Classic Exterior, Contemporary Interior
By Connie Gentry
Photography by Keith Isaacs
Dutch Colonial Home: 2,717 square feet.
Four Bedrooms / Three Full Baths, One Half Bath.
Detached Carriage House: 440 square feet.
One Bedroom / One Full and One Half Bath.
Cost of Renovation: $350,000
Architect Ashley “Oz” Ozburn has designed homes from the Great Lakes to Georgia and the Carolinas, but the house on Lochmore Avenue in Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood is the one that pulls her back time and again.
Her parents bought the house in 2012, soon after relocating to Raleigh from Virginia. Ashley—who now lives in Chicago—began her career working with Raleigh architects Frank Harmon and in situ studio. In 2012, she launched her own design firm, AOA, and the Lochmore home entered her portfolio.
The renovation maintained the historical character of the home’s exterior—its front façade, huge trees, and mature landscaping—but the interior has been completely opened up to accommodate the lifestyle Ashley’s parents enjoy, one of casually entertaining family and friends.
“We wanted to remain a respectful neighbor,” she says, so the 1930s Dutch Colonial continues to blend in with the architecture of surrounding homes. The roof shingles were replaced and the exterior was refreshed with new paint. “Windows across the front are all the original windows, with the trim painted white inside and out,” Ashley explains. However, in the back of the house, it was important for the elements to look different than the original, because
“we weren’t trying to fake old.” To accentuate this, the new windows and the expansive French doors leading to the backyard were painted black, both on the interior and the exterior.
The reinvention of the house required one “teeny” addition: The second floor was expanded four feet by six feet to enable the creation of a more luxurious and accessible master bath.
Throughout the renovation, Ashley worked closely with her mother, Kris, an interior designer and owner of Raleigh-based Second Mile Designs. “My mother selected all of the fixtures in the house,” Ashley says, including the distinctive chandelier in the master bath. “We found that fixture at a flea market in Italy, and we brought it home in a suitcase.”
The open design of the interior extends from the kitchen and the cozy hearth room to an inviting “outdoor” room. The entire backyard has been designed with entertaining and relaxation top of mind, with seating areas surrounded by lush landscaping. An existing carriage house, at 440 square feet, sits on one side of the backyard and was also repurposed with a study and half bath on the ground floor and a bedroom and full bath on the second floor—perfect for extending the owners’ love of entertaining to out-of-town guests.
The dining room serves also as the library, creating a cozy “dibary” ambiance. And the original floors were sanded down and refurbished. “There was some red oak and some white oak, so we used a dark ebony wood stain and then a walnut oil base so you couldn’t tell any difference in woods,” Ashley says. “Light reflects beautifully throughout the home because the floors are dark.”
The kitchen is the hub of entertaining, with clean lines and contemporary décor that encourage mingling and movement. Ashley’s favorite part of the project? Going back to visit: “It’s interesting being the architect and now a user of the house.”