$12.5M Raleigh estate takes luxury home market to the next level (Photos)

A desire for better functionality and creating a work of art has culminated in a $12.5 million home in North Raleigh.

Brad and Ekaterina Holton are building their dream home based on sketches that Ekaterina made after working with three different architects who couldn’t capture their vision for the home. Ekaterina said she was inspired by homes in Miami and Asheville.

In addition, the couple wanted to improve functionality based on what wasn’t working well in their current home off Six Forks Road near Interstate 540.

It’s resulted in a luxurious six-bedroom, 17,000-square-foot home on 110 acres that the Holtons are working with designer Joseph Trojanowski and builder Sam St. Clair of St. Clair Construction Group to complete the home by May 2024.

St. Clair said he came on board because of how unique the home is and that it’s like a piece of art. The home has expanded in size since its inception. Originally, the couple was planning to build around 9,000 square feet, but when their financial situation changed — for the better — Brad said they were able to increase the construction budget. A recent business deal has benefitted the couple, they said.

According to his LinkedIn, Brad is the founder and former CEO of Proton Technologies, which provides IT and cybersecurity services to auto dealerships.

Holton Home

The North Raleigh home is under construction and on track to be complete by May 2024.

Kayli Thompson

Throughout the process St. Clair has alerted the couple to when it makes sense to add more space or expand certain areas of the home.

The kitchen will feature a large window that opens to the outdoor deck and pool area to allow for entertaining. There will be a giant glass wall on a steel track that will be able to slide open to reveal the outdoor space with flooring that will be even and seamless between inside and out.

“I really love how it can be somewhat separate, but you can still kind of be together doing different things, how it flows and how you can stand anywhere and look outside,” Ekaterina said.  

The home also boasts modern touches like recessed baseboards, flush doorways, floor-to-ceiling windows, a koi pond and 15-foot ceilings.

With these type of touches and all of the geometric juts to it, St. Clair said there is no room for error and that everything must line up; there will be no caulking or trim to help cover things up. The windows are truly floor-to-ceiling and were the largest Pella window order nationally and historically, according to St. Clair.

The windows are expansive, showcasing an impressive view of the surrounding woods and hills.

“We wanted it to feel like you’re in a treehouse or in a lodge or something when you’re kind of inside looking out,” Brad said. “We built it around the idea of bringing the outside in and enjoying all the land that we’re surrounded by.”

Holton Home

The home will have floor-to-ceiling windows and 15-foot ceilings.

C/O Brad Holton

Brad Holton plans to use a large portion of the acreage for an agriculture education nonprofit for children or something similar. This is partially fueled by their three children — ages 9, 7 and 4 — and Brad’s Texas roots.

The Holtons have acquired a total of 110.26 acres, most of which can’t be developed due to unsuitable soil. The $12.5 million includes the land acquisition. Laurel Creek runs through part of it and about 82 acres is in Durham County.

According to Zillow listings, the home’s price tops anything currently on the local market. A mansion in Cary recently sold for more than $6 million after being listed for $9 million in early 2022.

Holton Home

The view from the upstairs primary bedroom looking out over Laurel Creek and the surrounding hills.

Kayli Thompson

The region’s luxury home market has been booming. The number of homes going for more than $1.5 million in the Triangle has surged from around 100 annually to well above 400.

Not far from the Holton estate is a new community that will have custom and fully furnished homes starting at $5 million and further south is Shadow Creek Estates with homes ranging from $2.8 million to $6.5 million.


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