home of distinction
The pool house provides additional entertaining space and encloses the patio area. Native trees and bushes complete this ideal setting for
cookouts and lazy summer evenings by the pool.
THE open floor plan looks even more spacious thanks
to the tall windows and sliding glass doors that lead
from the back of the house to the courtyard, which
is Bates’s favorite area of the home. The ipe wooden-decked
courtyard is framed by the main house on one end and
a pool house on the other, the homeowners’ reinterpretation of
a classic Brooklyn brownstone with carriage house. There is a
saltwater pool by Ocean Blue Pools and Spas. The spacious deck,
built by local craftsman Kevin Mercer, provides ample room for
lounging. Evergreen shrubs and trees planted by Wrightsville
Beach Landscaping to line the courtyard are native to the area and
require minimal care.
Among the most important elements of the home is one no
visitor can see: the stormwater drainage solution. A site must be
designed so that all of the rain that falls on the property stays on
that property, Fasse explains. The city doesn’t allow runoff flowing
down the streets and into the river. To solve this problem while
still maximizing backyard entertaining space, six tons of permeable
gravel were brought in, raising the deck level and creating a rain
catchment with zero percent runoff.
Not everything went as planned, of course. “We selected this lot
in part because of a beautiful old oak that was out front,” Bates
says. “Then the arborist came and told us it had core rot and had
to come down.” Bates and Millar, along with their neighbors, were
disappointed by the loss of the tree and wasted no time replac-ing
it. There’s a young oak growing out front now, supported by
stakes after being blown over in Hurricane Florence. That’s just
the beginning of urban greening efforts for the couple, though. In
their quest to replace the rotten oak, Bates and Millar learned that
the city has a two-year waiting list for trees and lags in reaching
its goal for new tree planting. The two want to host “Tree Parties”
at their home, for which they’ll provide food and drinks and ask
guests for a contribution toward urban reforestation.
Bates and Millar are not calling their move to Wilmington a
retirement. Instead, it’s a change of pace from New York City life,
a change that means more time for family, friends and community.
Their new home is the perfect setting for the next chapter of their
lives, they feel. “Everyone wants to come visit. There are always
people coming to stay at our house,” says Bates. And that’s exactly
how they like it.
WBM august 2019