B: vernacular contemporary home in carrboro
As Gary and Natalie looked towards retirement, they had a vision of a colorful home with an array of green attributes with the main living spaces on a single level yet also house their visiting children and grandchildren on a smaller second floor.
Even though the lot sloped steeply to the north we decided to nestle the home into the landscape and create swales around the house that allowed us to access the house via bridges rather than steps or a ramp.
Natalie is a potter, and so we integrated this passion throughout the home. The dramatic entrance has two-story windows opening up to the land to the north and a curved wall and niches elegantly display Natalie’s work.
From the entry, you can go east or west. To the east is the master bedroom, laundry, office and guestrooms. Off the master bedroom is a small deck which connects, via staircase, to an outdoor shower. Gary’s office and the guest bedrooms are on the second floor.
To the west is a open living area under a cathedral ceiling with an exposed steel beam. A high efficiency wood stove supplements the radiant concrete floors for heating. Within this large area is an enclosed away room that provides a space for smaller gatherings and tv watching. The kitchen uses IKEA cabinets, and is defined by a soffit that contains the exhaust from the cooktop and has an open shelf that displays more of Natalie’s pottery. The kitchen backsplash is made with tile that the Boormans found on a trip to New Mexico.
In the master bathroom Natalie hand painted white tiles to create an ocean theme that is highlighted with a sea creature mural in the shower. The other bathrooms have tiles that Natalie and Gary had friends and family design during a beach vacation.
The house reflects the owner’s passion for pottery and color and is a beautiful blend with the surroundings. Pine trees painstakingly taken down by Gary were used to make shelves, built-ins, niches and wood inlays in the suspended concrete radiant slab. Cedar trees from the site were stripped of their bark and used for the columns at the front entry and in the away room. The result is an artistic and sympathetic ambiance with passive solar function and harmony with the surrounding land.