Old Milburnie Modern Farmhouse. Raleigh, NC

This Modern Farmhouse was designed and built by Paragon Building Group as a Custom Home that began as a spec home. When considering collaborating and designing your first home or your next home with us, remember we can build anything. And, building anything starts with a custom builder, 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.

Old Milburnie Modern Farmhouse. Raleigh, NC

“New Home Construction Near Me” is a series all about our recent custom home builds. Photo essays are a great way to experience a space, look around and feel what it is like to be there in person.  So, that is the format we’ve chosen here. We hope you enjoy looking around at least as much as we enjoy showing you around! 

Building houses is like magic.

It is magic, because where once there was a field, now there is roofing, house siding, a new kitchen, hardwood floors, a luxury bathroom spa, a cozy place to binge-watch a new show, and if you’re lucky, and like me, there is a window seat reading nook for the little ones in your life to curl up and read books while the sun sets over the old-growth trees. 

But, a new home, more than anything, more than any kitchen ideas, luxury design, new garages or landscaped yards, is where your story is told. 

Also: Hi, I'm Cari!
(That's me, with the camera on my hip.)

  I write our photo essays, including this series. I see my role as building better and more inclusive futures where I can.  I’ve known Josh for over 15 years now, and he has been a part of my chosen family as an older brother for most of that time. If you’d like to know more about me as a writer and artist with Paragon, see my bio at the bottom of this photo essay. (It’s so nice to meet you, we’re all glad you’re here. )

Welcome, to Old Milburnie:

I like to take a moment and sit (for a bit) with a space, before I even lift my camera.

So, that is exactly what I do: sit and listen.

From the the porch: cicadas and katydids chorus in the summer breeze. 

In the distance: a rooster crows.

Mockingbirds ruffle at each other in the grass. 

Periodically, a car or truck drives by, the sound of it gentle on the pavement like the sea.

So, that is exactly what I do: sit and listen.

From the the porch: cicadas and katydids chorus in the summer breeze. 

In the distance: a rooster crows.

Mockingbirds ruffle at each other in the grass. 

Periodically, a car or truck drives by, the sound of it gentle on the pavement like the sea.

To my right: an expansive farm with old beams, graying fences, and small flowers blooming in the meadow.

The clouds tower over the grassy hills, and break into the trees, blue like a mountain in the distance.

To my left, a home that reminds me of my grandmother’s house: warm. 

A nuthatch calls; another responds.

To my right: an expansive farm with old beams, graying fences, and small flowers blooming in the meadow.

The clouds tower over the grassy hills, and break into the trees, blue like a mountain in the distance.

To my left, a home that reminds me of my grandmother’s house: warm. 

A nuthatch calls; another responds.

The newly planted gardenias are blooming, and their sweet smell reaches the rocking chairs on the porch.

 A tree out back (that I don’t know by name) is fluffing out like tiny snowballs of confetti. 

A dove makes its long melodious coo, and some robins add in with their short chirps.

I sit on the front porch, rocking lightly, soaking in the place. 

It is calm and beautiful. 

It’s a landscape and soundscape that is inescapably home to me: North Carolina, with its nature and people, the transforming clouds of summer, everything. 

And, with that thought, I am ready to enter what will be soon someone’s literal home.

 And it, too, is beautiful. 

The newly planted gardenias are blooming, and their sweet smell reaches the rocking chairs on the porch.

 A tree out back (that I don’t know by name) is fluffing out like tiny snowballs of confetti. 

A dove makes its long melodious coo, and some robins add in with their short chirps. 

I sit on the front porch, rocking lightly, soaking in the place. 

It is calm and beautiful. 

It’s a landscape and soundscape that is inescapably home to me: North Carolina, with its nature and people, the transforming clouds of summer, everything. 

And, with that thought, I am ready to enter what will be soon someone’s literal home.

 And it, too, is beautiful. 

Let's go Inside, shall we?

The caramel-colored floors feel warm through my thin socks, as I step inside the double doors.

Golden hardwood floors and warm blue hues surround me, in an open concept, designed to flow in segments. 

A column defines the dining space, with its modern Restoration Hardware-style chandelier. What looks like a hand-hewn wood mantle rests over the living room fireplace, and brass lanterns hang over a marble island in the new kitchen. 

 

Golden hardwood floors and warm blue hues surround me, in an open concept, designed to flow in segments. 

A column defines the dining space, with its modern Restoration Hardware-style chandelier. What looks like a hand-hewn wood mantle rests over the living room fireplace, and brass lanterns hang over a marble island in the new kitchen. 

 

The pantry is a walk-in. 

And, as suddenly as I step inside, I am taken back to my Grandmother’s kitchen, with its stacks of cans and books. 

I can almost smell the cranberry and ham she often had ready for me each time I visited. When I was young I must have said, once, that I liked ham, and it became a tradition. She would have loved this little room, and the organization it could bring for all our traditions. 

The pantry is a walk-in. 

And, as suddenly as I step inside, I am taken back to my Grandmother’s kitchen, with its stacks of cans and books. 

I can almost smell the cranberry and ham she often had ready for me each time I visited. When I was young I must have said, once, that I liked ham, and it became a tradition. She would have loved this little room, and the organization it could bring for all our traditions. 

The kitchen is a landscape of marble and cream. 

Rich blue, bright gold. 

I imagine washing fresh-cut herbs in the drop-in farm sink, and looking out the back window over the garden that I’d plant stretching out to the woods. 

I trace the lines in the marble with my fingertips. Flour spread out for making biscuits or lefse (a Norwegian flat bread like a sweet tortilla) would feel smooth here. Maybe a few loved ones would eat cereal at the counter as I roll. 

 

The kitchen is a landscape of marble and cream. 

Rich blue, bright gold. 

I imagine washing fresh-cut herbs in the drop-in farm sink, and looking out the back window over the garden that I’d plant stretching out to the woods. 

I trace the lines in the marble with my fingertips. Flour spread out for making biscuits or lefse (a Norwegian flat bread like a sweet tortilla) would feel smooth here. Maybe a few loved ones would eat cereal at the counter as I roll. 

 

Off the kitchen, there is a series of rooms that flow effortlessly into one another. Walk-in closet into luxury bathroom with a view into a wooden paradise that is the master bedroom. 

I am transfixed on the knots in the barn wood sliding door to the bathroom. 

Every window has green out of it. 

I wander back through the house, finding a few connected bedrooms, and, up a few stairs, a lovely room overlooking farms, and more green. Yes, every single window frames a scene of greenery. 

That feels perfect. 

 

Off the kitchen, there is a series of rooms that flow effortlessly into one another. Walk-in closet into luxury bathroom with a view into a wooden paradise that is the master bedroom. 

I am transfixed on the knots in the barn wood sliding door to the bathroom. 

Every window has green out of it. 

I wander back through the house, finding a few connected bedrooms, and, up a few stairs, a lovely room overlooking farms, and more green. Yes, every single window frames a scene of greenery. 

That feels perfect. 

 

The bathroom itself feels like everything all at once: rustic but modern, clean lined but filled with detail. 

Every surface has pleasing texture. And it is inescapable that the window’s views must be planned. 

I am tempted to step into the tub, and breathe a few moments, the cool porcelain on my back on this warm day. But I find myself more drawn to watching the birds just outside the shower. You can see them in the trees. 

The bathroom itself feels like everything all at once: rustic but modern, clean lined but filled with detail. 

Every surface has pleasing texture. And it is inescapable that the window’s views must be planned. 

I am tempted to step into the tub, and breathe a few moments, the cool porcelain on my back on this warm day. But I find myself more drawn to watching the birds just outside the shower. You can see them in the trees. 

I hover a moment on the stairs, wanting to take in everything I’ve seen in the house so far. 

At this point, that glorious bathroom is my favorite part of the inside.

The tranquility of it all.  

I hover a moment on the stairs, wanting to take in everything I’ve seen in the house so far. 

At this point, that glorious bathroom is my favorite part of the inside.

The tranquility of it all.  

Just when I think, instinctively climbing into the reading nook upstairs, with built-in bookshelves, that all this place needs is a view of horses: one emerged from the trees across the street.

 I rushed downstairs to see a total of four horses, and their (surprise!) companion, a huge pig (who makes super cute snuffle sounds) grazing through all the front windows.

Just when I think, instinctively climbing into the reading nook upstairs, with built-in bookshelves, that all this place needs is a view of horses: one emerged from the trees across the street.

 I rushed downstairs to see a total of four horses, and their (surprise!) companion, a huge pig (who makes super cute snuffle sounds) grazing through all the front windows.

You can see the horses through the front door, the bedroom, the kitchen, the dining room and the living room. More fun than a TV, and just about the perfect neighbors anyone could ask for in a new home: grazing horses.  

I go through the house again, this time creating all the images that you see here.

You can see the horses through the front door, the bedroom, the kitchen, the dining room and the living room. More fun than a TV, and just about the perfect neighbors anyone could ask for in a new home: grazing horses.  

I go through the house again, this time creating all the images that you see here.

I go out the double garage, locking doors. After looking at the woods again, I lock the back patio.

 I love the birch and tan color of its clean lines, and how it opens back to the living room.

Everything about this house is connected. 

A bluebird couple swoops across the sky, as I go around front again.  

I go out the double garage, locking doors. After looking at the woods again, I lock the back patio.

 I love the birch and tan color of its clean lines, and how it opens back to the living room.

Everything about this house is connected. 

A bluebird couple swoops across the sky, as I go around front again.  

As I step out on the front porch again, a woodpecker trots up and down the tree in front, feeding through the bark. 

And, the horses across the way continue doing their thing, grazing and occasionally whinnying. 

 

Everything feels calm, relaxing, like home. 

As I step out on the front porch again, a woodpecker trots up and down the tree in front, feeding through the bark. 

And, the horses across the way continue doing their thing, grazing and occasionally whinnying. 

 

Everything feels calm, relaxing, like home. 

Parting Thoughts:

I will enjoy visiting this build, in these pictures and words, over and over through the years. For me, this feels like a great beginning: exploring something that didn’t exist a few short months ago, with my camera. 

I like to think of the lives that will be lived here, too, over the years: the kids running up the stairs to that window seat to watch a big truck pass, or the cows I forgot to mention earlier in the pasture next door. 

I like to think of the garden that will grow out the back of the kitchen, and the calm moments in the huge tub overlooking farmlands. 

And, of course, I like to think of the trees growing thicker and being filled with season after season of baby birds, and the bright butterflies.

And, oh, it’s just lovely. 

I like to think of the lives that will be lived here, too, over the years: the kids running up the stairs to that window seat to watch a big truck pass, or the cows I forgot to mention earlier in the pasture next door. 

I like to think of the garden that will grow out the back of the kitchen, and the calm moments in the huge tub overlooking farmlands. 

And, of course, I like to think of the trees growing thicker and being filled with season after season of baby birds, and the bright butterflies.

And, oh, it’s just lovely. 

Author & Artist: Cari 

In addition to being Head of Marketing 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 across the country. Her poetry and memoir writing has been published in a variety of local and national literary magazines and journals.  

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.

Welcome.

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.

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