Chapel Hill News

Prairie-style contemporary is home for the Cohen family

Whether relaxing in the family room with views of the back woods through large expanses of glass or homeschooling in the second-floor library, the Cohen family say they really have been enjoying their home at Colvard Farms since moving in last fall.

Colvard Farms is a new-home community between Chapel Hill and Durham, straddling the Chatham and Durham county lines. It is minutes from boat access to Jordan Lake, RDU International Airport and shopping at the Streets at Southpoint. Research Triangle Park is about six miles from Colvard Farms.

Colvard Farms offers nature trails for walking, running or biking. There are picnic areas, ponds for fishing, greenspace for hiking and neighborhood parks. Colvard Farms has a recreation center with a swimming pool, tennis courts, a fitness center and playground.

Homes are set on half-acre to 2-acre parcels and priced from $700,000 to more than $2 million. There are five custom home building teams at Colvard Farms. The Cohens chose Loyd Builders LLC to build a California/Northwestern modern design by Cornerstone Designs of Woodinville, Washington.

The house took home the Gold Award for Loyd Builders in the million-dollar-and-up category in the Home Builders Association 2013 Parade of Homes.

Amy said that she had a strong idea of what type of home she was looking for and has always been drawn to the California/Northwestern modern type designs. Traveling out west there are numerous homes with this aesthetic, Amy said.

“I looked at hundreds of designs and this one was the second one I found,” Amy said. “We modified it a lot to suit our needs, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. As for the building process, I would have to say, I would do it all over again. Loyd Builders was very professional, always receptive and they did what they said they were going to do.”

“Working with the Cohens was a great experience for me,” Tripp Loyd, president of Loyd Builders, said. “Their vision of what they wanted was very clear. They were very available and understanding, which was great because we were building this house on a very tight timeframe for the fall 2013 Parade of Homes. The Cohens kept their cool when making the many decisions that must be made during the building process.”

A graduate of N.C. State University with a degree in civil engineering, Tripp learned the profession from his father, a custom home builder in Fayetteville. Tripp started his own company in 2000.

Loyd Builders is a full design-build firm that can handle any level of residential or light commercial projects, Loyd said. Nine people are on Loyd’s team, including interior designer Natalie Theodorakis.

Loyd has access to many trusted subcontractors, such as Lever Landscaping of Holly Springs, who readied the soil for turf grass, specimen trees and shrubs that provide the proper setting for the Cohens’ Prairie-style home. Lever also landscaped the side and back yards around the vanishing edge pool with cascading waterfall that was designed and installed by Aquatic Artists of Youngsville. The entertainment area off the back of the house has a stone fireplace on a screen porch that opens to the infinity edge pool.

John Houston was the project manager for this 4,760-square-foot house of four bedrooms and 4.5 baths.

The Cohens’ house has many unique features, including an exquisite stairwell in the front entrance by Vision Stairways and Millwork. The horizontal rail stair has tubular railing running horizontally instead of vertically as traditional stairwells do. Clear windows climb the stair wall — flooding the space with light.

Loyd said the windows are one of the most critical parts of this house. He credits Scott Canipe with Service Building Supply for having the knowledge and experience of window sizing to work from the plan and install all of these large windows “that had to be perfectly aligned.”

“Looking down the stairwell from the balcony above has to be one of my favorite places in this house,” Loyd said.

The stairwell opens at the top to a light-filled hallway whose first entrance is to a spacious theater and second to a modern library. The second floor also features a large master bedroom suite and two other bedrooms, each with private bath. The master bath has a zero entry (curbless) shower for easy access.

Loyd said that his very favorite space in the house has to be the center of the family room looking out onto the vanishing edge pool and the woods and neighborhood pond beyond. Amy said that she wanted an open concept design, so every room would have special views to enjoy. And, like her husband and Loyd, one of her favorite spaces is the family room that opens to the kitchen.

“The under-the-cabinet windows in the kitchen let the outside come in all around you,” Amy said. “Even on the cloudiest of days, we have bright natural surroundings.”“From the family room I am able to look out onto the pool area and the woods and pond beyond,” Sal said. “It is relaxing and feels private.”

“We love the back yard and water fall from the pool with the ability to look onto the pond,” Amy said. It is truly very serene visually, and the sound of the falling water is really de-stressing.”

“I home school our kids, so we really use and live in our home,” Amy said. “Here I literally feel like I am on vacation every day. You feel as if you are in a resort setting up in the trees.”The flat roof lines of the Prairie-style home and its setting into the land on a crawl space, lend to a minimalist style of living. A large, oversized, three-car garage provides storage space as do walk-in closets in three of the four bedrooms.

“I am in love with the Frank Lloyd Wright modern prairie style of home,” Amy said. “It is a timeless design that is unassuming and blends nicely with its natural surroundings. I love the stone columns with the clean, minimalist lines of the home. It’s modern, but warm.”