The Emerald Isle home of Rhett and Noelle Ricks welcomes guests in style with its arched wooded entryway ceiling and immediate view straight out to the sound. Subtle and unassuming from the street, we suspect this coastal classic will be stunning visitors for years to come.
The couple originally purchased two soundfront lots in Emerald Isle’s new Sunset Landing neighborhood and contacted John Croom and Troy Kenny of Design House of Wilmington to bring their dreams to fruition. Initially designing a larger home which fully used both lots, the family soon realized that less can most certainly be more.
“We went back to the drawing board for a design that fit on just one of their waterfront home sites,” said Kenny. “We took several of the same design features and resized the home to be the perfect fit – not too big and not too small. Luckily we were still able to add a few of the ‘wow’ features in this new design including the circular stairwell and barrel vaulted ceiling in the open foyer.”
Our guess is that decision was at least somewhat motivated by the architects’ incredible use of space. A modest, coastal bungalow from the front elevation, this home packs a lot of square footage – 3,800 heated square feet and an additional 2,100 unheated, including a 1,500 square foot garage and porches. Few passersby would have any inclination that the home is actually that large.
“It is very deceiving,” Kenny said. “But it totally suits their personality. They’re very laid back, down to earth people, and this home matches them perfectly. Of course, you always want that element of surprise and when you open that front door you can see all the way through to the water. It’s a spectacular view.”
Some of that space is all but hidden from view with creative site planning and landscaping by Yardworks. The entrance to the ground floor garage and man cave is tucked away on the left side of the home and barely visible from the street view. The main floor of the home, which serves as the primary living space, is actually the second floor. It houses the living room, dining room and kitchen as well as the master suite. The upstairs is just for the boys – 14-year-old twins Nelson and George. Each of them has their own room on the third floor and also share a media room when it’s time for fun and games.
“This was one of those jobs that was just a pleasure to work on. John did a great job of drawing up the plans and the Ricks were delightful to work with,” said Contractor William Farrington. “Noelle was great about getting pictures and letting us know what she likes – which helped the process tremendously and they came to the table knowing exactly what they wanted to get from the home.”
When it came time to decorate, the Ricks reached out to Dana McQueen of McQueen’s Interiors, Morehead City, who brought together a refined yet cozy space that is both functional and comfortable for the young family. A perfect balance was achieved by using a creamy palette of neutral shades accented by blues and grays. This allowed the furniture to stand out instead of being overpowered by intense color, she said.
“We wanted the pieces in the house to be unique and timeless reflecting a sense of luxury that only improves with time,” said McQueen. “I would like to think that the pieces selected best describe the Ricks family … classic, tailored with a pop of the unexpected. Knowing their love for the outdoors and their travels I suggested objects and textures that would bring those wonderful characteristics that they so enjoy outside back into their home.”
That suggestion can be seen in the hide rug in the living room from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a favorite spot of the homeowners, and the onyx stone in the master bathroom. The effect overall, said McQueen, is timeless, inviting and relaxing.