Peek Inside this Hillsborough Homestead

Peek Inside this Hillsborough Homestead

The Andrews' Pleasant Green Farms home combines 'traditional with-a twist' style and scenic views.

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In the sunroom, natural elements like terra-cotta tile floors and wooden beams bring the outdoors in. French doors allow the dining room more light. Photo by Briana Brough
In the sunroom, natural elements like terra-cotta tile floors and wooden beams bring the outdoors in. French doors allow the dining room more light. Photo by Briana Brough.

To call this homestead ‘pastoral’ is an understatement. The house sits on 25 acres that seem worlds away from downtown Hillsborough, though it’s a 10-minute drive. Cows graze outside the window of Nathan Andrews’ office, and sunlight spills in. On the second floor, his wife, Karrie, sees an identical view from her desk. Horses roam the pasture a few hundred feet away, while chickens provide more eggs than the family knows what to do with. It’s an inspiring setting that’s caused son Dugan, 13, to declare he wants to be a farmer when he grows up.

By Briana Brough
By Briana Brough

Though Karrie and Nathan grew up moving around the country, they both landed in Chapel Hill around the same time. As a sophomore, Nathan was assigned to write an incoming freshman a letter as a welcome to the Air Force ROTC program at UNC. That freshman was Karrie, and the two hit it off right away, spending time together at Nathan’s job at the student union bowling alley and at He’s Not Here. The couple got married just before his graduation from Kenan-Flagler Business School in 1993 and moved into an apartment – and then their first home – in south Durham. A year later, Karrie graduated from the pharmacy school. As their family grew to include Dugan and daughter Virginia (who goes by Jinkie), now 12, they knew it was time for something bigger.

‘PLENTY OF SPACE AND NATURE’ 

The family called Meadowmont home for more than a decade and watched the neighborhood grow up. They loved being a five-minute drive from UNC and having restaurants within walking distance. In March, they’ll mark six months in a neighborhood that’s decidedly different. “There’s plenty of space and nature,” Nathan says. “It’s quiet, and there’s no traffic, just tranquility.” Based out of Deloitte’s Raleigh office, Nathan has spent the past 20 years on the road working as a national tax partner and relishes his downtime with his family. “There’s something nice about coming home and seeing cows,” Nathan says. “It mellows you out.”

Posey, one of the Andrews' cats, often sit on the ottoman to scope out birds, but the family prefers the couch to watch movies and UNC basketball games. Photo by Briana Brough.
Posey, one of the Andrews’ cats, often sits on the ottoman to scope out birds, but the family prefers the couch to watch movies and UNC basketball games. Photo by Briana Brough.

For Karrie, the family’s Pleasant Green Farms home is not a far drive to her job at Southern Village Pharmacy and only “two traffic lights” from Duke School, where her kids go. It also presented a chance to team up once again with Amy Jeffries from Minta Bell Design Group, who had worked on their Meadowmont house. “We got each other immediately,” Karrie says of their complementary styles and collaborative relationship. Amy says that the Andrews’ classic but rustic house was so right for them that much of their furniture fit perfectly, making many of the changes purely cosmetic. “We painted a lot of the trim work Benjamin Moore’s White Dove to allow the elements of the house to really sing,” Amy says. “It also brought a freshness and simple elegance to many of the spaces.”

Karrie rides her horse, Tucker - a Percheron Saddlebred cross - three or four times a week on trails in the neighborhood. She's had him since 2010. Photo by Briana Brough.
Karrie rides her horse, Tucker – a Percheron Saddlebred cross – three or four times a week on trails in the neighborhood. She’s had him since 2010. Photo by Briana Brough.

WILD, WILD WALLS

As Karrie and Amy sought to make each room welcoming and “traditional with a twist,” they embraced the occasional daring choice. “[Amy] really knows what I like,” Karrie says. “She’d have a wild idea and say, ‘Karrie, you’re the only one [with the guts to] do it.’” Karrie fondly recalls the textured bold black wallpaper with butterflies they picked out for the Meadowmont dining room, calling it one of the things she missed the most after moving. (Nathan calls it a “classic Amy and Karrie” pick.) For this dining room, they chose an Asian-inspired landscape wallpaper that makes a dramatic statement along with the purple velvet chairs. The adjoining sunroom’s walls are covered in a bright bird-patterned paper, appropriate for the space’s views of the garden with a birdhouse. Still, Amy and Karrie showed restraint in areas like the foyer, keeping the walls unadorned and letting the impressive cherry staircase shine. “It can be hard for Karrie and I to pull back and simplify because we both love patterns and influences so much,” Amy says. “But we could really see that the house deserved to be appreciated for the architectural elements in many cases.”

The wallpaper in Jinkie's room was already there when Andrews moved in. They chose a complementary striped carpet that's perfect for her craft activities with friend Ada Catherine Hays (left), 11. Photo by Briana Brough.
The wallpaper in Jinkie’s room was already there when the Andrews moved in. They chose a complementary striped carpet that’s perfect for her craft activities with friend Ada Catherine Hays (left), 11. Photo by Briana Brough.

Step in the barn or mudroom bathroom – black-and-white horses gallop across the walls – and you’ll notice the equine theme carried inside and out. After a few lessons and some fox hunting, Karrie was hooked on horses. For years, she boarded her own horse, Tucker, at a barn off Mount Sinai Road. But having her own barn means that he and the other horses they board can now run in pastures closer to home. Ample trails and easements allow riders like Karrie to traverse acres of the picturesque land where two-thirds of the lots can accommodate horses. “I mostly ride alone because Tucker doesn’t get along with other horses,” Karrie says, laughing. “He thinks he’s the king of the world.” Between having Tucker close by and watching her kids explore their new surroundings, Karrie says, “I knew I would be perfectly, wonderfully happy here.”

This cheerful painting by Jane Filer is just one of many bold works in the living room. Photo by Briana Brough.
This cheerful painting by Jane Filer is just one of many bold works in the living room. Photo by Briana Brough.

Liked touring the Andrews’ beautiful home? You’ll love our April Home and Garden Issue! Read the virtual version here.

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Jessica is the Executive Editor for Chapel Hill Magazine. As a 2010 grad of UNC, she's happy to be back in town writing, editing and eating around the Triangle.