (with its high ceilings, open floor plan, and terrific light) into an additional 2-3 bedroom / 2 bath apartment. (I need more space for art and pottery!) It has a separate driveway and entrance and no connecting interior staircase. An outdoor staircase connects the upper deck to the lower patio, which you are free to use as well. Eventually I'll be offering the Potter's House -- and Workshop! -- as a 5-BR, 3600 sq. ft vacation rental. For now it is vacant, giving you full privacy upstairs.
If I am not in town, my house manager Cara lives literally around the corner, so any problem or concern can be addressed almost immediately.
There is always something to do in Asheville! And The Potter's House is the perfect base of operations for all your adventures -- and a warm and inviting place to call home after a busy day.
Feel free to email or call me to discuss your specific interests.