More time at home means more opportunity for you to design your personal kitchen, bath :: WRAL.com

Every year we consider the colors and styles homeowners are gravitating towards when personalizing their new home kitchen and baths. The 2020 season, more so than ever, has given us the most poignant glimpse into how everyday living can affect our design choices. 

The global pandemic we continue to experience has resulted in families spending more time at home, altering both their needs and wants with regards to aesthetics, technology, innovative design options and energy-saving features.  

Buyers may have also found a little extra time to spend on Pinterest or watching HGTV to get inspired on the design of their new home.

“I have buyers that come in after months of being stuck at home with social distancing/COVID restrictions and they have learned what they don’t like,” said Rachel Anne Phelps, design consultant for Drees Homes.  “Through staying home, COVID has helped buyers learn how they truly function at home and that carries over to their choices they make with me.”

So, in the spirit of how form and function merge to create a space that your family desires to spend a lot of time in, let’s take a look at what homeowners are currently asking for in their kitchen and bath design!

Lighting

As evenings may include more home-based activities like menu planning, reading, board games or puzzles, proper lighting is of the utmost importance. Undercabinet lighting and stacked cabinetry lighting remain popular in the kitchen as well as the classic look of clear glass options in the bathroom.

Other lighting must-haves include exposed bulbs, sconces everywhere, and drop-down pendants, especially in the ever-popular black and chrome.

“We are also seeing larger pendants and linear lights over the islands in the kitchen,” said Phelps. “A lot of homebuyers see lighting as the jewelry of the home and in main living spaces they want something that makes a statement.”

Fixtures

Many homeowners are opting for their accent pieces to help them achieve a more modern look so they pair up brushed nickel and matte black features with their cabinetry of choice resulting in a wonderful contrast. Supporting that more modern look is the decision to forego dual-handle bathroom faucets, choosing rather the single-handle option.

Appliances

We all seem to be cooking more these days, dusting off recipes and discovering what our kitchens are really capable of doing for us!

As buyers work with their builders to layout their dream kitchen, designers are receiving requests for hidden microwaves, vent hoods with a cooktop, oversized ranges, and of course the tried and true double wall oven or microwave/oven combination. 

While stainless steel still ranks supreme (especially fingerprint-resistant stainless steel), black stainless continues to gain popularity in that modern and edgy department. However, an even fresher look of matte white with gold or rose gold handles and accents is being considered by homeowners who desire an open and airy feel in their kitchen.

Tile

Whether it is the view from soaking in

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Century-old trees, historic graves in gothic revival churchyard :: WRAL.com

— Tucked away in the small North Carolina town of Tarboro is an ethereal place that can only be described as a ‘secret garden.’

Enclosed in a gothic-style churchyard, the ground and graves alike are cloaked in ivy. Century-old trees, crooked with age, create a green dome that, in some places, blocks the sky.

The Calvary Episcopal Churchyard serves as a cemetery, but it is also one of the state’s most beautiful arboretums, with trees and plants from across the globe.

Calvary Episcopal Church in Tarboro has North Carolina's version of a ‘secret garden,’ enclosed in a gothic-style churchyard, cloaked in ivy, with century-old trees from across the globe.

The design of the churchyard and its original plantings are the work of Joseph Blount Cheshire, who served as rector of the church from 1842 to 1889 – meaning some of these trees could be around 150 years old.

Older still is the parish itself, which dates back to before the Revolutionary War and the founding of America itself – harboring records and stories from when the early North Carolina colonists first settled Tarboro in their search for religious freedom outside of England.

In short, there are very few places in the state that date back as far as the Calvary Parish.

Calvary Episcopal Church in Tarboro has North Carolina's version of a ‘secret garden,’ enclosed in a gothic-style churchyard, cloaked in ivy, with century-old trees from across the globe.

North Carolina churches before the Revolutionary War

According to their written history, “The establishment of Calvary Parish dates to 1742.”

During the 1700s and early 1800s, many NC churches met in “brush arbors,” which were essentially shelters surrounded in thick foliage with a wooden frame and perhaps a few benches.

Calvary Parish, however, met in a small wooden building near modern-day Chapel Springs, about eight miles away from present-day Tarboro.

During that time, George II was the King of England, and North Carolina was still an English colony, presided over by a royal governor.

The rector of the parish was named Rev. James Moir. “He reported directly to the Bishop of London,” according to the written history.

Calvary Episcopal Church in Tarboro has North Carolina's version of a ‘secret garden,’ enclosed in a gothic-style churchyard, cloaked in ivy, with century-old trees from across the globe.

The small wooden church was built in 1747, but by 1760 it had burned down, causing the small congregation to move into Tarborough – as it was then spelled.

After the American Revolution, however, the church’s methods of worship, which required a reigning British monarch, were considered treasonous. As a result, the parish changed its name and asked to form into an Episcopal congregation and be accepted into the union with the Diocese of North Carolina. Because of this, the church considers the date of its founding to be 1833, although it actually goes back much farther.

Construction on the building that stands today began in 1858.

Calvary Episcopal Church in Tarboro has North Carolina's version of a ‘secret garden,’ enclosed in a gothic-style churchyard, cloaked in ivy, with century-old trees from across the globe.

Creating a ‘secret garden’ and global arboretum

With many graveyards and cemeteries being wide open, the enclosed churchyard, encircled by antique walls, make it feel like a walk through an old English churchyard, rather than one in small-town North Carolina.

The gothic-revival style of the church building, with grand stained glass windows and gothic archways, creates an ethereal contract with the ancient trees and creeping ivy.

Calvary Episcopal Church in Tarboro has North Carolina's version of a ‘secret garden,’ enclosed in a gothic-style churchyard, cloaked in ivy, with century-old trees from across the globe.

Many of the graves date back to the 1800s, with intricate carvings and designs. The headstones themselves are each

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WRAL story garners donations, volunteers for Raleigh soup kitchen :: WRAL.com

Leaders of the Shepherds Table soup kitchen in downtown Raleigh are thankful for an overwhelming response to their plea for help. It came after a WRAL story highlighting the ministry’s decline in volunteers and donations largely due to the impact of COVID-19.

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Raleigh’s Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen desperate for donations :: WRAL.com

— The COVID-19 pandemic has placed new demands on many charitable organizations, like the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen, which has served the hungry in the Raleigh area for 40 years and has never struggled more.

Close to lunchtime, kitchen manager Michael K. Smith begins rolling out packed meals from the kitchen to the sidewalk on Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh where people line up for lunch.

“I love my job,” said. “I love doing this for my people.”

Shepherd's Table Food Kitchen in downtown Raleigh.

Smith is one of just three staff members in the kitchen providing hot lunches to people in need five days a week. In the pandemic, staff and volunteers now have to work harder than ever.

“They have been the backbone of this operation, because what 25 people used to do in a day we’re now doing with five a day,” said executive director Tammy Gregory.

Before March 11, Gregory said companies, especially those in the downtown area, encouraged their employees to spend time volunteering. Then health risks that came with COVID-19 changed everything, with volunteers and donations dwindling and dining rooms meals coming to a halt.

Gregory said it took a day to figure out their next step to feed those in need.

“We have kind of a drive-thru set up, and they can come get lunches,” she said. “We make snack packs too, so they have something for the evening.”

Shepherd’s Table also provides masks, hand sanitizer, sports drinks and water bottles.

Gregory said, since support from the community diminished, the number of hungry people increased.

“They still need food. They have no income. As you know, we’ve lost so many jobs in the hospitality industry,” said Gregory. “These are our neighbors — these are the people you see every day on the street.”

Gregory said the group needs help to meet the need.

“We have over 380 companies just in this downtown area within a four block radius and we’re getting no support,” she said. “We say kindness is shown in different ways. Well, write a check, because that’s kindness for us right now. We need that support now more than ever.”

Gregory said Shepherd’s Table also needs regular donations of canned foods and other non-perishable food. Learn how to support them online.

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Raleigh’s Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen desperate for volunteers, donations :: WRAL.com

— The COVID-19 pandemic has placed new demands on many charitable organizations, like the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen, which has served the hungry in the Raleigh area for 40 years and has never struggled more.

Close to lunchtime, kitchen manager Michael K. Smith begins rolling out packed meals from the kitchen to the sidewalk on Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh where people line up for lunch.

“I love my job,” said. “I love doing this for my people.”

Shepherd's Table Food Kitchen in downtown Raleigh.

Smith is one of just three staff members in the kitchen providing hot lunches to people in need five days a week. In the pandemic, staff and volunteers now have to work harder than ever.

“They have been the backbone of this operation, because what 25 people used to do in a day we’re now doing with five a day,” said executive director Tammy Gregory.

Before March 11, Gregory said companies, especially those in the downtown area, encouraged their employees to spend time volunteering. Then health risks that came with COVID-19 changed everything, with volunteers and donations dwindling and dining rooms meals coming to a halt.

Gregory said it took a day to figure out their next step to feed those in need.

“We have kind of a drive-thru set up, and they can come get lunches,” she said. “We make snack packs too, so they have something for the evening.”

Shepherd’s Table also provides masks, hand sanitizer, sports drinks and water bottles.

Gregory said, since support from the community diminished, the number of hungry people increased.

“They still need food. They have no income. As you know, we’ve lost so many jobs in the hospitality industry,” said Gregory. “These are our neighbors — these are the people you see every day on the street.”

Gregory said the group needs help to meet the need.

“We have over 380 companies just in this downtown area within a four block radius and we’re getting no support,” she said. “We say kindness is shown in different ways. Well, write a check, because that’s kindness for us right now. We need that support now more than ever.”

Gregory said Shepherd’s Table also needs regular donations of canned foods and other non-perishable food. Learn how to support them online.

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Newly renovated Rose Garden under repair less than 3 weeks after unveiling :: WRAL.com

— The newly renovated White House Rose Garden is under repair less than three weeks after it’s official unveiling. The garden is experiencing “issues with water drainage” and “some minor complications with updated construction,” a source with knowledge of the garden troubles told CNN. New sod is also being laid down.

First lady Melania Trump on August 22 hosted a private party to celebrate the redone Rose Garden, which the public was told had been completed after approximately three weeks of renovation.

CNN has reached out to the White House for comment on when the Rose Garden will be able to properly function.

President Donald Trump on Monday held a news conference on the North Portico, an unusual outdoor location, but the source notes hosting press in seats at the Rose Garden “would not be doable” in the iconic garden’s current status. Trump has also had to motorcade to Andrews Air Force Base of late, again preventing media from seeing the construction in the Rose Garden in recent days.

Melania Trump held her Republican National Convention speech from the Rose Garden in front of approximately 75 seated guests on August 25. For that event, the grass of the Rose Garden was too muddy to host an audience due to lack of drainage from heavy rain storms, thus a “turf” lawn was put down over the grass instead, a source with knowledge told CNN at the time.

Trump announced she was spearheading the Rose Garden overhaul in late July. The renovation included updates to plants, trees, grass and florals, as well as the addition of a new limestone border, pathways and technological elements to make the outdoor space more modernized for televised events.

The first lady’s renovation followed the guidelines from the garden’s original 1962 layout — but the update was largely panned by critics for looking substantially altered. Most discussed was the removal of 10 crabapple trees. The trees, which over the years had been replaced and were not the Kennedy-era originals, were transported to a National Park Service facility for care. According to a White House official, they will be replanted elsewhere on the grounds in the near future.

The trees were causing too much shade to provide for healthy and regular growth of the florals and shrubs beneath them, according to a 220-page report on the garden history and renovation prepared for the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.

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Out and About at WRAL.com

— One of the hardest hit sectors due to the pandemic is the catering industry. But like everyone, caterers have adjusted, reinvented, shifted and pivoted. Two of our local major players have completely reinvented part of what they do. First up, Catering Works in Raleigh has a division now called Fig’s Market where you can get chef crafted heat and eat meals for contactless curbside pickup and delivery. You can customize your menu by choosing your side and salad. Meals are ready 48 hours after ordering. They have everything from featured specials, market delicatessen to plant-based, gluten-free, and pastries. You can even add beer and wine to your order! Check out Fig’s Market here.

And in Chapel Hill, The Catering Company of Chapel Hill launched a new business, Ghost Kitchen Eats. They are Chapel Hill’s first delivery-only restaurant group currently offering two “virtual restaurants” – Bistro 501 and The BBQ Co. of Chapel Hill. They opened this past Thursday, and are open for delivery Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Get all the details, including how to order, here.

Wake County Restaurant News

Raleigh Magazine and Raleigh Convergence brought it to our attention that A Place at the Table needs your support. For Raleigh’s pay-what-you-can downtown cafe to work, it needs the help of those who can purchase their meals. Before the pandemic, 70% of diners paid for their meals, now 20% do, and the demand is rising. So, if you were waiting for an excuse for one of their delicious cheddar biscuit breakfast sandwiches, you’ll be helping a neighbor, too! Vegan, GF options available. Visit them today.

Maggie Kane, founder of A Place At The Table has now moved operations outside during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are looking for a true New York deli and bakery you should head up to Wake Forest and see how Joe Leli and his team have gone back to Leli’s roots in New York. Leli’s Diner, now Leli’s Italian Eatery and Leli’s Market & Bakery, are two great New York classics in one spot – half a classic Italian restaurant with a wood burning oven, and half an Italian market and bakery. And all this just in time for Leli to celebrate 6 years in Wake Forest today (Sept. 4)! Go in and tell Joe that Triangle Food Guy sent you – and congratulate him on his anniversary! Look for things like “Skinny Italian Sausage,” breads baked fresh every morning, homemade pastries, and packaged fresh pasta options to take home with you. Take a peek at some of the pictures on Instagram here.

Love seeing partnerships between our local restaurateurs. Such is the case with Capital Club 16 and neighbor Lucettegrace in downtown Raleigh. Capital went live this week with their curbside pickup (Wednesday through Friday 11:30 til 7) and have partnered with Lucettegrace to provide some of their dessert options. Follow them on Instagram here.

And speaking of partnerships, the folks over at Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing are teaming up with Jake Wood and his team at 

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