Earthy Elements to Channel Skyline Lodge

By: The Local Palate

A storied escape in the picturesque mountain town of Highlands, North Carolina, Skyline Lodge overlooks the river valleys and rushing waterfalls of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After an extensive redesign by hospitality group Indigo Road, the lodge re-opened its doors this past summer. Preserving a nostalgic feel was essential to the process of restoring the 1930s motor lodge to its former glory. 

“Nostalgia and whimsy are at the center of our vision for Skyline Lodge. When guests set foot on the property, we hope that they feel like they’re stepping into a fond, bygone era,” says Indigo Road founder Steve Palmer. 

Originally, Skyline Lodge was designed by Arthur Kelsey, a student of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Giving it a new lease on life, designer, Carrie Dessertine of Mey + Co. took on the project from afar, working through pandemic obstacles like supply chain disruption and an inability to travel (she didn’t see the property in person until a month before opening). 

Skyline lodge lobby ccexpress x

Despite the challenges, she was able to create an atmosphere that speaks to the structure’s original time period and evokes a sense of place through a color palette of greens and neutrals and organic, textural elements that pay homage to the signature characteristics of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture—think stacked stone fireplaces, wooden beam ceilings, and walls of windows blurring the lines between indoors and out. 

While the resort’s layout is exterior-oriented, in true motor lodge fashion, the heart of the lobby is where all paths cross, from arrivals and departures to those entering the property’s top-notch restaurant, Oak Steakhouse. Here, Dessertine details the pieces she selected that marry mid-century aesthetic with rustic elements, giving guests a warm, elegant space to soak in Highlands’ natural beauty. 


Cider-Hued Velvet Armchairs Quite possibly Dessertine’s favorite pieces of furniture on the property, these custom armchairs by French interior designer Fabrice Juan mimic the stepping pattern present throughout the property. While Fabrice Juan’s are made-to-order, the richly hued Isabella Chair from West Elm channels the ’70s vibe in similar fashion. ($849;

Black Porcelain Tableware It’s easy to get the clean modernism of black tableware like that used by Oak Steakhouse. While the steakhouse com – missioned restaurant-grade dishware from Mexican company Anfora, you can get the same look from Haand Pottery’s Ripple line of porcelain dishes hand – made in Burlington, North Carolina. ($95 for a 3-piece setting;

Black Leather and Wood Dining Chairs Balancing function with form is the spirit of the dining chairs from Stellar Works, made in collaboration with Danish design studio Space Copenhagen. Made from stained ash and monochromatic leather upholstery, the Rén Dining Chair incorporates Japanese and Chinese techniques filtered through the lens of European sensibility for a timeless piece. ($1,160;

Cane Back Sofa Dessertine chose this bold lounger to echo an inspirational photo from Indigo Road’s Steve Palmer, but customized it by covering the seat in camel leather. The Mulholland Sofa by Industry West adds a touch of drama with a black wood frame and natural rattan caning softened by plush white upholstery. ($2,500;

Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table Crafted to look like a split tree with an angled face, this piece reflects the rustic nature of the property. The Cuna Coffee Table brings the outside in, a mission of the designing firm Taracea, which creates artisan pieces from recovered fallen and hurricane-tumbled wood (reducing carbon emissions in the process). While their main operations of sustainable manufacturing are in Mexico, Taracea has a showroom in High Point, North Carolina. ($1,598; )

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