With a preference for an Anglicized Caribbean interior rendered in dark stained wood, this family of husband and wife, their newlywed daughter and son-in-law, their recent college graduate and his peers, and a son, a daughter-in-law and their two little girls, retreat in this sprawling ark of a home.
Steeped in architectural details, the shingled exterior will weather balmy breezes as well
as the full brunt of gale-force winds. Vertically laid board and batten siding beneath deep, overhanging eaves and stylized kingposts lend elements of authenticity to this style popularized more than 100 years ago.
The salon unfurls beneath an elevated barrel ceiling. Harris created an interior landscape
in the living room with built-in bookshelves and an upholstered window seat bay.
The family members are puzzle people and almost always have a challenge laid out on
the window seat table. Underneath, the dark floors are covered with an heirloom Oriental carpet on which groupings of furniture are arranged for one-on-one conversations or
With the master suite at the north end and the dining area and kitchen on the south end, all rooms in between are arranged in gallery fashion. Lining the walls are framed maps that represent places where the family has traveled together, a pair of Alfred Birdseys Bermuda modernist watercolors and beach portraits.
The goal is for every room to have a view, Harris says.
Having a dining room table large enough to seat everyone in the family was a must have for the family matriarch. The man of the house is the primary cook and specified his wants in the kitchen, asking for an island with a utility sink and a wooden butcher-block countertop for chopping. The pot rack is handy overhead for transferring ingredients into a pan. A simple pivot on one foot places the cook in front of a Wolf range and oven.
Glazed, seeded-glass cabinets reveal their contents for easy-to-find items, and the lower cabinets are designed to resemble individual pieces of furniture with cut-glass knobs used throughout to remind the lady of the house of her childhood kitchen in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Blue Bahia granite countertops in the kitchen are polished to a high luster, but where they reappear in the outdoor kitchen the same stone is honed to weather the pervasive salt air. Here, hickory smoke flavors seafood and land food prepped al fresco and cooked on one of two outdoor grills. One is a Viking stainless steel egg.
A primary design element, Harris says, was the owners wish for a place for each of their children to stay when they come to visit on Bald Head.
All of these rooms needed to be the same, he explains. Each wing includes an upper level master suite with shared baths, bunkrooms and walk-in closets. As time goes on and the familys needs change, the bunkrooms could be repurposed as a nursery or a study.
Anytime you build a house and you think about what your needs are right then, two years or five years or ten years is an eye blink in the life of the house. You want to have the home set up so you have these spaces that can be redone and reimagined, he says.
Its the islands strict architectural guidelines that limit the height of the homes to 35 feet that pushed Harris to some creative solutions that add detail to the interior in unexpected ways. By lifting the horizontal cap on the room height into what would conventionally be regarded as attic space, Harris has revived a 19th century seacoast style in wood paneled ceilings painted white.
With the addition of full-length glass doors that lead to outdoor decks nestled into the eaves, he opens up unobstructed views of the Atlantic Oceans Frying Pan Shoals.
No matter how wide the lot is, the reason youre here is for the view, Harris says. We want to stretch the house out, side yard to side yard, so that as many rooms in the house can get the view.
His linear designs begin at the top and work their way down to the ground level.
Our idea is for it to look like three cottages that are connected together, Harris says.
The crofters small outbuildings that typically house a garage and an upper-level apartment take their name from Old World tenants who farmed a small plot of land, known as a croft. The architectural idiom is popular on Bald Head Island as an intimate space for accommodating overflow guests.
Anchoring the home campus is a circular driveway and two crofters. One is attached to the parent house by an open arcade. The other, by way of a loggia, links the crofter to a tiled hot tub pavilion. The pavilion is flanked by white louvered screens that when stretched across the opening provide privacy and when folded into the open position hang like white drapes. The pavilion provides a subtle edge to an open, epie wood court on which upholstered outdoor wicker sofas and chairs are arranged around a colossal outdoor fireplace fabricated from stacked stone and accented with a generous lip of Tennessee crab orchard granite. It is where the homeowners hosted an Independence Day fete and where friends and family can gather for toasts around the warmth of the hearth on the island that cheers its four seasons.
The desire for sameness and equanimity inside gives way to a balance of indoor and outdoor spaces both private and public and symmetry of design that never fails to stop golf cart traffic, brazen red fox making their daily rounds or deer in their tracks that frequent the garden to feast on the roses.
Resources: Creating this Home of Distinction
Cothran Harris Architecture
Telesis Ventures, Inc.
Timeless Interiors Inc.
Appliances Atlantic Appliance and Hardware
Audio/Visual Soundtronics Inc.
Security System/Fire Alarm
A Wolf Company, Inc.
Energy Above and Beyond Energy
Plumber Brunswick Plumbing Company, Inc.
Plumbing Fixtures Ferguson Enterprise, Inc.
Kenny and Company Birmingham, Alabama
Electrician Astoske Electric Inc.
Flooring Fulford Flooring II, Inc.
Kenny and Company
Tile Installer Sellers Tile Company, LLC
Cabinets Coastal Cabinets
Custom Granite Countertops/Installer
Sellers Tile Company, LLC
Pot Rack Nottingham Antiques
Paint Joses Painting Inc.
HVAC Nances Inc.
Painting Ludlum Custom Finishing
Custom Doors Exley Custom Woodworking
Shower Doors River Glass Co.
Mirrors Brunswick Glass
Elevator Sales and Service Inc.
Drywall McLamb & Sons Drywall Inc.
Wallpaper Dean K. Thompson
The Kings House Oriental Rugs
Landscaping Low Country Landscaping
Fireplace Stone Mantle
Wilmington Stone Garden, LLC
Framing Prevatte S Construction, Inc.
Framing Lumber, EIPE Decking, Shingles
Builders First Source
Dried Lumber, EIPE Decking, Exterior Trim
Special Wood Inc.
Exterior Entry Door Woodtech, Inc.
Exterior Louvered Doors
Exley Custom Woodwork
Windows/Doors E.W. Godwins Sons, Inc.
Adams Products (an Oldcastle company)
Pavers Belgard Hardscapes, Inc.
Roofing Island Roofing Inc.
Gutters/Custom Hood Carolina Copper, Inc.
Spas Bradford Products, LLC