written by Landie Canfield
The English cottage is symbolic of the simple, yet seductive country life and of days-gone-by. A prime example is the home at 2713 Evans, which can be found nestled amongst lush landscape and idyllic scenery on Bogue Sound in Morehead City. It is the perfect place to admire the water from multi-paned windows and rooms that are cozy year-round. This place appeals to our hearts and imaginations as well as our minds— it could be plucked from the pages of a storybook with its overwhelming romance and charm. It could just as easily be a history lesson, as it embraces a 1930s aesthetic and radiates vintage glamor, with the original Beaufort-style picket fence and old fashioned sentiment of small footprint, outdoor living, and the importance of togetherness of family and neighbors alike. Even the grapevines are a throwback to an earlier time— they celebrate the well-known wine made from grapes found on the banks of North Carolina’s Scuppernong River in the 16th century.
A local artist was the designer of this property, and built it with purpose and vision making it her home, her haven and her studio. She was inspired by the cottages of Cotswald, England where stone walls and thatched roofs adorn so many of the centuries old dwellings. Here, she went modern by choosing cedar shake, a similarly natural material that blends harmoniously with the wooded surroundings. Inside remains true to the theme, with stucco walls and dark beams overhead and the original, ruddy English-style tile underfoot.
The largest room of the house was used for the art studio, with recessed areas for paints, the cool and diffused northern light perfect for creating artwork. It’s now the living room and is central to the house —inviting guests to relax and enjoy the generous space and sunshine from loft-style windows.
This home was built taking cues from European preference, the bedroom is at the back, waterside, with banner views of the sound to savor, particularly at sunrise and sunset. As well, it boasts its own miniature beach to contemplate the glassy calm water or the tiny waves and witness the tide roll in and roll out.
Cottage style is defined in part by look and also by efficiency and flow of floor plan, in order to be conducive to family functions, provide warmth and a comfortable place to connect with others or to retreat. Here, the location of the heart of the home could be argued: the kitchen could be it, with its iron scrollwork island and ready-to-roll cobalt blue Aga stove—a symbol of British wealth and tradition. Perhaps the centerpiece is the screened-in porch with a spectacular panoramic view of the sound, lavish gardens and grove of live oak trees. Any of the number of open-air decks could carry that title as well, with salty breezes and room for all . Peek over the picket fence and enjoy the inviting green space, protected from future development.
The property at 2713 Evans is a classic. Like the cottages that inspired it that are hundreds of years old, this home will last for its timeless appeal and enduring elegance— a legacy of taste and design.