Raleigh Residential Designer Reveals The Graceful Lines And Timeless Beauty Of Classic Architecture

Posted on | January 27, 2015 | No Comments

Raleigh residential designer Carter Skinner spends his days pursuing his passion – creating homes that have the kind of timeless beauty he has appreciated all his life. As the owner of Carter Skinner Residential Design, his classicist soul, eye for detail and innate love of historic architecture lend untold distinction, character and artistry to every home he designs. North Carolina Design sat down with Carter to gain insight into his process, and learn about what drives him as a professional.

Images Courtesy of Carter Skinner Residential Design ©

Carter may just have architecture in his veins. “Architecture was my father’s true love, and he had a passion for building,” he notes. “I grew up in Forest Hills in Durham, which was developed in the 1920’s and 30’s, and has these incredible Colonial Revival English-style homes. I fell in love with houses myself at a young age, particularly homes of that vintage.
“I am driven to create homes that are inheritable — graceful, gracious, timeless structures that have a soul. I think a home’s soul comes from the integrity in its craftsmanship, and its details.”

Carter lives and breathes architecture, but his biggest source of inspiration comes from his clients. His primary goal is meeting their needs, which requires an effective method of communication. “I tailor my interactions with clients according to how they communicate,” he explains. “Some people communicate verbally, and some communicate visually. Sometimes clients very much know what they want, and sometimes I have to pull information from them.”

“My approach is very stream-of-consciousness,” Carter offers. “I talk to my clients – not just about how they live, but about how they flow through their homes. We talk about what works and what doesn’t, how they interrelate with the other people they live with, and how they transition from indoor to outdoor spaces.”

With the clients’ needs in mind, Carter applies his well-honed principles of design to create exceptionally beautiful and functional spaces. “There is a lot to consider,” he concedes. “You have to maintain a circular flow pattern, with no dead-end rooms. You have to be aware of how furniture fits, and know how to float it. You have to think about the items in the room, and how they interrelate proportionally. And you have to incorporate elements of style, like rhythm, scale, appropriateness of detail, and movement.”

While Carter clearly possesses incredible passion and talent, he humbly credits much of his success to great mentorship. “I was fortunate to be partnered with two amazing individuals — Arthur McKimmon and Jo Ewing, both prominent Raleigh designers who helped me hone my craft. It’s almost a legacy I’ve been fortunate enough to build from.”

Carter also cites his many years in the business as a factor in his success. “Much of what I am able to do – discerning clients’ needs, determining rhythm, scale and proportion, directing the eye around the space – simply comes down to the know-how that comes from years of experience.”

Carter’s years of experience are informed by an absolute love and affinity for architecture. “To me it’s almost like breathing,” he confides. “I have an almost biological need to create in this fashion. It’s a huge part of who I am. It may be something I inherited from my father, I don’t know. I do know that I consider my houses like my children. They are part of a large family – one that I am very proud of.”

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