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October / November 2015

Triangle URBAN


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Reaching 198,000 homes annually

October/November 2015


VOL 3 NO 5 Publisher Mark Herrmann Managing Editor Anne Marie Ashley Editorial Director Tammy Wanchisn Writers Anne Marie Ashley Laura Jackson Brandy Snow Dana Todd Sales Sue Mooney Art Direction Stacy Long Cats-Up Graphics

home design

Harriet McDowall PageCreations Photography Dustin Peck John Bessler Contributing Editors Patrick Casey Will McKendry Max Isley Mary Liebhold Production Administrator Shelley Kemper Phone 919-929-3335 Fax 704-973-5685 Email: Website:


All contents copyright 2015, 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.

feature home 10 Lakeside Luxury feature home 20 High Country Modern

contributing editors

spaces we love 30 Designer: Heather Smith

room service: 50 patrick casey Empirically Speaking

feature home 32 Greener Pastures

trending decorating 38 Transcending the Ages decorating 42 Transformers Room To Room Lighting Tips kitchen & bath trends 46 Making A Solid Choice: Our Guide To Countertops

resources outdoors 54 Hearth and Home

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kitchen design: 58 max isley & mary liebhold Take Time to Design the Kitchen building a better home: 62 will mckendry Dollar Wise

departments essentials 52 Style Underfoot lifestyles 64 Explore the Triangle






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Home Design

Lakeside Luxury

High Country Modern

Spaces We Love

Greener Pastures

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Page 20

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By Laura Jackson Photography by John Bessler

When a couple of young, successful entrepreneurs decided to create their ultimate lakeside getaway, they knew exactly who to enlist — someone who would not only dream big with them, but a person who also possesses the ability to see beyond boundaries and expectations.

They’d enlisted the same talented designer to guide them through a beautiful redesign of their Chapel Hill home several years before, so luckily, they knew exactly where to find her – at Heather Garrett Design. It was clear from the beginning that this project would be different. Tucked into the beautiful banks of Lake Gaston in Littleton, N.C., the homeowners envisioned a space that was perfect for entertaining, yet had all the cozy comforts of a retreat uniquely designed for their growing family. The couple had fond childhood memories of spending precious family time on a lake and wanted to recreate those experiences, while adding their own personal flair. “What I loved about these young clients is that they really didn’t care about ‘normal’ at all,” said Heather. “The original architectural plans called for a detached master suite with a bedroom and bath, but we realized through our design process that the husband brainstorms best while in motion. So, he wanted to have, like, circus rings or a trapeze or basketball court instead of a master suite there!” When asked more specifically, the homeowner clarified that it was about functionality, adding, “I’d rather sleep in a little bedroom upstairs and have a climbing wall downstairs than a fancy master bedroom.” As changes like these came along, Heather worked with builder Corbitt Hills Construction to make the adjustments. This change resulted in a spectacular gym complete with a robust climbing wall. “Talk about a real October/ November 2015 Urban Home triangle 11

learning curve for us,” said Heather. “We discovered a lot about building code compliance for a climbing wall!” Another out-of-thebox change included ditching the idea of a traditional dining room in favor of a luscious, deep upholstered niche and shuffleboard table. In place of a traditional boat dock, Heather created an exquisite 12 Urban Home triangle October/November 2015

floating lounge with a full-size wet bar, huge flat-screen TV and a swimmer’s platform perfect for all their treasured wakeboarding adventures. Guests and family members would also be able to enjoy breezy, lazy afternoons lounging in the oversized hammock, or swinging carefree in lounge chairs as they gaze up to the gorgeous vaulted wood-

paneled ceiling or out onto the breathtaking lake. “Nature, without question, is why I’m drawn to loose and relaxed shapes with gritty textures and imperfect forms,” said Heather. “Imperfection has a very romantic quality to it, in my opinion. In terms of architecture, I favor clean and pure structures – whether it’s a classic

French traditional or contemporary California plan – an uncomplicated, open structure is a dream.” Another part of Heather’s overall design philosophy includes her love of organic ornamentation. “Essentially, it’s the idea that nothing made by man is as beautiful as that found in nature,” she explains. Inside October/ November 2015 Urban Home triangle 13

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and out, this lakeside dream space provides a refreshing continuity from room to room – from Garrett’s use of multiple organic shapes and textures to her soothing neutral palette of colors. By incorporating items such as shells, branches, antlers, wood grains and more, she creates a spirit of comfortable and casual elegance that flows from every corner. Surrounding the exterior of the home is a stunning wrap-around porch, an inviting outdoor living room centered around a stone fireplace and a welcoming lounge area with sofas, chairs and dreamy porch swings. Heather and the homeowners both agree that this is easily their favorite space. Here, rustic beauty and serene sophistication blend seamlessly. Billowing drapery anchoring each corner flows with a gentle breeze and when combined with soothing lakeside sounds, even the most cynical guest could agree that this is a little slice of heaven on earth.v

To see all the photos from this home, visit

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©2014 Stark Carpet Corp.

©2015 Stark Carpet Corp.



11415 Granite Street Suite A Charlotte, NC 28273 RUG: NOT 105041B

Elysian Collection



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High Country ModERN By Anne Marie Ashley Photography by Dustin Peck

When the homeowners of this gorgeous mountain home decided to build, they knew from the start that they wanted a modern home that fit snugly into the North Carolina mountain landscape.

H Having purchased the beautiful land right next door to their friends’ home in Boone, the couple couldn’t wait to wake up inspired by the expansive mountain views on a daily basis. Local architect Bradley Dowdy drew up a floor plan that happily combined their contemporary style with the rugged environment, and the couple called on Andrew Roby to construct their dreamy mountain escape and David Smith of Custom Interiors to make their reality beautiful and livable. “Our clients like a contemporary style, as the Mrs. is a fantastic artist,” explains Trent Haston, CEO of Andrew Roby. “They wanted this landscape to be the backdrop for their greatest masterpiece – a beautiful family compound.”

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Having worked with the family on their primary residence for over ten years, Trent and the team at Andrew Roby had an intimate knowledge of their clients’ style. From purchase to completion over two years later, the team worked together to create an extraordinary retreat that satisfied the modern appeal of the homeowners and the cozy feel of a mountain home. “I’ve discovered a fondness for contemporary architecture that I didn’t use to have. Wood finishes, natural coverings and clean architectural lines with sleek moldings not only look great, but force the

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highest quality of craftsmanship,” explains Trent, adding that his father introduced him to contemporary style and the beauty in details that can make a statement. “The designer’s choice of ‘matchbook stone’ on the grand fireplace wall and on the kitchen countertops really nailed both the contemporary style and the statement-making details.” Harkey Tile and Stone worked extensively with the designer to get the perfect look for the stonework on the home – something designer David Smith says is integral to the success of a pulled together

“Working with a great team, including a contractor and especially an interior designer, who have access to a plethora of resources, is key to really pulling together a home and making it feel complete...�

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Stair Photo only: by Katherine Connell Interior Design

Broadloom, Rugs, Fabrics, Lighting and Wallpaper

8101 Glenwood Avenue 919.782.6010 | follow us on:

October/ November 2015 Urban Home triangle 27 15-EAT-001282_Eatmans_September-Urban-Homes.indd 1

9/23/15 4:13 PM

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home. “Working with a great team, including a contractor and especially an interior designer, who have access to a plethora of resources, is key to really pulling together a home and making it feel complete,” he explains. Drawing inspiration from the homeowners’ love of modern art and natural earthy tones, David Smith got to work on the interiors. “The lady of the house is an amazing artist and nearly all the artwork came from her,” explains David. She also added pieces from friends and artists Rick Beck and Tom Spleith, as well as a sculpture in the kitchen by Phillip Baldwin and Mary Guggisberg. “When you start with beautiful art like that, it’s easier to build accessories from there.” Though many types of design inspire David including antiques mixed with modern European design, he felt equally at ease designing a modern home. “Modern country or mixing Mid-Century with anything antique is what really excites me, but in the end it just has to be great design. ” He adds that unexpected details are the secret to decorating. “No matter what overall style you’re decorating in, it doesn’t have to be predictable.” Owning his own retail store allowed David to pull many of the furnishings and custom pieces from his own collection in to round out the design of the couple’s home. Trent and his clients agree that the gathering room is their favorite space, noting that the kitchen, dining and sitting rooms are all open to one another, but sufficiently defined as their own space. The sliding glass doors that open up to the deck with panoramic views of the rolling mountains add drama and natural beauty, while the dining room table, custom made from a fallen 300-year old tree by local silversmith gaines Kiker, adds warm character. David, however, is drawn to the downstairs sitting room, which has become a great place for games and cocktails with warm colors and a goatskin rug that you “don’t want to step off of.” Either way, a marriage of modern aesthetic and warm livability make this home a success on all levels.v

“The lady of the house is an amazing artist and nearly all the artwork came from her,” explains David. “When you start with beautiful art like that, it’s easier to build accessories from there.”

To see all the photos from this home, visit October/ November 2015 Urban Home triangle 29

DESIGNER: Heather Smith of Circa Interiors


Imagine starting your day in this inspired dining space, hot cup of coffee in hand and cozying up on the oversized couch with the morning paper. Highly styled, yet dually comfortable, this casual dining area is a space we love.

Chris Edwards

The original space had heavy stone walls, small archways, large casegoods for storage and dark flooring. By opening up the space, adding new windows and doors and designing with a neutral palette, the dining area now serves multiple functions with lots of natural light and incredible views of the lawn and pool out back.

“We needed something decorative but functional on the wall behind the sofa banquette. We found a pair of narrow bookshelves at the Paris flea market, which instantly gave us style and a chic way to store everyday dishes.” — Heather Smith

Key Design Elements: Light Fixture, vintage from France and custom redesigned.

“Bongo” Stools, Lee Industries.

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Slip-covered Chairs, Lee Industries.

Sofa, Verellen.

Greener Pastures


By Anne Marie Ashley Photography by Dustin Peck

When Tracy and Greg Frey decided to build their dream home they didn’t have to look far for the perfect location.

Already residents in a nearby community, they had seen the pastoral neighborhood and equestrian center being developed and decided to take a look. It didn’t take but a few minutes to decide that this would be the perfect setting to build their family’s ideal home. “The area has a lot to offer when it comes to restaurants, night life and careers,” says Tracy Frey. “Here, we get the best of both worlds.” As they developed plans for the build, the broker for the neighborhood suggested that their new home would be a great fit for an upcoming home tour. They assembled a dream team to work on the home, including designer Traci Zeller, and quickly got to work. The Frey’s were looking for a place that felt like an escape but also a great place to entertain with plenty of doors for open flow indoors and outdoors. Not to mention they are an active, outdoorsy family that is always on the go. When it came to floorplan, the Frey’s were keen to keep an open-concept home for easy entertaining, but were also adamant about using every inch of space in the home. “We didn’t want any wasted space throughout the home,” explains Frey. “Long hallways that add to square footage and cost, but don’t give you any functional space are exactly the things we tried to avoid.” Frey continues, adding that they really wanted to keep their current and future family needs in mind while designing the home, including building a room over the two-car garage that can be used as a play room now, but is wired for a home theatre as their kids grow into teens. Though Zeller was part of the process from

breaking ground to completion, her vision truly took shape once the interiors were being installed. “I create crisp, classic interiors that make family-centered lives simpler and more stylish,” offers Zeller. Which is exactly why she was a great fit for this family of four. “I understood how they wanted their home to look,” says Zeller, “but also, how an active family would use it.” Drawing inspiration from the homeowners’ active lifestyles along with her own affinity for fashion, art and travel, Zeller was able to create a show stopper of a home that was also entirely livable. Zeller says she always starts her designs with fabric, because more than any other element, it adds a softness and warmth to a room. Selecting one multi-color pattern as a base helps her to create a blueprint for the rest of the home, varying the hues and intensity from room to room while maintaining a subtle cohesion, which was the perfect result in this classic home. When offering advice to homeowners, Zeller suggests that investment pieces like rugs and upholstered furniture should be classic in form – for the Frey’s home, she pulled most of her large pieces from the latest collection at Ethan Allen, which were integral to adding a timeless, but ultra-stylish look. “Ethan Allen specializes in creating icons of livable luxury, and that’s what this home is all about,” she says. To round out the overall design, Zeller pulled vintage pieces from other favorite vendors like Matters of Style Marketplace, and regional artists Kerry Steele (represented by the Anne Nielson Gallery) and Lesli DeVito (represented

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by, from which many of the equestrian themed artwork were custom made. “To me, art is fundamental. It creates a home that is authentic and grounded,” she explains. She adds that she often uses vintage accessories in new construction homes to create a sense of history that they typically lack. A pool table in the recreation room added just the right amount of design-meets-function to make everyone happy. “How often can you say a pool table is ‘gorgeous’!” laughs Zeller, “but it really is.” The Frey’s couldn’t be happier with the final product of their dream home and it was a hit at home tour. “There is no way I could choose just one room to love in our home, but I have to admit that the kitchen and scullery are a true joy,” says Frey. “It’s clean, functional, open and pleasing to the eye. Plus I can see out back to the beautiful open pastures.”

To see all the photos from this home, visit

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Phoebe Howard

Transcending the Ages

Transformers Room To Room Lighting Tips

Making A Solid Choice: Our Guide To Countertops

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Page 42

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n Trends

Transcending the Ages


Origin: Villages of Aubusson and Felletin in central France. However, Aubusson-style rugs are currently produced in China, India and Pakistan Colors: Soft pastels (especially blue and dusky rose) and ivories Design: Floral motifs and pretty painterly patterns


Origin: Traditionally woven in Afghanistan and Armenia Colors: 3-7 colors and a common palette of deep indigo, red and ivory Design: Geometric motifs of animals, flowers and tribal medallions

Persian Medallion (also called Kashan)

Image courtesy of Loloi Rugs, Nyla Collection

Oriental rugs, also called Persian rugs or Tibetans, have been around since before Jesus’ time, with the earliest known record dating back to 400 B.C.. Excavated in 1949 from the grave of a Scythian nobleman in the Pazyryk Valley in Siberia, the carpet was determined to have been woven in the 5th century. So, how is it possible that a centuries-old design piece transcends time and lands happily in the most modern of spaces? Beauty, that’s how – because no matter what color, scale, origin or pattern, a quality Persian rug never goes out of style. But with so many patterns, weaves and colors, it can be difficult to distinguish one type of Oriental rug from another. Here’s a handy-dandy guide. 38 Urban Home triangle October/November 2015

Origin: Iran and Pakistan Colors: Diverse palette of 15-25 colors Design: Floral motifs with unique central medallion


Origin: The most concentrated Baluchi tribe resides in Pakistan Colors: 6-10 bright, unexpected colors Design: Hallmarked by playful patterns with geometric designs and tribal symbols


Origin: The ancient city of Khotan in the southern region of Xinjiang (Chinese Turkistan) Colors: Can be rich and warm (deep reds and golds) or light and pastel (pale pinks and light grays) Design: Chinese and central Asian influences, stylized geometric and floral patterns


Origin: Iran Colors: Typically features 6-9 alternating colors (typically deep indigo blue, red or gold/yellow) Design: Bold, geometric designs interspersed with tribal symbols



(also known as Peshawar)

Origin: Pakistan, Afghanistan and central Asia Colors: Solid, jewel-toned background color with 5-8 repeating colors Design: Highly stylized pattern that repeats over entire surface of rug

Origin: Traditionally produced in Pakistan Colors: Antiqued appearance featuring earthy, golden tones and abrash (differing shades of one color) throughout Design: Symmetrical border pattern and floral motifs

Kilim (Flatweave)


Origin: Turkey Colors: 3-8 colors from turquoise and purple to the more traditional red, pink, ivory, green and blue Design: Predominantly geometric; most commonly medallions, multiple connected diamond-shaped medallions and all-over octagonal shapes.

Oriental rugs can be woven into the design matrix of any room with a keen eye and the right mix of pieces. Here are just a few examples of how to incorporate one (or many!) in any part of your home.

Origin: Uşak, Turkey Colors: Silky, shimmery wool in shades of cinnamon, terracotta, grey and soft pastels Design: Large-scale geometric floral patterns

Dilute This might seem like sacrilege, but if you worry about the rug clashing with other patterns, diluting the rug with neutral surroundings is actually the best way to highlight it. Think white walls, hardwood floors and a soft color palette. All In The Family Celebrate the overall look of your oriental by selecting one color family in the rug and carrying it through your design. For example, if one of the background colors is a deep plum color, pick pillow patterns, throws or artwork that have plum colorways. Embrace Sometimes, the mis-match is what makes design special. Embrace the oddity in pairing

a beautiful red Persian with a cobalt blue velvet sofa, bringing just the perfect sense of completion to a room. Combine Classics Oriental rugs themselves are classic designs so pair them with other mainstays like paisley, plaid and even hides to give an overall feeling of timeless compatibility. Whimsical Works Though oriental rugs can seem formal, adding whimsy to your design can tone down the stuffiness and dial up the comfort. Pair a club chair covered in cheeky fabric with a Persian underneath and you’ve created a space that’s unassuming and humble.

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n Trends


R o o m t o R o o m L i g htin g T i p s By Anne Marie Ashley


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Ask any designer and they’ll likely tell you that the most underestimated design element in any home is lighting. It has the ability to make a small room look big, a dingy room look fresh and bright and even the squarest room look full of angles and interest. The right fixture can truly transform a space and is deserving of your first consideration when designing your interiors. So highlight your home and allow each room to truly shine.

Living Room The living room is often the family retreat and can serve several purposes at once. Cozy, bright and relaxed, this multitasking space needs several different lighting sources for adaptability – most notably a pendant or chandelier overhead for overall light, preferably with a dimmer. Accent lighting like table and floor lamps brighten dark corners and offer light by which to read. To highlight built-ins housing books, accessories and family photos, consider adding under-cabinet lighting, or “library lights”, to create a soft glow for sentimental surfaces. Sconces over the fireplace highlight artwork or mantle decoration; reminding you to admire the home you’ve created. And of course, if you have lots of windows, take full advantage of natural light throughout the day, accenting with different light sources as the daylight changes. Dining Room The chandelier over your dining room table sets the tone for the entire room and does the lion’s share of the work. It could be modern and edgy – a great pick for a transitional home – or an antique chandelier for a dining room that is elegant, dramatic or more formal. For a dining room that’s light and bright, consider using a collage of formal and informal pieces that blend together. For example, a rustic lantern paired with a formal chandelier can make a space feel relaxed and more approachable. Candlelight can add a warm and inviting atmosphere when you want guests to linger and enjoy the meal, and a dimmer on the overhead can create instant

ambience during any gathering, formal or informal. Of course added layers like lamps on the sideboard or in-cabinet lighting that spotlights fine china can punctuate the décor. Kitchen Lighting in this room should work hard, but be beautiful. Kitchen lighting is primarily task lighting, but even task lighting can elevate a space from strictly functional to totally stylish. Pendant lights often succeed on both fronts, since they offer a contemporary take on a traditional silhouette. In most kitchens, the island takes center stage and needs to have a killer focal point. Try some rustic pendants or an interesting chandelier to bring some charm to the kitchen. Popular oiled brass finishes offer a warm but more matte glow to the space. For cooking and prepping meals, under-cabinet lighting helps illuminate the work surface, and when not in use will highlight gorgeous countertops and set off ho-hum cabinets. Track lighting or recessed lights will offer another layer of task lighting. Bedroom This room is a sanctuary, meant for rest, relaxation and restoration. Lighting in the bedroom should be soft, unobtrusive and warm. Bedside table lamps can be multipurpose, adding personality to the space with patterned shades, interesting bases and pops of color, but also offering you a light by which to read or otherwise decompress from the day. A bedroom can benefit from more task lighting on a dresser, an accent light on a photo or work of art and overhead lights on a dimmer switch for general ambience. Soft recessed ceiling lights provide gentle illumination, while an overhead chandelier provides both dimmable atmosphere and a stylish accent.

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Hinkley Lighting

Hinkley Lighting

Bathroom Ultimately a task-oriented room, the bathroom may seem like the last room on your list to contemplate lighting at length. However, consider that this room is where you get ready for your day – you get dressed, fix your hair and take a moment to steel yourself for the day ahead. Guests find themselves a moment alone to “powder their nose” and pull themselves together here. Bathrooms deserve not only task lighting, but also lighting that’s complimentary. Flexible lighting in these rooms allow for bright white light in the mornings to awaken and refresh, soft spa-light to relax, or dim light for evenings and late-night visits. Bright light fixtures over mirrors or in the shower will help in getting ready, and natural light from windows can supplement overhead or task lighting. Powder rooms can be cozy with warm light from sconces that make everyone look good.v

Sea Gull Lighting

44 Urban Home triangle October/November 2015

“Since 1919�

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Kitchen & BAth

n Trends

Making A Solid Choice:

Our Guide To Countertops With what seems like a million choices in countertop materials it’s not only confusing to know what the best option is for your kitchen, but also overwhelming to stay on top of what’s new. We’d like to help you navigate the countertop wars and choose the best fit for your family.


Material: Most popular material, until recently, Granite is a natural stone that is cut and polished for surface use. Benefits: Durable; heat and scratch resistant and available in a wide array of patterns, colorways and styles. Timeless and easy to clean, though yearly maintenance advised. Varieties: Available in nearly endless colorways and patterns. Good For: Any kitchen, especially high-traffic kitchens.


Material: Having come a long way in look and functionality, Laminate is made of particleboard with sheets of laminate or melamine resin glued together for a sturdy, solid surface. Benefits: Budget-friendly. Mimics granite, marble or even steel at a fraction of the cost and it’s moisture-proof. Designers like Jonathan Adler are designing patterned countertops for a one-of-a-kind look. Varieties: Patterns mimicking stone, marble, wood, fabric, leather and even rusted metal, in addition to richly hued solid colors and textured patterns. Good For: Mid-Century Modern or Retro kitchens. Kitchen islands and easy maintenance kitchens.

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Materials: Wood or butcher-block countertops are made from straight cuts of wood that are glued together. Benefits: Warm, hardworking and budget-friendly. Though they do require sealant, unlike other cost effective options like laminate, wood is highly heat resistant. When sealed properly, the wood is completely sanitary, even for cutting meat. Customizable with stains and finishes. Varieties: Wood countertops can be cut from many types of wood, including Ash, Beech, Burch, Cherry, Hickory or Pine, among others. Good For: Traditional, modern or retro kitchens and ecofriendly homes. Easy maintenance kitchens that want a warmer feel.


Material: A natural stone that’s cut and honed or polished for surface use. Benefits: Lends a natural, organic feel to the kitchen, and also a hint of luxury. Can be as affordable as granite and even less expensive than quartz. A naturally cool surface, great for baking. Varieties: Most commonly shades of white, often with grey veins, though other varieties can be found. Choose honed for a softer, more comfortable matte look or polished for a highshine, luxurious look. Good For: Lightly used kitchens and Type A personalities who love a truly clean, bright kitchen; or messy cooks who are chill about the occasional etch or stain to which a naturally porous material is prone.


Material: Concrete countertops are made from a generalpurpose mortar mix: one part cement to three parts sand. Benefits: Heat-resistant; very durable if sealed; shapes, edge details and texture can be fully customized (i.e. you can add recycled glass or stone pieces into the mixture); can be made to look seamless with a filler and can be stained any variety of colors. Varieties: Leaving it natural looks like smooth grey concrete, but it can be custom stained or colored, or even mixed with other materials to add texture. Good For: Modern, industrial or rustic style kitchens with moderate use.


Material: Quartz is an engineered material made from bits of stone, resins and pigments that can be dyed a variety of hues. Benefits: Practically maintenance free; resistant to stains, scratches, heat, acid and nearly unbreakable. And thanks to the non-porous surface, Quartz surfaces don’t need to be sealed like natural stone surfaces. Varieties: Available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Good For: Larger families and busy cooks.

Stainless Steel


Material: Stainless steel is made of a metal alloy with chromium content of around 10 percent. Benefits: Industrial strength; durable; easy to clean and antibacterial. It can be cut to any size and installed without seams. It’s impervious to heat, rust, corrosion and stains. Coordinates with any finishes. Varieties: Available in satin, antique matte or specialty finishes. Good For: Modern or industrial style kitchens; families concerned with hygienic cooking; high-traffic kitchens and eco-friendly kitchens (it’s 100 percent recyclable).

Lava Stone

Material: Non-porous, quarried natural stone. Composed mostly of mineral talc with higher amounts of quartz for countertop use. Benefits: Beautiful color; smooth matte feel; resistant to bacteria and can be sanded or oiled to restore. Doesn’t require yearly sealing. Varieties: Available in a range of greys from light to dark, all with subtle veining. Good For: Any kitchen.


Material: A new countertop material, volcanic lava stone is extracted by hand from open-air quarries (usually in Auvergne, France), then cut into slabs, glazed with enamel and fired in a kiln at 1,300 degrees. During cooling a smooth crackled finish develops. Benefits: Non-porous; highly resistant to stains, scratches, shock and temperature changes; low maintenance; durable; each slab is completely unique and available in a wide variety of colors; can be installed without seams. Varieties: Available in just about any color imaginable, including neutrals. Can be shiny or matte with an ultra smooth, crackled finish. Good For: Large budget kitchens; statement kitchens and busy cooks; eco-friendly kitchens (nearly indestructible, so waste is minimal).

Material: Quartzite is a natural stone that is cut and polished for surface use. Benefits: Since it’s harder than Granite, Quartzite does not scratch or etch but as a natural stone, it still needs sealing to help resist staining. It’s also heat-resistant and an easy-care stone, needing just a wipe from a damp cloth and mild soap to clean. Veining varies from slab to slab, so no two are exactly alike. Varieties: Most often white or grey with brown and black veins, but you can occasionally find colored quartzite if the original rock had impurities that impacted color - for example, iron oxide can create pink or red hues, where other minerals can add yellow, green or even blue. Good For: A long-term, high-quality kitchen that gets high use but needs easy maintenance. Though natural stone can be quite costly, the quality is unmatched.

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Contributing Editor | Room Service

Empirically Speaking

Patrick Casey Over the past decade the Internet has trumped the hardbound catalogs as a resource to garner interior design ideas

As fall leisurely approaches, I find myself yearning for the iconic landscape of New England. From the collegiate campuses of New Haven, revered side streets and alleyways of Boston, rolling hills and tranquil pastures of Vermont and up to the seaside hamlets of Maine, I am deeply steeped with inspiration from our traditionally royal roots and long for the emergence of a new Camelot…a dynastic realm that heralds a noble influence. While I can hear a faint sigh from the editor desperately seeking my point, I must exclaim that such a wondrously majestic place indeed exists. Whether it’s a manor house in Hayes Barton or a colonial cottage near Five Points, it is only a few short keystrokes away… on Pinterest! You see, over the past decade the Internet

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has trumped the hardbound catalogs as a resource to garner interior design ideas, and has essentially rendered them almost useless and too costly to maintain at in-store settings. It’s an easy assumption then that this monarch of social media is especially popular with designers, with home décor being one of its most popular search categories. Empirically speaking, this fairly new upstart valued in excess of $11 billion with over 75 million users is by far the best resource I’ve found. Creating and sharing a master storyboard with my clients is a cinch and accessing it is even easier with cell phones, iPads and tablets. The boards can even circulate around the globe. To prove my point, I set forth on a new pinning pilgrimage to create my very own online


display showcasing my aforementioned passion. I simply type in search terms like “British design”, “New England décor” or “American tradition”, and instantly I am presented with a cornucopia of nostalgic yet stimulating images! With that said, my advice (and puritanical rule) for a successful journey on Pinterest is to assign yourself a board that exclusively earmarks all the elements for your personal project, first and foremost. This includes furniture, flooring, rugs, fabric, lighting and everything in between that’s relevant. Most importantly, don’t limit your search terms to standard industry

jargon only; for example, you can find decorating intrigue from other categories such as “fashion and apparel” for fabric, and “travel” will feature and highlight beautifully regal and wellappointed resorts worldwide. Go forth, have fun and happy pinning!v Patrick Casey 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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essentials new products

Style Underfoot


2 1.

Studio-2020 Oriental Rug in color 1498, Masland Carpets. Available at Eatmans Carpets.


Urban Scape, Nairamat Collection. Available at Stark Carpet.


Hand-Knotted Turkish Design. Available at Green Front Furniture.


Art Deco Chinese Oriental Rug. Available at The Persian Carpet.


Vintage Sunset Southewestern Rug, Available at Capel Rugs.


Handknotted Oriental Rug. Available at Fargo Hanna.


Oriental Khorassan Antique Rug, Darius Collection. Available at Stark Carpet.





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B A R & G R I L L

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hearth andhome By Brandy Woods Snow Photos courtesy of Belgard Hardscapes

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The shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn don’t have to be a farewell to the outdoor entertaining season. Outdoor fireplaces offer versatility to homeowners looking to entertain friends or simply relax with the family unit while taking advantage of the crisp, classic Carolina fall weather. Rudy Bohorquez, owner of Luxury Living Scapes, Inc. says outdoor fireplaces provide the perfect settings for families to ditch the electronics and cozy up to a full sensory experience. “The sound of crackling logs, the sight of orange blazing embers, the musky smell of wood smoke, the warmth of a roaring fire and the taste of fresh-roasted s’mores around the fireplace beckon families to cash-in on quality time in a natural backdrop,” says Bohorquez. “Fireplaces naturally extend the home’s square footage beyond the interior walls to encompass outdoor living spaces where friends and family can gather.” As the centerpiece of many an autumn social, an outside fireplace can serve not only as a gathering spot but also as a custom-designed showpiece for the backyard landscape. Fireplaces are

constructed of durable masonry, including natural stone veneer and classic brick, and can be designed to enhance an existing patio or cabana, or anchor a complete new backyard design. Wood-burning and natural gas options are available. Luxury Living Scapes, Inc. exclusively uses FireRock pre-engineered masonry fireplace shells in his construction to ensure durability, optimum functionality and ease of use. Luxury Living Scapes, Inc. masons recently completed a custom-built natural stone, thin-sawn veneer fireplace for clients Robert and Shirley Walker. The 6-foot by 10-foot fireplace features natural stone Tennessee Treads for cap, mantle and hearth, which complement the decorative herringbone firebrick. The concrete foundation is reinforced with 6-inch rebar. Two sets of decorative wing benches, a wood storage box and a lower level patio complete the look and offer a terrific retreat in the Walker’s own backyard.v To explore the options for your hearth and home, contact Luxury Living Scapes, Inc. at 919-6564547 or online at

Construction Tips Before the initial consultation with your fireplace specialist, take a moment to consider all your options and your desired final product. Having a vision in place will help your specialist create a functional custom design that meshes seamlessly with your family’s needs. 1. What are my desires for the space? Large social gatherings or intimate evenings at home, fireplaces can do either or both very well. 2. What amenities would I like to add? Patios, cabanas, seating, landscaping – the possibilities are limitless. 3. What location is best? Whether adjacent to your home or further out in the backyard space, a fireplace will always extend the home’s living space. 4. What design best fits my needs? Choosing a built-in style, a cabana covered retreat or a freestanding spot are all viable options.

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e l egance

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TRUST “At every turn, you have responded fairly and truthfully. You handled the details of the closing with expertise, no matter what challenge we faced. You created security for us in the process of selling our home, and we would place our trust in you over and over again.” Margaret Thomas

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Contributing Editor | kitchen design

Take Time to Design the Kitchen Max Isley

Mary Liebhold

A kitchen designer is helpful in balancing form around an axis of symmetry in a kitchen, ensuring the visual scale of a centrally dominate design feature, such as a copper canopy hood, is balanced.


The kitchen is a functional space, but basic interior design elements in here are as important as other rooms. Essential items like appliances, cabinetry and countertops usually are in place as the starting point for kitchen design. Unlike other rooms that may begin with a blank slate, it’s a necessity to connect the existing functional items in a kitchen with the quintessential design elements of space, texture, color and form.

What’s the design lesson? Don’t over-install cabinets but instead leave wall space for the eye to wander. Stacked cabinets that reach a 10-foot ceiling may provide lots of storage but come at a price – both literally in dollars and figuratively in terms of feeling overpowered by the walls. Instead, substitute cantilevered open shelving or store bulky items in other rooms or closets to bring “rest” to the kitchen.

Space Visual white space in a room is great for giving your eyes a spot to rest. Without it, a kitchen can feel crowded, which is amplified during a dinner party when everyone gathers in the kitchen.

Texture The kitchen possesses an inordinate amount of texture in the form of polished granite, rugged concrete, leathered surfaces, rustic wood, shiny or matte metal or other finishes. All of these textures

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can introduce “feelings” into the kitchen. Smooth equals formal while roughened wood equals comfort, for example. The play of textures against each other may take the kitchen aesthetic to a different mood. Be sure to limit the textures to two distinct ones, if possible, to minimize design confusion. Color Hand-in-hand with texture is color. These two design elements often work together to set the tone in a kitchen. High-gloss white cabinets set a certain high-tech expectation, but join them with a natural walnut finish on the countertops and the mood becomes a warmer kind of contemporary. Adding a living edge to a countertop infuses a kitchen with a more comforting, organic aesthetic. Wood, glass, porcelain, and concrete add their own colors and textures to the mix. Now that there are more readily available varieties than ever before, finishes don’t come with a set of expectations. Mixing and matching create new combinations and boost design creativity. Form Lines are a design element easily recognizable in the kitchen. Traditionally, the horizontal lines of the countertop, backsplash, and cabinets add peace and comfort to the room. We can shake it up and create a focal point by selectively accenting vertical lines, say in a section of tall cabinetry emphasizing height and formality. The lines of staggered cabinetry may provide a feeling of comfort if balanced correctly. The addition of curves adds energy or tension. A kitchen designer is helpful in balancing form around an axis of symmetry in a kitchen, ensuring the visual scale of a centrally dominate design feature, such as a copper canopy hood, is balanced. Personal Style Whatever the style, remember to add a touch of your personality. A kitchen should reflect its owner. If the space is correctly designed, you will enjoy being in the kitchen. If you want to create fabulous food, you first have to invent a room you want to be in.v

Unlike other rooms that may begin with a blank slate, it’s a necessity to connect the existing functional items in a kitchen with the quintessential design elements of space, texture, color and form.

Max Isley, Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer, has owned Hampton Kitchens of Raleigh since 1974. For your next project contact him at or 919-554-2227. Hampton Kitchens is located at 6320-B Angus Drive in Raleigh. For more information, visit Mary Liebhold, Certified Kitchen Designer, founded The Kitchen Specialist in 1989, after having designed kitchens in Los Angeles since 1978. Contact her at or 919-490-4922. The showroom is located at 3407 University Drive in Durham. For more information visit

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Contributing Editor | Building a Better Home

Dollar Wise

Will McKendry

“Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish.”

One of my soapbox sayings around our office is, “don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish.” It is easy to want it all when building a home or doing a renovation, and one way to get it all is to cut corners in certain areas, but often in the wrong areas. It is also just as easy to be excessive in areas where you don’t need to be, causing you to waste money and not add value to your home. It is fun for me to analyze and discuss with my clients and friends good products and items to invest in. I call these my “dollar wise items”, and each is sure to give your home enjoyment and livability, guest “wow” power and pizzazz and equity return on your investment. Nano or Retractable Patio Doors These are multi-track sliding door systems, sometimes called operable walls, which create large, unobstructed views of the outdoors. The rule of thumb for a unit in a quality brand is roughly $1,500 per foot of the width of the opening. The advantage of these doors in a climate like ours is that you can create a new indoor/outdoor room by being able to open the doors at least six months out of the year. When entertaining, they really help

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with flow when hosting a large group of people. Also, with the wide expanse of glass, the outdoors become part of the home 365 days per year. Heated Bathroom Floors / Radiant Floor Heat I recommend this upgrade to every client who is renovating a master bathroom. I would even recommend heated floors in any room with tile flooring. The cost is roughly $10 to $15 per square foot, depending on the product that you purchase and install. Remember, once the finished flooring is installed, it is too late! Also, this product will definitely turn the heat up on a buyer when selling. Kitchen Details There are several splurges I recommend in this category. First, I recommend decorative hanging lights over the island or the table. This will set the theme for the room and even the house if the kitchen is located near the entrance. There are fun options available, and a good find can create a talking point for guests. There is a big range in costs for light fixtures, but this is an area where one can shop around and have fun searching for antiques and deals.

Photos Courtesy of David Ramsey Photography.

Secondly, I recommend stone countertops and splash details. If done right, this can give your kitchen an art-like feel that is unique in every way. I love stone details. Do it right and people will talk! I also advise our clients to not skimp on ceiling details such as crown molding and coffering in the kitchen area. While sometimes underappreciated, these details make people enjoy the space without even knowing why. They give people a subconscious feeling of quality and class. Lastly, I recommend adding in some decorative glass doors into your cabinetry. Like lighting, glass can be fun and you can play with the style of glass, material and design of door mullions. You can also add lighting into these cabinet boxes to display art and china, or just to draw attention and emulate a color. Adding any of these “dollar wise items� to your next home project is sure to bring enjoyment and value to your home.v Will McKendry is vice president of Andrew Roby Triangle and has extensive experience in custom home project management focusing on style and craftsmanship. For more information visit our website at or call 919-210-2928.

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he T e r o expl


Inspirations Owners Debbie Cain and Beverly Nichols knew their vision for a design store included a community of boutique owners that appealed to all who walk through the door. With a varied selection of vendors from traditional to modern, you will find everything from a top, scarf or accessory, to the perfect piece of furniture or unique lighting fixture to complete your space. Beverly Nichols is a longtime Raleigh native who opened her design firm in 1984 and she’s excited to offer her services to Inspirations’ customers looking for interior design guidance and services. For more information, visit

Our latest finds in home, events and shopping in the Triangle

Design District Raleigh’s Design District is a stretch of city that includes Five Points, Whitaker Mill, Capital Boulevard, Cameron Village, and the Seaboard/Peace Street/Glenwood areas. With over 30 shops and restaurants, a day spent roaming the district is time well spent and design well inspired. Shops like Revival Antiques, Seaboard Studio 123, Homebridge Design and Bird Decorative Hardware, Hopper Piano and The Warehouse, to name a few, offer an eclectic array of antiques, accessories and furniture as well as custom painting, refurbishing and lighting – and everything in between, of course. For a taste of quintessential Five Points, check out Nofo @ the Pig featuring southern fare with a twist, and shop their fabulous one-of-akind gifts when you finish your meal. For a full list of retail and restaurants, visit

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The Produce Box The Produce Box is a North Carolina company that began humbly in the Raleigh area and has since spread to Charlotte and the surrounding areas – bringing whole foods to the local masses. The company delivers fresh local fruits, veggies and specialty products like local artisan meats, cheeses and breads right to the doorsteps of residences and offices. You can order a weekly box, choosing from any predetermined menu based on availability, or you can build your own box. Skip or cancel whenever you like. Boxes range in price from $20-$30/week. For more information or to sign up, visit

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The Triangle’s source for the best Modern Furniture

3915 Beryl Rd., Raleigh, NC 27607 | 919.572.2870 Shop Monday through Saturday 10am to 6pm & Sunday noon to 6pm


We craft the places where life converges.

And, when the time is right, we’re ready to bring style & value together in your home – the kitchen, bedroom, bath – wherever. Converging style & value since 195O. 919.210.2928

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Professional Remodelers of the HBA of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties

Home Builders Association Raleigh – Wake County

Home Builders Association Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties





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