Monday, December 26, 2011

Making Dreams Come True ~ Mark Kirkpatrick & Debbie Arnold

Beside a misty meadow edged with a split rail fence and pink rhododendrons, up a steep mountain ridge fringed with hemlock trees beneath a hard blue sky and puffy white clouds, or along a shady lane with sunlight dappled lawns bordered by a meandering stream – you can find craftsman, timber, and log homes of incredible beauty that honor nature – letting in views of the surrounding environment that simply take your breath away.

Timber frame home of an artist couple.

Hand-hewn timber porch with a crepe myrtle tree in center.

Craftsman Homes

Timber Homes

Log Homes

Dream Houses

 Photos compliments of Mountain Construction & Hearthstone Homes.

“Building a home is building a dream,” says Mark.  “I love working with the individual visions of our clients.”

The integration of nature with home design suggests another time and place where quality of life is measured in time-honored traditions. Every room, fireplace, and staircase features some form of old world craftsmanship. Yet, these charming homes are the inspiring modern creations of their owners and a dream team.

Meet builder Mark Kirkpatrick and artist Debbie Arnold, the proud owners of Mountain Construction and Hearthstone Homes.

As contractors and design consultants for more than twenty years, Debbie and Mark have worked with homeowners to build and remodel hundreds of homes using modern technology and traditional building techniques – specializing in craftsman-style homes, timber frame homes, and log cabins.

“We have designed homes with our clients. We have also worked with home designers and architects that we have recommended to our clients and architects that our clients have brought to the table,” says Mark.

Whether a quaint cottage or an elegant grand home, these house designs take advantage of sunlight throughout the day with beamed ceilings and skylights, expansive windows, and outdoor decks.

Custom stairs with hand crafted round log treads and a moose chandelier in the entryway.
Inside and out, they make use of natural rock and timber in wondrous and sometimes whimsical ways. While the natural settings are American, they could be somewhere else entirely – say, Middle Earth, for example.

Kitchen cabinets of hickory with a bead board paneled counter.

Mountain Construction and Hearthstone Homes are hired for their creativity, quality, and attention to detail. They work with every aspect of the home creation process, from sketches and photos of the environment to working with land planners, surveyors, engineers, and alternative energy specialists. Then they carefully select trades people, craftsmen, carpenters, and stonemasons to carry out the vision.

“In the past fifteen years, between thirty and fifty percent of our work has involved renovation, remodeling, restoration or addition work of existing homes,” Mark shares.

Mark's greatest experience? “When I can enjoy walking through the final, finished home: walking up the hand crafted stairs, sitting in front of the roaring fire and feeling a sense of pride along with our client, in what we have created together!”

Debbie, a painter, who has sold over 200 pieces of her original work, lends her skills to the management of the company – and sometimes her nature-inspired art.

Debbie describes her artistic process as, “a stream of consciousness method from which comes inner landscapes. I have no preconceived ideas or plans when starting a painting. I don't use drawings, models or photographs.”

Her use of color and light in paintings is often as breathtaking as the beautiful natural environments that surround homes.

Timber frame home in Black Mountain, North Carolina, with one of Debbie Arnold's paintings on the wall.


“The home (right) was built in 1927 and had not been lived in for twenty years,” says Mark. “We restored it to its ‘original grandeur.’ The work included restoring a pump powered waterfall in the garden, adding stone walks and other landscaping, and an upgrade of the detached garage and servants’ quarters.”

Cannon Estate

The creations of Mountain Construction and Hearthstone Homes have appeared in High Country Home Magazine and Resource Guide, Log Homes Illustrated, and many other publications. Please see the article section link below for more in-depth articles and Q and A:

Mountain Construction and Hearthstone Homes handles new home construction as well as renovations, remodels, and historic restorations in North America and now other countries. Mountain Construction provides general contracting services in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Regionally and nationally, Hearthstone of Boone provides log, timber frame, SIP “dry-in” packages, and full design services/blue prints and engineering, set on your foundation and subfloor.

For more about the work of artist and painter, Debbie Arnold, please visit: or or contact

To read more about artist Debbie Arnold, find her interview with George A. Ellis, author of “Symphony of Silence: An Enlightened Vision.” (Pages 41-56)

Shän Boggs is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles. Her interests include science, technology, the environment, health, education, multimedia, art, and gourmet cooking. She is the author of a cookbook series for people with food allergies.

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