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Real Estate News

home design

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dedicated to showcasing the triangle’s distinctive homes

“The way these clubs were planned and developed with intermingled sections is unique and makes people feel comfortable finding a home that suits them and their budget.” – Lenda Goulding, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry & Walston

The golf life Let the family-friendly country clubs of the Triangle welcome you home today - story on page 4

real estate news

design instyle

design trends

straight talk

What’s new p2

Fire features p8

Starting from scratch p12

Crepe murder p14



|real estate news

what’s new? compiled by Whitney Berongi

APRIL 27–28 & MAY 4–5 NOON –5PM Free SELF-GUIDED tour of highperformance homes in the Triangle Discover how a certified green home delivers comfort, savings, durability and a healthy living environment. Our Green Home Tour features innovative, high-performance and unique homes in various stages of construction. A green building professional greets guests at each tour home to answer questions and detail specific green features. No sign-up or tickets needed; this is a free self-guided tour. Use the website, app or tour guidebook to determine your route and visit the homes you would like to see.

FREE TOUR GUIDEBOOKS available at Triangle Harris Teeter stores in late April. Additional locations are listed on our website: SPRINGGREENHOMETOUR.COM For more information, please call 919-493-8899. SPONSORED BY

HOMES BY DICKERSON MODEL HOME ENTERING SPRING GREEN HOME TOUR The Concord model home, located in the charming Wendell Falls community, is an award-winning custom design from Homes By Dickerson and will be featured during the 2019 Spring Green Home Tour. This stunning floor plan features vaulted ceilings with gorgeous wooden beams, crafted barn doors and custom trim throughout. Almost 3,000 square feet, the first and second floors boast three bedrooms and three full baths, a study, dining area, screen porch, rec room and ample storage. A fully-finished basement adds an additional 1,772 square feet of living and entertaining space. High-performance green features include energy-saving solar panels, 2-by-6 exterior walls, properly-sized HVAC systems with programmable thermostat and jumper ducts, Low-E windows, formaldehyde-free insulation, zip exterior wall sheathing, green-label carpeting, certified cabinetry, a tankless water heater and more. For more information, contact Whitney White at 919-944-7537 or M SQUARED BUILDERS & DESIGNERS ANNOUNCES 2019 SPRING GREEN HOME TOUR ENTRY M Squared Builders & Designers has announced its 2019 Spring Green Home Tour entry located at 1829 Whippoorwill Lane in Chapel Hill. The Spring Green Home Tour is a self-guided tour of select high-performing homes throughout the Triangle, taking place from noon to 5 p.m. April 27–28 and May 4–5. The 2019 M Squared tour entry consists of three bedrooms and two baths in 2,261 square feet. It is not only NGBS Silver Certified and Energy Star Certified, but it also meets High Efficiency Residential Option (HERO) code. The primary living space of the home is one level with multiple zero-step entries into the interior. Standard universal design features were incorporated, including rocker switches, lever handles, higher placement of outlets, built-in pedestals for the laundry and dishwasher and a no-barrier walk-in shower. All doors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair as well as other wheelchair-accessible features. Numerous healthy green features are included, such as R-3 ZIP sheathing, metal siding with recycled content requiring little to no maintenance, and the use of LED fixtures and Low-E windows. For more information on M Squared Builders & Designers, visit or call 919-620-8535. Email real estate news to T R I A N G L E

home design Editor


Creative Strategy

Christina Darnell

Melissa Kennelly

Buck Brice

Real Estate Marketing Consultant Katina Faulkner, 919-836-5999

Advertising Sales Manager Becky Halliday, 925-382-6594 Section published by The News & Observer • 421 Fayetteville St. Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27601. Editorial material in this section is the responsibility of the Observer Content Studio, 704-358-5185. It did not involve the news staff of The Observer.

Is there a neighborhood you’d like to see featured? Do you know of a new design trend on the rise? Did you use one of our ideas for your own home or home purchase?

We’d love to hear from you.

#TriangleGreenHomeTour #SpringGreenHomeTour #HighPerformanceHomes

2R *Copyright 2019 by The News & Observer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without written permission.




|living in a golf community

DID YOU KNOW? Old Chatham Golf Club is hosting the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship this August, which is the first USGA National Championship to ever be held in the Triangle.

byJulie Cooper

EAT Tarantini Italian Restaurant Whet your appetite for great golf and good food by heading to this Chapel Hill favorite, located right around the corner from the Governors Club.

PLAY Carolina Country Club Tee off on the 18-hole masterpiece course at this popular Triangle golf club, regarded as one of the nation’s best private clubs.

EXPLORE Raleigh Country Club Consistently ranked one of the best golf courses in the Triangle, play a round on this Donald Rossdesigned course and relish in its sweeping greens, lake vistas and vast history.



ith its 365-day season, varying topography and abundant selection of worldclass courses, golf comes naturally to the Triangle. Hosting national championships and continually evolving to meet the needs of the modern golfer, these coveted country clubs offer the good life down to a “tee.” “The Triangle is increasingly recognized as a golf mecca,” says self-professed mediocre golfer and “scratch” real estate broker Martha Bick with Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty. “And, the great thing about the Triangle is that there is so much variety—homebuyers can find anything they want. From newer, planned golf developments to established golf neighborhoods, our area offers something for everyone.” The main difference between the two types of clubs? According to Bick, one is open to “polka-dot” houses and the other isn’t. “Golf developments have an architectural review board, which directs the size and style of homes for a more homogenous feel. These neighborhoods include Wakefield, Governors Club and Prestonwood,” she says. “Country club neighborhoods, on the other hand, are usually older, more established neighborhoods and can include a mix of homes from remodeled, mid-century homes to properties where the land now exceeds the value of the home. These are scattered throughout the Triangle and include clubs like Carolina, Hope Valley and Chapel

Hill Country Club.” Lenda Goulding with LG Real Estate of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry & Walston was drawn to Raleigh’s diverse and plentiful golf clubs when she moved to the area from California 25 years ago. “When we moved here, we didn’t know anyone. We were very much attracted to the golf course community lifestyle,” she says. “In fact, it was the main reason we moved to North Carolina—for the array of golf course communities. I grew up on a golf course in Michigan, and I used to go in the evenings and play a round with my dad. It brought back fond memories for me.” Beyond the nostalgia, living in a country club community offered her and her family a built-in social network. “We live in Preston, which is larger than any other golf community in the Triangle,” says Goulding. “There are three courses, workout centers, restaurants and several areas to meet people. It’s really a built-in lifestyle. We are in our third house here now—we’ve just moved around from small to big and now small again since the kids are grown. We just love living here.” And, thanks to the way many of these golf clubs have been built, moving up or downsizing without ever leaving the neighborhood has become the norm. “These neighborhoods range in price anywhere from $300,000 to $3 million,” says Goulding. “There’s not a ‘snob factor’ that you live in a smaller home versus someone that lives in an


8,000-square-foot home—it all just blends and works. We see some of the original owners aging out and downsizing and younger families moving in. The way these clubs were planned and developed with intermingled sections is unique and makes people feel comfortable finding a home that suits them and their budget.” These clubs have also remained competitive by continually upgrading their facilities and targeting the younger demographics. “Country clubs have adjusted by adding amenities that are more appealing to a younger market,” says Bick. “We’re seeing broader tennis activity, cutting-edge teaching programs for children, health-and-fitness centers and pools that are directed to youth—giant curved waterslides were definitely not part of your father’s country club! Also, as ‘foodies’ have taken over the Triangle, country clubs have responded well by offering better food quality, more casual and family-friendly dining options and open-concept informal dining rooms.” As for the market for these golf communities, Goulding says it’s on “par” with the rest of the real estate market in the Triangle. “It’s vibrant here and very much in demand,” she says. “I get calls from potential buyers, literally coming from all over the world because our economy is so attractive. We are definitely not seeing a slowdown in golf or the demand for any of these golf club communities.”

living in a golf community|

209 Lancaster Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 Price: $2,700,000 MLS: 2190496 Listing Agent: Martha Bick, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty, 919-815-5018, Massive price reduction. This unique estate combines a luxury home and separate high-spirited sports house with the convenience and community of The Oaks. The 2-acre double lot overlooks the 8th and 9th holes of CHCC. Main home is a painted brick beauty with fabulous outdoor spaces. The sports house features full-size indoor pool with slide, diving board, huge entertainment room with full kitchen, pizza oven, media room and guest suite. Patios, screened porches, outdoor sports court, hot tub, gardens.

23935 Cherry, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 Price: $2,690,000 MLS: 2244626 Listing Agent: Martha Bick and Gilliam Kittrell, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty, 919-815-5018, martha.bick@ “Eagles Walk” is an ultra-contemporary masterpiece—spectacular both inside and out. Soak in natural light and enjoy views to the horizon through the almost totally windowed rear facade while the 2.9-acre lot in the Highland Pond estate section provides seclusion. Remarkable master features two balconies, giant closet and bath, and separate office wing. Grand two-level foyer includes second-level library and main-level salon and bar open to gourmet kitchen, dining and media rooms.

335 Yadkin Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609 Price: $1,895,000 MLS: 2241704 Listing Agent: Joe Hodge, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty, 919-876-7411,

20114 Scott, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 Price: $1,400,000 MLS: 2244792 Listing Agent: Martha Bick, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty, 919-815-5018,

Classic Carter Skinner design built by Duncan Ray. Situated on a premier lot in Country Club Hills with fabulous covered porches, outdoor fireplace and landscaped yard. Gourmet kitchen, butler’s pantry, large walk-in pantry, mudroom/servery. Bright open family room with fireplace and custom built-ins. Main-level master with gorgeous bath and huge walk-in closet. Three secondary bedrooms upstairs with hardwood floors and fifth bedroom in basement. Bonus, media, rec rooms all in basement.

Elegant hillside retreat minutes from downtown Chapel Hill. Secluded at the end of a cul-de-sac on a 2.7-acre lot, this stucco and shake shingle masterpiece enjoys panoramic long views to the eastern horizon. Mainlevel floor plan offers separate dining, family and living rooms. Main-level master suite with two room-size closets. Garage wing includes office space usable as an additional bedroom and two upstairs guest rooms with shared bath. Lower level with exercise room and unfinished area suitable for additional bedroom. Additional garage with one additional bay. Belgian block driveway.



|living in a golf community 7204 N Ridge Drive, Raleigh, NC 27615 Price: $1,200,000 MLS: 2245321 Listing Agent: Marti Hampton, Re/Max One Realty, 919-781-9883, brit@martihampton. com Magnificent estate home with million-dollar view overlooking 8th tee of North Ridge Golf Course. Main level has spacious foyer that leads to formal living and dining rooms with fireplace flanked by built-ins, coffered ceiling and views for days. Kitchen with granite countertops, stainless appliances, built-in refrigerator and opens to spacious family room and breakfast area. Hardwood floors throughout most of main level.

200 Edinburgh Drive Unit A, Cary, NC 27511 Price: $949,900 MLS: 2229002 Listing Agent: Gilliam Kittrell, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty, 919-876-7411, Luxury meets lifestyle in this warm and well-appointed residence. Located in the heart of Cary’s beloved MacGregor downs, this exquisite home offers lakefront views and is full of amenities. Abundant window space and 10-foot ceilings. Areas for entertaining include patio and porch with waterfront views, an expansive wet bar and open living areas throughout main level and basement. Kitchen features multiple dishwashers, a Lacanche oven/ range, built-in SubZero refrigerator and two work islands. French doors open onto patio overlooking lake. Master retreat offers wet bar, sitting room and lavish bathroom with a whirlpool tub.



living in a golf community| 102 Chertsey Court, Cary, NC 27519 Price: $725,000 MLS: 2246408 Listing Agent: Lenda Goulding, LG Real Estate of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry & Walston, 919-653-2647, Lenda.Goulding@ One-of-a-kind Preston Village home with amazing outdoor living. Transitional home with 3,372 square feet, four bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Neutral paint throughout. Updated kitchen with stainless appliances. Custom three-season room with skylights and wallto-wall windows. Expansive covered porch with built-in grill, stacked stone two-sided fireplace and water feature. Professional landscaping, exterior attached storage and two-car garage. Close to PV amenities, Green Hope Elem and Cary Tennis Park.

51203 Eastchurch Chapel Hill, NC 27517 Price: $585,000 MLS: 2236975 Listing Agent: Martha Bick, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty, 919-8155018, Downsize without compromise in this stylish Saddle Ridge brick transitional home. Great location convenient to the front gate and with a long view from behind the second tee on the Jack Nicklaus Mountain course. Rare at this price point, master suite includes two full bathrooms and two spacious closets. Enjoy the sunset over the mountain from the wraparound rear deck and screened porch. Gourmet kitchen and breakfast room. Additional main level guest room with bath. Elevator to all three levels.



Photo provided by Castelle Luxury Outdoor Furniture

|design instyle

Fire features From wood burning to propane fueled, fire features can make your backyard shine by Vicki Payne


hether it’s spring or fall, an outdoor fire pit can transform an ordinary backyard into an inviting year-round entertainment center. Today’s homeowners spend more money on outdoor spaces than on their interiors. Day or night, summer or winter, most of us prefer to spend our leisure


time outside. “Fire features, from pits to fireplaces, enable any outdoor room or exterior space not only warmth and year-round use, but also the ability to create ambiance and focal points— sometimes even an artistic element,” says Grant Hanegan,


Photo provided by Castelle Luxury Outdoor Furniture

owner of Fire House Casual Living Store in Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C., as well as Greenville, S.C. “The options today in fire features are vast and full of style as well as technically engineered durability.” With so many options, where do you start? Take the time to educate yourself on what’s available, it’s durability and construction elements. Cost can vary from a couple hundred dollars to thousands. Match the features to your backyard’s design. Not all fire pits put out the same heat. Massmerchandised, free-standing propane fire pits generally have a heat output of 40,000 BTUs (British thermal units). A quality fire pit will offer 50,000 to 60,000 BTUs. The greater the BTUs, the greater the heat and the larger the space it can handle. Natural gas fire pits are the most convenient, but they also have the highest installation cost. Propane units have improved dramatically when it comes to concealing the tanks within the unit itself or in a nearby side table.

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Wood-burning pits are the dirtiest to operate but are certainly the coziest. You must gather and store wood, and after an evening enjoying a woodburning pit you can smell like you’ve been camping. The most portable pits are those fueled by environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources. Ethanol fueled and solar powered are just two available options. The BTUs will be lower than gas or wood fueled. Some units have glass wind guards to help eliminate fire shifts and increase performance in windy condi-


tions. Also consider pits that have a lid or hard top that cover the fire opening when not in use. It keeps the unit cleaner and provides additional serving or display space. Fire pits are available in various heights. The most popular is the “chat height.” The fire pit is surrounded by benches or cushioned chairs to create a cozy conversation setting. There are also narrow fire pits that run down the center of a dining table, round fire pits in the middle of bistro tables—and for those who enjoy propping up their feet, the low fire bowls are perfect.

Photo provided by Castelle Luxury Outdoor Furniture

Whichever style, size or fuel type you select, make sure you use a qualified, professional installer. Take time to review fire safety tips and rules with everyone who lives in your home. Fire pits should never be operated by minors or those not familiar with its operation. When planning your next outdoor party or romantic dinner, build it around your new fire pit. In cooler weather, supply colorful blankets for your guest. In warmer weather, arrange your seating area with the fire pit in clear view of your guests but away from the heat to create a festive setting. Don’t just light your pit when you’re outside. If positioned correctly, it can enhance the view of your garden from inside your home.

Vicki Payne Donatelli is an interior designer, project coordinator and popular speaker for renovation and new construction projects. She is the host of the national PBS series “For Your Home.” Visit her blog at

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|designer spotlight

Simonini Homes in SouthPark City Homes / Photo by Dustin Peck

Starting from scratch Tips for transforming your brand new home from cold and empty to warm and inviting by Carole Tanzer Miller


he keys to your just-built home are finally in hand. Chances are, you fell in love with its soaring ceilings and open floor plan. Now, how do you transform those brand-new, wide-open spaces into a home you’ll love to live in without costly mistakes? “All that empty space can feel a little cold and even intimidating,” says Anne DeCocco of DeCocco Design in Raleigh. “Open floor plans make it tougher to arrange furniture easily, find places for art (or the TV), plug in lamps without cords in the way of traffic and the like. Your existing furnishings may feel out of proportion and even a little shabby in the new space.” The keys to comfort and style are


the same whether your home is under construction, just built or vintage, the pros say. First, consider your lifestyle, any special needs your family has and what you love (or loathe) about your new digs. Then, make a plan. Finally, take it room by room. Getting started: Decide right away if you’re happy with the paint colors and architectural elements, Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Interiors in Charlotte advises. It’s easier to paint or paper, add molding or add built-in or electrical outlets on the great room floor before you bring the furniture in. Creating a Pinterest board and Houzz Ideabook online can kickstart your creativity. Create a space plan: Invest in a digi-

tal measuring tape (about $50), and get accurate dimensions of your rooms and the furniture you plan to use. Include windows, doors and walkways as well as electrical outlets and floor or wall registers. (Don’t rely on the builder’s floor plan. It’s likely to show outside dimensions and may not reflect changes made during construction, DeCocco points out.) Plug your measurements into a roomdesign tool. Two that make it easy to create a 3D space plan are homestyler. com and the iPad app RoomPlanner. Still can’t visualize the furniture placement? Make life-size templates out of construction paper to see how your pieces fit and how you would move


around the room. Take it slow: Before shopping, see how you actually live in your new place, our pros advise. Where do you spend the most time? Which rooms are sunfilled, which need more light? Are there echoes beneath those soaring ceilings that throw rugs, window treatments or upholstery could help absorb? “Start with what you own and love and use those pieces to create the design from there, even if that means planning for future purchases while using what you have for now,” Zeller says. Hold onto that old sofa for awhile, and select window treatments with an eye towards buying a couch you love later, she suggests.

Photo by Anne DeCocco

Toll Brothers in the Cottages at Longview / Photo by Dustin Peck

Reuse or recycle: Reupholstering or refinishing can bring old pieces to life—but can be costly. Refresh unusual pieces or those with sentimental value. Recycle the rest. In your search for quality pieces that will last, don’t overlook second-hand stores and consignment shops—many are full of treasures now thanks to fans of Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up.” Our pros agree you’ll be happier if you finish one room at a time. “It always feels better to have spaces that are fully designed, coupled with a plan for the empty rooms, versus a whole house that is halfway done,” Zeller says. Tame big spaces: Moving furniture away from walls improves traffic flow and creates intimate conversation areas. Aim for at least 12 to 16 inches of space between coffee table and seating and 36 inches for walkways. Swivel chairs—big at the recent High Point furniture market—let you enjoy your sweeping space from all angles. Many of DeCocco’s clients have replaced sofas with four comfy chairs around a big coffee table. A bench in front of the fireplace or near a wall can be pulled over when extra

seating is needed. Tips and tricks: If your builder picked the paint, chances are your walls are gray. For a quiet palette, DeCocco suggests varying the intensity of grays in furnishings and accessories, or adding in sagey greens and foggy blues with gray undertones. For a livelier look, add bright colors in upholstery or a throw rug, hang colorful art and bring in sparkle with a mercury glass lamp. To give ubiquitous white built-ins a custom touch, replace shelves with reclaimed lumber or use wallpaper behind the shelves as a backdrop for your favorite collectibles, DeCocco recommends. Or paint the entire unit a contrasting color. Barn doors are a trendy touch. Consider replacing a laundry room or pantry door with one painted in a bright color. “Be intentional with your plan and purchases,” DeCocco says. “Take a breath and formulate a plan so you’re pulling together rooms that will function well for your family, be easy to maintain and will look exactly the way you want them to.”

Photo by Six Cents Photography / Courtesy of Anne DeCocco

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|straight talk

Crepe murder How much pruning is too much? by Allen Norwood


y wife and I have what you might call a mixed marriage: I hate to over prune shrubs in the yard, and she likes to whack them down to knee high. I tell her that an azalea that’s knee

high isn’t really an azalea. It’s—I don’t know—a petunia? She is not persuaded. We hardly ever argue over the thermostat setting, which I’m told is contentious in some homes. Religion? Pshaw! She likes basketball

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and I like football, but we both like the home teams, so that’s good. We can pick out rugs and paint colors together without incident, which amazes some of our friends. It has always been so. Decades ago, we took a horticulture class through Central Piedmont Community College. Great course, taught by Chip Hope, who’s now an organic farmer and teacher through Appalachian State in Boone. We learned the difference between pieris and mahonia, and other stuff. One rule Chip taught us all is that we shouldn’t give a forsythia a flat top. A forsythia ought to look like a fountain, spraying upward. Linda nodded along during class, passed the course—and still wants to tame forsythia. Our pieris is blooming its best this year. It’s really showing off. I tried to explain that’s because I didn’t cut it way back, as she had asked. Again: Not persuaded. I understand that stuff needs pruning. Truly, I do. Our yard was over planted when the house was built, which is a common problem. Builders want yards to look mature and inviting, so they jam in lots of shrubs. Then, after a few years, the beds are crowded and foundation plants grow up to block views from inside the house. The only solution is to prune heavily, remove plants, or both. Plants usually are tagged with information about mature height and


width. Builders don’t bother to read tags, because they’ll be long gone when that variegated conifer completely blocks that dining room window. (Yes, that’s still a sore point.) I like crepe myrtles, but a couple of ours are too big and too close to the house. That builder, again. Wrong plant, in the wrong place. The only solution is to cut them way back. I’ve been accused of “crepe murder,” but on our street the conversation is mostly about the proper way to murder them. Everybody else cuts them way back, too. I’ve removed close to a dozen shrubs from our front yard, and you can hardly tell they’re gone. That’s how crowded they were. Someday I’ll have to remove and replace those crepe myrtles. Anyway, all this comes up because Linda recently looked at a couple shrubs I’d whittled way back last fall, and decided they’re still too large. I cut them back by 25 percent. I sheared all the green off. They’ve been mostly bare for months. One neighbor even asked if they were dead. The first flush of new growth is appearing, with tiny leaves smaller than a mouse’s ear. Need to be pruned, she said. Chip asked me to send him a copy of this. I think I’ll send Linda’s email address, too. Maybe he can persuade her to go easy with the loppers.

Allen Norwood:




1. Water Your Lawn & Garden Frequently 2. Know Your Hardiness Zone 3. Make a Plan 4. Reseed & Fertilize 5. Use The Best Weed Killer (Ask us!) 6. Don’t Over-Mow! 7. Consider Planting in the Container 8. Deadhead Flowers Regularly 9. Use the Right Tools for the Job 10. Visit Your Local Garden Center







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Profile for Triangle home|design

Triangle home|design, April 14, 2019  

dedicated to showcasing the triangle's distinctive homes.

Triangle home|design, April 14, 2019  

dedicated to showcasing the triangle's distinctive homes.