Moving Art: Sweeping views surround you inside the Sipo’s nature-inspired Walnut Cove home

“When asked his favorite season, my father would always say,‘I love every time of year. It just depends on what time of year I’m in.’And that’s what this home is like.You get to truly experience every season, and each is magnificent in its own way here.”

For some homeowners, blank walls bring the thrill of a blank canvas, begging to be covered in art. For Robin Sipo, the 360-degree mountain views that embrace her home from every angle act as all the art she needs.

“When you open the front door, we have a huge floor-to-ceiling window that welcomes you into the sweeping view ahead. You can see the twists of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and at night, the lights of the cars going up and down. You can see mountains all the way to the far horizon, and glittering points of light where houses dot the landscape, like a little village,” Sipo says. 

The home itself came close to remaining only a dream, and not the breathtaking reality that Robin and her husband Wally enjoy sharing with family and grandchildren now.

“At first, we only lived here part of the year, but we were already familiar with this area because we’d take walks up the hill to this spot. Every time, I’d turn to my husband and say, ’this is so beautiful,’ and every time, his response was ‘I’m not building another house. Not a chance.’ Then one day, as we walked up and stopped to look out over the foothills, he gave in. ‘Let’s do it. Let’s build a house.’ Just like that.”

During the collaboration process with their builders and lifelong friends, Thompson & Brown Custom Builders, Sipo focused on amplifying the site’s natural gifts: celebrating light, nature and the environment.

“We’re big outdoors fans. We’ve hiked in every state in the U.S., but we can’t always reach the pinnacle on those difficult hikes as we get older. This is our way of keeping that in our lives,” Sipo says. Every direction you turn within the home, you find a different view out of every room, and the perspective changes as you move through each space. “I can’t think of a day where I haven’t seen birds, rabbits, bears — all kinds of local wildlife outside these windows. It’s incredible.”

The biggest challenge for Sipo and team? Her own love of curves. “Our home is contemporary-transitional, and I wanted curved walls everywhere, including a feature window that curves at the top and bows out. That was quite the difficult engineering feat, but our builder was extremely skilled, and they conquered it. It’s fabulous.” Sipo’s love of wood is found in creative details that abound in the mountain-framed home, from its stunning floors to spectacular works of hand-carved art.

“Our woodworker Ed Eudy and his wife are also our best friends, and he’s made several pieces for us,” says Sipo. But the real work of art, she insists, is the moving vista.

“That’s why all the windows are big, and always open. I didn’t need paintings on every wall. The art is the world outside, and the views all around. At night, the house is open, and it lights up and shines like a beacon. But even better than that are the stars above— they’re so bright and clear.”

This story was featured in Cliffs Living Magazine. To read more stories like this one and learn more about The Cliffs, subscribe here.

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