It was a beautiful fall weekend for a roadtrip with my husband. We took a trip to visit the Coastal Living Idea House in Southport, NC to get some ideas for our new house.
Each year, the Coastal Living Magazine constructs a coastal community house that shares the best in innovation, décor and construction (according to their website). The 2009 Idea House is an original Cape design by Guidry-Coastal Architecture and built by Mark Saunders Luxury Homes in Seawatch. Apparently it is for sale for just $1.2 million, not including the furnishings. Anyone ready to bite on that one? Don’t all raise your hands at once!
Overall, the house was stunning with three floors of rooms, including a unique sleeping porch and a bunkbed hallway. Walking through the lavish house the first time definitely was jaw-dropping. We had to wear those cute blue shoe covers, which was not the easiest with flip-flops.
Once inside, the entryway was mainly staircases, one up and one down. We started on the main floor, checked out the house bathroom and then on to the laundry room, which smartly connected to the master closet. That is a great idea! I should think about that one! Then through the closet to the master bath and to the master bedroom. The master bedroom was strangely decorated, but impressive.
We next went through the main living room, the back decks, the dining room and eventually the kitchen. Interestingly, the kitchen did not have lower cabinets, but it was all drawers – hundreds of them. I don’t think I have enough pots and pans to fill two drawers! One interesting design note was that the lower drawers were a different color than the cabinets above. The kitchen also had an adjorning pantry that was probably the size of my master bathroom! Lots of room for the cereal.
Next we ventured upstairs to the collection of beds. Every room upstairs, including the hallway, had a bed. There were two sets of bunkbeds, a guest bedroom, a sleeping loft with room for four, and another guest bedroom. I think this house could sleep about 12-14 people or more! Talk about a massive sleepover.
After taking a quick nap upstairs, we made our way downstairs to the recreation room and the enormous garage. They had space for a wine cellar, but they said it was turn into an office instead. Why they bothered to tell us this fact, I don’t know. Of course, I’d rather have a wine cellar for all of my two buck chuck! Then we went outside to see the grill….oh, it’s called the “outdoor kitchen” – and it was a perfect party setting.
Despite the gorgeous exterior, I was not very fond of the interior because it felt dark, cold and vacant. Just to give you an idea, the names of the paint colors included: prudence, summer gray, muted ebony, almost charcoal, and mountain smoke. There were only a couple of bright rooms that used classic lilac and an orange color called suede. The house was almost disjointed because some rooms felt warm, rustic and cozy (such as the sleeping loft), while other rooms felt cold, modern and rigid (such as the living room).
There were several high-priced features that stood out, which included: painted color trim (not white), seagrass flooring, fabric walls, and heated tile floors. None of which we plan to do because we simply didn’t like those features. I also have a toddler and I don’t feel like cleaning the fabric walls from crayon marks.
For example, while seagrass floors are considered eco-friendly because they are durable and from a renewable source, they tend to have a distinct sea odor. Just about every room in the Idea House had seagrass floors and I felt that we walked into the swamp each time. Since this type of flooring is newer to the market, I’m not sure if the odor fades in time. The flooring also come from Southeast Asia, which means they have to be imported and I don’t really consider that green.
We did leave with a few ideas for our own house. We liked the built-in cabinet around the fireplace that hid the TV. One of the house volunteers also suggested adding drawers to that cabinet to store DVDs and remotes.
We liked the backyard a lot with the setting of the marsh and the man-made babbling brook feature. The walkways surrounding the house were nice because they had flat rocks with small pebbles in between, so water doesn’t get trapped and run-off.
We also liked the screened porch that had the outdoor curtains. It was a low-key, but fancy feature that was useful for privacy!
We spent over two hours at the house, talking about our dream house and getting more excited.