Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Clayton, Georgia, The White Birch Inn housed in a two story 100 year old brick building, is a boutique bed and breakfast. The White Birch Inn held its grand opening Memorial Day 2014.
The inn boasts six uniquely decorated guestrooms and suites, named after indigenous trees, each with their own ensuite bath. Each guestroom is equipped with either queen or king size beds, a TV, iron, ironing board, safe, IHome docking station, robes, hairdryer and free WIFI. To enhance the guests’ stay at The White Birch Inn, the upstairs level includes a comfortable lounge offering early morning coffee and tea, before going downstairs for a full a la carte breakfast, which is included in the room rates. Guests have their choice of eating breakfast in the sunny dining room or al fresco on the private patio. Other cozy nooks guests enjoy are the screened porch, complete with rocking chairs and a swing, and a laurel wrapped deck with Adirondack chairs, overlooking the park. An added bonus, for guests who need to keep active while away, is the quaint gym tucked behind the lounge, which features a state of the art treadmill and elliptical machine. Each evening, guests are treated to complimentary wine and cheese in the guest lounge, then later, nightly turn down service completes the luxury experience.
Purchased in December 2012 by the creative husband and wife team architect, Chuck and interior designer, Brenda Patterson, the two-story building was completely gutted, and in a collaborative effort, they transformed the main level into the casually sophisticated Laurel Bar. (Which is currently only open for special events)
The focal point of the room is a 20 foot long custom designed bar, topped with a slab of Inferno granite, resembling the look and feel of petrified wood. The back bar is covered with hammered copper and features white birch and locally harvested Mountain Laurel. The rustic elegant design highlights handcrafted hickory chairs and barstools, along with leather sofas.
Guests can enjoy the casual seating groups, including one in front of the massive stone fireplace. Wool area rugs, handmade in Turkey, have an Aztec western motif. Custom iron and hand blown glass light fixtures enhance the ambience as the sun goes down, highlighting the 100” long photograph of Aspens in the fall.
Structural features include distressed wood beams and columns, along with dark stained Alderwood paneling and handscraped Acacia wood floors. Textural surfaces include a wall of poplar bark shingles and cowhide bar fronts.
The fully handicapped accessible restroom touts the same shingles above porcelain wall tile mimicking wood. The Kudzu vine framed mirror overlooks the Maple slab countertop and copper sink.
Around the corner and down three steps, the breakfast room receives morning sunshine which reflects off the whitewashed wood paneled walls. Continuing the rustic feel of the bar, this room is anchored by a stone wall, black slate floors trimmed with stones and iron lanterns. The ceiling features repurposed barn wood, removed from the walls in the bar, and installed in a herringbone pattern. The bright yellow Toile fabric covered settees are complemented by granite table tops, cut from the same slab as the bar. The existing staircase was removed and a new one built on the opposite wall to maximize seating and to accommodate guests entering from the lobby and ascending to the second floor.
The cozy patio located right outside of the breakfast room. The laurel-topped wood fence and white birch trees ensure privacy while guests are relaxing in the cushy glider and lounge chairs.
Location and History
The White Birch Inn is a destination location, set in the beautiful North Georgia mountains, where guests can utilize the Inn as a base from which to explore surrounding attractions. Everything from wineries, farms, cafes, and antique stores to waterfalls, lakes and gorges, Clayton is a charming town in which to stay.
Owners/innkeepers, Chuck and Brenda Patterson are fulfilling a lifelong dream, having toyed with the idea for years. Being fortunate enough to squeeze in vacations twice a year, between two busy careers, the trip planning was always a fun six month project, centered around finding a new exciting hotel. So after 20 years of staying in thoroughly researched hotels around the world, they felt they would enjoy sharing their experiences and knowledge with guests of their own.
Since 1992 Chuck Patterson was project manager/associate and commercial architect for a firm outside Atlanta, where he traveled extensively around the country managing several of the firm’s largest accounts. His creative talents, however, are not limited to designing commercial structures. When Chuck and Brenda bought property in the woods near Lake Burton, outside of Clayton, back in 2000, he designed their cabin. The home is a rustic timber structure from which they drew inspiration for the inn and bar. Chuck is also a very talented and creative cook, who along with Brenda, enjoys entertaining.
Similarly, since 1988, Brenda Patterson has been a commercial interior designer, specializing in hotel interior design. Having worked at hotel design firms as well as heading up the design department at a hotel chain’s corporate headquarters, Brenda went out on her own in 2000 and started her own firm continuing hotel design. Other than having a well- balanced home-cooked dinner on the table every night, Brenda was not a culinary wizard. In 2011, in the slow economy, she took a sabbatical from her firm and went to culinary school for a one year program. Upon completing that coursework, she spent the next nine months evaluating a course of action to utilize her recently acquired new skills.
For two years, Chuck and Brenda had watched this beautiful old brick building on the square of downtown Clayton sit vacant, for sale. One day, after driving by it over and over again, they decided they had to have it and made an offer on it. They thought it would make a great inn. The original plan was to make the whole upstairs the inn guestrooms and make the right side of the first floor the hotel lobby, and lease out the left side. Instead, they decided to create and offer a dining venue which would not only benefit the inn guests but also local customers, hence, the creation of the Laurel Bar.
In Septemeber 2016, the restaurant and bar were closed for nightly dining. They're both currently available to rent for private functions.