Category Archives: chapel hill

Another Before & After

Befores & Afters are the best, right? Here’s one that has been finished for a bit, but I just got a decent photo.

This 1960s Colonial Revival sits in a sought-after neighborhood in Chapel Hill.  The homeowner loved the site and the way the interior worked, but thought the outside was drab.  She came to me with plans to replace the already-replaced windows, remove the aluminum and put up hardiplank siding, and… do something to bring it up to date. But what?

Original aluminum siding, replacement windows, not a lot to work with.

Original aluminum siding, replacement windows, not a lot to work with.

A few little architectural details were all it needed.

A few little architectural details were all it needed.

Turns out it didn’t take much: we added corner boards, a skirt board, wider door and window surrounds, and some color – just enough to give some definition between the siding and the trim – while keeping the palette very traditional.   Away went the shutters, the brick retaining wall for the front walk, and the oddly proportioned windows. We picked out two accent colors: a bright, yellowy green and a deep, almost black purple for her to use as she decorates the front porch and fills out the planters.

It’s rare that 4/1 takes on a project that can just be filed under ‘curb appeal,’ but sometimes that’s all it takes to make the house perfect for the family inside.


Un-Lazy Summer Days

screened porch for the back, color for the front

It’s been way too long since the blog was updated, as projects have been flying thick and fast.  There are a pile of photos just added to the Porfolio section, and in the meantime a few photos of what’s in process right now will whet your appetite for what’s coming soon.

demolition of the old laundry room and back deck – also known as progress!

This lovely little bungalow in Old North Durham is getting a giant new screened porch – to double as a sleeping porch, homebrew platform, dining space and office.  Construction is currently underway, and I’m enjoying working out some of the trim details that will carry the double front porch posts around to the back.  We’ve also picked out a glorious dark slate blue color for the siding – which won’t come around to the front of the house for some time – with tangerine accents that will make that front door pop out of the shadows.

Over in Chapel Hill, a couple thoroughly in love with their home’s Modern style and architectural pedigree found 4/1 to update the three bathrooms.  The current baths are finished with a mix of original cabinetry and 1980’s ‘improvements,’ that are showing their age.

Arthur Cogswell designed, c.1962

We’ve been working to find exactly the right blend of current finishes and fixtures that will compliment the original design intentions, look Modern (yes, capital-M modern), and timeless all at the same time.  Down to the home stretch of picking out the exhaust fans and light switches, this should head to construction soon.

In the so-much-potential category… nothing a little trim won’t fix!

Back in Trinity Park, a growing family started working with 4/1 back in January to expand their bungalow – one of a group of matching homes built for management at the tobacco factories 100 years ago.  The house has been through some very curious and frankly ingenious renovations over the years, but we’re aiming to start with a clean slate of the original bones of the house, and then go up in the back.  This will result in a ‘camel back’ form, actually traditional in New Orleans but definitely unusual in Durham.  It’s what the house and the family need, and keeping it in scale and character has proved challenging.  I think we’ve just hit upon a solution that works really well, and construction drawings are in process now.

So cute and clean on the outside.

In the same neighborhood, this modest little house is going to keep it trim, clean exterior.  But it was the home of a hoarder, and the interior needs some major attention.  The new owners requested a kitchen and bath design that will update the house and make it really functional for their family of four – and the builders are at it at this instant.  This one will make for great before-and-after photos, as the kitchen was really, well, there are no words.

room for nothing but improvement