Dominique DeLaney doesn’t love to hop on the trend bandwagon. So when her clients asked her to help design their pool house on Lake Norman, North Carolina, and they initially said they wanted something that felt “rustic,” the designer knew she had to pivot. “The husband loves to be outdoors doing things like fishing,” she explains. “But rustic farmhouse is not what they wanted and neither did I.” So instead, DeLaney began the hunt for materials and finishes that would give the pool house a rustic feel sans the overdone farmhouse chic aesthetic.
“It was all about sourcing the right material to give them the right look,” she explains. What the designer found was a unique wood from a local purveyor, Cope & Stick, which quickly became the centerpiece for the entire pool house design. “They wanted the pool house to be much more relaxed, comfortable, and fun place to entertain and hang out versus the more formal main house,” she says. “This pecky cypress exudes the perfect playful, casual vibe.” DeLaney wrapped the entire downstairs in the material, which features a custom finish by Tony Montognese. In lieu of a traditional tile backsplash, the designer continued the pecky cypress to the ceiling. In keeping with the same organic, rustic aesthetic, DeLaney added a complementary chippy shiplap to the upstairs guest bedroom where it not only covers the walls but extends up the ceiling creating an inviting, cocoon-like effect.
From there, it was all about layering textures to create interest and depth. Durable brick flooring in an elegant herringbone pattern are coupled with sleek custom cabinetry by Artisan Cabinetry and oversize rattan pendant lights from Jeffan. Custom floating shelves by Josh Utseyallow for extra storage and ample natural light to flood the kitchen prep space while also screening the sightline of the neighbor’s home.
The adjacent, downstairs bathroom adds a surprise to the space with its all-over-tonal-blue tile, which offers a peekaboo dose of color to the kitchen. “It’s a really pretty backdrop with a wow factor that you get a glimpse of from the kitchen,” says DeLaney. “The blue tile gives an element of fun without interrupting the flow of the rest of the pool house design.”
After settling on the herringbone brick floor, DeLaney knew adding more tile to the backsplash would detract from the overall look. Instead, she opted to carry the pecky cypress to the ceiling in lieu of a traditional tile backsplash to keep the backdrop neutral but interesting. The custom floating shelves by Josh Utsey serve as extra storage but also function as a screen to block the neighbors’ home while still allowing light in. Oversize rattan pendant lights by Jeffan add complementary texture to the sleek custom cabinets in a pale blue hue finish.
For an element of surprise, DeLaney wrapped the pool house bathroom in a tonal cobalt blue tile from Harkey Tile & Stone, which provides a peek-through from the adjacent kitchen. In keeping with the natural, organic accents, she added a rattan sconce from Arteriors and basket from West Elm. Mirror: Rejuvenation. Sink: Kohler.
DeLaney kept the upstairs guest bathroom more minimal in its design with simple but classic white scalloped tile from Harkey Tile & Stone with wall-mounted brass hardware by Rejuvenation coupled with a neutral Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray on the walls. Mirrors: Mirror Image Home. Lighting: Circa.
DeLaney sourced the chippy shiplap from Cope & Stick for the upstairs guest bedroom to play off the downstairs pecky cypress. To work around the dormers and slopes, DeLaney continued the chippy shiplap onto the ceiling resulting in a warm, cocoon-like effect. The custom bed is by Morgan Chair, bedding is by Avasa from Isabella Style in Charlotte, nightstands are by Noir, and the rug is by Dash & Albert.
DeLaney designed this casual seating area in the guest bedroom with a pair of wicker chairs and coffee table by Serena & Lily. The coastal artwork from Minted and Wendover offers a pop of color to the otherwise neutral space while the crystal chandelier (also Serena & Lily) provides a dose of shine.
Entertaining comfortably was a big priority, so DeLaney outfitted the loggia with a sofa and chairs from Summer Classics. The oversize daybed swing by Lowcountry Swing Beds serves as the ideal place for an early evening cocktail or place to curl up after a long day.
Landscape architect Nick Tropeano designed the exterior surroundings. The pool and outdoor living deck are a combination of IPE wood and travertine.
Outdoor Dining Area
DeLaney designed the alfresco dining area with teak table and chairs from Summer Classics. The nearby chaises and umbrellas are also from Summer Classics, making for a cohesive look while providing multiple uses.
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