With broad porches and generous windows, our Idea House in River Dunes, North Carolina demonstrates the timeless beauty of traditional design.
Elizabeth R. Beeler
1 of 9Photo: Jean Allsopp
One look at our 10th Anniversary Idea house in Oriental, North Carolina, and you might think it's a treasured historic home. But behind those clapboard walls, you'll find extraordinary surprises. A team of architects and designers utilized cutting-edge building products and filled each room with innovative design solutions.
Sited to take advantage of Grace Harbor views, the home features an open plan, high ceilings, and large windows. "The simple square columns and lantern crowning the roof reference 19th-century designs found from North Carolina to New England," says project manager Joshua Roland.
Casual and inviting, yet refined—that's how interior designer Tammy Connor describes the living room. Taking a cue from the coastal setting, she chose a muted palette of ocean blues and greens, then washed the cypress walls with a soft khaki. Roman shades and draperies were constructed from recycled sailcloth, adding history and visual interest.
Informal meets formal in the dining area, where a pair of casual settees provides contrast to the more traditional upholstered slipper chairs. The settee' generous dimensions balance the visual weight of the 7-foot table, custom-made for the space from salvaged red oak. Above the table, a wrought-ironn lantern makes a dramatic statement.
Anyone who loves to cook—or eat—will fall for this state-of-the-art kitchen. With a stainless steel sink and honed marble countertop, the generous island offers plenty of space for food preparation or a buffet-style setup. Open shelving and colorful cookware recall kitchens found in historic coastal homes.
What do you hope for in a breakfast room? Sunshine! Here, durable aluminum-clad, double-hung windows stand up to harsh coastal weather, including 150-mph winds. Below the coffered ceiling, the architects added a shallow display ledge for sea-colored bottles.
To add height and maximize harbor views in the master suite, Tammy hung sheer fabric panels on drapery rods attached just below the ceiling molding. Then she repeated the celery-and-celadon-stripe materal on the four-post, iron bed. The cotton rug, linen bedding, and ultrasoft fabric on two slipper chairs enhance the bedroom's luxurious feel.
The theme of the master bath is luxury, pure and simple. A trio of surface-mounted sconces provide ideal lighting conditions, and polished chrome faucets coordinate with the fixtures. A highly-veined marble appears on floors and countertops as well as in the shower. Custom elements—such as the simple detailed sink base and the carved interior doors—highlight this home's fine craftsmanship.
"It's exotic and functional, with fun written all over it!" says Tammy of the second-floor guest room. Teak platforms suspended from heavy-gauge rope take center stage, while a punchy striped fabric on the wall and Roman shade creates a seamless backdrop.
Sheer draperies, a jute area rug, and plush seating lend this outdoor space the elements of an interior room. Tammy selected a vibrant green fabric to complement the woven-wicker furniture. The hand-tumbled, all-masonry brick fireplace furnishes a sense of warmth. Overhead, an oil-rubbed gas lantern guarantees ambience after sundown.
Outdoor fabric and draperies: Sunbrella; Wicker furniture: Agio; Hanging lantern: Charleston Gas Light; Teak dining table and chairs: Barlow Tyrie
For more information on the products featured in this home, please see the November 2007 issue ofCoastal Livingmagazine.