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overhang the streets in a quiet community tucked old growth oak trees away behind Airlie Road. Unpaved passageways, giant flowering foliage and wooden fences make for a quaint and intimate composition between houses and landscape. This is where a young family came to build a home that would perfectly combine beauty and functionality for their three children and two dogs. “They wanted a kid-friendly house that provided space for the kids and for them,” builder David James says. The functionality begins at the back door, where the kids enter from the backyard. They tuck their shoes inside cubbies, hang jackets at the drop zone, and pass through what the homeowners call the mom room — the command center of the home. The mom room includes a craft table, laundry area, built-in desk, and organized storage for arts and crafts. It is part of the wing behind the kitchen that includes a wet bar and a pantry. “When I am in my mom room I can fold laundry, the kids are reading or doing crafts, and everyone is doing something they enjoy,” the homeowner says. The homeowners had set their sights on an Airlie neighborhood. “We wanted to live in this pocket. This is Wilmington’s best-kept secret,” they say. The couple reached out to James, who has built several homes there and happened to own the sought-after neighborhood’s last open lot. The lot has tall oak trees and is located in what James refers to as the golden triangle — the area between Eastwood and Military Cutoff, with close proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway and Wrightsville Beach. “We built a house here in 1993. Before that it was a trailer park,” James says. “It’s one of those neighborhoods where kids go fishing down the street. I think their kids will go through high school here.” The wife’s younger brother, the owner of an architectural illustration, marketing and design company, became a consultant on the home. His contributions included helping decide on the exterior colors and finishes. He produced realistic renderings showing the slate blue siding, medium wood stain for the doors, and tin roof accents. november 2015 70 WBM


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