Charlotte Builder & Remodeler Transforms Mediterranean Styled Home With Classic Detail And Seemless Craftsmanship

Posted on | September 1, 2015 | Comments Off

It is one of design’s great ironies: creating something that looks simple and seamless requires hard work and a highly skilled hand. This is a fact with which Charlotte custom home builder and remodeler Ben Collins, owner of Salins Group in Charlotte, is intimately familiar. Ben has been building and remodeling houses for 17 years, and is known for his keen attention to detail and for the exceptional quality of his work. Recently, he brought his considerable skill and talent to the small screen, appearing in 3 episodes of the nationally syndicated home improvement show “Fix It And Finish It,” hosted by Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Images Courtesy of Salins Group ©

Ben is a master at creating spaces that are chic, beautiful and wonderfully nuanced, like today’s featured whole home renovation. To meet his client’s needs, he deftly balanced form with function, and clean, simple lines with distinctive details. North Carolina Design sat down with Ben to hear more about the home, and the process behind it.

“My clients tend to be sophisticated, and they want something upscale,” Ben observes. “I do keep up with what’s current, but I don’t like to depend on trends. I believe the whole house should stand on its own merits. Whether I’m working with something classic or really transitional, I always like to give each home a timeless appeal. You don’t want to walk into your new kitchen 5 years from now and say, ‘Ugh, what was I thinking?’ You want to love it as much as you do now.”

This home is a fine example of Ben’s design philosophy, as well as his commitment to client satisfaction. “This was the fourth house we did for this client,” he recounts. “This was a family with four kids. They were really looking to create an interesting and unique home where they could entertain and be comfortable in their day-to-day lives. They wanted something that had great aesthetics but was very family friendly.”

Ben succeeded meeting the client’s aesthetic goals – the house is definitely beautiful and definitely unique. The exterior features an eye-catching Mediterranean flair that’s an unusual choice for Charlotte. The interior features a chic and fresh simplicity accented with many wonderful yet understated details, from graceful archways to artful wainscoting to thoughtful built-ins. And throughout, there are small and subtle touches of Hollywood Regency opulence that serve to elevate the space.

The home also has the comfortable feel the family sought. It’s open airy and filled with light, and it has many subdued rustic elements that add warmth and charm. One of the home’s standout features is the wooden ceiling in the main living space, crafted from antique heart pine beams custom milled from a local lumberyard.

Ben concedes that the project, while highly successful, was not without its challenges. “The original house was built in the 1940’s out of solid concrete,” he recalls. “It was like a fortress. We had to work within those parameters – you can’t tear down massive 14 inch thick walls just to make a little extra space for a refrigerator. The goal was always to take what was there and make it really beautiful but also really livable.”

That’s not to say that there were no dramatic changes. “To be family friendly, the home had to have a core central living area,” says Ben. “The space we wanted to use – which included the kitchen – was extremely chopped up, to the point where it would have been almost impossible to work with it as it was. We tore that whole section of the house down to the concrete slab and rebuilt it. Now it’s an enormous space that flows together and fits the family’s needs.”

Ben concedes that the renovation process is nowhere near as smooth as the end result. “It’s a challenge to make sure that all the parts come together and ultimately make the home as close as possible to what the clients anticipated. But we’re up to that challenge. We listen carefully to what our clients want, and we have the skill and experience to give it to them.”

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