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Custom Concrete Makes Its Mark at Pinhoti Point

It all began with a New Year's Eve adventure, an off-road journey into the heart of Chattahoochee National Forest within the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia. In the weeks that followed, Chip and Pauli Wade discovered a piece of land nestled in their cherished wilderness haven that would become their next project and a second home.

During that momentous day in Chattahoochee, the Wades encountered numerous trail markers bearing the name "pinhoti" adorned with a turkey's footprint. Subsequently, they learned about the Pinhoti Trail, a 335-mile path originating in Alabama and interconnecting with the Appalachian trail system. "Pinhoti," a Creek Indian word signifying a turkey's habitat, held an intriguing foreshadowing for the Wades’ project—one that would blend nature and home perfectly.

Living room of Pinhoti Point house with a custom coffee table in the center.

Overcoming Challenges of Terrain

Their chosen remote location presented transportation and logistical challenges, but ingenuity paved the way to accessibility. The rugged mountain terrain demanded meticulous planning and adjustments. With only a narrow 20-foot road leading to the property, they crafted a spacious 100-foot diameter area, enabling semi-trucks to maneuver effectively. Additionally, they established a receiving area to facilitate material handling.

The dining room and living room of the Pinhoti Point house with large windows and rustic accents.

Harmonizing with Nature

Pauli Wade noted, " Our family has always felt most fully awake, fully engaged, when we are submerged in nature," making it paramount to create a home in harmony with their surroundings. The site and home footprint were meticulously planned to complement the natural setting.

As the project evolved, nature continued to influence their choices. They incorporated natural materials, earthy tones, and a modern-rustic aesthetic. Moreover, they added distinctive details reflecting the specific locale. Topographical map-style wallpaper and a three-dimensional topo map concrete coffee table set the stage for a unique living space that seamlessly melded the indoors with the outdoors.

The dining room of Pinhoti House with custom concrete table.

Concrete Furnishings Bring Together Style & Function

The Wades turned to concrete for its rustic, yet warm vibe, but also for its moldability. Concrete starts as a liquid that can be manipulated into any shape and form made permanent when it cures. It was the ideal material for their vision.

For what would become two of the home’s signature pieces, Chip contacted the creative team at Trueform Concrete.

The large-scale dining table is an evolution of Trueform’s London Table. What made this build unique was the inclusion of a 4” graphic element on corner of the table’s surface. Consisting of three geometric feathers, this logo is emblematic of the numerous wild turkeys for which the Pinhoti area was aptly named. Trueform lightly acid-etched the logo onto the table before sealing the surface – resulting in a subtle yet highly-personalized touch.

Computer renderings of the topo coffee table.
Close up of the process of creating a topographic coffee table in concrete and epoxy.

The second piece, a coffee table concept, required Trueform to really step up their game. Chip’s premise was to try and display a 3-dimensional topographic representation of the Appalachian Mountains in which the home was being built. Trueform’s creative team went to work.

The first step was to use Google satellite imagery to capture a section of terrain that would act as the foundation of the table. This detailed image was then cropped to the correct aspect ratio and converted to a “heat map” consisting of light and dark values that can be interpreted as having different heights. Trueform then used special software to transform the image into a 3D file.

Once the 3D file was finalized, Trueform was able to use a CNC router to cut the terrain out of high-density foam. This yielded a “positive” form that was hand-sanded and coated with several layers of gel to form a tight seal. Liquid rubber was then poured onto the terrain form to create a “negative” that would be used for the final production mold.

Wide view of the living and dining area in Pinhoti Point with custom concrete work.

Even after the concrete portion was cast, demolded, and processed, one final step remained – completely encasing the terrain in resin. This was essential as it created the flat surface that would make the table usable. As much as 4” of resin needed to be poured in some of the deeper areas. After several weeks of fabrication time, the concrete was sealed and the cured resin was polished and the table was ready to go.

“This was the first time we had taken on a project with this many steps” remarks Paul Grech, Creative Director at Trueform. “It required a healthy amount of experimentation and nail-biting as there were just so many opportunities for things to have gone sideways. But given the collective ingenuity in our shop, we were confident that we’d eventually find our way through. Overall, I’m super proud that our team was able to pull this off and deliver such a beautiful piece to Chip’s landmark home.”

Both tables exist as individual pieces while simultaneously collaborating toward the overall aesthetic of the home. When Chip was asked why concrete made sense for this project, he remarked “Concrete has always been one of my favorite materials. It embodies creativity and dynamic form. I enjoy its ability to feel structural and warm at the same time. Its resilience and utility make it a practical and sustainable choice at the same time. Trueform has perfected the art of the material and masterfully creates statement pieces that are iconic and last the test of time.”

The Culmination: Pinhoti Peak House

Upon completion of Pinhoti Peak House, the Wades realized their vision in full. It stands as the perfect base for their family adventures, from hiking and biking to spelunking. Whether taking a refreshing dip in the pool or unwinding by the fireplace in the living room, Pinhoti Peak House continues to inspire their pursuit of discovery and exploration.

For an in-depth exploration of Pinhoti Peak, consider delving deeper into this mountain home.

Explore the Pinhoti Point House

About Chip Wade

As an Emmy-winning television host and producer, Georgia Tech engineer, HGTV designer, and third generation craftsman, Chip Wade’s career is dedicated to helping people and businesses make educated and inspired decisions in the home and lifestyle category. Chip is the owner and lead designer of Wade Works Creative, offering services in video and digital productions, residential and commercial design, architecture, and building one-of-a-kind amazing stuff.