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The Best of Design, Style and Inspiration

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Letter from the editor


Reaching 180,000 homes annually

Best of Guide 2013

VOL 1 NO 5 Publisher Mark Herrmann Managing Editor Anne Marie Ashley Editorial Director Tammy Wanchisn Writers Nancy Atkinson Anne Marie Ashley Sales Sue Mooney Art Direction Harriet McDowall PageCreations Photography Jim Schmid Photography Dustin Peck Photography Harry Taylor Photography Contributing Editors Will McKendry Ryan Crosser Patrick Casey Natalie Drennon Production Administrator Shelley Kemper Phone 919-929-3335 Fax 704-973-5685 Email: Website:


Anne Marie Ashley

continuously enhance our content. When the time came to put together our Best of Guide, I had the chance to go through all the amazing images from each of the homes we’ve featured this year. It’s hard to choose our favorite images when they’re all so incredible, but the entire issue is overflowing with the absolute best of our feature homes with a few surprises thrown in. Our first home, on page 12, is a new one for the year and is described as The One Hundred Year Home. When N.C. State University planned the Chancellor’s residence, they knew it had to represent, not only the university, but also the Triangle as a community for the next 100 years or more. The resulting home is a study in classic design, thoughtful architecture and best of all, teamwork. For me, it’s a perfect metaphor for Urban Home and the ideal way to introduce this Best of Guide. Each page is a nostalgic for us, remembering the work that went into each past issue, and what’s the holiday season if it isn’t nostalgic? Even Patrick Casey gets into the spirit with his creative take on the Night Before Christmas in his article Visions of Sugar Plums on page 20. We are certain homes will be Merry and Bright, as get-togethers create space for memories and we’ve got the essentials to keep everyone warm on page 28. The expert at gift-giving, Kristen Anderson Hudson of Quintessentials in Raleigh shows us a few of her favorite things while Natalie Drennon from The Art of Style Boutique dresses men and women in their holiday best. We hope this first year has been as rewarding to our readers as it has been to us and we look forward to 2014 with a fresh outlook. One thing will remain the same in the New Year, however, and that’s our desire to bring you, our stylish readers, the very finest in design and living.

All contents copyright 2013, 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.

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` s the year comes to a close and we approach this holiday season, I 26 am filled with warmth and appreciation over the support Urban Home has received. We came into the Triangle market with nothing but the desire to bring the very best design, style and living inspiration into the community and display it in a way that gets readers excited about the possibilities. We’ve had a tremendously successful first year and I must thank 80 our loyal advertisers for supporting our endeavors along with the countless designers and contractors that

Season’s Greetings, Anne Marie Ashley Managing Editor

We Design. We Build. You Enjoy. Since 1990, Wood Wise has completed over 400 renovations, giving Triangle residents great ideas to make their homes more functional, beautiful and reflective of the way their families live. With our Design-Build approach, you have a designer and project manager with you from start to finish. Check out our website to see dozens of project photos and to learn more. Then schedule an initial free consultation with Hank Wall. We'd like to show you our cabinet showroom and hear what you have in mind. Raleigh, NC 919.783.9330 MAKING GOOD HOMES BETTER FOR 23 YEARS.



best of guide 2013 12


trends 12 The One Hundred Year Home 22 Texturized 30 Roots 44 Coastal Retreat 50 Classic Style

departments 28

Merry & Bright: Well Stocked Bar




Kristen Anderson Hudson



home trends

lifestyle essentials William Travis Jewelry

contributing editors 20

room service: patrick casey Visions of Sugar Plums


building a better home: ryan crosser & will mckendry


style guide: natalie drennon

Dressing Up Your Bathroom

Decked Out


@urbanhomemags 10 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

12 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

One hundred year

I The


By Anne Marie Ashley Dustin Peck Photography

Imagine designing a home from the ground up that is multi-functional, the time came to build, Jon Rufty of Rufty Homes answered the call to multi-generational and has to stand the test of time in style and in char- bring the blueprints to life while Judy Pickett and her designers at Deacter. It has to feel cozy, comfortable and inviting too. Oh, and it has sign Lines pulled the interior look together to create a seamless aesthetic. to represent a community, but also be home to a small family. These To round out the exterior, the university landscape architect Thomas were just a few of the requests proposed by N.C. State University when Skolnicki worked with Derek Blaylock to create an idyllic setting befitthey decided to build the chancellor’s new home. A project with these ting of the house. specifications and potential challenges could only be tackled by a team “This home had to project a timeless look,” suggests Judy. “We inof committed professionals with nothing but the love of the collective stalled designs that were equally universal and personal.” Marvin adds in mind. And that’s exactly the team the that the team of architects, builders and deuniversity hired. worked from a concept of soft modern“Everyone involved signers Heading up the architectural design ism, combining elements that were inherently team was Marvin Malecha, Dean of the familiar to visitors like pre-revolutionary brick, takes tremendous pride in College of Design at N.C. State. Working a metal roof, oak flooring and wide gables. a project that’s alongside Ellen Weinstein of Weinstein “The result was a home that’s both nostalgic Friedlein Architects, Marvin came up with and contemporary,” says Judy. so important to the a design that was both grand in scale and “We worked hard,” explains John Rufty. warmly welcoming at once. “We were “The entire team of university staff and priN.C. State community creating a house for the people,” explains vate companies worked through the challenges and will be for a long Malecha. “Visitors had to feel welcome, with complete professionalism.” Pulling nearly but we also had a responsibility to reflect all of the building materials from local North time to come.” the innovative spirit of the university.” Carolina sources, Rufty Homes built the Opinions of past chancellors were col$3.5 million dollar home in just 18 months, lected, elements of other university residences were noted and spaces using funds raised from over 65 private donors. “We worked hard to were created that made perfect sense for the utility of the home. When avoid ‘design by committee’ issues,” says Rufty. The 9,000-square-foot Best of guide 2013 Urban Home triangle 13

residence combines open spaces and multiple rooms for receptions, tours and fundraisers with outdoor areas, nine working fireplaces and cozier quarters upstairs for Chancellor Woodson and his wife, Susan. Marvin says he labored over the spacing in the kitchen and family room area the most. The kitchen’s cathedral ceilings offer an unparalleled space to cater meals for hundreds, but the intimate islands create a warmer space where the family can cook meals and eat together. The architectural wonder, however, is that Marvin created a space that filters in air and light from all cardinal points – north, south, east and west. The oak floors throughout the home came from wood found in the N.C. State research forest while the vaulted ceilings in the kitchen are made of cypress, offering a chapellike feel to the heart of the home. Modern fixtures mingle effortlessly with familiar design and Susan Woodson herself provided personal touches with hand-selected art displays throughout the home.

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The final boast of the home is that it is LEEDcertified and built almost entirely “green.” Rufty Homes used sustainable materials like poplar wood, brick and cypress to construct the home and temperature is maintained by 13 geothermal wells with six inches of hand-blown insulation in the walls. Finished in 2011, the home has already won a handful of awards, including “Room of the Year” by the National Association of Home Builders, awarded to Rufty Homes for the incredible kitchen and the Excellence of Design award from the American Society of Interior Design given to Design Lines for the interiors. “Everyone involved takes tremendous pride in a project that’s so important to the N.C. State community and will be for a long time to come,” states Rufty. Marvin adds, “Outside of the home, there is a spot where the terrace comes to a point. You can sit there, look back on the whole home and really take in what a masterpiece it is.” This is why the chancellor’s home is called “The Point”; in reality, though, the beauty of the home is that it is the people’s home.v

Best of guide 2013 Urban Home triangle 17






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Contributing Editor | Room Service

Visions of Sugar Plums After

T’was the night before deadline and all through the store, The set was all staged but the walls…what a bore! The furnishings were placed in the room with great care, But present this in a magazine, I would not yet dare!

Patrick Casey With the right furnishings, color palette and finishing touches, you too can have a suite that is fit for a Duke or a Duchess!

Majestic hues of purple abundantly seen, So why aren’t the walls a royal shade of aubergine? When what to my wondering eyes should appear? A regal color that I now hold dear. Tulsa Twilight by Benjamin Moore, Blankets the room from ceiling to floor. Now the Lillian August bed, nobly nestled in place, Anchors the chamber and makes my princely heart race. Upholstered in flax, it makes a stately mark. Up against this color, you could even go dark! Fine linens abundant, all by Ann Gish, Whose luxurious collections is every woman’s wish. Silk, linen, velvet and flannel all layered and stacked, Tailor the suite where most bedrooms have lacked. Now, tartan plaid! Now, basket weave sham! On, lilac floral! On charmuese ruffle and taffeta glam! To the top of the sofa, to the top of the bed! Even two pillows, sporting a plush merlot red! Now look! Two flanking chests with a curious finish, Crackled and creamy is a look that will never diminish. Exclusive to our store, which is really quite nice – Which means that they should be twice the price! I sprang to my feet to find two bulbous lamps, And don’t you agree, I found some fabulous champs? From Currey & Company, they are named Merseyside, And oh mercy me, how they twinkle and shine! Periwinkle hydrangea, blue canton and books, add interest to the space… Now, no need for more nick knacks, it would just be a waste! Away to the window, oh wait…there are none, Oversized botanicals…and there, I am done! Your master bedroom should be your own personal lair, If it doesn’t resemble this, then please don’t despair. With the right furnishings, color palette and finishing touches, You too can have a suite that is fit for a Duke or a Duchess!

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Silk, linen, velvet and flannel all layered and stacked, Tailor the suite where most bedrooms have lacked.

Patrick Casy is the manager of Green Front Interiors and Rugs in Raleigh, a store offering luxury furnishings, rugs and designs. Visit the Green Front store at 2004 Yonkers Road in Raleigh, or call them at 919-754-9754. For more information, visit

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22 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013


By Anne Marie Ashley Photography by Jim Schmid

When John and Lauren Mayr came together to build a home for themselves and their 7-year-old daughter, they approached it with one general goal and took it to their designer: “We want a bad ass house.” Luckily, Vicky Serany of Southern Studio Design knew exactly what they meant, and together, they began building and decorating the home of the Mayrs dreams. Fleshing out what a “bad ass house” would look like came down to knowing exactly how they planned to live in their home. “We wanted a home that was classic and rustic,” explains John. “One that we can easily entertain in, but is also an ideal place for our daughter and her friends to retreat to for fun as she gets older.” The location of the lot was perfect for the Mayrs. Nestled in a smaller neighborhood with open spaces, the home sits within walking distance to Umstead State Park and a stone’s throw away from a veterinary school. “It’s great to be near a main road in Cary, but pull off the highway into a country setting where you can see horses, cows, lambs and goats every day, “ says John. With their lifestyle and interests in mind, John and Lauren built many parts of their home for specific use. The sauna/yoga studio was perfect for relaxation and meditation, something Lauren incorporates on a daily basis, while the outdoor living area and upstairs bar were a

perfect fit for John. “We like to practice a healthy lifestyle and have spaces designed for hobbies and interests,” says John. “It’s our family that truly influences our style.” The large dining room is perfect for dinner parties, and the cozy keeping room off the kitchen nurtures family time and lingering Sunday breakfasts. The craft room allows Lauren to do beading while her daughter draws or reads, complete with a secret door that hides John’s collection of electronics and home automation equipment. Working directly with the builder, Alan Blankenship of Blankenship Custom Homes, and the team at Kitchen and Bath Galleries, Vicky had the unique opportunity to design from start to finish. “We worked from the very beginning of the construction process and systematically selected each detail of the design,” recalls Vicky. “From cabinetry to lighting to the finishing touches of hardware.” Drawing inspiration from the relaxed and rustic feel of the structure, Vicky worked with Lauren to create a design flow full of earthy tones and natural elements. Exquisite wood and stone work mix easily with leathers, linens and custom fabrics to create a cohesive design. Entirely custom pieces made by Southern Studio were combined with showroom finds and unique accessories to create a

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24 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

Drawing inspiration from the relaxed and rustic feel of the structure, Vicky worked with Lauren to create a design flow full of earthy tones and natural elements. Exquisite wood and stone work mix easily with leathers, linens and custom fabrics to create a cohesive design.

Best of guide 2013 Urban Home triangle 25

tailored, yet comfortable atmosphere. “A beautiful and functional interior developed by combining individual design elements with intention and purpose,” suggests Vicky. In a few trips to furniture market in highpoint with Vicky, John and Lauren were able to choose items for their home that fit their vision to a “T”. “My best advice,” offers John, “is to take your time and surround yourself with experts!”

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When asked what is their favorite room in the home, John easily pinpoints the rec room. The comfortable couches, bars stools and multiple TVs are perfect for entertaining while the custom barn doors help avoid too much of a man-cave look. Vicky adds, “This home has so many favorite spaces, it’s unfair to choose just one!”v


Well-Stocked Bar Essentials 2

‘Tis the season to throw parties, mingle with friends and create a merry atmosphere for all. Here’s a round up of essentials to create the ultimate bar cart, ready for any holiday get-together.



Winter White Cosmo Ingredients (1 drink) 3 oz. citron vodka 1 oz. white cranberry juice 1/2 oz cointreau 1 oz fresh lime juice



Garnish – mint and sugar-coated cranberries ( bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a simmer. Add sugar mixture to a bowl of cranberries, making sure the liquid is not too hot. Once cooled down, cover and refrigerate over night. Drain berries and pat dry so they are tacky but not wet. In a bowl add 2 tbsp of preferred sugar and 3-4 berries. Jiggle them around to coat in sugar, then transfer to a wire rack to dry. They are ready when the sugar has hardened! Directions: Fill a glass with ice. Combine ingredients and shake well. Use a wooden skewer to garnish the drink with the sugar coated cranberries and mint and enjoy!



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 28 Urban Home Charlotte triangle Best Best ofof guide Guide 2013 2013

Decanters. In order L to R: Ralph Lauren, Clayton Gray Home, Z Gallerie. Bottle Stoppers. In order L to R: Crate & Barrel, Z Gallerie. Orb Copper Cocktail Shaker, Crate & Barrel. Chevron Serving Tray, Etsy. Bar Cart, Crate & Barrel. Gold Confetti Napkins, Anthropologie. Emerald Ice Bucket, 1st Dibs. Bar Glasses. In order L to R: Quintessentials in Raleigh, West Elm, Jayson Home.

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By Anne Marie Ashley Photography by Jim Schmid

Sometimes, you just need to return to your roots.

After 23 years in a high-stress executive position outdoors as a child,” remembers Lynda. “Following creeks, watching and 17 years spent mostly away from her family, Lynda Strickland ant colonies, making mud pies, sewing, drawing house layouts, decided it was time to find her center and build a home near Raleigh, dreaming of Hollywood homes from the 50s and 60s. I translate all NC that was a retreat. She went to architect Frank Harmon with of this into a style that is the Japanese aesthetic of George Nakashima meets the form and function of B&B Italia three simple requirements for her home: furniture meets Gerry Lynch’s abstract art.” it had to be dramatic, fused with nature “Design should and in a modernist style with little to no Lynda directed the build team to reduce the interior spaces to the simplest form – exposed ornamentation. Three years later, Lynda reflect the purpose of the bolts, construction markings, no moldings - so finally felt that she was at home. that she could really see how the house was put “I built a modernist home because I space and each element together. Rough unfinished laminated veneer love the movement and light experience should play nicely with of modernist spaces and materials like lumber beams were positioned against sleek forms and rich fabric textures creating a space wood, metal, glass and stone,” explains others, but should stand that was truly a “juxtaposition of materials,” as Lynda. “Plus, it’s perfect for my family – it she puts it. provides a sanctuary from the busy world on its own as well.” Built on a dramatic slope with a running and is, at once, one with nature.” Not to be confused with contemporary design, creek at the bottom, and in the middle of the - Lynda Strickland woods, the house did present challenges, but modern architecture and décor fuses the none Harmon couldn’t handle. “The site simple lines of nature with cool materials like wood, glass and stone to create lots of light, air and open spaces was a steep, north-facing escarpment, 80 feet above Crabtree Creek and, in Lynda’s case, lots of white walls. “My style is minimalist with a and shaded by a 150-year-old forest of beech and oak trees,” says Harmon. “The creek carved this escarpment for millions of years, which focus on texture, color, light and materials.” Lynda designed the interiors herself; drawing on inspiration that immediately suggested a site of great ecological sensitivity. We knew we burgeoned within since she was a small girl. “I spent all my free time had to build upon it carefully.” The layout and design took a full year 30 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

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32 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

to flesh out and the build was done in two years. A hand-forged and fabricated steel staircase catches your eye in Lynda’s home with complimentary steel walls, backsplashes and hood surrounds in the kitchen. “I think good design happens when you stay away from trends,” suggests Lynda. “Design should reflect the purpose of the space and each element should play nicely with others, but should stand on it’s own as well.” Practicing what she preached, the staircase has floating wooden steps suspended with steel and wood railings, creating a sort of balance in the center of the living space, while picture windows (27 feet high at the tallest point) flood the room with light. An avid art collector, Lynda also adorned her home with several beautiful and large-scale art pieces, adding layer upon layer of interest to the overall décor. When asked what her advice to homeowners would be when building a modernist home, Lynda says you need to look honestly at how you live and what you actually need. “Think seriously about how you move and live in spaces. What are your needs for privacy, sound control, lighting, etc?” Lynda also suggests making sure all of the alreadyinstalled materials are in top shape; if the carpet is dirty or worn, clean it or replace it, if hardwoods need repair, then refinish them and if walls are scuffed and need touch-ups, put a fresh coat of paint on them. “No design, no matter how magnificent, will shine in a room where the walls, ceiling or floors are in not in top condition.” v

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34 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

Exceptional Experience


t r i a n g l e

J McLaughlin Wrap Dresses “My go-to for wardrobe basics. I especially love this wrap dress. It’s so versatile and it’s just perfect for travel!”


Haul Couture Bag “This bag is so versatile. I use it to keep my car organized.”

Kristen Anderson Hudson

style•ma•ker | (stahyle·mey-ker): n. One who has an expertise in a certain area of style, design or living.

Quiche Lorraine from Coquette “So delicious! My favorite brunch or lunch treat.”

Sferra Celine Throw “These are so cozy and inviting. They come in wonderful colors and are machine washable.”

Monica Rich Kosann Lockets “I love the idea that a woman tells her story through jewelry. Monica’s lockets celebrate a special moment in our life.”


We asked StyleMaker and owner of Quintessentials, Kristen Anderson Hudson, what she currently finds truly inspiring. Not surprisingly,

Toyota Sequoia “Essential for managing life as a mom, and toting ‘stuff’ around town.”

this woman knows inspiration when she sees it. Check out her picks for style and design.

Share The Bounty “Beautiful cookbook and great addition to anyone’s collection.”

36 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

Caroline Reehl Abby Table Cross “Caroline herself is so charming. This is such a great gift and accessory. They are handmade from porcelain clay and glassed in white with linen roses.”

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Lifestyle Essentials

Travis & Evette Owners

William Travis Jewelry A trip to William Travis Jewelry is more of an art emersion than a visit to a jewelry store. The gallery holds a collection of pieces made in-house that fuse classic, contemporary design with individual style. Award-winning jewelry evokes modern elegance that is practical for everyday. It’s obvious that there’s a passion to create art to that will be worn for centuries. Here, owners Travis and Evette share their favorite picks!

The parasol collection is one of the store’s signature designs. Each pendant was created on a hand lathe.

Clients are a part of the creative process of custom engagement rings from start to finish. Every engagement ring is one-of-a-kind!

This ring is the 2014 Spectrum Awardwinning piece for Platinum Innovationthe highest honor in the jewelry industry!

A 3.78ct. green tourmaline and blue sapphire ring with a specially cut center stone by worldrenowned stonecutter Richard Homer.

This 7.46ct Celon sapphire with accenting marquise diamonds is a modern look that makes bold statement.

These pieces are a part of the William Travis black diamond aqueduct line. Each piece features a channel of black diamond beads, making them both elegant everyday wear and funky party pieces.

William Travis Jewelry is conveniently located two miles off of 1-40 outside of University Mall. The store is 2 storefronts down from Chapel Hill staple Southern Season. Visit them online at or call 919-968-0011 38 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

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Contributing Editor | Building a Better Home

Dressing Up Your Bathroom

Ryan Crosser

Will McKendry

Remembering that the bathroom is one of the few places where you can demand total privacy, you can add details that make it truly a place of retreat.

Bathrooms are often the least detailed, least decorated and most forgotten rooms in our homes. So much thought goes into kitchens, living rooms and even outdoor spaces; yet when it comes to bathrooms, plain-Jane rules. Remembering that the bathroom is one of the few places where you can demand total privacy, you can add details that make it truly a place of retreat. Powder rooms and guest baths should get the same treatment — they too are one of the only rooms your guests can have complete privacy, so make it a comfortable home away from home. Many bathrooms follow the same tired blueprint: ceramic tile floor, tile shower surround, sheetrock walls, unframed mirror, tub, toilet and sink. A few deviations from this can really make your bathroom stand out, so give this room a facelift by focusing on the details like materials, fixtures and accessories. Go beyond the standard tile and don’t be afraid to use unconventional materials in your bathrooms. Investigate wood, stone and other tile alternatives, and install them in unexpected places and patterns. For example, take a linear tile and run it on the diagonal, or run the pattern all the way up one wall. This adds interest without doing any major renovations. Consider a heated floor as well – trust us,

40 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

you won’t regret it. And don’t forget about your After ceiling; adding detail here in the form of crown molding, beams or tile can be surprising, giving a bath new dimension. Your bath fixtures don’t have to be humdrum either. There are an enormous variety of faucets and shower fixtures on the market, so look for unique designs and finishes. Create a spa-like experience in your own shower by adding body sprays, rain heads and hand-held showerheads. Look into alternative light fixtures like a chandelier, pendant or sconces, replacing the standard globed light fixtures we so often use. Could you let in more natural light? Many people are hesitant about putting windows in their bathrooms, but a variety of etched and fogged finishes allow modesty while also letting in light. Skylights and higher windows are another alternative. Perhaps the easiest way to add detail, however, is to focus on your bathroom accessories. Replace the large boring mirror with two framed ones, or consider a floor-to-ceiling mirror. These are uncommon details that add interest. Most importantly, add details you love that are also functional. Hang special art; add a TV or display beautiful bath linens, or add a towel warmer. If you have the room, add comfort with a plush

chair or the convenience of a washer and dryer. Stop treating your bathroom like it doesn’t belong inside. Focus on the details to truly bring it IN, making it not only functional, but a beautiful space in your home as well.v

Will McKendry, vice president of Andrew Roby Triangle, and Ryan Crosser vice president of Andrew Roby Coastal, both have extensive experience in custom home project management focusing on style and craftsmanship. For more information visit or call 919-210-2928 for Triangle projects and 252-648-8007 for coastal projects.

Best of guide 2013 Urban Home triangle 41

Award-winning, Design/Build Custom Home Builder & Remodeler serving the greater Raleigh area.

It’s About the


As seen in the October / November issue of Urban Home Magazine

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The Perfect Holiday Entertainment This December!


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44 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

Coastal Retreat By Nancy Atkinson Photography by Harry Taylor


On the Crystal Coast of North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks sits a new home that is truly one-of-a-kind. Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the house is as strong as it is stylish.

Built by general contractors Andrew Roby and designed by Charlotte architects Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson (MGPB), the home is a showpiece by anyone’s estimation. It is also a Gold FORTIFIED Home™, meeting the highest level of achievement for disaster resistance as determined by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Ryan Crosser, Vice President of Andrew Roby’s new coastal division, says the Atlantic Beach home is built to withstand 185 mile an hour winds and is only the second Gold FORTIFIED Home™ built in the state of North Carolina. “We have seen first hand how hurricane-proof this house is,” says Ryan. “Hurricane Irene hit us midconstruction and there was not one water leak in the house.” The home has a hurricane foundation with pilings 16 feet into the ground. Its exterior walls on the first floor are solid concrete and the windows are all high impact hurricane proof glass. The front exterior staircase and the four outdoor shower stalls are all made of Brazilian walnut, chosen for durability as well as beauty. If going for the gold certification sounds expensive, it pays off in the long run. These homeowners stand to save between $4,000 and $6,000 on their annual insurance. Beyond its structural integrity, the home is a design masterpiece. The couple chose Andrew Roby, who built their custom home in Charlotte, to build this dream vacation home. Charlotte architects MGPB designed the home in less than twelve weeks. The owners gave the design team creative license, with a few requests. They wanted the home to fit in with others in the neighborhood, which were built in the 1950s. They also wanted their living room ceiling to resemble the hull bottom of an old ship. “We used reclaimed 18th century beams from a mill in Virginia,” says Ryan, who sourced the materials and directed every detail of the home’s construction. “The Best of guide 2013 Urban Home triangle 45

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beams are held together with mortise and tendon joints, which was a challenge.” Every piece of wood used in the home was custom and arrived prefinished from a cabinet factory. “Every cut we made to the wood had to be perfect,” he says. The home is truly one-of-a-kind, with every detail custom made. “There are 20,000 individually dipped cedar shakes on the home’s exterior,” says Ryan. “We hand-dipped them in an opaque stain and hung them to dry on clotheslines before repackaging for the sub-contractor to use.” Walls of ash with oak floors give the home its beach cottage look and feel. Mint Hill Cabinet Shop in Charlotte provided the beautiful distressed kitchen cabinets, made to resemble old shutters. The homeowner, once a designer herself, provided the vision for the home’s interior. She imported the wallpaper from England and had every sheet, chair, curtain or pillow custom made. No detail was too small. Even the individual slats of the interior blinds were custom painted to resemble driftwood. Her thoughtful design is carried through every detail of the home, including the cork walls and floors of the 300-bottle wine cellar and a door of knotty alder. The glass transoms over the shower doors are not only practical but they also add an elegant touch to the home’s architectural details. The fireplace surround, cut from one piece of solid stone, is honed soapstone, which is naturally occurring on the Crystal Coast. It complements the polished soapstone of the kitchen counters. “I was pleased to find so many skilled craftsmen in this area,” says Ryan, who explains that with the construction of this home, Andrew Roby opened its new coastal division and is now one of the largest contractors in the area. “This gold-certified home is the first of its kind here, but it won’t be the last,” he says. “We are happy to be a preferred FORTIFIED Home™ builder now. The homes we build here will be not only beautiful, they will withstand whatever Mother Nature throws their way.”v

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“The homes we build here will be not only beautiful, they will withstand whatever Mother Nature throws their way.”


W By Anne Marie Ashley Photography by Jim Schmid


When you walk into the house that’s perfect for you and your family, you just know. It feels like home. It speaks to you. It has a personality that matches yours and the layout only accentuates the way you already live your life. And so it was for the Whites when they bought their gorgeous Georgian home. “We’d looked at over 55 houses during the year-long home-buying process,” remembers Ashleigh White. “We made an offer within an hour of seeing this house. The layout was perfect and it required zero structural changes.” Ashleigh and her husband knew they wanted to start fresh with their new home, ditching the more traditional style they’d left at their home in Georgia and embracing a more modern approach with a neutral palette in North Carolina. “I am drawn to a more contemporary look while my husband is very traditional,” explains Ashleigh. “Transitional style seemed like a perfect marriage of our tastes and we began searching for a designer that did that perfectly.” The couple met with Melissa Armstrong of Melissa Armstrong Interiors and realized that her unique design style was ideal for their home. “She didn’t fall into that broad category of transitional,” says Ashleigh, “and her type-A, super organized style made her easy to work with.” With no renovations needed on their home, Melissa and Ashleigh got straight to work on design. With two small children, the spaces in Ashleigh’s home had to be comfortable and functional, yet stylish and decorative at once. Every bit of wallpaper came down, all the surfaces were re-painted and the floors refinished for a rich, warm feeling. “I think first and foremost, a home must work functionally,” explains Melissa. “ I want clients to be able to feel like they can actually ‘live’ in their home and enjoy every space.” Melissa and Ashleigh worked together combining new pieces with refurbished pieces already owned by the Whites. Custom upholstered pieces intermingle with cherished family pieces that were re-covered to complement, and custom window treatments, rugs from Stark Carpet and art from Hidell Brooks Gallery were brought in to round out the style. “When I first meet my clients,” says Melissa, “I ask them to tear out inspiration from design magazines and bring them to our meeting. The common threads I see help me pin down their style.” Melissa also says that sites like Pinterest have made this process even easier, with clients able to share their pin boards with the designer and collaborate on looks. “My advice is to create your pin boards, and make sure your house has an easy flow from room to room.” When asked what her favorite room in the house is, Ashleigh easily answers that it’s the living

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The resulting design of this home is a study in transitional style with a clean, comfortable look that is perfect for this family of four.

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room. “I found a pair of Mid-Century sconces two years before we decorated the room,” she explains, “but I knew that I wanted them to be the focal point.” Melissa designed most of the room around the sconces and added an extra long sofa with no arms for ample seating. Functional as well as beautiful, this room might be the center of the congruence of traditional and contemporary When you walk for the Whites. The into the perfect home. . . contemporary vibe of the sconces and design it has a personality that of the ottoman fabric complement the more matches yours and the traditional textures like linen and velvet. layout only accentuates Classic books and candelabras are used in the way you already a contemporary way to decorate the mantle and live your life. the room comes together with accessories chosen by Melissa. “My favorite day is accessory day. I bring all of my favorite finds from local shops and try them out in the space – then I pare down from there,” says Melissa. “I like a clean, uncluttered look.” The resulting design of this home is a study in transitional style with a clean, comfortable look that is perfect for this family of four. “Melissa has a fresh style that I was really drawn to,” explains Ashleigh. “Really, every room in our home is my favorite.”v

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Custom Design Engagement Jewelry Repair Watch Repair Appraisals University Mall Exterior Entrance 919.968.0011 Best of guide 2013 Urban Home triangle 55

Deck the halls with stylish statement pieces, awe-worthy accessories and



The Holiday Hip(star)

Add a little hip to your holiday with a little high/low mix and match. Donte Woven, Alberto Bellini. $289 Arlington Vest, Civil Society. $120 Knit Skinny Tie, French Connection. $58 Le Blanc Shawl Knit Cardigan, Carapace. $120 Slim Fit Premium Denim, Agave. $238 Ellington Oxfords, Bed Stu. $180

clothing cheer this holiday season. Bring the edge to your evening events, the funk to your work festivities and the cool to your cozy and comfortable winter wardrobe. Be bold. Be unique. Be you. Find yourself. Natalie Drennon of The Art of Style Boutique

The Holiday Hunk

The Downtown Dude

Asterilla Suiting Pant, Original Penguin. $125 Asterilla Suiting Blazer, Original Penguin. $225 Donte Woven, Alberto Bellini. $189 Tie, French Connection. $58 Newsboy Cap, Ksino. $68 Alex Scarf, Carapace $45 Orleans Oxford, Bed Stu. $180

Bing V-Neck Tee, Original Penguin. $30 Spectrum Henley, 7 Diamonds. $108 Tucker Trench, Carapace. $298 Soft Plaid Scarf, French Connection. $68 Plaid Newsboy Cap. $78 Kerouac Jean, Civil Society. $108 Burst Boots, Bed Stu. $180

Dreaming of a well-dressed winter wardrobe? Elevate your holiday look with a sharp suit and awe-worthy accessories.

For the dashing and dapper downtown dude, try out this layered look that blends texture and pattern from head to toe.

Images courtesy of Terrence Jones/J1s Photography. 56 Urban Home triangle Best of guide 2013

natalie drennon The Belle of the Ball

The Styleholic

Perez Dress, Kendra Michelle. $178 Snakeskin Clutch. $135

Huslu Stole. $48 Vancamp Coat, Kendra Michelle. $298 Diane Blouse, Kendra Michelle. $98 Hayley Necklace. $28 Celine Belt. $30 The “it� Bag. $64 Chiara Palazzo Pant, Kendra Michelle. $148 Kerry Spiked Pump. $148

Show a little edge this holiday season by bringing some leather in to a simple, structured silhouette for those holiday parties, jingle belle rockers!

For the style conscious girl-on-the-go, try this chic, yet bold look that can be worn all day into the night. From the office to those after work socials.

The Pretty Princess

Make a graceful and girly entrance into any holiday gathering in this angelic and pretty little number. Aria Dress, Kendra Michelle. $148 Snakeskin Clutch. $115 Bangin Bangles. $32 Kerry Spiked Pump. $148

Natalie Drennon is manager and stylist at The Art of Style Boutique. For personal stylist assistance or to make an appointment, visit The Art of Style at 2032 Cameron Street in Raleigh or call 919-755-3333. For more information, visit Best of guide 2013 Urban Home triangle 57


We understand. When things are headed up, know that we’re ready to bring style & value to your home – the kitchen, bedroom, bath – even its ups & downs. Bringing style & value together since 195O. 919.210.2928 Triangle Division 252.648.8007 Coastal Division

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Profile for Urban Home Triangle


Urban Home Magazine, is the most widely read home and garden magazine in the Triangle area.


Urban Home Magazine, is the most widely read home and garden magazine in the Triangle area.