The Summer of Show Homes: Southern Living Idea House 2017

I call this the year of show homes.  I’ve visited all that are near me and a couple, not so near, that  I’ve stumbled across.  While I missed my annual trip to the Kips Bay House in New York, I did make it to the Charleston Symphony House, the Raleigh Boys and Girl House and now the Southern Living Idea House.  I think the decorator houses appeal to some dormant creative gene in me.  I love seeing how someone puts together a room.  It gives me ideas for my own home.


This year’s home is not my first Southern Living house tour.  I’ve visited several with the last one being the one Bunny Williams did in Charlottesville.  It was spectacular.  This year’s lived up to the Southern Living standard.

The 2017 idea house is found on Bald Head Island, NC.  Bald Head Island is located at the convergence of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean and is accessed by a twenty-minute ferry ride from Southport, NC.  The island is idyllic.  A subtropical climate, prime white sand beaches, birds, and sea turtles all make for a wonderful escape location.  Travel on the island is principally by golf cart or bike – no cars!

There were many details I loved about this house, but the fire pit and outdoor kitchen have to be at the top of the list.  The laundry room was another highlight for its design.  The living room and porches were beautiful and I could just imagine them filled with family on vacation.  The master suite was another favorite and the closets were to die for.

There were choices that left me scratching my head.  The master bath was beautiful.  I particularly loved the shower design but where was the tub?  The outdoor shower was lost on me.  Not so much the concept but the way this one was designed.  If I’m coming off the beach, then I want to be able to access the shower without going through the house.  The gourmet kitchen was something of a miss for me.  I liked the appliances and overall design but would have preferred different counter tops and where was the pot filler?

Tips I may use?  I loved the drawer refrigerator in the game room over the garage.  It was perfect for drinks and snacks.  Finishing the wallpaper with grosgrain ribbon in the upstairs bath off the “yellow” room was a nice touch.  The hooks near the door to the garage were a nice touch for all those things like totes, recycle bags, hats, and dog leashes.

If you get the chance to visit the home or just the island, do so.  It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  Take time to visit Old Baldy, the decommissioned lighthouse.  It is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina that once lit the way for sailors through Frying Pan Shoals and the Cape Fear.

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