A Chapel Hill Renovation with a Contemporary Vision

Facing the street, the home breaks down into a series of discrete wings, carving out an entry court and creating the feel of a compound that might have evolved over the years.

Reflecting the best of transitional architecture, the house boasts handcrafted Old-World materials and precisely detailed period elements. A series of recessed doors, a stone terrace, five steeply pitched dormers, and a copper-clad oriel window brings the front facade to life. “We took a generational approach, breaking down the overall scale with a palette of painted brick, stone, and wood, and then strategically placed the garage to carve out an entry court,” Kirby explains. The arrangement preserves mature trees, providing a feeling of permanence, and opens up to views to the golf course.

With equally enthusiastic and adventurous aspirations for the interiors, the client turned to Paige Schnell and Anna Kay Porch of Tracery, a firm based in Rosemary Beach, Florida. “I had admired their work from magazines and books, and I recommended them,” Kirby says. A true collaboration was forged.

Schnell and Porch also made their aim to please—and give the home an approachable yet sophisticated feel. “With an outdoors-loving and ever-active young family, comfort and accessible living spaces were absolute musts,” Schnell explains. “But they also wanted flexibility for entertaining and a definite sense of separation.”

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