NCSU Chancellor’s House: Created For And By North Carolina

Posted on | August 19, 2013 | 6 Comments

There are houses, and then… there are houses. North Carolina Design recognizes that one of these exceptional houses to note is the Chancellor’s House of NC State University. Completed in 2011, the 8,500 square-foot mansion was designed by Marvin Malecha, Dean of the NC State School of Design, built by Rufty Homes, with interiors by Judy Pickett and Lauren McKay of the Raleigh interior design firm, Design Lines, Ltd. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Judy and Lauren about this one of a kind house.

Images Courtesy of NC State University © .Photography By Dustin Peck Photography

Over the years, Design Lines has worked with Rufty Homes on many inspiring projects. This close connection would prove to be instrumental in the design firm’s involvement in the Chancellor’s House. “We have had a great working relationship with Rufty Homes for quite a long time. John Rufty contacted me, and we met with Dean Malecha who oversaw the project. At that first meeting, we just clicked, and could tell it would be a great synergy for the project,” Judy explained.

“The clean modernism of the house is kind of in a vernacular of an architect that’s still living – Hugh Newell Jacobsen,” explained Judy. A noted American architect, Jacobsen has drawn inspiration from the vernacular architecture of the American homestead. With gabled roof lines, a center hall and fireplace, the house has very symmetrical massing. The design is modern, executed with traditional materials. Judy shared Dean Malecha’s description of the house as ‘a comfortable modernism inspired by the colonial mansion.’ ” Brick, one of the most recognizable features of North Carolina architecture, was a clear choice for the exterior of the house. “The hardwoods were grown in the forests of NC State, and wherever possible, 100 % North Carolina vendors and materials were used,” affirmed Judy.

A project where every element in the house comes together perfectly often means that the interior design firm is involved long before the house is even built. That was exactly the case here. “Our involvement began as the plans were drawn and as the interior detailing was being done. We handled all of the material selections, all of the architectural detailing on the inside – fireplaces, tile design, kitchen cabinetry, the built-ins, floor patterns, ceiling drop downs, and lighting,” said Judy.

Located at The Point on NC State’s Centennial Campus, the residence is home to Chancellor Randy Woodson and his wife Susan. Lauren explained that the previous house, located near the corner of Oberlin and Pullen roads, no longer served the needs of the Chancellor. “The rooms were split up and it was not well suited for hosting large events. With the new house, they sought to open up the spaces to comfortably entertain larger crowds,” Lauren said. The team involved in the project received input from numerous sources – project donors, the dean, as well as the chancellor and his wife. It was important however, to keep in mind that this was someone’s home.

Some might think that the selection of colors for the house was a foregone conclusion, since this is NC State, but there is nothing overt in the use of the school colors. “We realized that it had to look like NC State in a friendly way,” Judy explained. There is a concurrent theme of black and white that is very elegant. The use of color was intentional, with nothing over the top or trendy. “As we made decisions, we viewed this as ‘A House of 100 Years’ – a house that would look good in 100 years.”

With a house like this, designers devote themselves to the details of every room, yet they will often confess to having a favorite space. For Judy, that space is the kitchen / family room. “Everything in the kitchen has a familiar, nostalgic feel to it. The hardware is classic chrome. The cabinets are white with glass fronts and are accented by black granite countertops.” Opening into the family room, an area is flanked by floor to ceiling book cases, there is no doubt that family and guests also gravitate to this warm and welcoming space which beautifully speaks to the University.

For Lauren, her favorite space would have to be the guest bedroom. “I just love the way that all the elements in there come together. The color palette with the warm grays and the creams is very soothing and very inviting. The colors are so clean and so simple that it’s very updated and very current. At the same time, I find that fireplace evokes a time when they had fireplaces in bedrooms for heat.”

Speaking of heat, it is important to note that the house is heated and cooled with geothermal wells and is lit by state-of-the-art- LED lights designed to last as long as 50,000 hours – 50 times the life of a typical incandescent light bulb and five times the life of a typical fluorescent light. The house has also been LEED certified as energy efficient.

In addition to the 8,500 square feet of heated space, the home also has about 2,000 square feet of exterior living space. It has a gazebo connected to the rear of the house. As events move outdoors, visitors will notice that Judy and Lauren continued the black and white theme. An additional feature of the outdoor space is a striking collection of red metal seating. Whether for University gatherings or private family affairs, the designers have made this area a go-to destination.

For more information on the NC State Chancellor’s House, you may visit: Design Lines, Ltd. or NC State Bulletin, February 2013

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


6 Responses to “NCSU Chancellor’s House: Created For And By North Carolina”

  1. Donna Frasca
    August 19th, 2013 @ 2:22 PM

    Beautiful! Simple yet complex. Great use of modern and traditional elements and I love the splash of “warm” in the painting.

  2. Marie
    August 20th, 2013 @ 9:21 AM

    Such a beautiful home!

  3. Liz Hughes
    August 20th, 2013 @ 9:48 PM

    Thank you for your comments Donna. It is an incredible home. Everyone associated with it did a great job.

  4. Liz Hughes
    August 20th, 2013 @ 9:49 PM

    Marie – I definitely agree with you 100%!!!

  5. Anne DeCocco
    August 20th, 2013 @ 10:03 PM

    Just a spectacular job on that house–every single room. Thanks for the tour!

  6. Liz Hughes
    August 21st, 2013 @ 1:16 AM


    It was my pleasure to be your tour guide today! So glad you enjoyed it.

Leave a Reply



Welcome to the North Carolina Design Online Blog - a resource for design inspiration and information.

Recent Comments

Daily Reads