Former WSB-TV news anchor’s home in Big Canoe honors nature

Bears fill retired news anchor John Pruitt’s home, from artwork and sculptures to stuffed animals and lamps. The tale told to Pruitt and his wife, Andrea, is that bears were on the Big Canoe land when the builders cleared the lot, and the animals remained there during construction. Years later, when Andrea came to the property in 2003, she saw bears and deer at the end of the street.

“It was a beautiful scene with the fog rolling off the mountain. I said, ‘I just love it. It’s just magical up there,’” she said.

John was still working for Channel 2 Action News, but saw his family’s second home as a place to rest and named the home, “Bear Pause.”

Snapshot

Residents: John Pruitt, retired Channel 2 Action News anchor and wife Andrea; golden retrievers Cassie, Sandy and Toby

Location: Big Canoe

Size: 3,800 square feet, three bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths

Year built: 1986

Year bought: 2003

Architectural style: Mountain rustic

Favorite architectural elements: Vaulted ceiling and massive stone fireplace in great room. A rough-hewn cedar mantle with corbels was added to the fireplace.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Renovations: Before moving in, the Pruitts renovated the home in 2004 to give it a mountain rustic style. "We always fancied this particular house because of its location. It was a short street at the end of the road," he said. A screen porch and new decks were added, along with a laundry room and dog run. The changes included adding lodge pole pine timbers as columns on the front exterior and in the great room. They selected heart pine beams for the ceiling, supported by restored metal brackets from the old Hershey's chocolate plant in Pennsylvania. In the great room, they updated the existing built-in bookshelves by adding beadboard to the back and used mountain laurel banisters for the stairwell. Beadboard also was added to the kitchen cabinets.

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Credit: Christopher Oquendo Photography

Contractor: Wayne Bruce, now with Bruce and Burkett

Interior design style: Mountain rustic

Favorite piece of furniture: The powder bath vanity, which was created from an antique chest of drawers that belonged to Andrea's grandmother in Sweden. Her grandmother brought it with her when she immigrated to the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century.

Favorite outdoor feature: The deck, with views of Amicalola Falls and the mountains

Artwork: Paintings by Peggy Watkins and Ann Young, marketing director for Big Canoe Realty. They also have Mark Trail comic strips signed by cartoonist Jack Elrod.