North Carolina 1: Charles Aydlett Photography, original photo on Houzz

Photos by Charles Aydlett Photography


Who lives here: Arkansas-based homeowners, when they’re not renting it out

Location: Carova, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Size: 1,000 square feet (93 square meters)


The backstory: This carriage house is part of a larger vacation home in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, that the owners vacation in themselves and also rent out by the week. Its being a separate structure gives the owners a quiet place where they can get away during large gatherings, and it’s a second place (along with the main house) they can rent out for vacationers. The complex is on land with no paved roads — houses here are built literally on sand dunes, where wild mustangs roam nearby. Construction materials and furnishings had to be delivered via small trucks with four-wheel drive, and taken up the beach load by load.

Scope of work: This is new construction, built over a new three-car garage.

Great room: The owners wanted to stick with a mostly neutral palette. “I did talk them into using a little bit of slate blue to bring in an ocean color,” says interior designer Amy Hilliker Klebitz. Because the home is a rental property, as many in this part of the country are, Klebitz chose fabrics for furnishings that could withstand a lot of wear and tear and are easy to clean. “We have to take into consideration people breaking things,” she says. Instead of a beautiful but fragile glass lamp, for instance, she selected sturdier metal ones.

Rug: Kaleen; ottomans and sofa: Dwell line from Comfort Design; window treatments: custom, Jonathan Daniels, FullTilt Blinds & Shutters; coffee table and side tables: Furniture Classics (manufacturer), Outer Banks Furniture; wall paint: Futon SW 7101, Sherwin-Williams

Pick Out Your favorite Neutral Colors Here


North Carolina 2: Charles Aydlett Photography, original photo on Houzz


Dining nook: In the dining area, Klebitz continued the neutral color scheme but added interest and texture through pattern, bolder on the chairs and more subtle in the black tabletop. “From the very beginning the clients wanted the space to be sexy,” Klebitz says. “We threw a little animal print in there to spice things up but still keep things neutral.”

Pendant: Restoration Hardware; mirror: Mercer41; table and chairs: Bassett Furniture

Statement-Making Wall Mirrors for Every Room


North Carolina 3: Charles Aydlett Photography, original photo on Houzz


Kitchen: The subway tile behind the stove pulls together the palette for this part of the home: gray, cream and brown. The perimeter cabinetry in distressed white coupled with the dark cabinetry base of the island keeps the look fresh and not cookie-cutter. The horizontal slats on the island parallel the brick pattern of the subway tile and the lines of the open shelving, where the owners store dishes for renters.

Cabinets, pulls and open shelves: With a Twist; counters: Fantasy Brown granite; pendants: Wayfair; artwork: Exotic Home; floors: Mill End Carpet Shop


North Carolina 4: Charles Aydlett Photography, original photo on Houzz


Bedroom: The clients wanted the bedroom and bathroom to feel unified, so the finish selections for the bath coordinate with the finishes and furnishings in the bedroom. “There’s a definition of the spaces due to the flooring, but aside from that it really does feel like one big, open room,” Klebitz says.

Bench: Restoration Hardware; nightstand: Stanley Furniture; wall paint: Accessible Beige SW 7036, Sherwin-Williams; bed frame: Astor king bed, Hooker Furniture via Outer Banks Furniture


North Carolina 5: Charles Aydlett Photography, original photo on Houzz


Bathroom: The bathing area opens onto a back deck that overlooks the sound, far from the public beach frequented by tourists. (The living room of the house faces that beach.) The sheen of the fireplace tiles comes from a metallic backing that is visible through the glass tiles.

Faucets: Kohler; pendant lights and mirror: Wayfair; wall tile: With a Twist

The vanity and side linen cabinets are modeled after a design in Restoration Hardware, but handmade by a local artisan.

Vanity and side tables: Michele Darden, With a Twist

Bathroom Storage Solutions to Hide the Clutter


North Carolina 6: Charles Aydlett Photography, original photo on Houzz


Back deck: Here is the deck on the back of the carriage house, overlooking the sound.

Deck: standard pressure-treated lumber; chairs: teak wood, Lexington Furniture


North Carolina 7: Charles Aydlett Photography, original photo on Houzz


Contractor: Paul Stuart of Ocean Blue Builders

Floor plans: Jeff Sawyer, Sea Swept Designs