An American Dream
A new home build from Huntley Design Build is being called the Patriot House for a very unique nomenclature
By CHRISTINE HENNESSEY » Photos by MIKE DROLET
A few years ago, Will Huntley’s friend Spike Smith invited him to play in the annual National Patriot Pro Am golf tournament. Smith is the founder of an organization called The Patriot Foundation, a non-profit that provides college scholarships for the children of servicemen and women who have been killed, wounded, injured, or become seriously ill as a direct result of the Global War on Terrorism.
As he learned more about the foundation mission, Huntley was impressed and wanted to help. “As a small business, I can’t write a check for a substantial amount of money. We just don’t have the funds earmarked for that. But I can donate my team and my expertise, leverage my contacts in the construction business, and make a donation that way.”
No stranger to teamwork, Huntley reached out to business colleagues and community members and shared his idea. They would do what they did best—build a beautiful house in a desirable neighborhood—and when it sold, they’d donate every cent of the profit to the Patriot Foundation. “When everyone gives a little,” Huntley explains, “you end up with something much bigger.”
“It took about ten seconds for us to get on board with the idea,” says Captain Chuck Deleot, president of the Patriot Foundation. “Will’s a premier builder in the area and for him to be interested in doing this speaks volumes about who he is. We knew this project would be good for us and the people we support, good for the community, and good for Will’s company.”
Building Excellence Since 2002
Like many people, a love of golf and “the good life” drew Will Huntley, president of Huntley Design Build, to Pinehurst. He relocated his company to the Sandhills in 2011, immediately elevating the area’s craft of home design and quality construction.
A multiple award winning, custom homebuilder and remodeler, Huntley Design Build prides itself on being a hands-on builder that delivers an incomparable product, incredible customer service, and the utmost satisfaction on every project it takes on. The firm most often builds its custom homes in Pinehurst, Southern Pines and throughout Moore County, but is happy to take on projects in other neighborhoods throughout the Sandhills of central North Carolina.
Known for quality rather than a specific style, Huntley homes reflect the unique personalities of their owners. Thoughtful floor plans, stunning exteriors, creative outdoor areas, and the types of kitchens and master suites that cause homeowners to swoon in front of their stunning staircases are the hallmarks of a Huntley Design Build home.
“Our styles change as time passes,” Huntley says. “We want to be authentic to that style, whether it’s a French cottage or a country home, you run with that style and make it as authentic as possible.”
Taking Care of Those Left Behind
Formed in 2003 and headquartered in Pinehurst, the Patriot Foundation knows something about authenticity, too. This all-volunteer, privately funded non-profit has two main objectives: raise money for their charities, and publicly honor the service of the elite soldiers serving and dying to protect the USA.
Over the last fifteen years, the foundation has benefited Fort Bragg organizations with over $5 million, which has been used to fund over 1,800 scholarships. It has also provided support for the 29 children left behind in the Extortion 17 Chinook crash in late summer 2011, which killed 22 Navy SEALS. While there are certainly bigger non-profits helping soldiers and their families, the Patriot Foundation is proud of the impact it’s had on the local military community through its close involvement with Fort Bragg and other military bases.
One of the reasons the Patriot Foundation was so excited about Huntley’s idea was because of the clear and immediate impact it would have on their mission. Proceeds from the house are expected to provide anywhere from 40 to 100 college scholarships to children whose military parents have made such great sacrifices since 9-11. Because of organizations like the Patriot Foundation and generous community members like Huntley, those children and their families will have the chance at a better future. It would be a uniquely American gift, but first they had to build the house.
Breaking Ground in Ballybunion Park
With most projects, a client guides the design and build of the home. This was not the case with the Patriot House, as it would be sold after it was completed. There was, however, a neighborhood. The lot purchased for the home was located in Ballybunion Park, an exclusive section of Pinehurst National No. 9, and it was important that the house fit in. “There was an existing body of architecture and plans to work with,” Huntley explains. “My wife Ashlee gets a lot of credit, too; she’s part of the company and leads selection coordination on interior and exterior of the home.”
That said, Huntley did have some freedom and flexibility. They were able to make a few unique choices, while ensuring the home hit a price point that suited the area and would net a worthy donation for the Patriot Foundation. “We found a great blend of detail to meet the market, “ Huntley says.
The result is a beautiful and charming 3415-square foot cottage-style home with a front porch that pays homage to the south. The exterior includes distinctive details, including carriage-style garage doors and lanterns, board and batten, gracious columns, and decorative trim work. As you walk through the front doors, you’re welcomed by a cozy foyer and open floor plan that includes a gourmet kitchen, a dining area and the family room. The home is warm and comfortable, with taupe gray walls, polished nickel plumbing fixtures, and antique brass lighting. The kitchen features Portobello-stained cabinets with a rich black glaze complemented by the Turkish-white, carrara-honed countertop and the white subway tile backsplash.
Huntley describes the house as ideal for empty nesters. “Folks who are here for the golf lifestyle, but still want enough room for the kids and grandkids to visit.” The neighborhood is full of people in a similar position, couples who are seeking more compact homes, but still want the level of quality and attention to detail normally found in much larger homes. “There’s also a lot of storage,” Huntley adds, “which is good for people who are supposed to be downsizing.”
The layout of the house also thoughtfully complements this phase of life. The master suite, a guest room, and the laundry room are all located on the first floor. “The way the house is designed, it has a very open feel when you’re in it,” Deleot says. “You could live entirely on the first floor but there’s plenty of room upstairs, including about 1000-square foot space, in addition to the 3400 square feet mentioned earlier, that’s heated and cooled but not quite finished.” This bonus area means the eventual owners can still put their own stamp on the house, adding some personal touches to the layout and design and ensuring that it suits their needs.
“We’ve designed a lot of privacy with the placement of the windows and the floor plan,” Huntley says. “When you’re inside, you wouldn’t know you have a house right next door to you. Those are things we take into account—you live in the front and back of the house, not the sides. It’s probably a 500-yard view from the back porch.” The view from the covered back porch is worth mentioning—it looks out over the 14th fairway of the famed No. 9 course in Pinehurst National Golf Resort. Included with the home is a top tier membership, worth $45,000, and club dues to the Resort for one year, valued at $5,000.
A Dream Come True
From its generous amenities to its farmhouse kitchen sink to its hexagon-shaped tile in the master bath, there are many things that make the Patriot House a beautiful and comfortable home. What makes it truly special, however, is the meaning built into the walls.
“This idea that Will created and completed is something the Patriot Foundation wants to try in other markets,” Deleot says. “It’s a wonderful story, it benefits a great cause, and it’s just good for everybody.”
The act of building and buying a new home is usually a personal act, an investment that benefits one family. With this project, Huntley Design Build has done something truly ground breaking. In most tales about homes, the day the house sells is the end of the story. The Patriot House, however, is different. Thanks to an idea born on a golf course, the generous donations made by so many in the community, and a foundation striving to make a difference, the sale of this home will be just the beginning.
Custom Builder: Huntley Design Build, 910-684-8149, huntleydesignbuild.com
Charity: The Patriot Foundation, 910-295-6317, patriotfoundation.com