2003 Idea House: Newberry Park

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2003 Idea House:Newberry Park
Front Exterior

Situated in the scenic Piedmont plains of Chapel Hill, Newberry Park represents a combined commitment of individuals who take pride in great design. Nurtured by the development team of Meadowmont of Chapel Hill, this Idea House harkens back to the days when construction meant craftsmanship and an utmost attention to detail. In homage to the stately historic homes gracing the area, Newberry Park gives an impression of establishment. Architect Bill Allison explains, "The overall concept is a traditionally styled T-shaped floor plan that has been added on to over the years. While not bound to any period or time, this home creates an elegant living environment for a modern family."

This notion of evolution is particularly evident on the exterior. Handsome brick with an age-evoking mortar treatment covers the main, two-story center section, while extending wings feature siding. The use of a 5V crimp metal roofing, which has zinc oxide coating, gives a ready-made patina. Other notable features consist of a porte-cochère, along with a two-story detached garage that resembles a carriage house and allows for an upper level guest suite. Lush landscaping completes the long-established feel.

Ample Porch Living
This home includes an abundance of column-lined porches to encourage outdoor living. "With so many large custom homes barely fitting their lots, we wanted this house to harmonize with and accentuate its site," builder Brian Dixon explains. There's also a full bed-size swing on the back for those who wish to linger longer.

Many interior rooms feature French doors that access these porches, further strengthening the outdoor connection by opening up the entire house as one flowing space. The porch flooring is a composite material that resembles real wood and will hold up to years of use.

Double-Duty Upstairs Retreat
Adjacent to the children's bedrooms upstairs is a lofty space that serves as the playroom. Well-planned built-ins provide storage for games and toys, as well as a cubby for the TV. The insides of the built-ins are painted a spectrum of bright colors. "This vivid room is a departure from the elegant palette used in the rest of the house," says interior designer Tim Schelfe.

Shimmering Touches
In the adjacent bath, a flower-patterned wallpaper and border give this small space a sense of fun. The vibrant paisley shower curtain and a window valance match the playroom's sofa. A closer look at the space reveals the impact of unique tile accents. Laid within a cream ceramic field, mosaic bands of iridescent green glass crisscross the floor. These inserts highlight the tub surround as well, which is made up of beveled ceramic subway tiles.

What an Entrance
Starting at the front entry alcove, it's evident that the same attention to detail characterizing the exterior continues inside as well. Protruding onto the front porch as a welcome gesture to guests, the alcove is set apart by its richly stained mahogany front door. Also of interest is the brick floor. It's made from the same masonry pavers that compose the entry walk and driveway, and it seamlessly blends the foyer, dining room, and hallway. "It's a mortarless installation with fine sand filling the gaps; pavers aren't used in many new homes, but they're perfect for this one," says builder Mark Kirby, who worked with business partner Brian Dixon to create the stately home. "It is incredibly inviting."


In the foyer, the brick flooring leads to an elegant staircase with flared bottom steps. Rising gracefully, the stairs are further enhanced by carved wooden balusters and sinuous railings. Of equal beauty, a 6-foot-high wainscot made up of 1 x trim boards dresses the foyer walls and continues into the entry hall, which is crowned with a barrel-vaulted ceiling. "The entry space of Newberry Park provides a continuous line of sight in which you can literally see through the entire house from the front door to the backyard. It's that open and interconnected," explains interior designer Michael Steiner. He, along with business partner Tim Schelfe, designed the formal yet casual interiors. Off the entry hall, a small powder room provides a space for guests to freshen up.

Chef's Haven
Outfitted with heart-pine ceiling beams and sage walls like the nearby breakfast room, the kitchen is any homeowner's dream. Cabinetry with an antique cream-colored glaze surrounds the space. Appearing to be a large cabinet, the refrigerator is disguised by panels. Beside the refrigerator, open shelves placed in front of casement windows provide display for dishware and cookbooks. The area features quartz stone countertops, while an ample island occupies the center and makes food preparation a pleasure. "Made of distressed cherry, the island resembles a freestanding furniture piece," explains Tim. "To emphasize its uniqueness, Michael and I used a darker quartz stone countertop than found elsewhere in the kitchen."

Great Place To Gather
Beyond the entry hall, the family room exhibits a comfortable, relaxed attitude with upholstered furniture in subtle tones of green, taupe, and gold, accented by warm red. The top trim of the wainscot conveniently terminates into the 6-foot-tall mantel, which highlights a tan quartz stone fireplace surround with hints of cream and copper. Also of note, a wall of large double-hung windows provides marvelous views of the back porch.

Perfect for Eating In
Featuring the same brick paver flooring as the adjacent foyer, the dining room shimmers with gold-and-green wallpaper. As a complement, the ceiling is hand-painted with an iridescent faux finish glaze. Marking the room's center, a circular trim creates an eye-catching detail from which a wrought iron chandelier is suspended. "Echoing the ceiling, a round acanthus leaf-patterned rug softens the brick flooring," says Tim. "Also low-voltage recessed lighting helps call attention to the room's artwork."

A circular, scalloped-edge glass tabletop rests on a stone-and-iron base. Slipper chairs upholstered in alternating patterned chenille fabric surround this magnificent table. Draperies made from moss green silk are edged with a bullion fringe.

Made for Family Meals
This breakfast room provides a free-flowing, generous layout. There's also access to the back porch through a pair of French doors.

For seating, a long banquette spans one wall and contains four hidden storage bins topped with comfortable cushions. Adjacent to these built-ins, a hand-painted stenciled and distressed trestle table provides room for meals and can be pulled out to use as a buffet for entertaining. For casual dining, handsome upholstered chairs provide additional seating. "We selected a reproduction pulley-type pendant fixture in bronze with white glass shades for the light fixture," says Tim.


Hub of the House
This series of rooms--a mudroom, laundry room, and home-organization nook--compose the hardworking sector of the house. An ideal transition from the porte-cochère to the kitchen, the nook is the place to drop off keys and store book bags.

Durable and easy-to-maintain finishes permeate this zone. "Distressed cabinets, along with slate flooring and solid-surface countertops, set the stage for heavy use and high traffic," notes Tim. "Likewise, a vinyl wallcovering ensures that stains and smudges can be cleaned readily."

Fairy Tale Come True
A dreamy space for an aspiring ballerina, the girl's room swirls with visions of fairies and fanciful bugs. A soothing two-tone paint treatment in lavender and green livens the scene.

Other thoughtful touches include a frosted glass hanging light fixture, along with patterned bed linens and accessories. The interior designers wisely selected mostly white furniture, which interjects a crisp simplicity to an otherwise animated room. A bright purple-and-green armoire provides an anchor of color.

In the bath, wallpaper darts with dragonflies and bumblebees. Attuned to the make-believe landscape that's established in the bedroom, the fixture above the sink displays hand-painted metal petals.

Bed and Bath Home Runs
Perfect for young boys, this bedroom is appropriately outfitted with matching components, such as bunk beds and writing desks for homework. The walls are painted a pale blue-gray so that coveted trophies, rival team banners, and other outdoor gear can take center stage. Window valances feature college pennants hung on stretch cables. Continuing the theme, drawer pulls fashioned into footballs, soccer balls, and baseball bats enhance the vanity of the adjacent bath.

More Than a Bedroom
Open the doors to the master suite, and enter a world that's conveniently tucked away from the hustle and bustle. Here, walls painted a pleasing persimmon and draperies in shades of gold backed with scrolling vine-patterned sheers signal a well-earned retreat to comfort. "Although the master bedroom is tailored with oversize dark wood furnishings, its luxurious textures and fabric colors create a cozy ambience," explains Michael Steiner. The gas log fireplace displays a unique mocha quartz stone surround that subdues this focal point as not to overpower the room.

Off the master bedroom entry and separate from the rest of the house, a pair of French-style pocket doors sets apart a study and sitting room. Inviting with its cabinet-style, front-lit bookcases filled with novels, treasures, and photos, the study possesses a more masculine feel, particularly with the leather-and-dark wood chandelier topped by a lampshade and muted striped wallpaper.

Surrounded by Tile
The master bath evokes the opulence of a spa, complete with a soaking tub and spacious shower. Nearly every surface is covered in tile; travertine flooring with glass mosaic accents leads into the shower and up the wall. Separating the tub deck and shower, a single sheet of rain glass allows sunlight to enter. At the vanity, travertine pieces frame the mirror, and a chrome fixture attached to the glass provides light.

Spacious Bath
The master bath abounds with special features. For example, the shower faucets are positioned outside the central part of the shower. These convenient controls permit the homeowners to adjust the water temperature and spray variables without getting wet first.

Surrounding the large tub, green quartz stone makes up the deck. As another thoughtful touch, the quartz panels along the tub's side may be removed for easy plumbing access.