BY Marimar McNaughton

Thoughtful outdoor spaces marry swimming pools to nearby water bodies. Some provide a solitary refuge or a place to gather. Others embrace the natural setting that surrounds them by extending the living space. Summer is the time when we relish our outdoor space and savor its amenity long into autumn.


Mediterranean Oasis

Through the Moroccan Arcade


   Inspired by the architecture of Tide Water Power Companys Mission Style transfer station that once occupied the corner of Wrightsville Avenue and Airlie Road this landmark villa and its lavish outdoor spaces frame views of the Wrightsville marina district and the Intracoastal Waterway from its covered porch outdoor kitchen and poolside deck. Articulated in crisp stucco walls clay roof tiles and arcaded porches the outdoor kitchen is attached to the main house by way of a pergola covered breezeway. Its warm rustic features exposed beam ceilings louvered casement shutters and distressed poured concrete floors provide a stark contrast to the high key sun-washed exteriors. The propertys newest homeowners John and Robin Earp gutted the space adding the fireplace granite counter tops and the grill supplied by Atlantic Appliance and Hardware. The owners cushioned cast iron furnishings were accessorized with decorative pieces from Nest selected and styled by Liz Carroll of Liz Carroll Designs assisted by Zelle Brown.


Rocky Mountain Refuge

Beside the Falling Waters



Buffering the backyard from the Country Club of Landfalls Dye Course seventh fairway this outdoor space was created by Steve McKeon of Garden Concepts for original homeowners Bill and Mary Blair. Because of the shade pattern cast by the mature canopy of live oak trees already on the property McKeons landscape features a screen of ligustrum and a hedge of gardenia both fragrant when blooming and color pops of crape myrtle knock out roses and Siberian iris in season. Backfilling the lot to the eastern edge of the property line he created a serpentine wall with three sheer-descent waterfalls that spill into the rectangular lap pool. A low wall provides seating around the fire pit. The travertine deck pavers unite the pool to the outdoor kitchen framed with a dark mahogany pergola. With flashes of up and down lighting this outdoor space shimmers night and day.


Southwestern Sunset

Under the Starry Sky


On one of Landfalls tiny lakes this outdoor patio makeover was completed in one short month for the Lewis family of four. Paula Lewis says she and her husband Dru Lewis hoped to increase the footprint of their outdoor living space to entertain their two young children as well as their grown-up friends. She discovered Chris Wainwright of Grass with Class Landscaping Design by word of mouth at a local hair salon. Wainwright won them over with his customer service and developed and executed their concept for an outdoor fireplace and a satellite grill station. The trellis was built by Eric Lazzari of Lazzari Construction and the grill was manufactured locally at Wilmington Grill. The integrated look was staged by Jenny Evans of JC Designs who arranged seating groups and the outdoor dining tableaux with finds of outdoor wicker from Leisure World and a rustic French country table and chairs from Uptown Market.


Atlantic Chic

Among the Palm Fronds


Seeking a swimming pool to complement their sleek modern Michael Moorefield home Steve and Mindy Agnoff contracted landscape architect David Donohue of Native Landscapes to design a pool that would not overwhelm their entire yard which fronts the Intracoastal Waterway. Using Moorefields breezeway as an entrance Donohue turned the pool on a 45-degree angle planting its far rounded edge as the focal point. A notch at the top of the pools shallow end was created for placement of a picnic table where the parents could watch over their young swimmers. Now five years later those swimmers lounge in chairs that line the low brick wall that defines the northern edge of the familys property line. The pool designed by Donohue was built by Phil Harris of Caribbean Pools and is decked with tumbled marble as cool to the touch as it is smooth underfoot. The understated palette blends into the built environment surrounded by lush plantings of palms to ensure privacy. Striving for a very tailored look Mindy Agnoff says the result is very old Hollywood.