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The Triangle featured in Southern Living Magazine!

The Triangle featured in Southern Living Magazine!

Whether it is the shimmering lakes, acres of forested parks and innovative companies or the world-renown universities, family-friendly activities, and wide variety of culinary surprises–we all know how wonderful it is to live in The Triangle!  We are beyond thrilled that our sweet corner of North Carolina was recognized by Southern Living Magazine as a destination spot.  Of course, we know that once people come to visit they are tempted to stay and call The Triangle home!  And per our featured photo above, if you have not been to the Dorothea Dix Sunflower Field, you may want to put this on your summer calendar!  Incredible sunsets stretching over golden rows of blooms provide the best picnic and photo ops of the season.
Check out SLM’s article below and contact us for more information on how you can call The Triangle home by finding The Home of Your Life with Homes By Dickerson!  For more information contact Whitney at 919-917-3132 or Whitney@HomesByDickerson.com
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North Carolina’s urban oasis has transformed into one of the most dynamic corners of the South.
By Hannah Hayes

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The Durham Hotel in Durham, North Carolina                           Photo: Robbie Caponetto

You’ve heard of the humblebrag, a vehicle of self-deprecation or woe that actually delivers a boast. Picture a New Orleanian constantly complaining of choice paralysis from the dizzying array of acclaimed restaurants or a Nashville dweller infuriated by traffic on yet another vibrant, event-packed weekend.

For locals in North Carolina’s Triangle—Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill—the humblebrag becomes a more literal expression. They’re keenly aware that their cities don’t have the same flash or festivals as, say, Austin or Atlanta. And they’re quick to say that’s exactly what they like about them. Free of the fuss, these towns, known more for their major universities and the international companies headquartered at The Research Triangle Park, have discreetly transformed into a bucolic-urban oasis where the arts and tech synergize and anything homegrown (from businesses to vegetables) is enthusiastically exalted. This place isn’t a playground for tourists; it’s a living room for locals.

Should you try to visit all three cities in a single day? With around a half-hour drive separating Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill from each other, hopping from one place to the next is easy. But with so much to do, just don’t be surprised if you can’t get to everything on your list.

Durham

Of the three, Durham perhaps best embodies the less-is-more ethos. Once a boomtown built by tobacco, it was home to wealthy families like the Dukes of their namesake university and to Parrish Street, a bustling boulevard of African-American owned companies known as Black Wall Street. Cast aside in recent decades, Durham became a group project as chefs, artists, and entrepreneurs set about rebuilding a city they would want to live in. Now everyone else in the Triangle wants to live there too. “Durham isn’t a place that has it all, but I don’t want to live or work in a city that does,” says Sean Lilly Wilson, founder of Fullsteam Brewery, which became a town hall-style gathering spot soon after it was founded in 2010. “That mind-set attracts people who want to create a strong sense of community.”

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Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University                          Photo: Robbie Caponetto

It was community spirit that convinced Merge Records, one of the country’s most successful independent labels, to move there from Chapel Hill. Started by Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, members of the band Superchunk, Merge broke major acts like Spoon and Arcade Fire. This year, they’re celebrating the label’s 30th anniversary. “It feels like the creative community is rooting for each other here,” says cult-followed musician M.C. Taylor, who plays under the name Hiss Golden Messenger and signed with Merge. “We also egg each other on to do something bigger or take more risks.”

The development of the vacant Home Savings Bank building into The Durham Hotel is one risk that clearly paid off. The first boutique hotel downtown, the mid-century modern marvel’s Piet Mondrian-meets-Mad Men lobby doubles as chef Andrea Reusing’s newest restaurant. The Durham hosts as many locals downstairs as guests upstairs, with tables full of diners lingering over house-made charcuterie and trays of fresh Atlantic oysters.

Betting the long game on Durham has worked in favor of chefs like Ricky Moore and his nationally renowned walk-up window Saltbox Seafood Joint, where he serves North Carolina-caught fish with citrus-dressed slaw and Hush Honeys (fennel-spiced cornmeal dumplings glazed in honey).

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Ponysaurus Brewing Co                                       Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Other spots to see the revitalized dining scene include Pizzeria Toro for wood-fired pies; new-wave Jewish deli Lucky’s Delicatessen and the trattoria next door, Mothers & Sons; wine alcove Bar Brunello; coffee shop Cocoa Cinnamon; and a new brewery and taproom on the block, Ponysaurus Brewing Co. Venture toward Vert & Vogue, where owners Nadira and Ryan Hurley sell responsibly made clothes by independent designers and hold happy hours with talks by culture creators.

Locals also suggest taking advantage of the major events at the glass-ensconced Durham Performing Arts Center, enjoying an exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, or seeing a show at the Motorco Music Hall. But their best piece of advice? Take a walk around the city’s neighborhoods. “People say that Durham feels like Brooklyn meets Mayberry,” says Alicia Hylton-Daniel, a general contractor and interior designer who creates new modernist homes. “You can see four different building styles on a single block here.” She recommends going to Open Durham’s website to put together your own architecture tour.

Raleigh

When Vansana Nolintha wanted to open a design-minded combination brewery, flower shop, bookstore, and dim sum restaurant that paid homage to his Laotian roots, he knew it was ambitious. But he and two cofounders— his sister Vanvisa Nolintha and friend Patrick Woodson—had a hunch that Brewery Bhavana would work. After all, he had seen someone else try something kind of crazy before him—his mentor, chef Ashley Christensen. She laid the foundation for Raleigh’s restaurant scene with Poole’s Diner in 2007, gambling that the city would respond to her regionally influenced cooking. Christensen has started four more places under her hospitality group since and, earlier this year, won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. “There was a temptation five years ago to think that Raleigh needed to look like Charlotte or Atlanta to be relevant,” Vansana says. “But because of leaders like Ashley, Raleigh searched inward for inspiration.”

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Brewery Bhavana                                                                                       Photo: Robbie Caponetto
At Garland, Cheetie Kumar plays both executive chef, rock guitarist, and director for the venue next door, Kings. Her Indian dishes made with Southern ingredients pay homage to her family’s double identity. Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria is North Carolina’s first mezcal bar. Colombian transplant and owner Angela Salamanca refers to it as a community-driven bar where the menu is comprehensive but the service is far from pretentious. Other must-sees: Boulted Bread, Yellow Dog Bread Company, Short Walk Wines, and Transfer Co. Food Hall.
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The Umstead Hotel and Spa                                                               Photo: Robbie Caponetto

To see the city’s forward-looking, egalitarian attitude manifested, look no further than North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Library, a futuristic monolith and home to the bookBot, a robotic delivery system that can retrieve any item from more than 18,000 bins within five minutes. There’s also the free-admission North Carolina Museum of Art, set within a band of trails on 164 acres dotted with over a dozen contemporary sculptures. The Umstead Hotel and Spa, a serene mini resort just outside the city, also features a world-class art collection, which serves as the inspiration for executive chef Steven Devereaux Greene’s tasting menu at its on-property restaurant Herons.

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North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh                                              Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Vansana believes these spaces (in addition to Brewery Bhavana) are just the beginning of Raleigh’s revival. “I think that this community is really ready for more creativity,” he says. “I hope all of this inspires even more courageous projects.”

Chapel Hill

The edgier college town that Raleigh and Durham dwellers often drove to for restaurants and concerts at Cat’s Cradle (and still do), Chapel Hill seems a bit calmer now as the momentum has shifted. But it’s a welcome respite where much of what residents have always loved about the town endures.

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill                                      Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Marcie Cohen Ferris, author and professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, attributes that appeal to the farmers’ markets, an idyllic campus, walkable neighborhoods, and independent bookstore Flyleaf Books. Well past the decade mark now are renowned cocktail bar The Crunkleton; Andrea Reusing’s first restaurant, Lantern; from-scratch daytime staple Neal’s Deli; and destination country-cooking spot Mama Dip’s Kitchen. They’ve all become area standards. “There’s a strong new generation in the food scene,” says Ferris. “They’re aware of the shoulders they stand on.”

In a more publicized changing of the guard, Justin Burdett recently took the helm of Crook’s Corner, the Southern institution started in 1982 when chef-owner Bill Neal decided shrimp and grits and collard greens were worthy of steak house-style presentation. Its beloved second chef, Bill Smith—who put his own mark on the menu with items like honeysuckle sorbet—retired in January.

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Crook’s Corner chefs Bill Smith and Justin Burdett; The Original Shrimp & Grits at Crook’s Corner
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

“When I was a younger cook, this place had all these dishes that made me think, “That’s so brilliant!”” says Burdett. “But because it’s so iconic, I want a younger generation to see that it can be their weekday spot too.”

Burdett will eventually make the restaurant his own just like Smith did—he’s already pickled the bamboo shoots growing on the patio. Still, he’s mindful of its sentimental legacy. “My neighbors introduced themselves to me and wanted to know when the chicken livers would be back on the menu,” he says with a laugh.

Homes by Dickerson has the most green certified homes in North Carolina

Homes by Dickerson has the most green certified homes in North Carolina

For Immediate Release September 15, 2014

Homes By Dickerson Recognized as Builder with Most Green Certified Homes in North Carolina

RALEIGH, NC – Homes By Dickerson is pleased to announce that 301 of its custom-built homes have been certified to
the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), making it the builder with the
most Green Certified Homes to the NGBS in North Carolina by more than 40 homes.
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The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is a certification program designed and implemented by Home Innovation Research Labs, a third-party product testing laboratory and market research facility. Home Innovation Research Labs’ goal is to help their “clients improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of homes and home building products” which they achieve by researching the type and quality of materials used in a home after it has closed.

Four levels of certification are offered for the NGBS of which Homes By Dickerson boasts a bronze-level achievement.  Certification for the NGBS is built around a point system which is broken into six different chapters of qualification including: Lot Design, Prep and Development; Resource Efficiency; Energy Efficiency; Water Efficiency; Indoor Environmental Quality; and Operation, Maintenance and Builder/Owner Education.  Each of the six chapters are scored and accumulate points.  In order to be certified to the NGBS, it is mandatory to have all chapters meet the point requirement for that level as well as a minimum cumulative amount of total points.

Energy Star Partner

 

“We are incredibly proud of each of our High-Performance, Green homes and that we can be recognized with this honor,” says Brant Chesson, President and CEO.  “It is important to us as a builder that we offer our homeowners peace of mind about their comfort, health, financial savings and impact on the environment.  Achieving certification to the National Green Building Standard is just one of the ways that we accomplish that goal.”

Since the companies’ initial involvement in 2008 with the Energy Star Program, Homes By Dickerson has made “High-Performance, Green Building” one of its top priorities. They currently build to an Energy Star 3.0 Certification and also began building to the voluntary North Carolina HERO Code (High Efficiency Residential Option) in 2013. They also have a commitment to lowering their Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores which assesses the energy efficiency of a specific home, assigning it a relative performance score. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the home. For perspective purposes, a typical resale home scores 130 on average while a standard new home is awarded a rating closer to 100.

GreenPanelsHERS 2014 Rating 56 8x8

“One of our most exciting concentrations is our HERS rating. Our 2014 average, is currently at 56 but is consistently getting lower,” says Chesson. “One of our home designs just received a HERS rating of 49 which is a great milestone for us as a ‘High-Performance, Green Builder’ and sets the bar high for all of our future homes.”

About Homes By Dickerson:

Established in 1975, Homes By Dickerson builds high-performance, custom homes throughout The Triangle area of North Carolina.  Named one of the Best Places to Work by the Triangle Business Journal two years in a row, Homes By Dickerson prides itself on its team of talented, passionate and dedicated professionals who strive every day to provide exceptional service to their clients and build beautiful luxury homes.  Each Dickerson home is unique, crafted with the highest quality of materials and attention to detail.  Homes By Dickerson has also become a local leader in homes certified through the National Green Building and Energy Star programs and is a proud member of the Green Home Builders of the Triangle.  They have made it their priority to offer owners enhanced comfort, healthier indoor air quality and lower operating costs while maintaining the highest standards of design, craftsmanship and elegance.

Homes By Dickerson also offers a build-on-your-lot program in addition to homes in the communities of Carrie’s Reach and Barton’s Grove, North Raleigh; Sunset Bluffs, Fuquay-Varina; Haywood and The Hamptons at Umstead, Raleigh; Heritage and Traditions, Wake Forest; Briar Chapel, Chapel Hill; and Croasdaile Farm in North Durham.
For more information on the Award-Winning Homes By Dickerson, please visit our website www.HomesByDickerson.com or contact us at (919) 847-4447.

Media Contact:
Jenn Nowalk
jenn@homesbydickerson.com
919.454.8173