Charlotte Builder Uses Finer Details To Craft Beautiful, Exceptionally Functional, And One-Of-A-Kind Homes

Posted on | May 5, 2015 | No Comments

Building a custom space is about exceptional craftsmanship, as well as a high level of detail that reflects the homeowner’s unique wants and needs. Barnes and Ely Construction, a premiere Charlotte custom home builder and remodeler, specializes in customizing homes of every size and type, using the best of techniques, the highest quality of workmanship, and impeccable attention to detail. Barnes and Ely owner Jay Barnes talked to North Carolina Design, and helped shed some light on how he uses details to make a home beautiful, exceptionally functional, and one-of-a-kind.

Images Courtesy of Barnes and Ely Construction ©

“A custom design is about working in layers, and moving from something broad to something very refined,” says Jay. “We start by sitting down with clients and going over any pictures and ideas they have of what they want their home to look like. Then we sketch the concept out for them. We create a simple, basic plan of the space that’s based on function. There’s no use having something beautiful if it doesn’t work for your family and your lifestyle. The aesthetics can come later.”

Once the basic plan is created, Jay focuses on the homeowner’s more specific individual needs. “We give them whatever they’re looking for, whether that’s custom shelving for their books, a one-of-a-kind wine cellar for their wine collection, lockers for mudrooms, or custom built-ins for storage. Fortunately, we have very skilled carpenters who can handle just about anything.”

After function is taken into account, form takes center stage. “We just keep finessing the basic design – layering in finer and finer details to create a custom look that brings the homeowner’s vision to life,” he says. “For example, we may add in trim, and then add details to the trim. We may create bead board panels for storage hooks, or use color to personalize storage cubbies. We might add hand-carved doors to a cabinet, or add silver foil to an ornamental piece. Whatever we think will tie the space together and help complete the design.”

Jay notes that there are a number of ways to add details to a space. “Some homeowners want a cleaner and more comfortable look, and they stick with simple details, like square stock moulding or two-panel doors. Others want to go in a more ornate and formal direction, with egg and dart mouldings, arched entryways, or incredibly detailed ornamental accents. One client may choose a simple white stain for a built-in or cabinet, while another might bring in an artist to create a detailed painting. It all depends on the style of the home, and how the client envisions the space.”

While customization is a wonderful thing, Jay does advise homeowners to know when to say when. “Everything can’t be special,” he explains. “If you do too much, the space becomes too busy, and too much for the eye to take in. You should focus on a few elements that you really want to stand out and let everything else take a supporting role.”

When it comes to building or renovating a home, Jay notes that it’s the smaller things that have the biggest impact. “Details really do matter,” he stresses. “You can take a plain family room and add a coffered ceiling, box beams, or wainscoting, and suddenly, you’ve completely transformed the space into something much more beautiful and much more interesting.”

For Jay, being part of that transformation is one of the best parts of the job. “A lot of the homes I come into are dated, or shabby, or just plain ugly and awful.” he says. “It’s so rewarding to take a home like that from where it was take it make it something that’s beautiful, new, and meets the client’s needs.”

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