Cozy Cottage near Duke and UNC - #5 Blue Bottle Lane

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon
North Carolina

***Download a pdf file with more photos at***

The Neighborhood

  • Four miles to Duke, 8 miles to UNC
  • Adjoins 100 wooded acres of Hollow Rock Nature Park
  • Private walking trails throughout the community
  • Three acre organic garden for personal and community use

The House

  • Cozy cottage nestled in wooded setting
  • Owner built in 1999
  • Spacious and accessible1800 square feet
  • First-floor master suite with walk-in closet, tiled bath
  • Guest bedroom/study with walk-in closet
  • Second-floor loft and bedroom with tiled bath
  • Thirteen feet of quality kitchen and dining cabinets most with pull-out shelves
  • Galley kitchen (soon to be updated)
  • 20'x20' screened porch (soon to be updated)

Passive solar design

  • Radiant floor heating for winter
  • Forced air conditioning for summer
  • Well insulated with outside walls of 8-inch Hebel block
  • Sixteen south-facing casement windows in main floor
  • Two casement windows and two skylights on second floor
  • Ceiling fans throughout

Professionally landscaped fall 2017

  • Flagstone paths and stone walls
  • Picnic area
  • Dry riverbed
  • New and mature trees and plants


  • Stucco exterior for easy upkeep
  • Home inspection done summer 2017
  • Home in good repair
  • All systems well maintained and in working order
  • Kitchen updates in planning stage
  • Cosmetic improvements underway

Now accepting offers for quick sale

  • Appraised fall 2017 at $367,000
  • Minimum offer $325,000
  • After porch update $335,000
  • After kitchen update $367,000

Welcome to Solterra and #5 Blue Bottle Lane!

Quiet and private, even in the midst many community social activities, #5 Blue Bottle Lane is the most comfortable and functional house in which I have ever lived. And I have been on Planet Earth going on 77 years now. The plan is to be on the road by the time I reach my next birthday on April 4, 2018.

We original owners in Solterra named the street to commemorate the surprising pile of blue bottles found on the lot I purchased back in 1996. We saved forty of the best bottles, and each of our residents received one of their own to keep or pass along as homes were built, sold, and bought during the last 20 or so years. Your blue bottle awaits on a shelf. I will soon pack it away for safekeeping while I do some changes to the kitchen.

I worked with an architect to design a flexible and convenient space. It has proven to be just that. Because none of the walls are load-bearing, I have been able to move them to suit each of the people in my parade of housemates.

I had lived here solo, welcomed my adult son for a while, added my mother when she was no longer able to live alone, set up a cozy area for her hospice care, and provided temporary living quarters for a home health aide. I am on my own again and have rented my second-floor sitting room, bedroom, and full bath to a single professional woman.

The passive solar features of my home keep my utility bills low. During the winter the sun beams in through 24-feet of south-facing casement windows lighting and warming the living room and master bedroom suite. As winter turns to summer, the hardwood trees shade the building keeping out the glare from the summer sun and lowering the cost of cooling.

The radiant floor is a source of comfortable, noiseless and draft-free heat generated by a single gas flame and a small tankless water heater. The eight-in thick aerated concrete wall construction insulates the interior from the weather and outside noise, keeping power needs to a minimum. The eight ceiling fans help with that, as well, both summer and winter.

I have enjoyed the 400 square-foot screened porch and found many ways to keep it useful. I remember cooking and serving a formal meal for eight tables, each seating four of my wonderful neighbors. No one cared about the noise we made at dinner since the entire neighborhood was there. And, my son built a 17-foot sailboat on that porch, the neighbors stopping by every so often to check on the progress and to marvel at how he would remove it when done. The day it left for the lake was spectacular! I have pictures of that journey from the porch to the driveway should anyone want to see them. That porch will soon get a face-lift, my next home improvement project.

The Common House is a welcoming place for potluck gatherings, neighborhood meetings, house concerts, and for merely dropping in to see who else is out and about. There have been many celebrations here including wedding receptions, baby showers, and a wide range of cultural observances. It also has a private space where I meet with fellow writers and where I finally started that novel I have always wanted to write.

Every so often food from the 3-acre community organic garden shows up in the Common House kitchen for everyone to enjoy. And the 10 acres of common land is a special treat. The south side of the community backs up to a nature park that is tranquil and has a long cultural history. The park exists because of the work of several community groups, two counties and many of my Solterra neighbors.

The multi-generational makeup of the neighborhood has been exciting and comforting. At any one time, there may be some “just-borns,” a complement of grannies and granddads, and once, gracing the community, two 95-year-old great-grandmothers of the Greatest Generation.

I am sad to leave Solterra, but it is time for me to downsize and live differently. I have just completed a landscaping project and seen to the planting of some redbud trees to commemorate the memories made here with my mother and father, now deceased. Though the house was designed to allow me to age in place, I find myself longing to wander the country and am less inclined to keep house now that Mom no longer needs attention.

There is a lot of love inside #5 Blue Bottle Lane, and all of it comes with the house free of charge and with a Blue Bottle, too.


Marjorie Peltier

mwilsonpeltier [at] gmail [dot] com

919 402-7639

Directory Listing: