Home of Distinction: A Family Affair

BY Marimar McNaughton

On south Harbor Island a spacious island plantation-style house looks east to the sunrise over Banks Channel from its boat dock its back yard and three levels of porches decks and interior living space.

The breathtaking view might make a sublime setting for a hotel or pavilion where cotillions and parties are held and fishing excursions are launched. In fact this property was part of the former site of the Island Beach Hotel built in 1888 and later in 1916 of the Harbor Island Auditorium first a convention center and later a 1930s ‘talking-picture’ house. A casino and outdoor band shell resided next door.

Though the buildings are long gone the location was and still is a hive of activity.

In 2005 at the auspicious 7 Auditorium Circle address D Logan completed a Wrightsville Beach home on four floors for his wife Lara and their three teenage children.

“We’re active people ” he says. “I don’t know that we could find a spot more perfect for us. I love to fish. My son loves to surf. My kids love to shop. You won’t find a better location on the East Coast ” Logan observes.

He pretty much hits the nail on the head. With 100 feet of dockage in water that’s 10-feet deep at low tide within a half-mile of Masonboro Inlet steps from the Loop and a little more from the beach strand his children can bike or walk nearly everywhere they need to go.

Logan who spent his teenage years on Wrightsville Beach began his building career as a carpenter’s helper at age 16.

He has been building custom houses in Forest Hills Landfall and Figure Eight Island for 20 years and as president of Logan Homes is presently building homes at the Reserve at Waterford.

When they outgrew their cramped Pelican Drive home the Logans sketched three or four floor plans on the back of a napkin designing their dream house in a matter of minutes.

“I oversaw this particular job myself ” Logan says a project that took just seven months. The Logans celebrate their second year in residence next month.

They chose Harbor Island for its ambiance and entrenched family values. Logan believes 90 percent of his neighbors live here year ’round. When Lara was in the 4th grade her family lived on North Channel Drive.

“All my friends lived here ” she recalls.

Lara loves the sailboats anchored in the harbor. “Every day I look at them I see people living on board. These boats are a picture ” she says.

A privacy fence and low stacked-stone wall outline the 67-foot-wide lot which extends five feet beyond the adjoining neighbor’s yard creating an L-shaped peninsula.

From the street side double driveways double entry stairs and double front doors are all twice as inviting for the posse of friends that drop by unannounced to visit the Logan’s three teens Mary Catherine 17; D II 16; and Carissa 15.

“We want our kids to be here not there ” D Logan says.

Lara Logan rules the roost with a forgiving informality. No one need call ahead to ask permission to come over. Everyone is welcome but she seriously insists that her kids and their visitors deposit gritty footwear in the basket by the front door where the “No Shoes No Sand” sign is a gentle reminder that there are “No Worries” beyond the threshold.

Inside the foyer decorated with Tommy Bahama furnishings hints of more to come. To the left is the dining room where west-facing windows allow the late afternoon sunlight to drift through white plantation shutters. Clerestory windows on the north side buffer the winter winds. The octagonal drop ceiling chandelier and red tone-on-tone wallpaper add layers of gentility around the large dining table with upholstered chairs. But the sisal rug firmly plants the Caribbean plantation theme that grows from room to room throughout the home.

Lara did most of the interior design but bounced all of her ideas off Judy Brown who has been working with D Logan for 20 years furnishing his custom and model homes.

“It’s been a long relationship ” Brown says “a long nice relationship.” She describes the interior of the Logan residence as formal but comfortable. “I call his home more of a casual elegance look. It’s very 18th century West Indies. It’s very inviting ” Brown says.

Creating a Home of Distinction

D and Lara Logan

Logan Homes

Judy Brown

Down Under Irrigation

Down Under Irrigation

Chris Holmes PE
Consulting Engineer Inc.

Markraft Cabinets

Sellers Tile Co.

D and Lara Logan

Rug Runner Flooring Thomas & Fowler Floor Service

Coastal Window & Door

Logan Homes

Coats Painting

Soundtronics A Wolfe Company

Ferguson Enterprises Inc.

Jim Bowden Electric

Additional Contractors
Atlantic Distributor
Bright Masonry
Craft American Hardware
Elevator Sales & Services Inc.
Fitzgerald Wood Products
Hanover Design Services PA
Invisible Fence
Special Wood Inc.
Stone Garden
Valentine Glass & Shower Inc.
Wilmington Blind Shutter & Closet Company

Logan who loves to hunt and fish is very family oriented. “He wanted to make sure that all of the guests who come in his home would be comfortable. He really likes to be around colors he likes which are greens and terra cottas. I try to keep that in mind and stick strictly with what colors they like. Then he’s always comfortable. It’s a very warm house. I think it speaks well of itself on the water ” Brown says.

The center hall passage floored in Brazilian cherry leads the eye to the waterway and into an open living room supported with classic Doric columns where a dropped coffered ceiling creates a feeling of intimacy around the hearth. Furnished in wicker rattan and wood cushioned chairs and sofas built-in window seats cabinets and bookshelves line the interior walls. In this room the strategic placement of a floor-to-ceiling window in the southeast corner inspired D Logan when laying out the house.

“We’ve got that view from all three floors ” he says. “If you live at the beach you understand these things ” he said. “I can watch TV watch the fire and watch sailboats and speed boats enter the harbor all at the same time.”

The living area with its game table adjoining open kitchen and adjacent porch were designed for large gatherings.

“We can have 100 people in this space right here ” Logan says spreading his arms in welcome.

The kitchen is the focus of activity morning and night. Lara who prepares meals at the island console dishes out chores to each child. With both formal and informal seating around the table and at the counter yards of hand-rubbed cherry tropic brown granite tile backsplash state-of-the art kitchen appliances icemaker trash compactor and tandem dishwashers the kitchen is almost always abuzz.

A handy built-in desk and nifty pass-through butler’s pantry leading from the kitchen to the dining room are delicious details.

The first-floor guest room faces west and reiterates the octagonal drop ceiling. An adjoining private bath with French doors granite counter tops tile floors a corner tub and glass shower complete this suite which suits the Logan’s plan for permanent residence. Lara jests that it will be their master bedroom one day when they can no longer climb the stairs. The interior elevator to the upper floors belies her joke.

Throughout the home the crown moldings mantels door and window trim and wainscot were crafted by Steve Parmenter of Coastal Trimworks Inc. Parmenter also built the staircase and newel posts to Logan’s specifications. The banister is cherry.

The second floor is the children’s lair. A built-in love seat made from old-fashioned beaded board with built-in shelves and niches for photos and mementos commands the stair landing. A gathering room with sofas and chairs overlooks a deck with a bird’s eye view of the channel. A computer room nearby and a hall bath are shared by all. D II’s room may overlook the water but Mary Catherine and Carissa have suites with private bathrooms. For obvious reasons the laundry room is on this floor.

One flight up the master suite is a bedroom sitting room and home office. The desk is shared by Lara who is earning her degree in religion and D when he works from home. It is flush with cabinetry and undoubtedly boasts one of the best views of Masonboro Inlet from anyplace on Harbor Island.

Logan describes the set up as pretty slick.

An upholstered chaise and reading chair flank built-in window seats and a wet bar and are inches away from the open deck that towers more than 30 feet above the ground. The luxurious master bath enjoys the same view from the oval tub and the glass-enclosed showers. Finished with tile floors and Venetian gold granite countertops the addition of an upholstered chair adds a touch of elegance. An adjoining workout room is tucked into the attic eaves.

“We worked hard to get head room up there ” Logan says.

Had he built the house after the flood zone was raised two feet he could not have squeezed in the eight-foot ceilings.

Once a week D and Lara have date night usually on Wednesdays when Dave and Catherine Yearwood lead a Wrightsville Beach Bible-study group at the Logan home for a dozen or more local teenagers.

“During the summer it’s a madhouse ” Logan says of the full house in use by as many as 40 kids at once.

“This is a perfect time for the ages of the children ” Lara says adding “They’re welcome to eat whatever they want. All I ask is that they clean up and leave it the way they found it.”

Logan is particularly fond of his double garages. “The garage is a very important place ” he says in all seriousness. “Nobody likes to park in the rain.”

The garages equipped with his fishing gear and a 500-quart icemaker also store D II’s surfboard collection. Now furnished with ping pong tables Logan plans to move the games to the second floor when the kids move out in order to make way for Harleys and the sports cars.

From this lower level an interior stair and elevator lead to the upper floors and doors open to a lawn landscaped with tropical vegetation.

Outdoors the showers are used religiously especially after a day on the water. D II and Carissa are not bashful about jumping off the dock into the channel. Mary Catherine prefers the hot tub beneath the covered deck. Kayaks stand ready and waiting. So too do Jet Skis and in the lift D’s boat Logan’s Run a 34-foot Yellowfin center console designed to worry bluewater fish.

Looking back toward the house the shaded epie wood porch beckons like an all-weather oasis furnished in wicker and teak.

After the sun sets the house lights up like the old Lumina Pavilion. Lara travels from room to room dimming the levels to candlelight ambiance.

“This house functions perfectly ” Logan says.