A Little Spot in the Woods.

Eidolon has been working on a little log cabin in Whittier, North Carolina. The cabin is designed to meld the rustic and the modern on a moderate budget. The design, done entirely by Ann, was meant to accommodate her aging mother, who enjoys spending her summers at her home just up the hill. This idea for a little spot in the woods was birthed from a circumstance we will all find ourselves in at some point. Ann’s mother, June, lives just next door to Mike and Ann here in Raleigh for most of the year. Watching June navigate the small bungalow next door with its high cabinets and small quarters got Ann thinking about how challenging it must be for older individuals to find comfortable living space. What if there were smaller  homes designed for older people where they could be independent for longer? She says, “I wanted to design a space that was proportional for a single person and that is built well and efficient in utility, space, and mobility. A space designed so they can reach linens and towels and don’t have so much space that it’s uncomfortable.”  This cabin offers her mother a place to age independently “in a space that she loves more than any place on earth.”
Collaborating with her brother, Steve Cowperthwaite of Marcobay Construction, and Tidewater Lumber they have transformed the property that June purchased many years ago. When her father’s farm in Pennsylvania was reclaimed by state government for a water reservoir, June decided to reinvest her inheritance from that land into North Carolina farmland and now resides on an 80 acre tract consisting of two horse pastures and which functions as a tree farm, growing white pine for lumber. She lovingly named this space “The Cove.”

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Ann and Steve made the decision to start construction as soon as possible so that June could enjoy the building process this summer. The caretaker who will be living in the home has kept her horses in these pastures for the last 20 years. Although the intention is to have her reside here for many years, we designed the home to be functional and comfortable for two people. There is a private master suite and guest bedroom, each with a full bathroom. In the master bathroom we have chosen a double sink vanity to accommodate two people. We have also designed two sliding wall-hung doors and are making the sliding mechanisms in our shop. These doors give the option to open up the space with minimal square footage required.
The challenge in designing this home was to provide the basic comforts in a simplistic, navigable floor plan, while marrying the modern and rustic aesthetic. With exposed log walls, this meant incorporating materials besides wood to prevent the space from feeling too confined. To keep the cabin affordable we’ve made a few sensible decisions. Cost minimizing choices included acid-etching the concrete slab floor, putting tin on the covered porches and shingles on rest of the house, purchasing the bathroom vanities, and opting for painted cabinet frames and wire mesh paneled doors. To keep the kitchen spacious, we chose to hang open shelving rather than install upper cabinets. For this we will hang Eidolon’s Hub Shelf. The kitchen countertop, which spans 15′, is made of a green material called Forbo Marmoleum. To minimize plumbing the house is designed so that all of the water connections are centrally located. All of the water is supplied to the house by well. 
One of the spatial challenges Ann wanted to conquer was lack of storage in a house with a small footprint. This house is approximately 1,200 sq. ft. There is a 8′ x 19′ unheated storage room lined with shelving to accommodate camping equipment, canning materials, gardening tools, etc. To heat the home they chose to install a gas log fireplace with a 35,000 BTU output in the living room in conjunction with a heat pump. The open floor plan allows warm air from the fireplace to travel uninterrupted through most of the house.
Ann also wanted to emphasize exterior living space, as this is what drew June to this location to begin with. It is also an aspect of the home that frequently gets sacrificed when downsizing. There is a large L-shaped covered porch that spans the width and length of the house, nearly 52′. This deck can be accessed by three double doors in the living room. There is an 8′ portion of the patio which remains uncovered to create a sun porch. Between 15′-20′ of land surrounds the house for potential landscaping. A small tobacco barn original to the property lies just past the caretaker cabin and is now used for wood and equipment storage. Plans are to install a split-rail fence along the berm just beside June’s house.
The house is constructed of 6″ x 6″ white pine logs, which were chosen to match the existing main house where June resides. The standard 8″ x 8″ logs seemed disproportionately hulking for the small footprint of the cabin, but the smaller logs will require added insulation in the attic. The logs are extremely protective against the wind. They are seated upon each other using a tongue and groove system with foam insulation strips on each tongue. Every 12″ there is a 24″ bolt that passes through one log to the next. To achieve the length needed the ends of the logs are joined using a butterfly rib.
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Things are moving quickly with hopes to complete the cabin by Thanksgiving. We have commissioned a few local craftsman to construct the house and have been so impressed by their attention to detail and skill. We are grateful to the local superintendent, Ronnie Cook, as well. His wife makes one hell of a biscuit.
We want to know what you think! Would you like to call this cabin home? We only ask because maybe you can some time soon… More to come on that!

140 West Franklin



Eidolon has just wrapped up a project with BuildSense for a client in the new 140 West Franklin condos on Franklin Street. This project involved a variety of complicated casework components, one in the living room and another in the study, that had to be constructed with precise detail in order to be successful. When the architect, Megan Patnaik, presented her vision she emphasized three components as integral to creating the seamless aesthetic that the client sought: material thicknesses and their presentation, their relationship to adjacent surfaces, and their proximity to other elements in the house.
One of the most challenging design aspects of this project was the intersection of elements in the living room piece, which features a large flat screen television mounted above two EcoSmart bioethanol burning fire pits. These fireplaces produce heat, carbon dioxide, and a small amount of water vapor and steam which are damaging to the finish of the large custom media cabinet we produced to suspend above it. To avoid potential corrosion to the cabinet we engineered a ventilation system in the chase behind the television. When the interior of the chase reaches 88 degrees whisper-quiet fans engage and push air out of a ⅛” gap between the bottom of the cabinet and the top of the fireplace, blowing the heat and vapor away from the cabinet to preserve the finish. Additional materials were added to ensure the cabinet was fully heat and fire resistant.
An additional challenge to this piece was locating a single rare burl veneer of sufficient height to produce a set of 5’5″ x 3’6″ doors. The extensive preparation required of the burl for veneering, the weight of the doors, the hidden tracks, and veneer finish were other intricate aspects of a seemingly simple presentation.
For the study units we engineered and fabricated concealed sliding hardware that allows the doors to be pulled down when the desk is not in use. It was imperative to the architect that all of the units be flush with the sidewalls as well as the hallway opening that the units traverse. Since walls are rarely set perfectly straight and the cabinets are, we built up a corner wall so that their installation would be exactly to the client’s request.


As a business what we value most is the service of bringing a vision to fruition. To achieve this we have built our client relationship on listening. Our design process is communicative. What this means for us is a thorough discussion about the obvious and not so obvious issues so that they are addressed. Sometimes it means three orders of lumber because the quality isn’t quite right. Sometimes it means late nights on the iPad reading about chemical reactions.  In the end what it means for the client is seeing their vision, their Eidolon, brought to life.

Block Party

Last month Eidolon held an Instagram giveaway for one of our signature Block hard white maple cutting boards. The winner of our contest, Ben, did us the kindness of photographing his recent “eggies in a basket” dish. Made with love from the Block to the belly.
  Check out the full gallery here.
Ben and his wife run a photography business in Columbus, Ohio. Be sure to check out their work if you’re in the area!

American Craftsman Workshop

As part of the craftsman and design community we are always working to keep up with what other artists and makers are creating. We are so inspired by talented people doing what the love and are continually humbled by the generosity and support that exists in the woodworking community. We recently came across the site for American Craftsman Woodshop. Todd Clippinger has built a website with a wealth of education for craftspeople with the slogan “Share the Love-Share the Knowledge.” Whether you’re a small woodshop or working out of your shed we recommend checking out his YouTube channel filled with tips, how-to’s, interviews, and more.
His site subsequently lead us to Earlywood, who makes beautiful handcrafted wooden spoons. They’re already on our Christmas list.

Feature on Architects and Artisans

Our friends at Architects + Artisans wrote up a great post about our construction of the Grifols reception desk. Their blog features curated news on architecture and sustainable design.
Check it out below:

Aquarium Console Feature

Check out the recent blog post by our friends at Design Lines, LTD about the design and fabrication of the Aquarium Console, designed by Judy Pickett. This cabinet was structured to support a large fish tank and incorporates ventilation and equipment accessibility into the design.
Click here to read more!

Hodge-Nasir Home Nominated for 2014 George Matsumoto Prize

Eidolon is excited to announce that one of our clients’ homes, the Hodge-Nasir house, has been included in the entries for the 2014 George Matsumoto People’s Choice Prize. Constructed in 2011, Eidolon partnered with Durham designers BuildSense to complete the interior millwork of hard maple solids and veneers. We wish BuildSense the best of luck. To check out the entrants and place your vote, head to NC Modernist Houses.
Be sure to join in the celebration at the awards ceremony – July 17, 6pm at CAM, 409 West Martin Street, Raleigh.

Grifols Reception Desk

Eidolon Designs has been hard at work to complete a unique project for Grifols Pharmaceutical office in Research Triangle Park. This project, a 20′ reception desk with 3′  glass cantilever designed by Alicia Hylton-Daniel of HagerSmith Design presented a number of structural considerations that had to be addressed due to the chosen materials: 3/8″ annealed glass, 8″x4′ porcelain tiles, stainless steel, and laminate.
Glass and porcelain are susceptible to thermal expansion, which poses a risk to both surfaces. Even minute expansion could potentially shatter either material from additional pressure if they were to come into hard contact with each other. We fabricated a control joint and an isolation strip intended to spread the point load to account for any possible movement.
 All of the electrical wiring including the conduit was done to code within the structure of the box to maintain a seamless aesthetic. To support the weight of the cantilever, which is nearly 400 lbs, the box beneath it is structured with steel and drilled directly to the floor. This support structure is completely rigid with the rest of the wall, which incorporates 10 load points distributing the weight across the entire 17’ wall. The upper arm that reaches across the cantilever actually has a flex point at the inner corner, and is attached to the glass box by two 4” holes through the glass allowing for attachment bolts. These bolts can be removed, the arm flexed, and the entire box slid out without disturbing the rest of the desk wall if repair is ever required.
The substructure, a box-beam, is leveled and flat to within 1/32” over 17’, so that when the upper glass and its steel sub-structure are  set on top, an incredibly “straight-as-an-arrow edge” is displayed.
The desk structure and cantilever box were assembled in our studio and the glass was applied to the cantilever faces prior to transporting to the site. In order to safely move the glass cantilever with ease Mike fabricated handles on the ends of the box structure so it could be easily lifted and moved. Once on site and in place, the handles were removed and the end glass panels were installed.
The considerations for structure and fabrication were worked out by Eidolon Designs, with collaboration from the folks at  Carolina Glass, who provided and installed all the glass panels. Replacability of the glass ensures the longevity and functionality of such an expansive piece.  This is the hallmark of Eidolons’ engineering and deign process when working to achieve the design goal.
Below are a few photos from the cantilever installation.
Final install photos with the porcelain tile work completed and powder coated steel counter installed.
We are so proud to have been a part of this project and enjoyed the challenges and aesthetics it posed. Huge thanks to Bill Hilliard of HillCon Development, who was general contractor on site, HagerSmith Design, and Carolina Glass and Mirror.

Instagram Giveaway

Have you entered our Instagram giveaway yet? On your mobile device, head to our Instagram page for your chance to win one of our signature hard rock maple cutting boards. Like our giveway post, follow us, and repost the giveaway photo to your own Instagram account using #eidolon to get yourself entered.
Giveaway ends June 10th, so hurry along!


This blog is designed to keep you posted on all things Eidolon. We are proud to be a part of the art community here in Raleigh, NC and want to share our contributions in engineering, design, and artistic vision. Some of our greatest points of pride are the things that go on behind the scenes that the clients never see – the whole intention of our design theory. We hope you’ll check back regularly for details on our current projects in our shop. Bookmark us, and if you aren’t already, follow us on social media @eidolondesigns. We love new friends.