Contemporary Cottage

Contemporary Cottage

This Contemporary Cottage was designed and built by Paragon Building Group as a Custom Home in collaboration with our client. When considering designing your first home or your next home with us, remember we can build anything. And, building anything starts with a pencil and piece of paper. What would you make a reality?

But, First: Have You Met Josh, Yet?

This is Josh, Founder and President of Paragon Building Group. 

The main thing you need to know about Josh: He is a kind, caring, warm person to talk to about dreams, life, concerns, or anything really. Passionate about Custom Homes, Universal Design, Aging-in-Place, and building houses that make everyone who walks into them feel at home, Josh would love to talk to you.

Give him a call, whenever you are ready.

Our "Photo Essay” series celebrates Paragon Building Group as a Southern Living Custom Home Builder, by exploring and experiencing our recent custom homes built in Raleigh, and across the Triangle in North Carolina, through words and pictures, in a way similar to magazine spread.

Welcome and enjoy.

Contemporary Cottage

You drive down a long winding path through country and trees, until you reach this uniquely eco-friendly contemporary cottage home. You turn into the drive, gravel grips your tires, and before you is an old looking lake with a log cabin cottage and chickens. Across the pond, a dog and a child play. In the woods, a heron dips below the trees. 

Approaching the home, you pass over the lake on a newly laid earthen bridge. You see the brick steps and illuminated windows peek from behind the lake side trees. There is a pattern to the bricks that is ornate. Something about them seems at once natural, and at once highly patterned like a quilt, like a cobble stone street. The color of the brick against the earth is perfect. 

Inside this Custom Home

Once you park and walk around to the front door, you notice the large bank of solar panels, and the warm blue color to the exterior of the home. Everything feels like a cottage, and like a contemporary home in a cozy, welcoming way. It is a pleasing blend, a kind of new thing. You touch the hand rail, it is warm from the sun, as you walk to the custom front door; it’s old world charm adding further depth to the exterior design. You note the shutters, how they seem just right and matched to the windows. The door handle, too, is warm form the gentle evening sun. Welcome. 

The inside of the home is similar to the outside, a composite of styles, and a mesh of beautiful custom hand hewn materials. The fireplace with it’s reclaimed wood mantel, the unique hand cut tile surrounding the inset gas logs, the gorgeous, enormous iron interior staircase with ornate handrails, each turned and custom made by hand to fit just this place, to be only here. The rails are cool to the touch, as it is cool inside, away from the sun. The lighting matches it all, ties everything together. 

The kitchen is a new kind of color, steel blue-green, like a bird’s egg. Out the window, newly planted trees curl toward the sky. The lake is in the distance, through the trees, through the window. Double doors open out to the brick stairs from an expansive open plan living room. Birds are everywhere here, there are the sounds of them echoing in this little lake valley. Sitting on the steps, in the distance I see a hawk through the trees. 


An Open Floorplan

The feel of the reclaimed wood fireplace is rough, smooth with rivers of grain. The tile cool.

The two back rooms that flow from behind the built in bookshelves by the fireplace are cozy, connect to a bathroom, and have built in storage; the light inside the closet turns on when the door is opened, turns off when the door is closed, convenient modern magic. 

And massive, glorious windows flank the rooms on either side, each showing nature, the trees, the sun, the beauty like a painting that changes over time, over years, months, hours. 

The sun flickers from behind the trees, it is almost sunset. 

Upstairs is a perfect private space, a series of rooms made unique. It puts in one’s mind old historical buildings from the 1800s, writers rooms from the turn of the century. A fireplace is to the right, a bay of windows overlooks the lake through the trees, like a Walden’s Pond. A little writing nook is nestled under a high window, with a warm light. 

A walk in closet is soft with textured carpet. The walls have built in shelves, and a view down the stairs that is contemporary, modern, blending the old with the new and creating something fresh. The bathroom has a perfect view of the sunset. The shower is deeply comfortable, each tile patterned just right. 

Details Make a Home

I wander back downstairs, taking in each step.

Before an expansive garage, is a series of doors, a hallway of doors, each different and like a collection. A Dutch door, with the top that opens in ward towards a space designed specifically for dogs. Clean water from a custom faucet, built in food bowls, and storage for toys and food and everything dogs need to live wonderful lives.


The second door is a sliding farm door covering a walk in pantry, where copper pots and pans will hang, and cooking will be organized into peg holes. It is perfectly sized.

And finally, the laundry door and the door to the outside, to the double garage. It is all a vestibule in a way, a passage point between the outside and the inside, the real world, and this magical world created by design and craftsmanship.

The details are always what is most striking. Note the door handles, the colors, the lines. 

Designed for a Lifetime.

There is everything one needs here, to live and create and exist for a lifetime. The nature, the convenience, the nooks, the storage, the warm and cozy lighting, the ornate tile and brick, the everything of it all. Where would you choose to sit? Where would you curl up best here with a book? By the double doors? By the fire upstairs over looking the lake? Under the canopy of windows surrounded by hand worked iron stairs?

Wherever you sit, wherever look, here there is detail, warmth, contemporary design and beauty. Leaving this home, driving back over the lake, and into the world again, I know that so much of the design will stay with me forever: unique, cozy, contemporary. 

Author & Artist: Cari 

In addition to being the Design & Marketing Manager at Paragon Building Group, Cari is a writer and artist working in her studio in Cary, NC. At her studio, Cari mentors kids and teens in creative writing, cartooning, and graphic design.

With a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from North Carolina State University, her paintings have hung in art galleries across the country, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Charlotte, Wilmington, Southern Pines and Raleigh, and in private collections. Her poetry and memoir writing has been published in a variety of local and national literary magazines and journals.

Most recently, her poem “our wings” was included in the 2020 anthology The Power of Goodness from UNC Press, edited by Timothy Crowley and NC Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green. 

We are honored, as custom home builders and remodelers, to collaborate with individuals to set the scene for their next chapter. We are the Triangle’s only Southern Living Custom Building Partner, and we’ve won some awards, but really what matters is you.

If you like what you see here, and want to talk about your next chapter, call us. We’d love to hear your story.


You’ve found home.

At Paragon Building Group, we believe Design is a conversation.

Inclusive Design. Thoughtful Design. Universal Design.

Design as conversation starts with you, and your story.

Let us listen to your dreams.

Designing a Custom Home with us always starts with listening.

Start Designing Your Project Today!

Begin dreaming with our Online Custom Home Builder.

Or, simply click here to call.

Or, inquire in the form below, and we’ll contact you shortly to get started with a consultation. 

No matter what stage you are right now in the process, we look forward helping build beautiful spaces with Universal Design together.