Text: Lauren Gentry Walker
Photos: Michael Blevins
When interior designer Lucie Patton takes on a new client, she always begins the process by asking them the same question: What are three words that describe what you want your home to be and three words that describe what you do not want your home to be? For homeowners Lee and Gerald Evans, the “want” words were organic, unexpected, and edited. The “do not want” words were predictable, cluttered, and high maintenance. “I’ve been asking for these words for the past 20 years,” says Patton. “It helps me so much and really helps simplify things as I work with my clients.”
The contemporary beach house on Figure Eight Island was intentionally designed to have an architectural significance that would set it apart from the expected style. Patton approached the build with careful consideration to natural light and the views—the goal being able to see the ocean from everywhere on the east side of the home and being able to capture the sunsets from the west side. The most challenging part of this project for the designer, though, was the exterior. “Paint colors and finishes are the hardest part of my job, hands down,” she says. “We went with a sand and sunset palette rather than a typical ocean palette. When you see certain colors against the ocean view and bright lighting, it can really alter your choices.”
For the interior of the home, the designer let the doors and windows drive the color palette. Plenty of neutrals were layered before adding in bronze, amethyst, and sapphire to complement the architectural elements. The stairwell—one of the most eye-catching elements of the home—has a floating design and was finished to match the hardwood floors, while the heavy beams and big windows anchor each space.
The house is comprised of three floors and has a typical inverted floor plan. The garage level hosts the more utilitarian spaces while the first true floor holds the guest bedrooms and common area. The guest rooms were curated with the homeowners’ grown children—two sons and a daughter—in mind, as they wanted the home to be able to comfortably host the brood even as they gain future spouses and children. The master bedroom continued the theme of unexpected elements along with playful artwork, while the master bathroom was given a muted palette with soft watercolors.
One of Patton’s favorite spaces—the kitchen—focuses on the uncluttered goal of the home but brings in the heavy custom hood and colored backsplash to ground the ultra-high ceiling. Oversized lighting pendants frame the island and help unify the space, while the sapphire counter stools continue the chosen palette. Known as the keeping room, a special space sits just off the kitchen and is the ideal spot for loungers that want to keep in conversation with whomever is doing the cooking. “I love this space,” says Patton. “Lee really wanted a place where she could be cooking while talking to her husband. The credenza facing the oversized chairs even has a TV inside that can come up or down with a remote.”
From a custom table that the family can use to put together puzzles to bleached-out outdoor seating that keeps the eye on the ocean, no detail was forgotten as Patton brought this residence to life. “We had a lot of FaceTime calls between my office in Winston-Salem and Figure Eight Island to get everything just right,” says Patton. “I am so happy with how everything turned out, and it was well worth all of the time and effort.