Text by Lauren Eberle
Debbie Serang is the kind of lady who knows what she wants. Raised in an upstate Pennsylvania town bursting with beautiful Victorian architecture, she says she’s always had a fascination for turn-of-the-century style.
And when the time came to build a custom home in central North Carolina, Debbie grabbed her graph paper and set to work. “I spent eight months drawing and tweaking, while my sweet husband transferred my sketches to CAD (computer-aided design),” she recalls. “I knew the square footage we had to work with, and I spent most of my time shaping the footprint. Having four married kids with [their own] kids, I knew our home needed to work with how we live.”
The result is a cozy country cottage that makes exceptional use of space while maximizing the priorities and minimizing the cookie-cutter look of many new constructions. “We have an absurd amount of windows and closets,” Debbie says.
“My goal was to build ‘time’ through layers of age,” explains Debbie. “I wanted the home to look like it had been here through different decades, different styles, and different transitions.” Achieved with faux finishes, arched passageways, papered ceilings, cork floors, and well-curated antiques, the Serangs’ collected, handcrafted home is decidedly timeless.
Debbie also built in a sweet motif of rabbits, which symbolize the family’s propensity for great fate. Guests and grandkids alike play “I Spy” as they wander the house, picking out bunnies on the stairs, in kitchen tiles, carved along mirrors, and resting on bookshelves.
“Throughout our lives, we’ve been touched with extraordinary good luck,” Debbie says of her husband, Daoud, and herself. “It’s nice to spot these furry reminders of how fortunate we are, and to take a moment to be filled with gratitude.”