Seeking Serenity

I had a great time running around photographing this beautiful Seapath Estates home on Wrightsville Beach. I love the way they designed the landscape to meet town storm runoff requirements. Such an aesthetically pleasing solution to a dynamic issue!

Read the story by Danielle Boisse below! :



Seeking Serenity

By: Danielle Boisse

The sound of water flowing over and under rocks drifts into the house, encouraging time spent outside. A playful path of stone bridges and miniature waterfalls leads to the picturesque deck that overlooks private docks and Motts Channel. Serenity awaits every time the Cimaglias visit their Wrightsville Beach home.

The winding water garden, which includes stone bridges and soft plants, was purposely designed to disguise storm water runoff and add curves to the landscape.

“The landscaping gives us privacy and personal enjoyment. The pergola leads to a walkway that has a path that is enjoyable to walk through and the water garden is a unique feature from the inside and outside,” Ann Cimaglia says.

“This was about discovery,” interior designer Pam Macior says. “I wanted everyone to discover something unexpected as they turned each corner. I wanted the front door to be discovered and not be screaming at you when there was such a beautiful landscape and views of the water. The sound of the water just cools you off.”

Macior worked with Landscapes Unique’s Tracy McCullen to create a dynamic backyard. A small pergola draws guests from the driveway of the typically narrow Wrightsville lot to its front door. It softens the entrance and leads to a flowering oasis that engages all senses. The pineapple on top of the ipe wood pergola reflects the symbol of Southern hospitality.

The high level of detail on the exterior was part of a major addition and renovation the homeowners completed in 2008. The cedar shakes were hand dipped and vary in width and height, a custom pattern Macior designed. Handmade copper gutters add authenticity while mahogany ceilings and railing caps add depth and contrast to the ipe wood floors used on each of the four balconies that were added to the home.

Several layers of intimate outdoor spaces are incorporated on both sides of the pathway. Palms and high bushes surround a deck area while covered porches are tucked under the jasmine archways.

“We wanted things to be natural and flow,” Macior says. “During the renovation, we had to take down the jasmine that covered the siding, but we kept water on it during the project. When we added the arches we carefully hung it back up. The arches create a frame for the view, but the jasmine really sets it off.”

While the goal of the landscaping was designed to meet town storm runoff requirements and offer relaxation and peacefulness, the goal for the interior renovation was to open up the space to its views of Motts Channel and a small marina in front of the home.

“The original three-bedroom home was designed by a local contractor who built it for his family. We had always liked the home along with the neighborhood. When they planned to move after 25 years we decided to purchase the home,” Ann Cimaglia says.

Macior worked with the homeowners to knock out walls and create an open floor plan for the main floor, adding windows, balconies and higher ceilings to maximize all the views. The interior palette is full of rich neutrals and materials used in their natural state. The custom-designed honey onyx fireplace and birdseye maple cabinetry fixtures offer a juxtaposition to the sapele flooring throughout the house. The African teak varies in width and color and was arranged in place by Macior.

“Each element holds its own and is detail-oriented. It all just flows together like the curves in the landscape,” Macior says.

Shades of cream, wood tones and soft neutrals flow through the traditional-style house. Rattan furniture is used throughout and mixed with custom-built pieces by Archer Read, including the dining table and sunroom hutches. A linear kitchen faces the living area, featuring built-in cabinetry surrounding a large window that filters in more natural light above the sink.

The Cimaglias wanted the master bedroom, left, to have private access. A sapele-wood staircase leads to the master while the guest bedrooms, below, have a separate entrance on the opposite end of the home. A built-in fireplace, wet bar and private balcony allow the homeowners to relax on one level. The master bathroom shows off custom cabinetry and a built-in bathtub. The cream cabinetry and earth-toned granite enhance the neutral palette.

“We wanted to accommodate the appropriate size to meet our needs as well as have something that was easily maintained and conveniently located to our Fayetteville home. We also wanted a serene and peaceful setting for our grandson and great-granddaughter to come down here and enjoy the home with us,” Ann Cimaglia says.

The views were maximized with the renovation several years ago but the outside is what the family enjoys above everything else.

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