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June /July 2014

VOL 14 NO 3 Publisher Mark Herrmann Managing Editor Anne Marie Ashley Editorial Director Tammy Wanchisn Writers Dana Todd Brandy Snow Nancy Atkinson Anne Marie Ashley Sales Kathleen Hands Art Direction Harriet McDowall PageCreations Photography Jim Schmid Photography Contributing Editors Trent Haston Beth Keim Catherine Whitney Mark Morgan Sormeh Hafezi Production Administrator Shelley Kemper Intern Valentina Castillo Phone 704-332-1504

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All contents copyright 2014, Casey Communications Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent from publisher. Mention of any product or service does not constitute endorsement from Urban Home Magazine. The information contained in this publication is deemed reliable from third party sources, but not guaranteed. Casey Communications Inc. does not act as an agent for any of the advertisers in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified remodeling, home furnishings or home improvement firm based on your own selection criteria. Casey Communications Inc., d.b.a. Urban Home Magazine, will not knowingly accept advertising for real estate which is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. All real estate advertising in Casey Communications Inc., d.b.a. Urban Home Magazine, is subject to the Fair Housing Act which states “We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.� Casey Communications Inc., d.b.a. Urban Home Magazine, does not act as an agent for any of the realtors or builders in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified realtor to assist you in your new home purchase.

10 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

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contributing editors departments

18 feature home Color Perfect

outdoor living 58 Uneven Terrain... Unparalleled Opportunity

building a better home: trent haston 40 Backyard Bliss

custom homes 68 It’s All Personal

room service: beth keim 54 This Changes Everything

interior design 82 Organic Luxury

kitchen design: catherine whitney 62 The Real Rush Hour

32 outdoor trends Summer SoirĂŠe 44

feature gardens The Cottage Garden The Maple Walk Garden Hardscape Oasis Classic Beauty


outdoor retreats: mark morgan Details in Design Make Your Landscape Devine

style guide: sormeh hafezi 78 Your Inner Beach Bunny


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June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 19

When Rick and Elizabeth Newton were looking for a new home in Myers Park, they suspected they would have to purchase and


renovate in order to meet the needs of their larger family and penchant for entertaining.

However, after seeing the huge yard and inviting floor plan of this home on Sherwood, they knew they’d found their perfect space and could move in without lifting a floorboard. The previous owners had spent two years working with Marilyn “Pete” Mangum of M Pete Inc., alongside architect Garrett Nelson, perfecting the total renovation of the home, and to the luck of Rick and Elizabeth, it was idyllic for their family of six. Having lived just two blocks away in their previous home, the Newtons knew how charming Myers Park was, so choosing to stay within the neighborhood was a no-brainer. “We just love the sidewalks and neighborhood feel of Sherwood Avenue,” explains Elizabeth, “plus with so many children on the same street, my kids can run from yard to yard, or ride their bikes around safely.” Having worked with Holly Phillips of The English Room in Charlotte on two of her other homes, Elizabeth called on her once more to bring this project together. “Holly is very creative and loves color as much as I do,” says Elizabeth. “With four young, active children and a dog, we wanted something elegant, yet totally practical and she helped me bring it all together beautifully.” Holly adds, “Elizabeth and I share a love of color. We often gravitate to the same textiles and art. I think this project is a wonderful reflection 20 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

of our joint vision for a vibrant home that has refined style, yet still embraces the family full of young children that live there.” Making the home an inviting place to entertain and host friends and family were also top priorities for the couple, so choosing the right seating and living space arrangements were paramount. “A home is how you choose to live in it,” adds Elizabeth. The team opted to switch the dining room into a den, and the den into the dining room, for example. “I didn’t want to walk in my front door and see my family lounging in the living room as the first thing. It just made more sense for our family.” The Newtons began collecting art pieces from different artists around Charlotte and discovered just how complete it can make the rooms in your home. With the help of Holly and Hidell Brooks Gallery, Elizabeth found pieces that fit perfectly into the spaces that needed a little something extra. Her children’s portraits, done by local artist Jackie Roche, are placed alongside several other local artists’ paintings and her face jug pottery collection from potters around the south can be found here and there throughout the home. “I like to mix old with new,” Elizabeth explains. The love of color can be seen throughout the home as well, with a spring-green kitchen, complete with a wood burning brick oven, a classic combination of bold blue and vibrant orange pop

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 21

in the keeping room and bright hot pink and turquoise are toned with calming neutrals in the living room at the front of the home. “My interiors are often punctuated by the use of bold colors, abstract art mixed with antiques and vintage pieces,” explains Holly. “It is these layers combined with personal objects that make the house a home.” Drawing pieces from favorite spots around Charlotte, like Slate Interiors, Darnell & Co. and Cotswold Market place, including custom

22 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

pieces from Holly’s workroom, the pair quickly finished the total look. The design took just three short months to complete, an unusual feat according to Holly. “Elizabeth is one of the best decision-makers I’ve ever worked with,” she explains. “She knows what she likes and is confident in her choices.” The finished basement offers a respite from weekly activities, with a separate living room and bathroom, and even a “man-cave” for Rick.

Making the home

an inviting place to

entertain and host friends and family were also top priorities for the couple, so choosing the right seating and living space arrangements were paramount.

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 23

24 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 25

The Newtons began collecting art pieces from different artists around Charlotte and discovered just how complete it can make the rooms in your home.

26 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

An all-brick wine cellar doubles as a game room and the long hallways that branch off of the rooms are paneled in wood with a more modern feel. The sprawling backyard can be seen from the front of the house through soaring windows and a terrace on the main level is done in hand-laid stone, while the balcony off of the hallway upstairs offers a birds-eye view of the wooded backyard all-year-round. When asked what her favorite room in the home is, Elizabeth quickly answers the living room. “Hot pink and turquoise are two of my favorite colors, “ says Elizabeth. “But the room is simple, and with the sunlight that comes in, I feel like it’s a great room in which to decompress from the day. It’s easily one of my favorite rooms in the home.”v

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Outdoor n Trends

A Summer

By Nancy Atkinson

Now that it’s finally summer, we can’t wait to throw open the doors and host a killer shindig in the backyard.

Advice from home design expert and party host extraordinaire Kevin Sharkey, senior vice president and executive editorial director of decorating and executive creative director of merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omninedia, Inc., combined with our own tips for outdoor entertaining means that this article is packed with fantastic ideas for an easy outdoor event you and your guests will always remember. Check out our roadmap for a fabulous outdoor soiree, taking you from planning to execution with a few simple steps. Select a Theme Whether it’s a rustic cookout or a glamorous cocktail party, select your theme and go with it. Every element of your event should carry the theme forward, from the table setting to lights, furniture, music and menu. Your theme can be inspired by anything you love: a happy color palette or pattern, your favorite summer holiday, a time period (think 32 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

70s glam or 50s beach party), or a nostalgic theme from your childhood. Summer holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July are easy to execute with all the traditional favorites and just scream Americana. Consider also, however, a Mexican fiesta. It’s a fun, colorful and inexpensive theme, not to mention a good excuse to serve margaritas. Dress the table with burlap layered over a red tablecloth. A large sombrero doubles as the centerpiece and cupcake holder when you sit them inside the hat brim. A White Hot Summer Night party is the perfect idea for laid back elegance. Serve champagne, white wine, cheese trays and light bites. Set the table with crisp white and natural linens surrounded with a multitude of white candles in small votives. Fill inexpensive glasses with water, float white flowers on top and use your best china. Kevin suggests an outdoor summer movie party, one of his favorites. With a projector attached to your laptop, screen favorite classic or home movies onto an inexpensive white sheet or large canvas dropcloth.

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Gabriel Ryan Photography

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 33

Seat guests on bales of hay, blankets or lawn chairs and serve fresh popcorn, lemonade and other finger foods for a fun and memorable evening with friends.

wine, lemonade and sparkling water. “Serve a good cocktail,” says Kevin, whose go-to party cocktail is the Aperol Spritz. “Make a big batch of the cocktail and serve it in a large pitcher. Also have a big beautiful pitcher of very cold water with fresh, sliced cucumbers and a bowl of punch with large pieces of fresh fruit floating in it for those who don’t drink alcohol.”

Comfortable Guests = Happy Guests You may be lucky enough to have an established outdoor living space with a kitchen, fire pit and plush outdoor living furniture. Keep Food Simple But even if you only have a picnic table under a favorite Keep the food simple and make as many items as tree, you can create a magical setting for your party possible in advance so you can spend more time when you pull the details together. with family and friends. Think salads, fresh Kevin suggests making sure you have fruit and cold drinks. Keep salads chilled by enough seating for all your guests to be putting the bowl into a larger bowl filled comfortable. “Outdoor furniture should with ice and a little water. “For me it’s be as comfortable as your indoor all about the presentation,” says Kevin. furnishings,” he says. “Carry the “I splurge on desserts, appetizers and colors and style from your home’s alcohol, but happily serve homemade interior to the outside.” Making your Ice dips with bagged chips.” outdoor space an extension of your 2 ounces Aperol (an Italian apertif) home means that guests will be just as Soda water, chilled If budget allows, consider hiring a comfortable in your backyard as they caterer for your outdoor event. Look are in your living room. Orange slice for garnish for caterers that offer set-up and take He recommends an all-weather Fill an old fashioned glass with ice. down to minimize effort on your part, transitional style wicker for seating that Add Aperol, Prosecco, and partner with one that offers menus complements any architecture, noting that are ideal for outdoor entertaining or that the Charlottetowne line from and soda water to fill. that go with your chosen theme. You can Martha Stewart is an excellent Garnish with orange slice. still keep food simple with a caterer by choosing option. When you need extra lighter fare like grilled skewers, fruit displays, hot or seats, folding bistro chairs and small tables are a cold specialty dips and toast points, and even passed hor perfect, comfortable and easy addition. You can also repurpose indoor furniture for your outdoor event, d’oeuvres in lieu of a full spread. adding style and optimum charm to the space. Bring benches, stools or club chairs outside, or cover a cot with pillows to make it a settee. Make sure Consider the Music you have comfy cushions on all your seating, encouraging guests to linger. “Take the music outside if it’s appropriate and it will add ambiance,” says Kevin. “If it is a nuisance or will disturb the neighbors, however, then it’s best to avoid.” Wondering what to play? He recommends Decorate a Colorful Table Forget paper napkins and plastic utensils and go for easy elegance Williams Sonoma’s CD series made for cocktails, dinner and dancing. with unbreakable melamine plates and serving pieces used with your Of course, if you can find music that complements your theme, regular flatware. You can also mix and match vintage dishes scored at then consider adding it to create a well-rounded atmosphere. Think flea markets and garage sales for a shabby chic look that brings whimsy Ella Fitzgerald for an evening outdoor dinner party or mellow Dave Matthews and classic Fleetwood Mac for a casual afternoon cookout. or romance to the event. Kevin likes to use Martha’s red, white and blue Star Spangled melamine collection year-round. “Build your collection of melamine Light the Night The sky’s the limit when it comes to your outdoor lighting choices. the same way you would your indoor china,” says Kevin. “Always mix You can hang an inexpensive chandelier from your giant oak tree, string it up when you’re entertaining. It’s much more interesting.” Decorate the table and the seating areas with potted plants and lights over the table and hang mason jars with lit candles. Or, consider flowers. Make a centerpiece with individual small pots of fragrant herbs Kevin’s suggestion to hang strings of lights vertically, from the porch ceiling to add elegance. If you need to run cords, cut wire hangers and and let each guest pick their favorite to take home. bend them into a u-shaped peg (like croquet wickets but only an inch or two wide) then arc them over the cords and hammer them Create Fun Food and Drink Stations Set up tables in separate areas, with drinks in one spot and desserts into the ground. Summer parties should be fun and you can always bend the rules a in another, to keep your guests moving and mingling. Move a piece of furniture outside to create a drink station on a porch little, but they should still be pretty, advises Kevin. “There’s no reason or patio. This serve-yourself beverage station should be separate from stacks of glasses and napkins can’t be pretty,” he says. “I overcompensate the food to allow guests to pour drinks and socialize before and after by going heavy on the number of things I need. I put out giant bowls of dinner. Stock the bar with cups, straws (to double as stirrers) and plenty chips and dip and overstock the bar. No matter the details, that always of ice, pimento cheese and other nibbles. An urn, galvanized bucket or sets us up for a fun evening.” even a wheelbarrow can be used as an ice chest to hold bottles of beer,

Cool down with this festive summer cocktail

Aperol Spritz

34 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

Photos courtesy of Jim Schmid Photography unless otherwise noted.

Kevin’s 8 Keys to a Successful Summer Party 1. Provide comfortable seating 2. Use personal touches like outdoor drapes 3. Light each area accordingly using votives, lanterns, string lights 4. Use music when appropriate – try summer entertaining CDs 5. Decorate with potted plants or herbs 6. Have a sack race and play croquet 7. Serve a good cocktail and a non-alcoholic punch 8. Give guests a disposable camera when they arrive so they can take a bit of the party home with them 4332 Monroe Road 7325 Smith Corners Blvd. Charlotte, North Carolina 28205 Charlotte, North Carolina 28269 704-332-4139 704-909-2420


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T h e He a rt h a n d Pat io . c om June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 35

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Contributing Editor | Building a Better Home

Backyard Bliss After

trent haston I love that in the South our backyards can be a true extension of our homes. Consider one of these projects for an improved outdoor lifestyle for your family.

Recently some family members of mine moved to the Charlotte area from Chicago. After this treacherous winter, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for them. They were so tired of being stuck inside! Born and raised a Charlottean, I often take for granted our relatively mild winters and sultry summers, but it allows for so much construction in our backyards. I love that in the South our backyards can be a true extension of our homes. A lot of our clients feel the same, and have invested in projects that get their families outdoors. The most common outdoor project we see is the covered patio. It doesn’t require a big footprint, and it makes the outdoors functional, as you can turn it in to what suits your family best. Some clients just want a nice seating area for relaxing, reading, entertaining, or even TV viewing. Outdoor fireplaces are very common in these projects, adding a nice focal point and allow homeowners to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Others incorporate outdoor kitchens, often rivaling their indoor counterparts, with detailed stonework and upscale appliances. There is no better way to keep the mess out of your house than to put your entertaining space outside. Another common outdoor project is the pool. Even for people who don’t swim often, a pool can provide a relaxing centerpiece for your backyard. Pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and their construction can be just as custom-built as your home. Pool finishes, decking and coping can come in various forms of stone, concrete and tile products. Designs can range from simple to elaborate with 40 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

water features and mood lighting. Other features may include gradual entries, tanning ledges, built-in fire pits, swim-up bars, slides and more. Creativity reigns when it comes to pool construction. With pools, sometimes comes the detached pool house. Many of our clients see the advantages of having a separate structure by the pool to provide necessary pool storage, mechanical space, bathrooms and entertaining areas. Being separate from the main house, these spaces provide more of a retreat from day-to-day living with added function. With a good architect/designer, these structures can complement the main home with similar design elements and building materials. For families with kids, there is no better investment than outdoor play areas. We have done a number of custom play sets and clubhouses for clients, and we often work hand-in-hand with the children to find out their desires. Outdoor play areas are not limited to kid structures. We have also put in putting greens and outdoor courts for bocce ball, cornhole, and horseshoes. Get your family outside by making your backyard a fun place to be! Consider one of these projects for an improved outdoor lifestyle for your family. In the meantime, open up your windows and get outside to take advantage of our wonderful Carolina weather.v Trent Haston is CEO of Andrew Roby and has spent many years in project management, focusing on style and craftsmanship for custom home projects. For more information call 704-334-5477 or visit

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 41

Your vision. Our exp ert ise. Unlim it ed p o ssib ilit ies. Ho p ed al e Build er s, st raig ht t o t he hear t of aw eso m e. Ho p ed al e Bui ld ers i s m o r e t han y o ur b ui ld er. W e’r e yo ur p ar t ner i n t urning yo ur v isi o n int o realit y. Exp er t s in r em o d eli ng and renov at i o n, Ho p ed ale c raf t sm en b ri ng a f resh p ersp ect ive o n eac h p ro j ec t t hat resul t s in an excep t io nal ex p eri enc e.

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G a r d e n s

Cottage Garden The

44 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

The eclectic vibe of our in-town neighborhoods can often be seen in gardens and in the intimate porches and patios of historic homes. When the owners of this classic 1920s bungalow designed their garden, they wanted a landscape filled with year-round interest. The slightly elevated lot provides passers-by unique perspectives of the welcoming front yard, which is dappled with light coming through the 100-year-old Willow Oaks that line the street. A custom cedar gate and arbor leads to the rear garden, which features an array of colors, textures and fragrances from oldfashioned favorites like Magnolias, Gardenias and Osmathus. A rose covered pergola is flanked by a stunning Japanese maple, creating an ideal setting for alfresco dining, and the private seating area is complemented by a re-circulating water feature.

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 45

F e a t u r e

G a r d e n s

MapleWalk Garden The

For Lib Jones and Tom Nunnencamp,

gardening is both a passion and an obsession. For the past 15 years, they’ve been on a journey to convert the adjacent overgrown 2.25-acre lot into a true urban oasis. Affectionately called “MapleWalk”, the garden has received both regional and national accolades with their extensive assortment of Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, rhododendrons, dogwoods, hostas, ferns and other unique perennials. The 28-foot elevation change is noticeable through a long pathway that meanders through the property. Each plant is meticulously labeled and tagged and Tom and Lib offer private tours to garden clubs and other visitors throughout most of the garden season.  “I usually take the gardeners and Lib leads the non-gardeners,” says Tom. “The gardeners tend to want to stay for awhile and ask lots of questions, which I am happy to accommodate.” 

46 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 47

F e a t u r e

G a r d e n s

Hardscape Oasis 48 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

Photos courtesy of Jim Schmid Photography

This backyard oasis, designed by John Byrd Garden Design in conjunction with Architectural Designer, Frank Smith, is a study in symmetry and contour. “I designed this garden to be like a well- tailored men’s suit,” says John. “I edited out many layers and refined it exquisitely.” The double wooden gates and tall brick wall leading to the back garden, both designed by Frank Smith, lend to the secluded nature of the space. Pennsylvania Bluestone was used for the terraces and walkways and a large greenleaf Japanese maple was selected to be the focal point when you first enter, a centerpiece to the peaceful courtyard. The pool house, also designed by Frank, gracefully compliments the hardscapes and the personal home of Charles and Marty Wickham. Succulents were planted around the pool deck and the sculpture on the back wall serves as a relaxing water feature. Of the many plants used in the landscape, some include American boxwoods, pachysandra, camelia sasanqua and cast iron plant. Though a complex mix of plants and hardscape, this “garden” is easy to maintain. Succulents are planted around the pool deck and the sculpture on the back wall serves as a relaxing water feature. Of the many plants used in the landscape some include American boxwoods, Pachysandra, Camelia Sasanqua and Cast Iron plant. Though a complex mix of plants and hardscape, this “garden” is easy to maintain. An expansive vegetable garden located on the adjacent lot to the home includes an abundance of fresh vegetables like arugala, red leaf kale, San Marzano tomatoes, spinach, onions, okra and hot peppers to name a few. All unused vegetables are harvested and donated to a local food bank in Charlotte. June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 49

F e a t u r e

G a r d e n s

Classic Beauty 50 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

Photos courtesy of Jim Schmid Photography

Planned by Architectural Designer,

John Byrd spent almost a year with the Wickhams viewing

Frank Smith, and executed by John Byrd Garden Design, this

different types of trees, plants and flowers during the four seasons, all

classically beautiful garden blankets the back yard of Leslie and

represented in some form throughout the garden. The yard is divided

Mitchell Wickham’s home in Myers Park. “I brought Frank over to

into several “rooms” – motor court, croquet lawn, cutting garden,

look at the lot with me and on a yellow notepad, he drew a rough

boxwood knot garden, vegetable beds, play yard and potting shed.

copy of what you see today,” remembers Leslie. The shape of the lot

Rainwater is captured and stored in two large cisterns buried under

presented challenges, but the team created a space that can be seen

the garden beds, providing most of the water needed for irrigation,

from almost everywhere in the house.

so maintenance is easy, but necessary for each new season.

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 51

S t o n e , F ir e a n d W a t e r C r e a t i o n s


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Contributing Editor | Room Service

This Changes Everything


I think wallpaper made its major comeback about seven years ago – though, it never went away, it just got better.

To say I am a wallpaper enthusiast would be putting it mildly. It’s a rare occasion that I don’t want to incorporate it in every space I design. I think wallpaper made its major comeback about seven years ago – though, it never went away, it just got better. Today, there are so many amazing options, it’s hard to pick just one. I have used it on an accent wall for the somewhat fearful client; I have used it to back bookcases, on ceilings and mixed into artwork. Papers these days are works of art. Finishes can include grasscloth, lacquer, embellished, chemical reaction and marbled, to name a few. Papers can incorporate gold and silver leaf, high gloss strie, and beads. I have even seen puzzle pieces hand stitched on paper. When Tanya Clawson and her daughter Savannah came to me to re-design her room, of course I wanted a paper, and I wanted it to cover all the walls. So, I was happy they were game to do just that and when the reveal came, we all were just stunned at

54 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

how beautiful this room of elegant flowers turned out. I wanted to create a space that was youthful, yet pulled together and sophisticated. Using the paper just behind the bed would not have provided the impact I was going for. When we started adding layer upon layer of additional patterns and textures it just got better and better. I chose to use an Ikat polka dot for the windows, a new lacquer white dresser mixed with blue glass side tables, and a gold edged mirrored desk. More pattern was added to the floor with a flat weave rug overtop of the new wallto-wall carpet. Each piece that came into this space was unique alone, but grouped together, they became something special. I hear all the time that paper is such a commitment. It can be… but who cares? The one thing paper can do is warm up a space, and that layer of pattern and texture will add interest that paint just cannot do sometimes. Don’t be afraid of adding multiple art pieces overtop your paper. Be

Images courtesy of Mekenzie France.

careful in choosing the right content, but keep the layering going. The more you add, the more interesting it becomes. Thankfully, in my opinion, papers these days aren’t what they used to be!v Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a fullservice interior design firm located at 1009 East Blvd. For more information visit or call 704-342-6655.

Papers these days are works of art. Finishes can include grasscloth, lacquer, embellished, chemical reaction and marbled, to name a few.

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 55

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Elevation changes in the yard can present an intimidating challenge for homeowners looking to design and implement a comprehensive outdoor living and landscaping plan. While many current homeowners count their uneven topography as a lost cause, George Crump at The Stone Man believes a sloped yard shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle but as an opportunity – an opportunity to push the limits of the design. An opportunity to capture panoramic views; an opportunity to create a unique focal point for your outdoor oasis. Crump says constructing outdoor living spaces in sloped yards requires more complexity in planning and design than flat terrains, especially in regards to structural integrity, aesthetic quality and cost assessment, but the final result is well worth the effort and can be more striking than traditional patio and retaining wall design.

58 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

By Brandy Snow

“Aesthetically, a slope allows you to do something more dramatic, more beautiful and more interesting,” says Crump. “An outdoor living space built into a slope gives you vertical dimension in addition to the traditional horizontal one, as most constructions of these types will include both a supporting wall at the bottom and a retaining wall at the top of the space. Different elevations will create perspectives and angles to capture unique views.” He adds a warning, “In order to maintain the light and airy nature of a raised patio, avoid construction techniques seen in traditional deck builds. Simple design tricks, like smaller drops between levels, allows for panoramic views to remain unbroken while promoting a sense of openness and ease.” Structurally, there are many more steps in creating a sound design and

“Aesthetically, a slope allows you to do something more dramatic, more beautiful and more interesting.”

construction, even if the slope is gradual. “You must focus on structural integrity. You’ll hear someone say, ‘Can’t you just bring in dirt and make the yard level?’” says Crump. “Sounds simple, but the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ Dirt will settle over time and the construction would ultimately crumble due to joint expansions and fractures. I always recommend a support wall be built, even if it’s ultimately largely invisible in the finished design.” In cases of a steep slope, there are three construction modes, including the utilization of a support wall at the bottom of the space, a dig into the slope itself and installation of a retaining wall, or a combo of the two. Crump says the support wall/retaining wall combo is almost always the best way to proceed. He adds that while stone choice is important, the construction method is paramount.

“Stone projects can be dry-laid or mortared, creating flexible or rigid structures, respectively. It really depends on the application and the homeowner preference,” says Crump. “Rigid structures are very desirable, but proper mechanical compaction of the soil with gravel in layers is essential. If a rigid structure fails, it will be catastrophic.” Crump has completed hundreds of similar jobs for sloped properties, and has fine-tuned his process which not only spurs frank conversation between his team and the client regarding needs and desires for the project, but also generates 3-D renderings that can be easily altered to pare down the design to create the client’s ultimate dream space.v Ready to take your sloped yard to new heights? Call The Stone Man at 704-616-7948 or email You may also visit for more information.

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 59

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Contributing Editor | Kitchen Design

The Real “Rush Hour”

Catherine Whitney In any scenario, whether casual or formal, the project always has to be functional and designed specifically for each space.

Even though I fight evening traffic every night, I arrive home to what I call the real “rush hour.” The hustle of doorbells and dogs, children and art supplies, oven timers and afternoon sports gives way to kitchen traffic jams as I prepare dinner. These times call for efficiency, a well-designed kitchen with easily accessible supplies. I’m used to thoughtfully designing a space made for cooking and living; great kitchens should be designed to navigate with ease. Kitchen design has evolved into a very lucrative industry. There are thousands of storage and organizational options for food preparation, and cabinet storage features can provide a convenient space for practically every need you can imagine. Remembering the three points of the “work triangle” when navigating the kitchen design process can create an efficient space: preparation, cooking and clean up. I’ve discovered some convenient design features that ease my rush hour stress:

62 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

• Create a drop zone for brief cases, phone chargers, keys, and backpacks and sports equipment. • Carefully position refrigeration and freezer drawers for fresh vegetables, children’s beverages or frozen foods. • A ventilated drawer with a decorative wire front for storage of potatoes or onions is ideal. • Dish and glassware storage in the base cabinets makes it easier for children to help with setting the table for meals. • Accessible storage for art projects with drawers for markers, glue sticks, hole punchers, tape etc. These can be located in cabinets on the backside of an island or in banquette seating with flip-up lids. Built-in storage that doubles as seating also provides a great opportunity for fun fabrics as cushions. • Microwave drawers are safe and convenient for children and adults to use at any time.

A successful design depends on the information you have and the relationship you build with your kitchen design professional.

A successful design depends on the information you have and the relationship you build with your kitchen design professional. As a working wife and mother, nothing is more important than a good plan. Choose experienced professionals who work with quality products, who also listen to your needs and incorporate your ideas into a functional and beautiful design that’s custom-tailored to your family’s lifestyle — particularly when it counts the most. After navigating our personal rush hour, our family gathers for the most important time of day in our home. But, before I know it, dinner is over, plates have been cleared and loaded into the dishwasher and leftovers have been put into containers leaving the counters clean again. As I dim the lights, I’m already wondering what we’ll have for dinner tomorrow night. Having a space that makes it efficient takes all the stress out of planning ahead for the next rush hour! v Catherine Whitney is the showroom manager and designer at South End Kitchens. She has 30 years experience in the kitchen and bath industry and works diligently with clients every step of the way. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 704-379-1770 or email Catherine at catherine@southendkitchens. com. The design studio is located in the historic Meeting Hall building at 1500 South Blvd, Suite 101-A. You can also visit South End Kitchens at

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 63

essentials new products


1 2


Acapulco Multi-Color Lounge Chair, cb2.


Calypso Baking Dish, Rosanna. Available at Polka Dot Market.


Whale Cheese Board, C. Wonder.


Thoughtful Gardner Tool Set, Wild & Wolf. Available through Paper Skyscraper.


French Watering Cans, Relics. Available at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall.


Outdoor Hanging Lantern, Lantern & Scroll. Available at Lantern & Scroll.


The Gathering of Friends, Celebrating Mother Nature Volume 4, by Michelle Huxtable and Jane Green. Available at Three French Hens.


Numbered Dish Towels, Two’s Company. Available at Acquisitions Interiors.

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64 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

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It’s All

By Brandy Snow

The economy has stabilized and interest rates are still low, and you’re thinking now might be the perfect time to take the plunge in building that custom home of your dreams. An investment property, a home in which to raise your family, a haven in which to enjoy your retirement years – no matter which home best suits your needs, it’s crucial to enter into the building process thoughtfully and slowly, realizing that jumping in headfirst without proper preparation could leave you high and dry. Russell Zavatsky, owner/president at Zar Custom Homes, says he’s seen this more than once. “We’ve had clients come in with plans drawn up by an architect they’ve hired prior to contacting us. Too often we find that these plans, though beautiful, do not fit into the budget parameters required by the client. Consequently, they’re out thousands of dollars on plans they can’t use. Communication between the builder and the architect is essential to ensuring the client’s needs are fulfilled completely.” Zar Custom Homes offers clients a one-stopshop experience, partnering with them at initial contact and walking together throughout the process, bringing in resources such as architects, lenders, and more as part of the total construction package. Zavatsky’s wife, Lisa, vice president/design consultant, is key in total home customization by collaborating with clients on exterior and interior design, from stonework and masonry to textiles and textures within. The company’s construction expertise and value-added services give clients the biggest bang for their buck, and because the entire project team is working as a cohesive group, clients can rest assured their experience will be easy and rewarding. “With personalized interaction a hallmark of our process from day one, our clients enjoy transparency throughout the process and find peace of mind in being fully integrated into the project.” You’re taking your dream home into reality – where should you start? Zavatsky says the first step in the Zar Custom Home process is to set up an initial consultation.

This meeting will set the tone for the entire experience and is the best opportunity to not only establish rapport but also to assess design must-haves, brainstorm and explore construction possibilities, and address budgetary concerns. Secondly, prepare yourself for the meeting by conducting a self-appraisal, answering key questions such as: Do I have a desired location? How long will I stay in this home? What are my current and future needs? Is financial support in order? Thirdly, maintain frequent communication within the construction team to ensure everyone is on the same page. These key points are paramount in establishing a unified vision that will create a custom home you will love today and tomorrow.v For more information on Zar Custom Homes, call 704843-8447 or email You may also visit

A Truly Custom Design Idea A design idea that stretches the imagination? A conversation piece to amaze your friends? You think, “no, it can’t be done,” but Russell Zavatsky says, “Yes!” He enjoys the thrill of a good creative design project, recently creating a collection of wall pockets that enabled a client to interchange stained glass window panels to coordinate with different occasions. The homeowners’ favorite panels featured Halloween-inspired themes, which Zavatsky took to an even higher level by backfilling custom designed electronics and LED lighting into each pocket to bring the stained glass scenes alive. That project wasn’t just custom – it was personal. Don’t be afraid to imagine the unimagined in your design. What better way to make a house your home?

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 69

wine diNE AND

It’s not often that new restaurants come into Charlotte and set up shop for the long haul, focusing on “upscale casual” that suits the masses. But, City Tavern, opened in 1999, has become a mainstay in Charlotte with a loyal following that turns the industry standard “twice a month diner” on its head. Not only that, but popularity has bred expansion with three locations around the city, all with the same consistent quality guests appreciate. We had to get owner (and original chef ) of City Tavern, John Weinbrenner, on the horn and see just how this restaurant manages to maintain success. Tell us about City Tavern and how the concept began; what are the founding principles? [John] The concept came to me while I was in Atlanta, a city familiar with the upscale tavern feel. I wanted to create a restaurant with an eclectic menu that was affordable, but had food that was scratch-made and home cooked using my original recipes. I’m from New York and at the time, it was hard to find restaurants in Charlotte that offered that city atmosphere. I wanted to create a trendy space that combined a Soho and Miami vibe with a cozy ambiance. We opened in 1999 and were one of the first upscale restaurants to put TVs at the bar, offering comfort foods and crave items that were really well executed. What exactly are “crave items” and what is it about them that set City Tavern apart? [John} “Crave items” are unique to City Tavern and are foods you don’t typically see at other restaurants of our style. They have flair, but feel familiar. For example, our Lobster Ravioli comes with a roasted red pepper lobster sauce and is out of this world. Our nachos aren’t just typical nachos. We literally take the time to cover each chip with cheese and our barbecue chicken, so that every nacho has a goodie on it. How do your chefs bring creativity into the menu? How often do you add new items? [John} You know, 75% of our menu has remained the same, simply because every time we attempt to drop an item, our customers beg us

to bring it back – it’s like everything is a “favorite” and I get hate emails when we try to change it (laughs). However, we do a menu change once a year. We ask our chefs from each location to submit a new item and if it sells well, we circulate it through all locations. Tell us about your drink menu and what makes it unique? [John] We like a lively atmosphere at the bar, which is unique to restaurants like ours in Charlotte. Most places avoid offering drink specials on the weekends because they don’t feel it’s good for business. City Tavern offers daily drink specials – including weekends – because, why not? We find people come in just for the drink specials. We have 45 wines by the glass too. Most places keep the bottle price more attractive than the by-the-glass price to encourage bottle purchases. We prefer to price them so that it comes out the same. This means you can dance around the menu and try more wines, more often. What’s your favorite menu item? [John] Hmm. I have two – the seafood stuffed eggplant, which is two lightly breaded slices of eggplant stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crawfish and crab, and topped with our roasted red pepper lobster sauce and served over risotto. And I like to eat healthy, so I eat our salmon at least three times a week – it’s simple, grilled with just a little Cajun spice and topped with a honey marmalade, cracked pepper and whole grain mustard glaze.

City Tavern has three locations around Charlotte, including SouthPark at 4331 Barclay Downs Dr., Stonecrest at 7828 Rea Road and Steele Creek at 14142 Rivergate Pkwy. For private parties and catering information, or to view the affordable catering menus offered, visit Private rooms are offered at all three locations, with 3 different options at SouthPark alone. Call 704-442-4000 to reserve. 70 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

The Brass Exchange

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Featuring Bramble Furniture, Steven Shell & Furniture Classics

Contributing Editor | Outdoor Retreats

Details in Design Make Your Landscape Divine

Mark Morgan You’ve heard the adage, “Measure twice and cut once,” – that advice is not just reserved for homebuilders.

In my articles this year, I have focused on the importance of planning because I truly feel it’s one of the most important aspects of landscape design. I urge you to resist the temptation to jump in and “get something done” when it comes to landscaping. You’ve heard the adage, “Measure twice and cut once,” – that advice is not just reserved for homebuilders. When you’re creating a beautiful yard, taking even a little extra time to plan the details pays off in many more years of enjoyment and functionality of the finished product. Here are a few points I’d like you to consider before you begin choosing the elements that will create your garden. Hardscaping Materials - Patios, decks, walkways and retaining walls are the bones of any integrated landscape design. It’s important to choose the materials that suit your house’s architectural style. If you live in a traditional brick Georgian home, for example, you should consider using a formal bluestone or matching red brick (or a combination of both). I advise sticking with no more than three materials to ensure cohesiveness. Size and Shape - The formula for determining garden size is fairly simple. Grand houses need matching gardens; smaller houses beg for more intimate landscaped spaces. It’s all about balance.

72 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

Shape is important, too. Often it’s a chance to “shake up” the norm. Is your home contemporary with lots of rectilinear lines? Use curved garden borders and rounded plantings to soften the stark edges. If your architecture leans more toward the traditional, linear landscape design can provide the counterpoint you need to add excitement to the yard. Lifestyle – Not every outdoor living area is required to contain a fireplace, fire pit or elaborate water feature. Consider your particular lifestyle. How do you routinely use the yard? What parts of the yard receive the most use? Which parts receive the least? Do you have trees that can substitute for man-made structures? If a simple flagstone patio and table suit your needs, it will be perfect for you. Less is more. Also consider trouble spots in your backyard. Does the neighbor have a barking dog? Is there road noise? A water feature may be able to drown out the offensive noises and provide the pleasure you are seeking outdoors. Location - When planning a deck or patio, consider how you want to use it. A perimeter space that is close to the house is important if you want to use the space as an extension of your indoor rooms. Transferring plates of food or keeping an eye on your dinner on the grill while relaxing in the family room requires a perimeter entertainment area. A destination site

When you’re creating a beautiful yard, taking even a little extra time to plan the details pays off in many more years of enjoyment and functionality of the finished product.

may be on the other side of the backyard and works for those who want a separate area to hold special events such as an end-ofschool bash or Independence Day barbeque. Choose plantings carefully for each type of space. Perimeter patios’ proximity makes them easier to maintain. Destination spaces often need privacy plantings to screen unwanted views. As always, I recommend employing the services of a licensed landscape contractor to protect your investment.v Mark Morgan founded Morgan Landscape Group over 20 years ago. He brings 30 years of knowledge and experience to every project he works on and has a passion for landscape design, environmental conditions and plant materials. For landscape design and consultation, call 704-5882292 or visit

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 73

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Designer Spotlight: Gray Walker

by Anne Marie Ashley


This killer living room, designed by Gray Walker of Gray Walker interiors, is unique and oh-so-elegant. Pecky cypress walls mingle with rich fabrics and a contemporary Lucite coffee table to create a charming and comfortable space. We got the low down on how she brought it all together. [Gray]: I had a rustic chic look in mind when I designed this room for my clients in Myers Park. My vision for this living room was a comfortable yet elegant space that really set off the pecky cypress walls and the antique oushak rug. The whole room was paneled in the wood, which was beautiful, but

Lucite Coffee Table Darnell and Company

Knole Sofa Charles Stewart Company

76 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

it is not often you see a room this large with these woodworking details. So, everything I did was intended to highlight the beauty and mood of the material. When working with specific pieces, like the antique oushak, I will often pull out a color from the piece to use in the room. I selected the green and went with this fabulous silk damask from Cowtan & Tout to dress the windows. The color not only “lifts” the rug and room, it brings the outdoors inside. The leaves on the trees feel like a part of the space. It gives the room that true rustic elegance.v

Lantern Chandeliers Visual Comfort Lighting

Silk Damask Curtains Cowtan & Tout

Photo by Dustin Peck Photography

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Your inner Style GUIDE

Sormeh Hafezi Coral

As soon as the temperature hits 75 or 80 degrees, I’m immediately ready to head to the beach. Sand, water, daiquiris and sunburns, I’m all for it and all in. I almost always pack too much for vacations, especially to the beach, but as far as I’m concerned, you can never really have enough of a vacation wardrobe.  Everyone needs a yummy sweater for those unexpected chilly nights. So, bring on the sunshine and I’ll see you at the beach!





Tamusa Dip-Dye Skirt, Malene Birger.

Deviant Dress, Rachel Comey.

Trikkia Clutch, Malene Birger.

RCxPrism Sunglasses, Rachel Comey.

Prince Bikini in Sunset Pink, Marysia.

Corby Lurex Pullover, Malene Birger.

Hampton Gingham Top, Marysia.

Lafayette Suit With Cut-out Maillot and Underwire Bustier, Marysia.

sormeh hafezi Jane Straw Clutch, Kayu.

78 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

All images courtesy of retailers.







Uvalde Skort, Rachel Comey.

Adonis Sandal, Antik Batik.

Siren Lady Bag in Pale Mint, Reece Hudson.

Varsity Pullover Sweater, Jonathan Smkhai.

Broadway Triangle Bikini in Black, Marysia.

Shell Necklace, Malene Birger.

Aqua sandals, Kayu.

Phoenix Small Duffle, Reece Hudson.

Lace Periwinkle Shorts, No 21.

Tribecca Strapless Bikini in Black/Midnight Blue, Marysia.

Floral Patchwork Romper, Markus Lupfer.

Print Sleeveless Top, Augden.

Sylph Crossbody, Rachel Comey.

Rose Gold Sandals, Kayu.

Sormeh Hafezi is the owner and lead stylist at Coral in Charlotte. For personal styling, please call the store at 704-817-9440 or email Visit the boutique at 1405 East Boulevard or shop online at For the latest styles, sales and inventory follow Coral on twitter at @shopcoral. June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 79

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Get everything you need in a loan. Including a competitive rate. At Charter One, we’re for homes. That’s why we offer competitive rates and a variety of product features on jumbo loans and jumbo construction-to-permanent financing. • Home financing for up to $2,000,000 • Fixed or adjustable rate programs • One-time Close Construction-to-Permanent loans • Lock-in your permanent interest rate before construction begins • Up to 12 months of interest-only payments during construction It’s never too early to explore your options, so speak with a Charter One loan officer today. David M. Woldman NMLS ID# 659150 704-651-8377

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June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 81

interior design




By Brandy Snow

Area rugs are the perfect way to make a bold statement in your living space. For example, if you want a design element that ranks just short of royalty, a silk damask rug would be the perfect choice. However, if you were looking to accent a more casual room, a sisal or jute rug might be your best bet. While natural options like sisal and jute remain in demand today, many customers are now embracing natural fibered rugs with an augmented air of luxury. Donna Barklage, showroom manager at Stark Carpet in Charlotte, says current market trends favor organic luxury. “We are seeing a movement toward higher-end rugs made of natural, organic materials. These rugs are both subtle and tasteful, with an understated luxury that 82 Urban Home Charlotte June / July 2014

is versatile and can easily fit into any décor. But, while these rugs have an understated luxury, there is no question they are truly fine textiles and very sumptuous.” Stark’s Dorjee Collection epitomizes this trend. Luxurious and exotic, the Dorjee Collection is hand-woven in Nepal, representing the pinnacle of handcrafted floor coverings. Rugs are constructed with the highest quality silk, linen, wool and cotton through time-tested techniques, and feature a high/low pile that produces a fashion-forward design element. The subtle topography accentuated by the rich flatwoven background creates a unique rug that boasts both its simplicity and its indulgence. “The ground (or feel) of rugs in the Dorjee Collection is very organic,

Designed to Impress

You want to embark on a remodel, and you have some definite ideas about the direction, but the thought of going solo through the project is intimidating. What is the best option? From having an expert eye to gaining assistance with budgeting and planning, to scoring accessibility to best industry contacts, enlisting the services of a trained interior designer will prove to be a terrific investment in your home. Interior designers often have a wealth of resources not available to the general public that can be utilized in crafting a truly unique and custom space. Stark’s to-the-trade showroom, for example, offers exclusive access to a compilation of proprietary rugs and other product lines. With new products coming in daily, homeowners should contact an interior designer and come in to explore what Stark has to offer.

and the juxtaposition of the hand-knotted silk with other natural affects create a transitional piece easily assimilated with a contemporary design or more traditional décor,” says Barklage. “There are more than 20 patterns available in stock sizes as well as custom designs and colors with a four to six month lead time.” The Metallic Collection features a range of organic materials in an interesting high/low ‘relief’ weaving style, kicked up a notch with a metallic design embedded throughout. “The metallic rugs offer the feel of easy-going luxury mixed with subtle bling woven into the design, taking natural to a whole new level,” says Barklage. Also gaining popularity is the Kumari Collection, which features

hemp and silk rugs, which are hand-knotted and woven in Nepal. When it comes to color, Barklage says there is still interest in neutral palettes, though customers are branching out to brighter colors and crafting their own unique designs. “This market is not afraid of going with a bolder, brighter color, and blues, hot corals and greens are popular right now,” she adds. “Rugs can also be custom designed in any unique color or pattern selected by the customer in any size, from our smallest 2’x3’ to our largest 25’x50’ rug.”v To add a touch of organic luxury to your home, contact the Stark Carpet showroom at 704-588-8842, or email Donna at To view their selection online, visit

June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 83



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704-889-1300 | 10020 Industrial Dr. | Pineville | June / July 2014 Urban Home Charlotte 85

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6620 West W.T. Harris Blvd. Just off I-77, Charlotte


10216 Johnston Road Just off Hwy. 51, Charlotte

704 -541-7900

Charlotte’s Largest Selection of Patio and Wicker Furniture

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217 Fairwood Avenue Charlotte, NC 28203

(704) 3DESIGN 333-7446

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style&valueSo whenever the time is right, we’re ready to bring style & value together in your home – the kitchen, bedroom, bath – wherever. Converging style & value since 195O. 7O4.334.5477

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Urban Home Magazine, is the most widely read home and garden magazine in Charlotte


Urban Home Magazine, is the most widely read home and garden magazine in Charlotte