Inviting Outdoor Spaces
Perfect places for relaxing and entertaining
BY Amanda Lisk
The concept of outdoor living is operating on a whole new level these days. We’re talking custom-built fireplaces, full-scale outdoor kitchens with pizza ovens, designer furniture, flat-screen TVs, and Pinterest-worthy greenery and lighting.
It’s money well spent according to national real estate site Inman, which found adding an outdoor kitchen sees an average return on investment (ROI) of 100 to 200 percent.
Outdoor spaces can be thoroughly enjoyed here in Southeastern North Carolina, where milder temperatures reign most of the year, especially the fall when the weather cools to just about perfect. That is why more properties are incorporating outdoor retreats into their landscaping.
Three local homeowners share their designs.
Clean Lines and Coral Accents
Teak wood, slim lines and a unique color palette are on point in this stylish outdoor space in Wilmington’s Forest Hills. Liz Carroll Interiors was given the task of creating an outdoor area that would accommodate many guests in a chic way.
“The homeowners have three children and are incredible hosts, so we have multiple seating areas both covered and uncovered, a dining area, a fireplace and pizza oven. If you want to put a game up on the wall you can do that. There’s a lot of function,” says Carroll.
The outdoor furniture is a mix of lounge and dining. Teak and woven-rope detail on couches pair well with accent chairs of powder cast aluminum. Pink is making a splash in design for 2022 and makes an elegant statement in this outdoor arrangement.
“We didn’t want to do the expected coastal blues. We used a coral pink, a coral red and dusty pink. These colors are happy and fresh,” says Carroll.
The patio extends off the living room in an effortless transition into outdoor living.
Located in Forest Hills, this outdoor space becomes an extension of the home. It’s chic yet functional design by Liz Carroll Interiors uses teak wood, woven-rope and coral accents. It has an outdoor fireplace, pizza oven and plenty of seating for entertaining. Outdoor entertainment areas, especially those featuring outdoor kitchens, can add significant value to a home.
Warm Wood and Stacked Stone
Stacked stone columns, warm wood and an outdoor stone fireplace create a cozy escape for the Newsome home in the Georgetowne neighborhood off South College Road.
The 800-square-foot space was added in 2020 to accompany the family’s pool. It features a chef’s kitchen with seating at a bar top that’s backlit, an eight-person dining table, and couch seating by the fireplace. There are two flat-screen TVs.
“We have named it The Sanctuary because it looks like a church with the vaulted ceiling. We have dinner parties out here,” says homeowner Monty Newsome, who often hires a chef to cook the outdoor meals with friends. “Most everyone who sees it, their mouth drops open. It’s so beautiful. We really have enjoyed it.”
The structural design is by Atlantic Barn and Timber and was constructed by Blue Chip Builders. Slate tile flooring came from Sellers Tile & Custom Counters and the stone pillars and fireplace is by Stone Garden, using Tennessee Shawnee Mountain stacked fieldstone.
“I love the interplay between the warmth of this mountain fieldstone and the cool blue water of the pool. It’s like having the best of both worlds,” says Stone Garden proprietor Nina Brown.
The stacked stone throughout this outdoor space is by Stone Garden and evokes a cabin-cozy feel. The structural design of the pavilion is by American Barn and Timber, built by Blue Chip Building. Slate tile flooring is by Sellers Tile & Custom Counters. The home is located in Georgetowne and includes a dining table for outdoor catered dinner parties.
Fire Pit Focal Point
Fire pits have turned into an outdoor must-have. In this space the fire pit built by Mark Johnson Custom Homes becomes the focal point, offering both purpose and dynamic design. When juxtaposed against the waterfall coming off the roofline of the outdoor pavilion, the fire and ice scene is enough to sell a house. It did for Peter and Brook Dorosko, who purchased the property in Landfall in 2019.
“I could see the waterfall on the right side of the pool and the fire pit on the left side and then when I looked straight over the pool there was the golf course,” Brook Dorosko says. “I said, ‘This is it Pete, this is it, honey.’ We could see the water as it cascaded into the heated pool and the flickering flames of fire with golf greens beyond. We knew we were home.”
The pavilion, featuring a summer kitchen, is a gathering spot for friends and family. A second fire pit of real wood is used to roast hot dogs and make s’mores. The Doroskos recently added a dragonfly garden.
The pool’s fire bowl is set on a custom pedestal made of black granite in a vertical layout. The pool deck is in silver travertine. The waterfall lights up at night.
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