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North of Atlanta, community of mini moderns in the mountains is priced from mid-$300Ks

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Solar-powered retreats at “The Nest” aim for efficiency with smaller footprints

A small modern home on a hill surrounded by woods.
The model home, with a 1,086-square-foot floorplan called “The Finch.”
Images courtesy of The Nest at Brannon Ridge Reserve/Kim Bucciero

[Update: Reps inform us that homes at The Nest project are now priced from the mid-$300,000s, in response to “lux finishes of the homes and high demand.”]

Just in time for nippy nights, crinkly leaves, and so much fleece, a planned community of modestly sized modern houses is debuting its model unit—and promoting itself as an eco-friendly, style-forward retreat unlike anything else in North Georgia.

About two hours north of Atlanta, near scenic Blairsville and Young Harris, The Nest at Brannon Ridge Reserve is opening doors this week to its mini model unit. It’s a floorplan, priced from $275,000, with less than 1,100 square feet but windows and exterior features meant to embrace the big outdoors.

Beyond the model, The Nest is offering more than 30 lots, from three-fourths to about 2 acres, buildable in four different layouts designed by Atlanta-based Pattern R+D architecture firm.

“It’s not gated, but it’s a quiet area with not much traffic, so it is very private and serene,” developer Kim Bucciero, of Tiny South, tells Curbed Atlanta. “Every lot will have a mountain view, but we are maintaining and replacing trees to maintain privacy in each one.”

Each option will have approximately enough solar panels included to power the home, with battery storage, and additional arrays available as upgrades. With other materials, the emphasis will been on long-lasting and low-maintenance, to include instant hot water heaters and energy efficient HVAC, per Bucciero.

“It will be one of the first communities in North Georgia and definitely the first in Blairsville with solar in every new home,” she adds.

Marketing is geared at both retirees and Atlanta professionals “looking for a modest getaway retreat,” she says.

“They have shrunk the footprint and brought in some amazing design,” says Will Johnston, MicroLife Institute’s executive director, of the overall concept.

It’s time for a closer look...

A vast green mountain landscape with roads cut through the trees.
An aerial of the 30-lot property. Expect HOA fees of $400 per year and landscaping designed to be low-maintenance.

The model’s one-level floorplan, dubbed The Finch, is 1,086 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Prices start at $275,000, depending on upgrades and lot choice.

The pitch, per marketing materials:

“Tons of windows and glass doors bring the gorgeous views in and make the efficiently designed space feel spacious. The exterior is defined by cedar shiplap siding, timbers, and optional modern panels in a variety of colors chosen by our interior designers.”

A sketch of a modern mountain house.
A sketch of how the model home looks, from the view-facing side.
A floorplan with rooms and an l-shaped deck.
The Finch layout.

On the opposite end, in terms of (still modest) size, is a floorplan called The Starling.

Beginning at $325,000, these plans count three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms across 1,412 square feet, with an emphasis on views from the living room and second story.

A drawing of a two story rustic-modern house.
The largest Nest option, The Starling.
Starling floorplans drawn up in boxes.
The Starling floorplan.

Bucciero provides sneak peeks at the model home, below, which is hosting an open house Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The address is 500 Brannon Ridge, Young Harris, GA.

A white living room with couches and chairs.
Views from the main living space.
A white living room with furniture and chairs and mountain views.
Clerestory windows, a fireplace, and the deck.
A desk with mountain views across trees through large windows.
New meaning to corner office.
A white modern kitchen in a small cabin.
Two-seat kitchen island, a range hood, and decidedly non-rustic kitchen cabinetry.
A bathroom with white walls and tub and black granite.
One of two bathrooms in the Finch model.
A master bedroom with white walls and a bull painting on the wall.
Master bedroom.
A modern fire pit with two chairs and woods.
The modernistic approach extends to outdoor seating.