Nestled among oaks, palmettos, and pines, our Idea House on Bald Head Island offers abundant marsh views as well as intriguing ideas for use of color, pattern, and texture.

By Lacey N. Howard
October 10, 2002
A trio of hanging lamps provides a warm glow over the dining area. Beneath them, an antique oil-finished table and eight slipcovered chairs make a classic statement in the lofty expanse. --When you don't have window treatments, you need to have fabric to
John O'Hagan

On Bald Head Island's Currituck Way, a multicolored exterior sets this Idea House apart from its neighbors. "I wanted the building to stand out," architect Chuck Dietsche says of the earthy reds, deep greens, and mustard yellows. Durable siding shingles on top and lap siding below dress the cottage exterior. Made from a composite of fiber and cement, this siding holds up longer than wood in the marsh climate, keeping painting and maintenance to a minimum.

Street side, a live oak frames the home's front walk. Chuck and landscape architect Donna Ray Mitchell preserved the lot's older trees and added plantings to enhance the home's design. Inside the front door, light from a bank of windows casts dappled shadows on horizontal beaded-board walls.

Just off the entry, glass doors open to a sitting room. Supple green leather love seats and a club chair lend comfortable seating. East Beach Hideaway Planting List Landscape architect Donna Ray Mitchell's plant choices for the East Beach Hideaway Idea House.

A short climb to the second level brings visitors to the open, airy great room loaded with stunning details. Dramatic beaded-board ceilings slope from 9 to 14 feet in height. Overhead breaks act as room dividers between the living, dining, and kitchen areas. In the center of the space, a glass-and-metal cocktail table holds stacked books and shiny red apples. To add other natural elements to the treetop-height room, designer Linda Woodrum accessorized with baskets, a woven fiber rug, and floor lamps with sea-grass shades.

Gracious hospitality seems effortless in the well-equipped kitchen. Countertops are tiled; a solid-surface material covers the island, including the bar that separates the kitchen from the great room. Just outside on the screened porch, a second dining area overlooks the marshland.

Off the great room, French doors open to an ethereal bedroom, bedecked in calming neutrals and luxurious fabrics. Above the stove-black, pencil-post bed, a ceiling fan circulates air, adding a seductive breeze that billows the fabric. The fan's durable resin blades, powder-coat finish, and stainless-steel hardware protect it from the damp coastal climate.A sitting area is tucked into an alcove framed by a wide arch.

For the downstairs master bedroom, Linda chose a bevy of soft grays for walls and furniture. A queen-size bed has a parchment-colored quilt and a throw three shades darker. As a wintertime option, the designer had extra quilts made into slipcovers for the wooden headboard and footboard.

With more than 1,000 square feet of decking, the home embraces outdoor living. A Southern-style porch graces the front of the house, welcoming visitors. A large deck extends across the rear and leads to the backyard, where dense natural vegetation provides privacy and shade during warm days on Bald Head.