‘The House on the Bridge’

Oak Island's 'House on the Bridge.' Photo by Bethany Turner

Oak Island’s ‘House on the Bridge.’ Photo by Bethany Turner

Between 68th and 69th streets on Oak Island, there isn’t exactly a stretch of road for E. Beach Drive to continue along the Atlantic Ocean. Rather, a wooden bridge rises from the asphalt and at its end a four-bedroom, five-bathroom gray and blue beauty keeps watch over the shore break. To Oak Islanders, it’s known as “The House on the Bridge.” To Joaquin and Amanda Carbonell, owners of Southport’s Uncorked by the Sea Wine Shop and Gallery, it is home.

A custom design, the abode suits the couple’s favored aesthetics. “I wanted it to be very comfortable—but comfortably elegant. Something that you feel very at home in, but has a little formal touch that not every beach home has,” Amanda describes. “Since we live here a good portion of the time, we wanted it to feel like a home—not a vacation house.”

“Amanda obviously, having grown up here in coastal Carolina, wanted to get back to the coast,” Joaquin tells of their search for a second home. The couple also resides in Atlanta, Georgia. “She was familiar with this area, so we started to see what might be available. We looked around and saw this lot; we bought the lot, really, when it was the end of the world, 2008. The financial crisis was in full swing. I think we were probably the only house being built on Oak Island at that time.”

Construction began in 2009 with a few goals in mind. The main living spaces needed to feature an open floor plan so each room could take advantage of the panoramic ocean views, and through details in the trim work and finishes, each room in the house would stand on its own.

Inlaid wood presents a compass set to point exactly north in the foyer. Photo by Bethany Turner

Inlaid wood presents a compass set to point exactly north in the foyer. Photo by Bethany Turner

“Most of the inside was really designed by Amanda with some help from me,” Joaquin clarifies. “We did have a designer, Delina DeVoid [of 3D Designs, Inc.] who helped us with the house.”

“We took all these drawings to her and had her turn it into something that could be built,” Amanda shares.

The bridge, which was already in place before the Carbonells purchased the island lot, did pose a concern. “When we stumbled on this bridge, we were trying to figure, ‘How will we build here?'” Amanda recalls.

Joaquin explains that they extended the woodwork underneath the house. “The house is built on like 115 10×10 pilings,” he says. “Almost the entire house is synthetic, so there’s very low maintenance. It’s all Hardee plank siding, all the railings, all the decking, to minimize the amount of upkeep. Then what we tried to do was give each room its own personality.”

Attention to detail even spreads to the stairwell, where trim work exudes coastal style. Photo by Bethany Turner

Attention to detail even spreads to the stairwell, where trim work exudes coastal style. Photo by Bethany Turner

One of the most stunning aspects upon entering is the hand-scraped African teak flooring. Rich browns are interrupted by streaks of light sandy wood. “We really liked it for the texture, this sort of undulation,” Joaquin notes.

The rough, earthy element sets the tone for the rest of the house, as Amanda says she and her husband were very interested in supplying the home with different surface feels. The kitchen features dark gray and light tan granite—a sharp, streaky design crafted by nature. Each bathroom, then, showcases various surfaces: coral stone with tiny fossils, Travertine and Carrara marble tiles.

The trim work is what truly sets this house apart. Every room features a bold look all its own. In the living and dining rooms, a faux painter handcrafted the look of weathered wood planks, juxtaposed against cove molding adorned with double steps in the corners. The kitchen is fancier yet still coastal, the ceiling covered in beadboard but polished with a grid of matching trim. “We tried to pick up the colors of the granite in the [dark gray] finish on the cabinets,” Joaquin adds. “All the plugs are underneath the cabinets so you don’t have any visible outlets.”

Faux wood-plank painting in gray-green shades adds coastal charm to indoor spaces. Photo by Bethany Turner

Faux wood-plank painting in gray-green shades adds coastal charm to indoor spaces. Photo by Bethany Turner

Every bedroom offers a unique look, distinctly seaside because of the muted gray, green or white walls. One features white beadboard wainscot within panels, capped off with the look of green planks. In another, white walls are textured by long strips of trim running from the baseboard to the crown molding. In the third, white trim is set in squares to almost appear like coffers for the matching wall. Above it, a pale seafoam green acts as a frame for the view of the ocean. It is the same look that the Carbonells copied for their wine shop in Southport.

The master bedroom is arguably the most exquisite room of the house (or, perhaps second to the master bath). It, like the living room, is faux painted with light blue and gray tones to create the look of vertical weathered planks. “There is coffering within the coffering in the master,” Joaquin says of the ornate ceiling.

Amanda and Joaquin Carbonell at home with their Aussiedoodle, Turley. Photo by Bethany Turner

Amanda and Joaquin Carbonell at home with their Aussiedoodle, Turley. Photo by Bethany Turner

It’s with good reason that their bedroom is luxurious. “We have great 180-degree views; you can see all the way to Holden Beach and Bald Head. We get sunrise, and sunset over Holden. We’ve seen sunsets all over the world, and I’ll tell you, the sunsets on Oak Island are as spectacular as any I’ve seen. It’s just magnificent when the sun sets over the ocean here.”

The master bath, too, is a treat. The tiles are heated for the winter. A spa shower has visual access to an in-room television, as does the separate tub. Yet, fittingly for a relaxing bath, the tub is set underneath a window for views of the ocean as well.

“What’s really unique about this house is it has both the marsh and maritime forest and ocean views,” Joaquin remarks.

Even the ceiling of the stairwell was provided major attention. Thick beams protrude from planked ceiling, decked out by a commanding, dark metal light fixture. “Even here we wanted to create a cottage look,” Joaquin muses.

At the bottom of the staircase, inlaid wood designs a compass rose. It is set to point exactly north.

Plenty of kitchen counter space is highlighted with unique granite. Photo by Bethany Turner

Plenty of kitchen counter space is highlighted with unique granite. Photo by Bethany Turner

Detailed touches such as this extend to the home’s technology. “It’s got a very sophisticated sound system,” Joaquin shares. “If you were staying in this bedroom and wanted to listen to your iPod, you could, while somebody watches TV in the living room, and another person is listening to the radio, or somebody outside could listen to Pandora, all through the same state-of-the-art sound system.”

Meanwhile, motorized rolling shutters protect the house from Mother Nature’s wrath. “Just in a matter of minutes, the [shutters] come down around the house, and it’s all built into the fascia and soffits,” Joaquin explains. “It’s built into, essentially, the structure of the home. Basically if a hurricane’s coming in 10 minutes, we can just press a button.”

“All we have to do is put the porch furniture on the screen porch and shut it down and we’re out of here,” Amanda describes. “Hopefully we’ll be here for our really older years and so we can take care of it ourselves.”

With the plan to keep this house for decades, the Carbonells installed an elevator with the same foresight. “It’s for our drooling years,” Joaquin quips.

The Carbonell home's kitchen. Photo by Bethany Turner

The Carbonell home’s kitchen. Photo by Bethany Turner

Having lived in the house for four years now, the Carbonells are sure their design fits their imagination of what a dream beach house should be. “What we wanted to accomplish was to have, what I think is, a nice home but in a beach style,” Joaquin offers. “So you’ll see that even though there’s some nicer trim touches, we did want to keep to the integrity of it being a beach house.”

Overall, the “house on the bridge” is a steward for style that is quintessentially Carbonell: classic, relaxed, yet elegant. It is the ideal location for indulging in a lavish glass of wine, while never glancing to the sand carried from your evening walk on the beach.

Hand-scraped African teak sets an earthy tone for the Carbonell home. Artwork from their global travels, such as sculptures and paintings, appear throughout. The octopus was created by ceramic artist Shayne Greco of Wilmington, NC. Photo by Bethany Turner

Hand-scraped African teak sets an earthy tone for the Carbonell home. Artwork from their global travels, such as sculptures and paintings, appear throughout. The octopus was created by ceramic artist Shayne Greco of Wilmington, NC. Photo by Bethany Turner

Shane Greyco's artwork. Photo by Bethany Turner

Shayne Greco’s artwork. Photo by Bethany Turner

The whale painting is by an Atlanta artist. Photo by Bethany Turner

The whale painting is by an Atlanta artist. Photo by Bethany Turner

The dining room table and the living room coffee table are from Restoration Hardware, carved from reclaimed wood from an English barn. Photo by Bethany Turner

The dining room table and the living room coffee table are from Restoration Hardware, carved from reclaimed wood from an English barn. Photo by Bethany Turner

The bedrooms and bathrooms all feature their own trims and finishes, creating a separate personality for each space.  Photo by Bethany Turner

The bedrooms and bathrooms all feature their own trims and finishes, creating a separate personality for each space. Photo by Bethany Turner

Photo by Bethany Turner

Photo by Bethany Turner

Photo by Bethany Turner

Photo by Bethany Turner

Photo by Bethany Turner

Photo by Bethany Turner

Ocean views are visible from much of the house. If not, the vista is of the salt marsh. Photo by Bethany Turner

Ocean views are visible from much of the house. If not, the vista is of the salt marsh. Photo by Bethany Turner

Master bedroom sitting area. Photo by Bethany Turner

Master bedroom sitting area. Photo by Bethany Turner

Master bedroom. Photo by Bethany Turner

Master bedroom. Photo by Bethany Turner

Master bathroom. Photo by Bethany Turner

Master bathroom. Photo by Bethany Turner

The screened porch uses screen that is very fine, so that it appears like a plane of glass. Photo by Bethany Turner

The screened porch uses screen that is very fine, so that it appears like a plane of glass. Photo by Bethany Turner

The house offers views of the Atlantic Ocean from Bald Head Island to Holden Beach. Photo by Bethany Turner

The house offers views of the Atlantic Ocean from Bald Head Island to Holden Beach. Photo by Bethany Turner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to ‘The House on the Bridge’

  1. Deborah Neu says:

    Lovely home, lovely neighbors.

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