Bill & Cristi are downtown Raleigh pioneers who have created a warm, contemporary, and uniquely collected home high above the neighborhood that they love. It’s always a treat when they visit the store so it was an honor to be welcomed into their sky-high nest where they carefully curate their mementos and infuse art into every corner.
How long have you lived in your home and why did you choose to live here?
We've lived in the Plaza condominiums for 8 years but have lived in Downtown Raleigh for 10. How we ended up living here is a bit of an odd story. The short version goes something like this. We had a house in the country that we lived in for 6 years and were looking for a second home in the NC mountains. We weren't having much luck finding a place that worked for us. This was all happening around the same time Fayetteville Street Mall, a pedestrian mall for a couple of decades, was being transformed back into Raleigh's Main Street in downtown. We were at lunch at the Raleigh Times (which had just opened) and talking about the Hudson Condominiums that we just walked by and how it would be interesting to see what the developer was doing with that property; the old Hudson Belk Department store. After lunch we visited the Hudson and fell in love with the NYC loft feel the units had. Before we knew it we picked one out and made the purchase. That was Sept 2006. By January 2007 we had sold our country house and moved downtown.
The promise of what was to come and the energy in the city was too much to ignore. We decided to start our urban living experiment and never looked back. While living at the Hudson, we watched the Plaza Condominiums get built. We looked at some of the interior units and decided they weren't for us. Soon after the 2007 Financial crisis some of the corner units in the Plaza ended up on the market. We looked at several and were sold. In October 2009 we found ourselves moving over 50 yards from the Hudson and 375 feet into the sky. The last 8 years here have been incredible. The sunsets never disappoint. Watching the weather roll in is a frank reminder of the power and beauty of our environment.
Being part of the growth engine for today’s Downtown Raleigh has kept us here and engaged in the community. With the help of local retailers like Port of Raleigh, decorating our place has been a fun experience, too. All of these things are contributing factors for why we decided to live here.
Painting of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh by a local artist.
Walnut wood storage bench by Flitch Furniture.
How did you approach designing your home and each space in it?
We see ourselves as unique in just about all things we do. Our design style is no different. "Cookie cutter" drives us nuts. This feeling and our views about it drive us to find unique furnishings and art for our home; just about everything has a story behind it that makes it meaningful, and, often times, unique.
If we had to declare our design style, it would be "Eclectic". We love searching for unique furnishings that complement each other as well as those pieces around them and blending it together to somehow make a look that works and flows from room to room. If we can't find an exact fit but see something in a piece that strikes us, we'll often times ask about customization. To our delight, we've been able to work with local artisans to build the exact piece that works with our design esthetic as well as serve as a functional piece of furniture.
An origami-inspired sculpture by Kevin Box that Bill & Cristi discovered while traveling in Montana and Wyoming.
What object/piece do you enjoy using most on a daily basis?
We'd have to say the pieces we use daily that give us a lot of enjoyment are our customized Flitch entertainment console from Port of Raleigh and the custom desk that we had built by a friend of ours that builds furniture out of reclaimed wood from old barns and homes. Right up there with these two pieces are our petrified wood dining table and side tables from Aurhaus. These pieces are made from sustainably harvested petrified wood from the Phillipines and just have a look and feel to them that makes you want to touch them.
Custom walnut media console by Flitch Furniture.
Cristi with their cat Ivy, 17 years young. A stainless steel block clock sits in the Flitch Furniture media console.
Fill in the blank and share why: “We always have/keep ___ in our home”
"love" We always have love in our home. We want for ourselves and for others to feel at ease, welcomed, safe, respected, and loved when they step over our threshold. It's how we treat each other and how we treat those who are guests in our home.
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us, Bill and Cristi!