One family’s forever home blends West Coast and East Coast architecture for a Cali-Carolina coastal fusion. Meet the Brodeurs as they deck their halls in preparation for their first Christmas in Middle Sound.
Written By Marimar McNaughton | Photographed by Lisa McCall | Styled by Stephanie Martins
Celebrating Christmas in their new home, the Brodeurs of Middle Sound will gather round the hearth and heart of the great room—an open lounging and noshing area—when the family draws its members and friends closer together this holiday season.
The kitchen—that one room where everyone instinctively gravitates—is the primary feature in the design of the Brodeur home. Anchored by an ample, central island, Denise Brodeur’s open kitchen allows the resident Martha Stewart to prep food, serve meals, and host and toast her guests all at once.
Equipped with top-of-the-line appliances sourced from Atlantic Appliance, Denise is never more than a pivot away from her 6-burner Wolf gas range-top or the Kitchenaid double wall oven. She chose stainless steel finishes for the oven as well as the Hoshizaki built-in, under-the-counter ice maker, the Electrolux refrigerator, freezer and beverage cooler and the Asko dishwasher.
“We’re big entertainers,” Denise says. “We love having families over, friends over, kids over.”
Under exposed timber ceilings, the great room interior—framed by gracefully arched corridors—blends the couple’s love of California Mediterranean architectural details with North Carolina nuances.
Homebuilder, Mark Batson of Tongue & Groove says Denise sought the Mediterranean elements while her husband, Mike, was willing to forfeit his California leanings for a coastal Carolina vibe.
Minting their own style was an organic process for the Brodeurs, who moved 16 years ago from the West Coast to the East Coast where Mike joined the family business, Bradford Products, an industry leader in the design and manufacture of pools, hot tubs, and resort spa amenities worldwide. The fusion of the West meets East aesthetic is a perfect harmony of both idioms.
Denise, who is attracted to curves and circles, says, “We’ve worked with Mark a lot, and he’s got a very modern, contemporary aesthetic . . . squared, clean lines. I don’t like the look of a boxed linear house. I fought for arches inside and outside.”
Inside, the coastal look is articulated in finishes—paint tints, counter tops, and tiles—including the ceiling-to-surface mother-of-pearl kitchen backsplash selected with recommendations offered by Tongue & Groove interior designer Bridgett Mazer.
While the kitchen commands the big performance, another staging area evolved around a major decision to scrap the spiral staircase, an idea that was later brought back to the drawing board when a boxy stairwell replacement did not meet the homeowners’ approval. The radial staircase was revived. The gateway to upstairs private spaces, the staircase tucked behind the kitchen wall, has become another focal point.
“In the center of the house,” Mike says, “it just brings everything together; it’s just a beautiful, architectural feature.”
The hand-wrought iron handrails and balustrades were sourced from Vision Stairways and Millwork in Raleigh, but the six-inch riser tiles were custom designed by Bradford Products’ graphic designers working under Mike’s direction. The team created eight alternating Moroccan-inspired patterns that were screen printed on blank tiles. Installed with LED lighting, the staircase emits a subliminal glow.
“Every time I look at the staircase, it makes me happy,” Mike says.
The extra square footage created by the ground floor landing was re-imagined as an intimate dining area.
“I almost abandoned the idea of designing a dining room but was eventually convinced to float a table and six chairs in an out-of-the-way area at the foot of the spiraling staircase,” Denise says.
Cutline: Soft pastels set the tone for sparkly chic, yet rustic coastal Christmas decorations. Flocked trees and retro white metallic garlands, decked with dazzling aquamarine and bottle green baubles, are blended with dashes of Mercury glass that fill the indoor nooks.
The home’s facade combines heavy timbered doors and foundation details, Mediterranean arches, and a bell tower. Hardie Plank siding is laid in the vertical board and batten pattern adding a decidedly East Coast element.
The home and its adjoining guest house, attached to the parent home by way of an engaged loggia, is hung with period lanterns. A study in ambiance, the villa exudes sensory details like these—from the mother-of-pearl walls in the kitchen to seductive lighting found in recessed coves above the kitchen island and the master bedchamber. Enhancing the bath is chromotherapy lighting in the master bath equipped with a recessed stainless steel Japanese style soaking tub, a glass enclosed experience shower, and a sauna. Throughout, daylight cascades from the uncommon arrangement of windows—a hallmark of the Tongue & Groove brand—or beneath bare feet on river rock floors.
Naturally, water features prominently too. Conceptual plans for a lavish waterfall pool, hot tub, swim-up bar and Baja sun shelf, a canopied bed platform, rain forest enclosure, and fire pit as the centerpiece of an outdoor cooking and patio area are on tap for completion by summertime. Nearly every box on Mike and Denise Brodeur’s wish list has been checked.
With their busy dual careers to manage and two school-aged sons to rear—one attends Eaton year ‘round and the other Noble Middle School—the design and construction of the Brodeur home became a 16-month process.
Mike calls the approach: home-resort living.
Yes, the dad who travels the world on R&D missions as vice president of Bradford Products’ exclusive luxury resort hotel amenity lines applies his destination ethic to his house, too.
“We want to make it a place that our kids’ friends . . . come so we know where they are.”
…home for Christmas.