The first time I walked the grounds at this elegant craftsman estate, there was a tiny vine of flowers blooming.
(I believe they were morning glories, or wild sweet potatoes.)
The earth all around the vines had recently been turned over, to start building.
And, that turning likely caused seeds to grow that had once been hidden, to come to the surface and bloom.
The air is crisp, the sky bright blue, as I approach the house.
The morning light is colorful, like the sunset the night before was colorful. Dawn is still dark enough, I notice, to keep the gas lantern on. (I know it is lights automatically, when it senses darkness.)
The deep brass lantern’s gentle flame flickers in the early morning sun over the porch.
The sound of the gas is gentle, calming, like the sea.
I walk up the custom cut flagstone steps. It feels like magic, knowing these stones were placed by hand, selected and shaped to fit precisely beside one another.
The flagstone is soft underfoot, but I can feel the grip on the bottom of my boots. At the front door, I touch the metal, run my finger along the loop and curves before the glass. It feels solid, luxury, unique. The glass has a texture too, smooth dimples, like it was antique. There is something old world elegance to this place already, simply stated at the entryway. I slip my boots off, and and open the door.
Walking in the wood and glass double doors, feeling the curve of iron between my fingers, I pass under an elaborate chandelier.
Standing here, directly beneath the glass lighting, I am struct at once by the elegance of this home.
I find I look at the light from several rooms, several angles.
And, always, it is slightly different, always elegant.
I am told the chandelier took hours to piece together in-situ.
Floating aloft, the glass pieces on glass grow into a frozen fountain of light. Even lit, it looks like ice.
The glass of the door, the glass of the light, the glass of the windows, all an elegant glow in the dawn sun. Even the door to my left that leads to a series of bedrooms has glass door handle.
I lean in, and see myself and the open door to the outside behind me reflected, inverted in the curve. I close the door. The sound of it is satisfying, and reminds me of castles in books.
To my right now, a formal dining room.
A second chandelier of glass pours caramel light onto the ornately wainscoted walls and the warm wood floor.
A huge window dips almost to the hardwood floor, and reveals a small meadow leading to trees and the road.
Across the road, an expansive farm with rolling hills of wooden fenced pastures sits picturesque.
I linger awhile, taking in the light.
I imagine an ornate grey table and cream chairs.
And, I imagine eating strawberry French toast, and watching the horses across the road graze.
It all feels quite elegant.
A hand-hewn custom fireplace mantel rest above the flame. Its reclaimed wood rouged against the pale stone.
Every texture is filled with nature, unique.
Each stone sits perfectly fit beside other stones in a kind of harmony.
In front of me, a sprawling open floor plan, complete with vaulted ceilings and a designer large fan.
The kitchen is tucked into the corner, and connected to everything. From the kitchen, you can see all the rooms and all the corners. I imagine cooking here feels communal, connected.
I look at the fire place blazing, watch it’s flames a moment, before continuing.
I imagine people floating from seating area to rooms, across the light floors, chatting here. There is a flow to this space that seems ideally made for entertaining.
The whole wall before me is a bank of windows overlooking a custom series of French blue pavers, leading down to an accessible pool.
The back of this estate is as welcoming at the living room.
Old growth trees tower above the landscape, their branches filled with wildlife.
Bright yellow finches dance in the evergreens.
The oaks are already bare and a glorious grey that feels luxury, especially when you look at their bark from inside this home with matching interior hues.
A color palette of diamonds and and hand cut slate.
A cool toned elegance radiates from the walls, ceilings, floors, everything here.
Even the marble countertops, and custom kitchen cabinets, compliment the palette of colors that are crisp with luxury and elegance.
Then, there is this staircase. I have loved this staircase from the moment it began taking form.
Each aspect of it custom, elegant, unique.
I love the curves of it, tracing them with my fingers.
The hand sanded wood of the rail, and the curves reaching to the tips of the stairs, all feel smooth.
I love the lights that make things safer, as I ascend to the second floor to see the views of the farmland, and the second kitchen and pool room.
There is a cozy air here that is at once intimate and at once grand.
I look back down the stairs, and admire the abstract shapes they make as I turn my head.
They are lovely, so lovely.
This home is accessible. There is nothing about this home, its design, its grandeur that prepares you to learn it is accessible. Beside the most luxurious double garage doors you’ll ever see, is a gentle elegant ramp that leads to a barrier free entry into an ensuite that is designed to serve all manner of people and needs.
Aging-in-Place is about preparing for change. Universal Design is about thoughtful design creating spaces that can be used by a wide variety of people over time. Together, they create a powerful reason to be passionate about design. This home can welcome anyone. All can visit, all can join in for parties. All can live and dine and be in exquisite elegance.
There is a comfort walking up the slope. The metal of the rail cool to my touch. The door is smooth and welcoming. The room: perfect. Out the window, a glorious view of the grounds, the sky, the earth as it changes through the seasons. To my left, a wide barrier free bathroom, with shower and toilet both accessible. There is a grand comfort in entering here. I feel welcome and cozy all at the same time. I lean on the custom tiled wall, feel the individual tiles and grout tickle my back.
With stairs, not everywhere in this home is currently accessible, but it could be. At any point, an elevator could be placed with stacked closets. Should the family need access at all times to all places, they could add that in a way that is seamless and elegant.
Downstairs, though, all guests have access to all the entertainment and grand rooms. It always warms my heart, personally, to know there are homes that are designed by families like this. Growing up, there were friend’s homes we could not enter because my Dad couldn’t get inside. I love knowing this home could welcome families like mine, it adds a warmth to everything, a glow of beauty that being thoughtful, open, caring brings. It is more beautiful than any fixture, any paint color, any theme, to be kind. This home is kind and welcoming. In all its grandeur and elegance, it is kind.
I have saved the primary bedroom suite for last, because it is the most exquisite gem of a space I’ve ever seen. I loved the bathroom ceiling in a way I didn’t know I could love a ceiling, from the moment it first started to take shape. So much of this room is handmade, created from pieces over time. Tile placed over days, drying and expanding like a kind of elegant magic that grows over surfaces rendering them polished and beautiful.
This is a space I could look at for years and years, and still be lit up by it’s majesty.
Look at that window, those trees. Look at that sky, that marble. Sigh. I can close my eyes and still see it, feel the cool of the textures, the smooth rock lined with nature.
Stay a while on these images, soak them in. Feel the warm water from the rain shower run down your face. Feel the windows fog with the heat, relax a moment into the creams and gentle scandi colors and breathe.
This elegant estate is, even without any words, a testament to feeling well cared for, while still being a striking example of a constantly elegant design.
It is a beautiful place, and I will enjoy driving by for years to come and looking over at the gas lamp flickering brightly in the night, seeing the soffit lights lit like stars.
I will remember the chandeliers inside, bursting with flame-like light. I will remember the curves of the windows meeting the curves of the entryway. The barrel ceiling above the bath, the curves of its custom shiplap wood overlooking all this landscape, all this beauty, is unforgettable.
This space is the kind that will live with you for a long time after you leave it, even if you are only a guest visiting for a few hours. To live here must be exquisite. I will remember the feeling of standing inside: feeling the warmth from the fire, feeling welcome and at home.
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.
Now that you've experienced our photo essay for this custom luxury home, take our video tour. See how the rooms flow into one another, and how everything comes together in a smooth walk through. Imagine yourself walking through the space for the first time. This video is about five minutes and has no sound. Enjoy!
We are honored, as custom builders and remodeling contractors, to collaborate with individuals to set the scene for their next chapter. We are the Triangle’s only Southern Living 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.