Charlotte has many neighborhoods, each of which has a distinctive style. Dilworth has an arts and crafts culture. Myers Park is more traditional. When you think Eastover, you think estates. There are many others of course, but imagine a neighborhood where channels are your roads, coves are your cul-de-sacs and docks are your driveways. Where is this, you may ask? It is Charlotte living on Mountain Island Lake, Lake Wylie and Lake Norman. Despite a past of colorful diversity, a distinctive contemporary style is quickly emerging as the style of our water neighborhoods.
The homes dotting Charlotte’s most beautiful shorelines have always been particularly diverse, and contributing to this hodgepodge of styles is the array of homeowners – all with varying backgrounds and home functions. Lake homes may serve as weekend getaways for local families or true vacation homes for out-of-towners. They may be full-time dwellings for local Charlotteans or new homes for recent transplants from all over the country. Homeowners’ tastes are obviously very individual and this creates a wide range of home styles on our local lakeshores. Unlike our land-locked neighborhoods, there is no set of building and architectural guidelines and codes, and homeowners are free to build the style of home they choose.
Despite this ever-present diversity, two of the past years’ “Best In Show” winners from the Charlotte Home Builders Association Annual Remodeler Council Awards show that today’s lake living is quickly turning contemporary. Why contemporary? This simple, clean and minimalistic approach centers focus on the outside surroundings – in some ways bringing the outside, in.
These homes have many elements in common, but perhaps the most obvious being the focus on the landscape and outdoor spaces. These elements are highlighted with large windows and doors, offering unobstructed panoramic views. Windows are linear, with no mutton bars or mullions, maximizing the scenery. Doors are frequently all-glass with heavy use of transoms to allow in as much light as possible.
On the interior, concise and sharp corners with minimal moldings define this style. Slab marble and granite stones with smooth finishes are dominant in countertops and back splashes, instead of tile with a lot of grout joints. Cabinets also reflect this sleek style with stained and exotic wood grains like bamboo, Brazilian walnut, teak and African zebrawood. Sleek door and drawer fronts in full overlay style give them clean lines with minimal layers and joints. Stainless steel, with its sleek and reflective look, has become the common finish on hardware, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures and appliances. Modern stair and railing systems are made of glass and metal cabling for minimal obstruction to the views.
These contemporary homes typically have expansive outdoor spaces. Large decks, outdoor kitchens and fire pits beg for family and guests to congregate outside. Other outdoor features such as pools, hot tubs, putting greens and docks provide endless forms of entertainment. The important thing is that these outdoor features bring people out of the house to enjoy all the lake has to offer. Why live on the water if you are going to stay inside? Though with beautiful interiors to match, staying inside isn’t always a bad thing.
Trent Haston is CEO of Andrew Roby and has spent many years in project management, focusing on style and craftsmanship for custom home projects. For more information call 704-334-5477 or visit www.andrewroby.com.
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