Adele and David RothAges:
56 and 66Jobs:
Adele retired consultant in child and family policy; David retired, part of 2003 technology startup with successful buyout in 2012Children:
Quarterpath Trace, considered part of Bolin Forest Address:
Pathway Drive in CarrboroYear Built:
original in 1992; new house in 2009Move-in date:
January 1999Square Footage:
Before and after photos on the architects website, www.sophiepiesse.com. Two-story contemporary house with 2-car garage, gabled screened-in back porch. Opens to open living, dining and kitchen area to right. Family room left of kitchen with smokeless, wood-burning fireplace. Kitchen features bartop table attached to island with raised bartopped back and frosted-glass cabinets underneath. Pantry wall features built-in bookcases for cookbooks.Nearby Landmarks:
greenway and Bolin Creek; Weaver Street Market; Carrboro Farmers MarketDavid:
In May 2008, we were struck by lightning. We were very fortunate in a sense and had the opportunity to rebuild same footprint, but we gained about 350 square feet by the intelligence of the architect, Sophie Piesse.Adele:
Sophie has an incredible ability to use space.David:
And collaborates really, really well. She took a lot of our ideas.
The fire took place about 10 minutes after 12 midnight. By the time we got outside, some neighbors were lined up. From a quarter after 12 until the following morning, we had a half dozen families standing with us continuously throughout the night.Adele:
They brought us tea; they brought us jackets; they brought us everything. And then when the fire was finally put out, multiple neighbors offered us a place to stay. At one point we had to decide if we were going to rebuild.David:
The question was were we going to rebuild and sell the house or live here. We started looking at homes in different areas. What we found was that for the additional money, you got more rooms but in the same traditional house. It was finally speaking to an architect who said, You know, we can have it all here. Adele:
And stay in the neighborhood that had been so kind to us.David:
To their credit, as soon as they could enter the house, the Carrboro Fire Department came into the house and they began to collect everything off the walls, move furniture into the center of the room and cover everything. We thought that was remarkable because still they spent the next couple of hours hosing the house. Adele:
And because of that action, some of the stuff that really mattered to us got saved. This is one of the miracles. This is our marriage contract.David:
In Jewish, its called a ketubah. This was the same wall that it was on during the fire. This whole part of the house [family room], you could see the sun from down here because everything just collapsed. And the debris was this high with sheetrock, wire, insulation just a sopping wet foot and a half high of debris. Adele:
This is one of the pieces that the firemen took off the wall and covered.How We Chose Our HouseAdele:
We moved down here in 97, and we bought in 99. Our son was going into fourth grade when we were buying. We moved down from New York. I had not spent any time in North Carolina at all. David had. I fell in love with it, and we started renting. We had to rent very quickly, so I came down one weekend, and a Realtor wisely from our perspective took us to Weaver Street on a Sunday morning. I called up David and said, We found home.
When we started looking to buy, David wanted land. And I said no because were raising a child and he needs neighbors. We started looking, and we found this house and it was just in a perfect location. AdvantagesAdele:
Its close to Weaver Street. That was one of our criteria.David:
And I guess its off main arteries. Even though Pathway is a connector street, it is not extremely heavily trafficked. We liked that. We like that when you walk the neighborhood, you feel as if youre in a neighborhood.Adele:
Its a community.David:
The Carrboro Farmers Market is definitely something that we love. One of the nice rituals that we have is every Saturday morning we meet friends at Weaver Street when it opens and we spend a good chunk of time there talking about everything. We laugh and have breakfast together and then we go to the Farmers Market.DisadvantagesDavid:
It is true that if you are going to Durham or Raleigh, living in Carrboro means that you have to sort of wind your way to 15-501. It adds a lot of time to a daily commute. Ideally, we maybe would have liked a larger lot size.Adele:
Its a close enough neighborhood to everything, and its an older neighborhood, so its treed.David:
Its close to Bolin Creek and the forest a wonderful area thats been conserved and its frequent that were down there taking walks. For Alex, it was a very short bus ride to his elementary and middle and high schools.Adele:
It just feels like home. Were part of two communities.David:
Because were the last house in this neighborhood, Quarterpath Trace, we have somehow become adoptees of the Bolin Forest community. Our neighbors once a month get together and have dinner and go a movie. And typically its anywhere from six to 10 couples that show up.Adele:
And theres a monthly womens book club, and theres a monthly mens group.David:
Those were the men that had nothing to do the night of the womens book club. [Laughs.] Theres a sincere interest in how people are doing.How We Made Our House a HomeDavid:
The house beforehand was a traditional house.Adele:
This is very contemporary. We were always light deprived, so the very first issue we undertook to solve was light. We got a picture of a house nothing like this could ever be like, but it had these large pane windows. This is where Sophie was so willing to collaborate and work on our behalf. She could not solve the problem with residential windows, so she found these storefront windows. Even though were in a subdivision it looks like were living in the trees. Adele:
We wanted clean lines and we wanted clean surfaces. I was done with having stuff. I needed open space.David:
I can honestly say Ive never felt as comfortable or belonging in a space. Builders build traditional homes for both banks because they want to see rooms that justify pricing and for people who like a dining room or they like those defined spaces. For us and for people that we know, people enjoy being together for the whole evening including what goes on in the kitchen.Adele:
And we finally noticed that no matter what we did, we could never get them into the living room. So we decided, well, lets put the kitchen where everybody else is always and just have it be.
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