The Duke Mansion

Have you ever been to the Duke Mansion? Chances are, you've driven right by it (and perhaps, didn't even know... like me!) I, like many folks use Ardsley Road as a cut through from Providence to Queens to East Blvd. Little did I know I was driving past the Duke Mansion all the time. I literally thought it was just another home nestled in prime Myers Park neighborhood perfection. Love this part of town as it's simply stunning. 

The Duke Mansion was built in 1915 and it's most well known owner was James Buchanan Duke (you know, Duke University, Duke Energy...) The home changed hands many a time over the years but was lovingly restored and preserved by Rick and Dee Ray in the late 1980s. Now over 100 years later, the home is operated by a non-profit and all proceeds benefit and protect the mansion. 

Kevin and I visited for a tour of the home and grounds over the Summer. But did you know that you can visit the mansion and wander the grounds on your own time? You just have to make sure there isn't a wedding/event booked when you go. If you want to see the inside of the home (and you should, it's gorgeous!) you can stay overnight as a guest of the inn or you can keep tabs on when the home is opened up to the public for events, cocktail hours, and parties.

During July and August of this year, the Duke Mansion held happy hour during the week in their magical and oh so manicured gardens. And this holiday season, happy hour was reinstated (December 21 - 30 from 5-8pm!) If you've been itching to see the home, what better time than when it's decked out for the holidays?! 

Here are some snaps from our visit in August... I wouldn't mind a courtyard like this! 

The Duke Mansion -
The Duke Mansion -
The Duke Mansion -

^^^about as Downton Abbey as we can get here in North Carolina ;) 

The Duke Mansion -

^^^wallpaper goals!

The Duke Mansion -

Call ahead before you go to make sure there isn't an event taking place and keep up with the mansion's Facebook page for updates as well as their website for more info!.

If you are new to Charlotte, want to dazzle out of town guests, or if you just want to up your happy hour game, don't miss the hidden gem right in our backyard. 

My Favorite Instagrammers: Charlotte Architect Edition

Do you love a good before and after (and progress shots in between?) Then you need to follow these accounts on Instagram. Especially if you live in the Queen City! You might even recognize a house or two...

This post got me wondering... What's your favorite part of a renovation or build? My favorite moment is when everything is ripped down to the studs- to the barest of bones. The in between. Because at this moment in time, anything is possible. Visions of what could be flood my mind. That short snippet in time when a home is about to undergo a major transformation and is still in the "ugly duckling" stage- that makes me tick. There's so much potential. It moves me. It's no wonder I work in the business of all things "home." 

And in case you thought I was veering off track, the reason I'm sharing my three favorite architects on Instagram (Charlotte edition!) is because I love their 'before,' 'in between,' and 'after' shots. Transformations, y'all, transformations

We are so lucky to have these talented folks living right here in Charlotte! Here's who you should be following on Instagram for your daily dose of architectural inspo no matter where you live!

Pursley Dixon Architecture


What isn't there to love?! From dormers to marble clad master "spas," I am transported every time they post a new photo. I especially love the progress shots and close ups of the small (and often overlooked) details. Details are their thing. This account's hashtag is 'buildbeautifulthings' and they don't disappoint. 

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Greg Perry Design


Okay, well Greg Perry isn't technically an architect but that doesn't mean his creations are lacking in any department. With lots of behind the scenes looks and vignettes of recently completed projects, this Instagram account displays Perry's ability to mix old with new. 

Ruard Veltman Architecture


This account is a little bit of everything- certainly the most "personal" of the bunch. Ruard is uber talented and I get far too excited when I see a new project in the works or a new locale he's visiting. I've been keeping tabs on his California projects (so gorgeous!) even though I'm partial to the local Charlotte ones ;)

And there you have them, my three favorite Charlotte based home centric Instagram accounts.  Give them all a follow! I promise you'll love seeing what they're up to! And see what projects you recognize (maybe only obsessed home freaks do this?) Maybe you've instagrammed one of their projects. Guilty on all three counts- here, here, and here ;) 

Yup, definitely an obsessed home freak I am...

Who else should I be following on Instagram for progress shots, homes, interiors, and inspiration? Let me know, I can't get enough! 



Featured images by Pursley Dixon Architecture