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MAy/JUnE 2011


Designs | Lifestyles | Investments | Improvements

Sexy and Sophisticated

in SouthPark




Jim Schmid Photography

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may/june 2011

Designs | Lifestyles | Investments | Improvements



may/june 2011




VOL 11 NO 3 Publisher Mark Herrmann Editorial Director Tammy Wanchisn Writers Nancy Atkinson Mark Ward Ginger Sprinkle Laura Glass



Sales Kathleen Hands Brian Wilhelm Art Direction Harriet McDowall PageCreations Photography Jim Schmid Photography Contributing Editors Trent Haston Beth Keim Catherine Horgan Production Administrator Shelley Kemper Melissa Reinhard Marketing Intern Erica Watts Direct Mail Target Mailing Phone 704-332-1504 Fax 704-973-5685 Email: Website: All contents copyright 2011, 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. Charlotte 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. Charlotte 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. Charlotte 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.


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011



16 Showcase Home An Artful Transformation

44 Outdoor Living Trends Meet Me at the Pool House 50 Outdoor Living Trends Low Maintenance Beauties 60 Kitchen and Bath Trends Beauty Meets Practicality: 2011 Kitchen and Bath Trends

features improvements

32 Eye-Catching Entries Tell All 36 Creating a Home’s Character 40 Motivate for a Renovation Date


72 New Products for Your Kitchen and Bath 76 New Products for Your Home

living in style


New Products in Style, Fashion and Electronics

advertiser specials

88 Valuable Offers from Select Local Businesses

contributing editors


Building a Better Home: Trent Haston

Planning for Outdoor Living

kitchens & baths

54 Room Service: Beth Keim All in the Details

living green


58 Creative Tile and Stone Design 80 Being Green and Saving Green 82 Solar Energy: Going Green and Getting Green

Divine Design: Candice Olson In the Bedroom, a Tabula Rasa

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Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Jim Schmid Photography



transformation Photography by Jim Schmid

While the 1960s are often remembered as a significant era of cultural and social change in the United States, the 1970s are often overlooked with that era’s contributions of style.

t was a time marked by the end of 8-track tapes, the death of Elvis and the introduction of the Walkman. From an interior design perspective, the 70s are remembered by shag rugs, bold colors, lava lamps, bean bag chairs, Ikea and acrylic furniture. Architecturally, it is remembered as the end of the Post Modern era with the explosive growth of the suburban real estate development and the introduction of the split-level home. Architects pushed open spaces, tearing down walls and incorporating natural light into residential spaces. Popular house styles included the California ranch, raised ranch, split-level, and “sea ranch.” Here in Charlotte, it was the period of time marked by the opening of South Park Mall (February 1970) and the growth of the surrounding neighborhoods. Generally speaking, things settled down a bit from the wild and crazy 60s.

Settling down a bit is exactly what Susan Adams had in mind when she transformed her 1970s South Park home into a posh and chic urban oasis. With the help of interior designer and friend, Tom Long, she explains the journey and her vision. Describe the condition of your home when you found it. The living and dining room were very dark because of all the wood and low ceilings from the loft above. The living room was also sunken so it did not have open free flow feel that I knew I wanted. The kitchen was completely separate from the living room and was very small and not as functional as it needed to be with my love of cooking. The ceilings were all the horrible popcorn texture, there was not sufficient lighting and me being an artist myself I need correct lighting to do my painting happily. The fireplace was too rustic for my taste with large river rock and antique wood beam mantel.

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte



Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

What did you want to change to the structure and why? Everything! I needed a completely open floor plan and bigger kitchen. Tom Long – I knew that the wall between the kitchen and living room would have to come down to give that open feel. I immediately saw a floating staircase to give that ‘wow’ factor. How did you go about doing this? What was the process? This is where I am so happy to have met Tom Long. From that point we just started with what my ultimate idea was – which was to have a chic uptown loft feel. Once we knew what the plan was we had to bring in a structural engineer in to make sure the kitchen wall could be opened and the floating staircase could happen. How did the modern theme happen? It is the look I have always wanted. I appreciate the clean feel a modern space has and Tom was really able to take my idea and make it even better than I could have expected. Tom Long – Susan wanted the New York loft feel so I knew that the design had to incorporate an open floor plan, light colors, airy spaces, stainless steel, and showcased art. Tell us about the materials that were used in the remodel. The maple floors left in the natural finish is really a stunning floor and very different from the dark chocolate chosen for most wood floors. The concrete stair treads on a floating staircase turned out to be a wonderful mix of weight and airy materials. The white walls were chosen to make the space as bright as possible but also to allow my colorful artwork to stand on their own and not have any competition. The custom stainless railing on the staircase and loft really made the industrial loft feel I wanted to be felt.

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


Tom Long – I used many unique materials from the exotic granite to black slate, to modern Cast Stone stair treads from Reaching Quiet, to large scale white Carrera marble tiles, to clear natural maple with very little variation or veining to make the space simplistic but visually impactful and bright. Describe how the interior design came to be. How long did this take? I knew I wanted the space to be chic, clean, bright, open, and one-of-akind. Tom started with showing me floor plans, samples, colors, tiles, flooring, lighting fixtures, and the list goes on and on. This is a very intimidating but an exciting time, as it was hard for me to be able to see everything all together. But Tom kept reassuring me it was going to be perfect and at that point I had to trust him and told him to go with it.


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

“I have learned it is all about simplicity and that makes the pieces you have special and not overwhelming to the senses....�

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


The light fixture in the dining room—wow! This is the show stopper! This was one of those pieces that it was the first and only option I was shown because it was the most perfect piece to go over the dining table. I love to sit in the living room with only this fixture on and just admire it. I know people always say that a picture just does not do it justice, but when I saw it for the first time actually installed, I couldn’t believe this piece of art was hanging in my dining room. Your house is filled with interesting artwork. What are the influences? Art is one of my absolute loves. All of my pieces that I have in the house have spoken to me in one way or another. The artist that dominates my collection is a San Diego-based artist named Heather Roddy and her pieces just inspire me. The amount of color is stunning and she specializes in female forms showing a multitude of emotions which can be felt when looking at the pieces. She is also my inspiration for my own paintings. What are your favorite places to shop for things for your home? Most of my furniture came from Design Within Reach. I like to decorate my closet as well and Neiman Marcus is always my top pick! A closet is never complete without some Louis or Chanel! What kind of furniture appeals to you? I love the clean-lined, modern look but it has to also be comfortable and inviting. I love unique pieces that I have not seen a hundred times before and as Tom drilled into my head during all this it has to be timeless and with all things chosen and in place I now understand what he meant by that. How did you go about accessorizing your home? I have learned it is all about simplicity and that makes the pieces you have special and not overwhelming to the senses. What’s your favorite room in your home? My loft. This is the place I go to get away from everything and just relax. I can watch TV, gaze at the amazing chandelier, look out my windows at the trees, see my new fireplace, and simply enjoy my home.v

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Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


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Building a Better Home

Planning for Outdoor Living If your dream is to vacation at home, the backyard is probably on the top of your makeover list. But before you break ground, there are several steps you should take to ensure your backyard is a place of retreat and not of regret. Any successful project starts by asking the right questions. Be realistic about your family’s needs. Are you the type who likes to entertain on a Friday night or do you envision your kids inviting friends over to Trent Haston swim? Are you a kitchen connoisseur or the type who likes to just relax by a fire? The answers to these questions depend as much on your lifestyle as it does your stage of life. They may determine not only what you choose to do but when you choose to do it. Finding a reputable company should be the next step. It’s easy to be enticed by low prices, but it’s vital for homeowners to know where the money is going. In an effort to stay above board, Andrew Roby


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

offers to provide clients with a detailed balance sheet. Another way to protect yourself is to make sure that the contractor has liability insurance. There are many companies today looking to make a quick buck. Without insurance, you could be looking at a $100,000 bill if someone falls and breaks their leg on the job. Not to mention, you’ll be stuck with an unfinished job while you’re in litigation. Once a plan and a professional are in place, setting up a schedule to complete the project depends on your priorities. Generally speaking, it’s best to build outdoor construction projects in the spring and the summer if a quick turnaround is the goal. Unpredictable wet winter weather can delay a project for weeks, but in the end the extra time is often worth the trade-off of getting to enjoy the result in the milder months. Choosing the best materials for the job will ensure the result looks beautiful for years to come. For example, some wood species last longer than others. Redwood and cedar are not as durable as they were in the past because the heart of the timber has been used up. Brazilian hardwood is much denser, and often costs less with a beautiful result. Regardless, all wood needs to be prepped and treated correctly. Using

metal flashing in the right places can triple the life of wooden beams. The options are practically endless for outdoor products. Homeowners can relax by a fireplace with a cigar from their outdoor humidor. Warming drawers can keep appetizers warm in the outdoor kitchen. Today’s variety of outdoor heating solutions has changed the mindset of homeowners—making it possible for them to enjoy the space all year round.v As vice president for Andrew Roby, Trent Haston helps oversee a variety of custom residential construction projects. To learn more about how Andrew Roby can turn your home into a personalized, comfortable space, call them at 704-334-5477, or visit them on the web at

Tips for the Ideal Outdoor Space • Ask the right questions • Find a reputable company • Schedule based on priorities • Choose the right materials

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Eye-Catching Entries Tell All by Ginger Sprinkle

Front doors have come a long way; today they speak volumes. You’ve heard of curb appeal, whether you are trying to sell your home or simply want to make a good first impression on guests, but it helps to also factor in door appeal. Your home’s entry sets the stage for what’s to come on the indoors as an expression of your lifestyle. We’re in good hands in Charlotte. Clark Hall Doors by Design produces and installs beautiful entry doors all across the U.S., but the company’s main office is here. Keen on staying on top of trends and implementing them locally, Clark Hall’s Tricia Kesling shares current front-entry forerunners. Single Doors Go Double Homeowners are replacing single doors, sidelites, and transoms with double doors. “When doing so it is important to consider the light lost by taking out the sidelites and, if necessary, select double doors that let natural light back into your home,” she advises. Subdued Colors Show Up Just like with furniture, homeowners are now opting for glazes on wood doors to create a beautiful patina. For a painted front door, a glaze over the top softens the look while introducing some color to the front of the home. “Especially beautiful are chocolate glazes over blues and greens,” Tricia says. “You can create a beautiful patina vs a flat paint or stain appearance.” Iron Doors Now Run the Style Gamut Iron doors are more popular than ever with the introduction of craftsman, French Acadian, and contemporary designs. Clark Hall just introduced a new Simulated Divided Lite (SDL) line of iron doors that deliver the classic look and feel of a true divided lite door with simulated divided lite grills fixed permanently to both the inside and outside of the door. “The maintenance aspect and heightened security offered by iron doors have always been highly desired, but limited to Old World designs that featured ornate scrollwork.” Tricia says. “Now homeowners can have this secure, maintenance-free door in any design style from streamline contemporary to craftsman.” With more design options than ever before,


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Before updating the front of your home can be as simple as replacing the front door. Clark Hall’s experts are available to help put your entrydoor visions in place.v For more information on Clark Hall Doors, visit 307G West Tremont Ave.; call 704-987-0777, email, or check out


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Creating a Home’s

by Laura Glass


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Historical homes are certainly part of Charlotte’s charm. But making them livable for today’s modern family often requires extensive renovation. The real challenge lies in maintaining the character of the home in the process. Karl Schmidt faces that task daily. As owner of Circa Restoration, Schmidt specializes in restoring historical properties—including his own 1840’s home. “Often a house will go through multiple renovations, and it’s so important to make the external appearance blend in,” he relates.

For a Seamless Look Choose materials that fit with your home’s period design. Make sure you have the right size. Consider the type of finish. Don’t forget to match the mortar!

However, some exteriors take more expertise to mimic than others. “Whether the home is old or new, finding the pieces to create the right look can be a challenge,” says Hil Hamer who owns American Brickstone in Monroe, N.C. with his wife, Dawn. Carrying a wide variety of hardscape supplies, the company is able to provide homeowners and contractors alike with unique materials. Schmidt points out homeowners need to be aware of several factors before choosing what works. “The period of the home will often dictate what you need,” he says. For example, “Handmade tumbled brick was the best choice for mine since it fit with the overall character, and I was amazed to find it locally.” After choosing the style, “Get the right size and finish,” Schmidt continues. Because brick is made in different parts of the country, clay samples can be quite different. Not to mention, the composition of the mortar varies almost as much as the brick. Homeowners should remember that the way a product appears in the

showroom is not necessarily the way it will look in their home, according to Hamer. “Sample boards allow clients to see materials in real-life lighting conditions,” he says, “and our computer program helps them visualize how the project will look using different combinations.” Having the materials in one place is especially helpful to create a seamless result. “We are fortunate to live in the South where there is a good supply of clay,” says Schmidt. “Quarries can dry up, but it’s a lot easier to match brick when you find a place that offers a big selection like American Brickstone.”v To find out how American Brickstone can integrate the right products into your outdoor living design, call them at 888-688-6240 or visit one of their three Charlotte Showrooms: 1703 Morgan Mill Road in Monroe, 704-283-9065, 6975 Campground Rd. in Denver, 704-308-7548, or 1508 Industrial Dr. in Matthews, 704-200-9806. Visit us on the web at

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte








Photo courtesty of Photo courtesy Kingswood Homes

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For a Renovate Date by Ginger Sprinkle

Thinking of doing indoor or outdoor living-area work? Now’s the time, so you can soon enjoy the space– whether it’s an enclosed garden room or an outdoor patio. While the work – including masonry – can be done any time of year, results come quicker if you take advantage of warmer weather. While Bruce and Laurie Ofenloch commenced work with Advanced Renovations, Inc., during the winter, the conversion of a screened-in porch to a garden room was completed on time for spring and within budget. They couldn’t be happier, thus didn’t consider anyone other than co-owner Duane Johns again for their master-bathroom facelift. “For the porch, we interviewed four contractors, but Duane was always 40

Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

our lead guy,” Laurie says. “He listened closely to our expectations and is ultra-organized, which resulted in our vision becoming reality.” The Ofenlochs often refer Advanced Renovations. Standing behind the company philosophy of “It’s All About the Experience,” Duane couldn’t receive a higher compliment. “Building client relationships – which is what we do for the long-term and regardless of whether a project is large or small – means being there from the beginning on through maintenance and follow-up,” Duane says. From the initial call to beyond completion, clients’ interests remain key. “Much time is spent on the front-end details as we are very diligent and specific with our quote of what is included, specifications, every-

thing,” Duane says. “Good communication with the Ofenloch’s architect allowed us to instantly work as a team.” Duane salutes good work, giving kudos to the architectural firm of Meyer-Greeson-Paullin-Benson, and to Good Manors’ Nancy Maloney who assisted with interior design. This particular project converted the screened-in porch into a heated garden-room with a cast-stone-surround fireplace – better utilizing the current space. It is always the goal of Advanced Renovations to make sure a renovation or addition looks as if it has always been part of the home so careful attention was paid to matching the existing finishes such as the brick veneer, flooring, windows, and doors. The existing foundation and

roof structure were kept in place. The final touch comprised masonry work for a bluestone patio and brick planter boxes to finesse the outdoor area. Insulation was key. “When you add this much glass you want to assure the space is well insulated for energy costs,” Duane says. The Ofenlochs appreciated this foresight and Laurie adds, “Duane was always a step ahead of us or shoulder to shoulder with us.”v Contact Advanced Renovations at 704-799-3999 or Visit them at 3914 Miriam Drive, or their newest location at 6975 Campground Road in Denver, phone 704-308-7548. You can also visit them online at and peruse for tips, news and suggestions.

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Outdoor Living n Trends

Meet Me at the

Pool House

by Nancy Atkinson

Custom Land Design

Charlotte summers are best spent outdoors, enjoying long hours of daylight and starry nights with breezes that offer welcome relief from the heat of the day. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, you probably spend May to October poolside. If you’re really fortunate, you may also have a pool house, or as Charlotte architect Don Duffy calls it, a “little jewel in the backyard.” Trends show Americans are enjoying vacations, close to home, more than ever before. So while having a pool house may be considered an extravagance, there are practical reasons to invest in this jewel as an addition for your home. Besides all the money you could save on beach vacations, a pool house provides the ultimate gathering spot for family and friends and offers a convenient place to shower, change and go to the bathroom. 44

Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Charlotte’s pool houses run the gamut from simple cabanas to fully furnished guesthouses. Duffy, who has designed three pool houses in the past year, says the current trend is for open-air pavilions. “People don’t always want to add more heated space,” he says. “The pool houses we’ve designed recently have been outdoor living spaces that offer all the classic components of a nice cabana: open on two or three sides, covered space for shade, a fireplace, beverage center, dressing area and bath.” Duffy says he has also designed more elaborate pool houses that serve as a standalone cottage, complete with a living room, bath and kitchen. “If you don’t have an outdoor kitchen, a pool house can be the perfect place to incorporate that,” he says. With all of these extras, the pool house can double as a guesthouse, home office, chil-

dren’s play area, entertainment room, home spa or studio. And don’t forget storage. Pools bring with them lots of items that need to be stored in the off-season. “A good cabana or pavilion should not shortchange the storage needs,” says Duffy. “The same can be said for pool equipment, the pumps, filters and heaters. I don’t know many people who find the behind-the-scene products attractive to look at, not to mention the noise they make.” “Pool houses are fun spaces to work on,” he says. “The palette of building material is rich and diverse. Materials like stone, wood and concrete offer a lot of texture and natural beauty to go along with the landscaping and all it has to offer.” Simon Spiers, owner of Pool By Design, says pool houses have grown into extensions of the home and the swimming pool, a way to maximize the investment you made in a swimming pool by building a facility that allows you to spend more time there. When you consider the time spent traveling just to arrive at a vacation destination, investing in a backyard vacation makes sense. “At the pool house, everyone has everything they need there to spend an hour or a day,” says Spiers. “Our customers tell us that retreating to the pool house is like being in their own private resort. They say it maximizes their quality time spent with the family.”

Whether it’s a simple cabana with little more than ceiling fans and a bathroom or a luxury retreat that doubles as a guesthouse, the pool house during summer is the perfect gathering spot for adults and children alike. That means some fortunate homeowners in Charlotte will soon be saying, “If it’s summer, I’m out by the pool.” v


Advanced Renovations.................................704-799-3999........................... Andrew Roby General Contractor.................704-334-5477.......................................... B & E Biggers Lawn and Case Remodeling..........................................704-759-3920.................... Charlotte Design Custom Land Design.....................................704-201-0917................................. Don Duffy DP Falling Water HD Kitchen and Bath Morgan Landscape Group............................704-588-2292.................................. Pool by Design..............................................704-333-7446......................................... Sunmar Construction....................................704- Urban Building

Photo by Fritz von der Schulenberg*

Andrew Roby

Andrew Roby

* Reprinted with permission from At Home with Town&Country© Hearst Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


Add an Outdoor Shower

Used with permission from Storey Publishing

©Ethan Fierro


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Whether or not you have a pool or not, a nice addition to any backyard is an outdoor shower. This quick, fresh-air solution is the perfect option to rinse off under the stars or a warm summer sky, after a day of gardening, running, mountain biking or hiking. They are also great to easily bathe the dog (or the dirty kids) without getting the house shower muddy. In fact, a recent article from the New York Times, noted that outdoor showers are the new hot trend for outdoor living spaces, as a symbol of elegance and luxury. Ethan Fierro, the author of The Outdoor Shower, from Storey Publishing, notes that “a permanent outdoor shower, carefully envisioned and built into your living environment, can completely change the way you relate to, and interact with your home.”

©Ethan Fierro

Allison May, of HD Kitchen and Bath Collection, says there are many options available for outdoor showers, including stand-alone shower towers that work with

Falling Water Pools

any backyard space, wall mounted and handheld options. Alternatively, an outdoor shower can be built as a free-standing structure, discreetly (and beautifully) hidden behind flowering vines.

Outdoor Shower Company

Outdoor Shower Company

©Ethan Fierro

©Ethan Fierro

the art of water

4328 Republic Drive, NW | Concord, North Carolina | 704.506.7806 |

Let us help you

define your style 14 years in the Charlotte area. Now expanding to the Triangle Area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill

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Photos courtesy of ThinkStill


704.987.9491 By appointment only

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911 E. Morehead St. Charlotte, NC 28204 | 704-375-4563

For all your Casual Furniture Needs

Charlotte’s Largest Selection of Patio and Wicker Furniture • Brazilian Cherry Available in 11 Finishes • Engineered for Direct Outdoor Use • Broad Line of Related Products • 3 Year Finish Warranty

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


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704 -541-7900

Outdoor living

n Trends

Ornamental Grasses and Perennials

Low-Maintenance Beauties by Nancy Atkinson ©Charles Mann

We all want a beautiful yard, with color each season to accent our home’s architecture and add curb appeal. But few of us have time for weeding, watering and the other maintenance issues that keep a fulltime garden looking its best.


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

That’s one of the reasons many Charlotte landscape designers favor native ornamental grasses and perennials. They’re hard to beat for their architectural effect, hardiness and easy care, as well as the year-round color, texture and form they bring to a garden. “Ornamental grasses are highly resistant to insect and disease problems and require very little pruning,” says Mark Morgan of the Morgan Landscape Group. “They’re also tolerant to heat and drought, which make them perfect for our climate.” History Once used in Victorian gardens, ornamental grasses were abandoned for a more formal, manicured look. It was German horticulturalist Karl Foerster who re-introduced grasses into American and European gardens. His natural style of planting incorporated grasses and ferns with flowering perennials. Ornamental grasses are classified as either cool or warm season. Cool sea-

son grasses do well before summer heat sets in and warm season grasses thrive in the heat. Ornamental grasses can sometimes be confused with similar looking plants like sedges, rushes or liriopes, but they are true grasses, belonging to the family of lawn and forage grasses, cereal grains and bamboo. “Most ornamental grasses are perennials, living for two or more years,” says Tony Everett of Custom Land Design. “We love using them because they give interest to the garden in ways that few other plants can; many have flower heads that are very showy.” They also grow to various sizes, with some growing to 10 or 15 feet while others are dwarf plants used as ground cover. Their rapid growth and changing appearance add seasonal interest throughout the year, but they add more than beauty to the landscape. “They sway easily in the wind, creating movement and adding a gentle rustling sound for a tranquil effect,” says Morgan.

Used with permission from Storey Publishing

©Charles Mann

Varieties Most gardeners recommend using a mix of warm and cool season grasses to your landscape, which will provide interest from spring to fall. Knowing which grasses are right for your yard, where to plant them and which flowering perennials will complement them is the expertise of a landscape architect. “Ornamental grasses and perennials are just like any other plant,” says Morgan. “Some work well in hot sun while others can withstand deep shade.” Everett added that a few grasses can become pests if they’re planted in the wrong location. “We complete a thorough evaluation of the conditions in your yard because a grass that might be well-behaved in one garden could act like a weed in another.” Favorite Ornamentals We asked our landscape experts in Charlotte for their favorite varieties of ornamental grasses. You might spot a few of these low-maintenance beauties around town or in your own backyard. Japanese Silver Grass – This species may grow up to 10 feet tall. It flowers in late summer with large whisk-like flower plumes that range from reddish purple to silver. Maiden Hair Grass – Feathery copper colored plumes cover this plant, which can grow to six feet, by mid-fall. The grass has beautiful green foliage during the summer months.

©Scott Calhoun

Pink Muhly Grass – Great for a hedge, border, or in patio containers this grass grows four feet high with showy pink plumes for color late summer into fall. Switchgrass – This native grass grows six feet tall, comes in many varieties and gives excellent fall color with showy flowers as well as winter interest. Mexican Feather Grass – This low-growing grass (one to two feet) is drought tolerant, easy to grow and grows like a cascading fountain. Mixing with Perennials Ornamental grasses and perennials (plants who’s life cycle extends over several growing seasons) make for a perfect combination of carefree maintenance and visual interest for any garden. There are literally hundreds of options for shade and sun and everything in between. A good resource is the book, Designer Plant Combinations, from Storey Publishing. The book is a visual wonderland of dozens of beautiful plant combinations, with ornamental grasses and perennials. Each garden profiled showcases just six or fewer plants, and the overall impact is stunning.v


Custom Land Design.....................................704-201-0917................................. Biggers Lawn & The Morgan Landscape

©Scott Calhoun

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


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room service

All in the Details There is nothing I love more than a client trusting me to pull a room together for them, with all the necessary design details. When you find a designer that “gets you,” my advice is set up an accessory allowance, let it go, and trust their advice. On a recent job for the Bryants, Meg and her mom, Tammy, did just that and when it was unveiled we were all happy! I had creative freedom to express my complete vision for the room. They came home from Beth Keim spring break to a complete look without the somewhat frustrating task of accessory shopping. Accessories can be challenging and mixing styles and colors is a little tricky. That unexpected combination of colors gives a room character and keeps it from looking too predictable and “geranimal.” Accessories are pure imagination and creativity. I love to make them, shop for them and discover them.

Ashley Goodwin Photography


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

A designer can take you out of your comfort zone, bring something new to the table and show you all the things you may not be thinking of. There is a process to it and it’s called “layering.” It’s that layering that takes a bare room to one filled with individual treasures. If you take the notion of matching every color out of your head and try mixing it up you will be surprised at just how unusual, interesting and beautiful a color combination you’ve created can be. The expression “your art should never match your sofa” is true. Find a piece that you love first and foremost, and then consider the size and color tones. Art will complete the room and is the icing on the cake. Mix up your textures and finishes. You can mix metals, you can mix silks, wools cottons and velvets and most importantly you can mix furniture styles and finishes. This room has wood, lacquer, cane, old and new. It also has several tones of greens and blue with the unexpected infusion of grey and lavender. It was all completed with modern art to bring all of that together. My tips on accessory shopping... do it last. After you have picked the main furniture, rug and window treatments start your hunt. Local

antique shops, flea markets, galleries, consignment shops are all great places to start. There are hidden treasures everywhere. On a recent trip to the Sleepy Poet here in Charlotte I found a vintage dress. I loved the fabric and thought I could either frame it or make a pillow using it. I also found an old pair of shoes I am shadow boxing. Flea markets are a great place to stock up on frames. You can create a wall collage mixing all the styles. Don’t take it too seriously and remember you can paint the frames. A design tip — Eastway Paint will mix any color in a spray paint. I have fond appreciation for this store as that’s where I met my husband! Accessory furniture can also be discovered at any of these places. I was lucky with this chair find, the color worked but the seat didn’t. Thanks to Design Upholstery and an extra throw blanket, a new seat cover was created! v Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a full-service interior design firm located at 1009 East Boulevard. They can be reached at 704-342-6655 or at www. may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


Sto n e, Fire and Water Cr eat i o ns • D es i g n an d C o n st r uc t i o n • O ut do o r Li vi n g St ru ct u res

Bringing the stonework of

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Stone Man wins Best of Show at the Southern Spring Show


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kitchens & baths

stone and tile Creative


by Laura Glass

A decade after purchasing 500 feet of lakefront property on Lake Norman, John Dawkins knew it was the right time to build his custom summer retreat in Troutman. Using his degree in architectural design, “The vision was to create a contemporary, eclectic and modern home,” he says. But having a truly unique house required the help of some specialists. After looking at a few different suppliers for the natural stone and tile, Valerie Pressley, his interior decorator, referred Dawkins to Erika Saubers, sales and design consultant at InStyle Charlotte, a supplier that imports, fabricates, and installs tile and stone for residential and commercial projects. Though most homeowners think of stone and tile for the counter or the floor, Saubers contends the applications can extend far beyond those areas. For example, “Porcelain tile can be manufactured thin enough to be installed as wall cladding,” she says. “Mosaics are a popular way to mimic wall paper, using damask or floral patterns and can be installed seamlessly over a large area. Photo murals are a beautiful way to use tile mosaics for a backsplash, ceiling or even as a headboard.” The latest machinery allows for benefits not traditionally associated with some materials. “Because of its fiberglass backing, the thinner porcelain doesn’t lose its


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

v strength and is durable enough to be installed over an existing floor,” Saubers explains. “Screen printing technology has advanced, so homeowners can get the look of natural stone on a smaller budget.” Knowing the latest trends and technology was an asset for the Dawkins’ project. “My wife and I were not the norm, and Erika encouraged our creativity and thinking outside of the box,” he says. Though the Dawkins considered granite for the kitchen countertops, “Erika showed us a unique quartzite with blues, grays, bronze and taupe. It really helped us bring the outside to the inside while capturing the warmth we wanted through the color palette.” Though the home has a central theme, the Dawkins did not want to use the same materials throughout. The lower level includes some of the more private areas—an office, gym and masculine bathroom. “We wanted gray textures coupled with a bright red countertop, door and trim, and Erika helped us find the correct tile,” says Dawkins. “Our expert sometimes brought the final touch and other times gave us the initial inspiration to create a space uniquely our own.” v For more creative ideas, visit InStyle Charlotte at 801 Pressley Road, Suite 107-108 or on the web at or call 704-665-8880.

Interior Design by Valerie Pressley • 704-651-6222.

Custom Home Builder by Derek Osborne Builders • 704-902-3084.

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


Kitchen and Bath n Trends


Beauty Meets Practicality

The 2011 Kitchen & Bath

by Nancy Atkinson

At the end of each year, more than 100 designers, who are members of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), complete a survey about the details of their most recent kitchen and bath projects. The NKBA uses this information to forecast design directions for the coming year, and we pay close attention. 60

Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

We’re interested in the patterns emerging across the nation. But what matters even more is hearing the local perspective on kitchen and bath design from those in the industry. We talked with some of Charlotte’s best builders, kitchen and bath designers, experts in plumbing fixtures and appliances, and tile designers to learn the significance of these trends in our market. The 2011 NKBA survey revealed 11 distinct trends in kitchen and bathroom design. From the beauty of Shaker-styled furniture design, quartz countertops and vessel sinks to the practicality of concealed trash storage and wine storage in the kitchen, we found many similarities in our market. Shaker Simplicity Still Timeless While traditional styles remain the most popular for kitchen and bath designs, Shaker and Contemporary styling are gaining in popularity, according to the NKBA survey. The Shaker focus on quality, orderliness, and cleanliness is a perfect fit for our post-recession, ‘less is more’ mindset. Remodeling contractors Duane Johns of Advanced Renovations and John Morgan of the Urban Building Group both say they are building more streamlined kitchens, with a clean cabinet style and sleeker, more contemporary finishes.

“In the Charlotte market there is still a very high demand for quality frameless cabinetry in a cleaner, more streamlined appearance,” says Morgan, who explains that the great thing about a Shaker door is its versatility. “It can go from contemporary to traditional by altering the bead detail, panel raise and edge profile.” Local kitchen and bath designer, Caren Bistany of Bistany Design, added “I’m seeing cleaner lines, simpler doors, but very nice millwork and architectural details customized to fit the style of the home. Charlotte is still a somewhat traditional market but we see our clients modifying a raised panel, widths of the frame of the door and interior profile of the door to more updated and personal look. All leaning towards a more refined look though.” But the Shakers of the 1770s would never have dreamed of the technology that Duane Johns is now incorporating into homeowners’ Shaker-styled kitchens. “My clients want entertainment systems integrated into their kitchens, including flat screen televisions, audio systems and iPod docking stations,” he says. Johns explains that with living spaces more open, the kitchen, dining room and den areas become one communal space. “Incorporating a flat-screen television and other technologies into the design of your kitchen makes sense if the kitchen is going to be center of your home,” says Johns.


Drama in the Dark As the kitchen takes center stage for entertaining and family gathering, darker cabinet finishes have become a sophisticated, elegant option. The NKBA reports that 53% of their designers are using darker finishes, as opposed to the white painted, light natural, colored or distressed finishes, which were more popular a year ago. Kitchen and bath designer Keri Henley, CKD, CBD, a chapter officer with the Carolinas Chapter of NKBA, says painted finishes are still really big in the Charlotte market, with homeowners preferring varied heights and depths of cabinets. “However heavy glazing is on its way out,” she says. Morgan recently completed two kitchens using Shakerstyle cabinets in darker finishes of cherry espresso and dark mocha. Dark finishes add a richness and depth that is the perfect complement for gorgeous countertops and sleek appliances. “We are seeing both stained and painted finishes used in our kitchens,” said Bistany. “For woods, walnut, cherry, and mahogany tend to be the more popular choices. They all stain beautifully and offer a very timeless classic look with either a stain-only or stain and glaze. We do a lot of solid paint kitchens without a glaze. If we do a glaze it is very subtle. Solid paint colors can vary from your traditional white to tinged neutrals in shades of beige, grey, blue, or green. All in a matte or semi-sheen, not high gloss. Grey has become very popular too.” Quartz Countertops Shine The NKBA survey found quartz countertops are becoming more popular in bathrooms, second only to granite. But our designers love using quartz and other interesting natural materials on kitchen countertops. Tile designer Erika Saubers of InStyle Charlotte recently completed a kitchen using Blizzard Cesarstone quartz countertops to complement Shaker cabinets in an espresso finish.

NKBA may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte










Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling • Home Additions • Interior Renovations

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601 South Cedar Street, Suite 205-C, Charlotte, NC | 704-375-8322 By appointment.

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Your home deserves the best that mother nature offers Ceramic Tile


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11200 Carolina Place Parkway | Pineville, NC 28134 | 704.541.8453 |

Saubers noted that Vetrazzo, a recycled glass and concrete countertop, is making a huge buzz right now. “The extra large pieces of glass within each slab have a multi-dimensional, reflective property that makes it different from other countertops,” she says. For tile, Jennifer Creasser-Bridges, with Tile Collection, says nothing is more timeless than soft glass mosaics and striking stone for kitchens and baths. “Glass tiles always have a way of adding light to a space with reflection and with textures and colors, allowing you to customize any area, whether traditional or contemporary,” she says. “Grey tones are everywhere in tile right now. People are stepping away from a rustic/Tuscan look and requesting clean lines and cooler tones.” LED Lights the Way According the NKBA survey, use of LED lighting has increased so much among designers that incandescent lighting is on its way to being obsolete. Only 35% of designers used incandescent lighting in 2010, opting for more energyefficient options such as LED (light-emitting diode), which 54% said they had used on a recent project. Builders Johns and Morgan both say the public is beginning to embrace LED lighting. They have both recently used LED for undercabinet lighting, where the lower heat emitted by LED lights is preferred. Morgan also uses Xenon lights, which are similar to LED but less expensive. Wine Has Its Place According to the NKBA, wine refrigerators are on the decline, but wine storage at room temperature is growing in popularity. More than half the designers surveyed, 51%, said they incorporated wine storage into recent kitchen designs while only 39% had done so the year before. The NKAB survey says pull-out racks, tall pantry cupboards and lazy Susans are on the decline. Refrigerators Get a French Accent French door refrigerators, with a bottom freezer drawer are growing in popularity. In the NKBA survey 78% of designers specified a French door refrigerator on a recent project. Cheryl White, appliance expert with Queen City Audio Video and Appliances, says the newest refrigerator from KitchenAid has French doors, a bottom freezer and a horizontal pantry drawer. “It’s technologically advanced and has everything you could ask for,” she says. “It’s 30% more energy efficient than standard refrigerators.” Designers Hide the Trash While refrigerators take the spotlight, kitchen designers are putting trash in its place. In 89% of their recent kitchen designs, NKBA members included trash and/or recycling pullouts. Garbage disposals and trash compactors are also being specified more frequently, a sign of our increased environmental awareness. NKBA


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Toilets Come Clean Shaker simplicity doesn’t stop at cabinets. Cassie Abernethy with HD Kitchen and Bath Collection in Charlotte

kitchen & bath trends



Bistany Design

Tiles by Ann Sacks

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


Renovation inspiration.


Where do you get your ideas? The television? The internet? Magazines? Today’s marketplace offers an overwhelming amount of resources when it comes to finding inspiration for your remodeling project. Let the experienced design team at Case help make sense of what’s possible for your home. Call us today for a free consultation. You’ll see why we’re experts in renovation inspiration.

2306 Dunavant Street Charlotte, NC 28203


Kitchens and Baths As Individual As You Are

A distinctive blend of beauty. Past, present and future unite. Taste and trend are transcended. Define a style all your own with HD Supply.

HUNTERSVILLE 16235 Northcross Dr Huntersville, NC 28078 704.892.6466

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STATESVILLE 1840 Shelton Ave Statesville, NC 28677 704.873.2255

SALISBURY 408 Long Meadow Dr Salisbury, NC 28147 704.633.4481

says even toilets have adopted a new streamlined look with European styling, for a cleaner look with the added benefit that they are also easier to clean. “These toilets feature an Everclean Surface™ that inhibits the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface,” says Abernethy. Faucets Stay Satin Oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome and polished nickel are all popular finishes for faucets. But satin nickel is the most preferred finish for faucets, rising from 41% last year to 63% in the kitchen and from 45% to 57% in the bathroom. “Satin nickel is the mainstay of faucet finishes,” says Henley, who says oil-rubbed bronze is beginning to wane. “The brushed satin finish

hides most scratches and hand prints, which makes it very easy to take care of,” she says. Green Comes Alive When we hear the word green associated with homes we may think of environmentally friendly spaces. But designers think green is the best color to paint a bathroom. Off-whites, beiges and browns are still the most commonly used color palettes, but greens have gone up, from 14% in 2009 to 24% at the end of 2010. Designers say green connotes a spa-like atmosphere and is soothing and relaxing. As more homeowners stay in their homes and remodel, these design trends from the NKBA can help you make more informed decisions that not only improve the look of your home, but add lasting value as well.v

2011 NKBA KITCHEN AND BATH TRENDS Kitchen Shaker Style Dark Cabinetry and Painted Cabinets Wine Storage French Door Refrigerators Induction Cooktops LED Lighting Pull-out Trash Disposal Bath Quartz Countertops Green Bathrooms Vessel Sinks Satin Nickel Faucets


Advanced Renovations.................................704-799-3999........................... AGM Andrew Roby................................................704-334-5477.......................................... B & E Case Remodeling..........................................704-759-3920.................... Charlotte Design DP E3 Harkey Tile and HD Kitchen and Bath


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011


InStyle Charlotte, Inc....................................704-665-8880..................................... NKBA Carolinas Queen City Audio Video and Appliances......704-391-6000..................................... Stone Systems of North Carolina..................704-238-1659..................................... Tile Collection, Inc........................................704-541-8453.......................................... Urban Building Unique Lighting Zar Custom

NKBA may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte 69

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new products

Kitchen & Bath

1. Named after the designer’s favorite coastal retreat, this collection of unique lighting combines the warm, inviting colors of Northern California’s rolling hills, redwood forests, and flourishing vineyards with classic, simple shapes. Hand-blown crystal, crafted in Richmond, California. Dimensions: 12.5”H x 8”W. Metro. 704-375-4563.



2. The South Beach collection features decorative shapes, numerous field sizes, and a neutral color palette. The collection is hand-crafted and allows for individual design compositions. The Tile Collection Inc. 704-541-8453.


3. The pearl glaze produces a combination of matte, semi-matte and glossy patinas, which create a beautiful foiling effect in these ceramic tiles. “Crazing” or “foiling” is a unique characteristic of the glaze. South Sea Collection 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” mosaics can be used in custom blends. InStyle Charlotte. 704-665-8880. 4. The sleek Levaggi Slate Basin is crafted from the same legendary slate that graces architecture in the picturesque Italian towns of Genoa, Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Each basin is cut from a solid piece of slate and honed to a smooth finish that is almost velvety to the touch, highlighting the natural veining of the stone. HD Kitchen and Bath. Huntersville: 704-892-6466, Charlotte: 704-845-5970.


6 5

5. The high quality and unique shape and color characterize this four light adjustable rail light by Kichler Lighting. It has a old bronze finish and can be wall or ceiling mounted. Unique Lighting Showplace. 704-553-1341. 6. Spice up your dinner table with these colorful plates. Picked fresh from the garden, cheery petals brighten glazed earthenware. 7. Block letters are showcased on these chic cocktail napkins. White linen has black embroidery; Stone linen is embellished in brown embroidery. 6” x 9”. A wonderful hostess gift, packaged in sets of four in an organdy bag with button closure. Bedside Manor. 704-442-4006.



8. The Silestone platinum series is the newest and most advanced innovation in the quartz surfacing market. It is ideal for consumers and designers looking to incorporate the latest design trends with the functionality of a surface that is scratch, stain and scorch resistant. Stone Systems of NC. 704-238-1659.

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Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011


DP Contracting & Consulting, Inc is a full service Design - Build remodeling and renovation company serving the entire Charlotte Metro area. Our Services Include: Room additions, Kitchens and Baths, Outdoor Living Areas, Sunrooms / Screened Porches, Roofing, Masonry and Siding, Flooring and More We are an EPA Certified Firm able to test for lead and work on homes built prior to 1978

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designing entries... 704.987.0777 307-G W. Tremont Avenue

Custom Wood & Wrought Iron Entries • Specializing in replacement of existing entries & one-of-a-kind designs


new products


1. This beautiful hand-blown glass botanical is sure to be the center of attention in your home, and a conversation starter. Produced by nationally known artists Bob and Lori Kliss. Red Sky Gallery. 704-377-6400.



2. This stunning canopy bed features a silver or gold leaf on metal finish. The canopy is attached to the bed posts for ease of movement. The Furniture Connector. 704-507-9023.


3. Inspired by ironwork, and fused with elements of cutting-edge fashion, the Canet cocktail tables present a fresh new twist on traditional and make a statement all their own. Available in brass, as well as brushed and polished stainless steel, these designs can be customized to fit any aesthetic or space. Stark Carpet. 704-588-8842.


4. The softest throws come in the softest colors. Cotton, when brushed, undergoes a transformation that gives it a plush, alluring texture this side of heaven. These throws blend soft color with cream in a herringbone weave and finishes it with a twisted, natural fringe. Bedside Manor. 704-442-4006. 5. These 100% Olefin rugs look like natural jute, but are made for outdoor use. Pretty enough for the sunroom, and tough enough for the pool or the deck! 5’ x 8’ in stock for $99. Innbo Furniture. 704-995-6120. 6. This chest is treated like a fashion accessory in a room. Linen wrapped, with decorative nailhead drawings and outlines.


7. Traditional English garden bench has a classic look, but the unusual appeal of concrete. At 54” wide it’s the right size for many settings. Homestyles by Wendy. 704-987-9491. 8. These Cloud Nine patio chairs are a part of the Richard Frinier collection for Brown Jordan. They are a beautiful combination of modern and futuristic design complete with a lasting finish, which is necessary for all your outdoor furniture. Firehouse Casual and Living Store. 704-598-8787.



design find

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Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011



1219 Thomas Avenue Charlotte, NC 28205 704-347-2489 www.cit


Natural Tile and Stone Granite, marble anD quartz countertops Limestone and Cast stone Fireplaces Remnants and Slabs On-site Porcelain, ceramic, marBle, glass, slate, travertine tile and Mosaics Custom Photo Tile murals Free design Slate, Tile and Cedar Shake Roofing 5,000 sq.ft. showroom 20+ years in business, Over 20,000 jobs Artistic Tile

Visit our convenient South End showroom 801 Pressley Rd. Suite 108 • Charlotte, NC 28217 • phone 704.665.8880 • fax 704.665.8182

SolarTEK e n e r g y . c o m

No energy price increase... EVER! Electricity

5¢per KW hour

Specializing in • Solar hot water • PV (electric) • Solar pool heating Federal Stimulus Tax Credit for Renewable Energy 30% of entire project cost. State and Local Solar tax credits NC - 35% SC - 25%


green Living

m Improved Air Quality m m Reduced Energy Consumption m Green Building Materials Renewable Energy Home Design Solar Tax Credits Reduced Water Consumption Xeriscaping Green Decorating


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Being Green and Saving Green

Summer is here and the temperature is up. Unfortunately, so are our electric bills! If you are building or remodeling your home, you have a unique opportunity to select building materials that can help to reduce energy costs. Thankfully, one Queen City company can aid in our efforts to reduce electric bills while making our homes more comfortable. Energy One of the Carolinas, which is part of the EnLauraprovides Glass a solution ergy One America by Group, to hot rooms, high bills, and sweating HVAC ducts. That solution… spray foam insulation. By installing spray foam insulation in two key areas of an existing home, Energy One typically sees heating and cooling bills reduced by 30 to 40 percent. One of those key areas is the attic of your home, and probably the area that first comes to mind, but the second is equally important and it is the subfloor under your home, located in the crawlspace or basement. In fact, the foundation of the home itself is a significant factor to controlling the interior climate. “Many homes in the Southeast are built on crawlspaces that are not insulated,” explains Stephen Davis, owner of Energy One of the Carolinas. However just because a home is newer does

you will save up to 30 percent on your energy costs.

not mean it is adequately insulated. Even if a home has been insulated with foam alternatives, “Those materials settle over time, and therefore lose their r-value—becoming less and less effective,” Davis explains. “Homes as little as two years old can significantly benefit from installing foam insulation,” Davis continues. “Immediately, your floors will be a more comfortable temperature and you will save up to 30 percent on your energy costs.” Not to mention, “Your home’s air will be much cleaner. Forty percent of the air your breath comes from your crawl space,” Davis adds. As a side benefit, the clean and newly-insulated area is added storage space. Ben Collins is owner of the Salins Group, a Charlotte-based company that handles high-end construction and remodeling projects. “A lot of my clients have extremely large homes, so spray foam insulation becomes not only the environmentally conscious choice, it brings them significant savings in a short period of time.” Though attics tend to get all the attention, lower level insulation should not be overlooked—even if a home was not built on a crawl space. Recently he tackled a basement in need of waterproofing. “Afterwards, we had the foam sprayed to create a complete seal,” Collins relates. “Creating a moisture and thermal barrier has a dramatic effect.” Collins has seen the results first-hand when he remodeled his 1930s cottage-style brick home. “I see a significant difference in my own home, and it’s not necessarily more difficult to install than traditional insulation,” says Collins. “Saving energy and money is being green and saving green.”v Call EnergyOne of the Carolinas at 704-504-5635, visit www.energyonecarolinas. com or stop by 1038 Culp Rd., Ste. 100 in Pineville.

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


green Living

Improved Air Quality Reduced Energy Consumption Green Building Materials

m Renewable Energy m Home Design

m Solar m m Tax Credits m Reduced Water Consumption Xeriscaping Green Decorating


Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

Solar Energy

Going Green and Getting Green In the last decade, the movement to become more environmentally conscious has become mainstream. But just as the desire to go green has increased, so has the awareness of the importance of financial responsibility. Today there are solar energy technologies that meet both ideals—bringing homeowners a quick return on investment while reducing their carbon footprint. Brant Patton, chief operating officer for SolarTEK Energy, first became interested in solar power in 1992 while building his home which included an in-ground swimming pool. “Even at that time, solar water heating was relatively inexpensive with a great payback period,” he relates. After much research, Patton found companies from around the world that had been leaders in the field of solar energy for more than 50 years. Now with a company that specializes in solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity, solar hot water, and solar pool heating, Patton says, “Homeowners can expect significant savings on their energy bills. Solar water heating can provide up to 80 percent of household hot water with payback in less than four years.” Solar pool heating often provides an even better investment. In comparison to conventional by Laura Glasscan be as low pool heating systems, “Payback as two years and the solar system can extend the swimming season by several months without additional cost.” Federal and state governments have become especially favorable to solar PV electricity generation. In fact, “The state of North Carolina

gives a 35 percent solar tax credit that can be combined with a 30 percent federal tax rebate,” says Patton. Not to mention, “Local power companies often pay homeowners a premium for the excess electricity they generate because it allows them to gain renewable energy credits which offset emissions.” Patton points out, “Once a system is installed, homeowners often pay half the amount per kilowatt.” The fact is, “People must pay for electricity. They can choose to rent it from a power company and be exposed to rate increases, or they can choose to finance their own personal power source.”v As the largest solar installation and integration company in the eastern United States, SolarTEK Energy has access to the latest solar energy products. Find out how they can tailor a solution for your home by calling 704-504-0674 or 866-210-8723. Visit them online at

may/junE 2011 Urban Home Charlotte


e d i t o r c o n t r i b u t i n g

divine design

In the bedroom, a tabula rasa Newlyweds Nuala and David thrive on excitement. They’ve traveled the world participating in adventure races and fell in love in the wilderness. After the wedding, they tackled a complete renovation of their house built in 1926. They’ve been living with her parents while managing a construction process that has left them so exhausted they couldn’t imagine what to do with their blank slate of a bedroom. While they may live for adventure, Nuala and Candice Olson David definitely play it safe when it comes to decor. So safe, it borders on blah. But a neutral palette doesn’t have to be boring. That’s where I come in, with my trusty team to create a space that combines the couple’s love of the outdoors with the easy, modern elegance they’ve longed for. Freshly dry-walled, the room was the perfect size for a master suite and already had a spacious walk-in closet -- a key ingredient for a happy relationship. Vintage stained-glass windows, a nonworking fireplace and radiators add a sense of history. The high, vaulted ceiling gives an airy feeling, and a lovely wall of windows frames the gorgeous view. The secret to decorating with neutrals is to use texture, depth, pattern and layers to add excitement, richness and elegance. With some beautiful fabrics and shades of neutral gray for inspiration, I chose a soft bluish-gray paint for the wall color, a crisp coat of creamy white for the baseboards and cabinetry and had dark hardwood installed on the floors. The next task: Turn the nonworking fireplace from an eyesore into a focal point in the seating area. Because the couple LOVE the outdoors, I decided to bring a taste of the outside inside by creating a cool feature above the mantel. We built a deep frame and filled it with small pieces of wood cut from split logs, then highlighted the rustic wood with crystal sconces. Above, we installed a crystal chandelier in a style in keeping with the vintage flavor 84

Urban Home Charlotte may/junE 2011

of the house, but in polished chrome to add modern flair. I added a soft gray-blue love seat, perfect for lounging. And to complete the seating area, custom cabinetry provides storage and display space while discreetly concealing the old radiator. I believe every bedroom deserves delicious finishes. So in the sleeping area, we painted the feature wall a deep silvery blue and created a headboard in rich charcoal-gray velvet with silver nail trim. We dressed the bed with luxurious fabrics in shades of gray, silver, white and cream. Flowing linen drapery panels with an elegant blue and brown stripe mesh with the blue of the walls and the chocolaty shades of the floor and woven wood blinds. More excitement comes from eclectic and unexpected touches. An exotic fan worthy of the African Queen draws your eye up to the vaulted ceiling while keeping the room comfortable. And a chair, table and zebra-print rug tucked into the nook on the far side of the bed finish the room with panache. Nuala and David’s big white box of a bedroom had no sense of adventure, so we explored the elegant and exotic and turned it into a rustic, refined and romantic retreat. Now that’s divine! v Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Divine Design.” For more ideas, information and show times, visit or


S u m m e r

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Designs | Lifestyles | Investments | Improvements

Artful Living in

Celebrating Our 11th Year in Charlotte!

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Urban Home Charlotte May/JUNE 2011

Using vintage cut fabrics and making shapes and layers to create these amazing hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces by Shawna Robinson at Happy Chair.

With a nod towards the whimsy and a touch of imaginative flair, Artist Sandra Barrow creates one of a kind lampwork pieces in her Charlotte Studio. 704-299-7032. Sunbathe in vintage style, amped up in modern color. The ruching and ruffling beckon for oversized sunglasses and a floppy hat.

Classic Attic

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Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

4301-C Park Road @ Brandywine Charlotte, NC 28209-2255 (Park Road Shopping Center Back Court, next to The Gardens of Blackhawk)

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HUNTERSVILLE CROWNPOINT 16235 Northcross Dr • Huntersville, NC 28078 2215 Crown Centre Drive • Charlotte, NC 28227 704.892.6466 704.845.5970

801 Pressley Road, #107 • Charlotte, NC 28217 704-665-8880 •


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Home Accents • Unique Gifts • Glass & Metal Sculptures

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The Village at SouthPark 4310 Sharon Rd. Suite #U11a - Charlotte

Functional Art Gallery for home, gifts and accessorizing

behind Crate & Barrel across from The Counter



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May June Issue  

May June 2011 Issue of Urban Home Magazine: Charlotte

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