My Trip to the Southern Living Idea House

Last week I got to take a trip to Bald Head Island, NC to tour the beautiful Southern Living Idea House. My trip and this post is sponsored by Delta Faucet.  All words and opinions are my own.

I have been on many blogging trips over the past 8 years of blogging, but this trip was one of the best. Not only because I got to tour the beautiful Southern Living Idea House in person, but the weather was perfect, the group I went with, fun to hang out with and any time time spent getting to explore a place I have never been to is always something I enjoy.

Coming into the Bald Head Island harbor by ferry.

I have been to many beaches along the North and South Carolina coastlines, but never to Bald Head Island, NC which is a car-free, accessible only by boat barrier island located about 35 miles south of Wilmington, NC and 70 miles north of Myrtle Beach, SC.

The harbor at Bald Head Island, NC
The harbor at Bald Head Island, NC

This post is photo heavy. Instead of giving you all the details of each room in the idea house, I am going to show you the parts of the house I liked best and how you can DIY some of the ideas in your house.

The Inn at Bald Head Island
The Inn at Bald Head Island

But before I show you the house, I want to show you where we stayed… the newly renovated Inn at Bald Head Island. I lucked out and got to stay in the top center room. :-) I had a great view of the harbor.


The innkeepers made sure our every need was met. They even took us out on their boat one evening to explore the area by water, wine included!


When you are on the island, golf carts and bicycles are the only modes of transportation.  I traveled in style with Julia from Cuckoo 4 Design, Emily from Emily A. Clark and Amie from MeMe Hill, plus in another cart were Jolyn and Bella from Delta Faucets who made sure we got to where we had to go.

the view from the Inn at Bald Head Island, NC

I took this photo from the porch off my room when I woke up the first morning of our stay.

Interior decor at the Inn at Bald Head Island

We came to see the Southern Living Idea House, but The Inn at Bald Head Island was a well decorated and comfy place that was right in line with my personal decorating style.

lamp shade DIY idea

I picked up a few ideas, like this light fixture shade in the foyer. The inside has black and white photos of Bald Head Island inside that add an unexpected visual surprise to the space.

The Main entrance at the Inn at Bald Head Island, NC

I love the openness, the dark wood floors with the white walls and seating. I could have stayed here the whole time, but after eating breakfast the first morning, off we went….

Riding on golf carts on Bald Head Island, NC

… in golf carts to the other side of the island to tour the Southern Living Idea House. It was about a 20 minute ride.

The Entrance of the Southern Living Idea house

We parked the golf carts near the front entrance and began the tour. The builder, Jeff Sanderson and the architect, Eric Moser were both on hand to tell us more about the area, the house and why it was designed the way it was.

My first takeaway – This house was designed for living indoors and out. Porches on all sides of the house with large windows and doors that let the fresh air flow easily through the house.

Exterior of Hardie Siding in Light Mist with white trim

All the windows and doors inside and out were painted black or were bronze, the trim white.

The crofter at the Southern Living Idea House. It is a garage for golf carts and a guest suite on top.

Many houses on the island have a space called a “Crofter”  that is connected to the house. It is a unique term that describes the golf cart garages on Bald Head Island homes; it’s also a great place for a guest suite.

the dining table using vintage wicker seating

When you step in the front door of the house, you walk into a large and expansive living room.  The interior designer of the house, Lindsey Coral Harper mixed things up and was not timid in her use of colors and patterns. Her philosophy is to mix it up, layer, and edit while adding both old and new items. The mix is how to make your home feel just right for you. Everything doesn’t have to be new.

The living room with plenty of light and windows

The pearly white ceiling mixed with the antique white wall and trim keep the room bright but not glaring. The bronze windows ground the expansive space and demand attention. When they are all opened, the air can freely flow throughout the space.

Coral and Green accents in living room decor

The real star of the room though is the reclaimed 12-inch wide plank pine flooring that was found at a tobacco company in Wilson, NC. All that was done to the wood, was a very light sanding and 5 coats of tung oil.

You can see how nicely the mix of dark and light pieces of furniture work together in the neutral room with coral and green pops of color throughout.

Windows that wow. This is a bi-fold kitchen window that slides open like a drive up window does.

The living room blends right into the kitchen that has a few very unique features of its own. First, check out the mix of metals. There is no longer a need to have to match the color of the fixtures in a house or room. You can see here how nicely the ESSA Faucet in Venetian Bronze pairs with the gold cabinet and drawer pulls.

Second, is the fantastic bi-fold window above the kitchen counter and sink…

Entertaining ideas. Install a bifold kitchen window from Marvin
The guy serving up drinks is the architect of the house, Eric Moser.

… that opens up like a drive-through window to let in a fresh breeze…

Outdoor porch using a coral and green color scheme.

…and entertain on the porch in ease. It also provides easy access to the outdoor serving and grilled station.

Outdoor bar area with bifold window

When the party is over, the window simply slides shut. There are locks on the inside.

Kitchen decorating ideas from the Southern Living Idea House

Back inside the kitchen you can see the flow from the butler’s pantry to the living room.

Subway tile backsplash ideas

The stove top area and subway tile backsplash are very nice, but the main attraction of the kitchen is what is above the kitchen island.

Open ceiling feature in the design of the Southern Living Idea House

There is an opening to the second floor. This was done not only to add interest, but to allow the heat from the kitchen to rise to keep the first floor as cool as possible.

Reclaimed pine wood staircase

I will take you up there via the fabulous reclaimed pine that is on the staircase.

Painted leaves on floor in Southern Living Idea House 2017

Once you arrive on the second floor you are greeted by a painted floor that wraps around the ceiling opening to the kitchen.

second floor landing at the Southern Living Idea House

The hallway and rooms on the second floor all wrap around this opening.

Looking down into the kitchen from the second floor at the Southern Living Idea House on Bald Head Island

Pretty cool, right?

The other room that blew me away was the first floor master bathroom….

The master bath glass shower at the Southern Living Idea House 2017

Hello…open shower…Open-Shower-in-master-bath-at-the-Southern-Living-Idea-House

…the large open shower is not even the best part of the room.  See the exterior door on the right?

Outdoor shower idea from the Southern Living Idea House on Bald Head Island, NC

It goes out to a private outdoor shower. I would love something like this for my house… someday. :-)


The entire house was a feast for the eyes and I came home with many ideas…like this painted hallway floor…

Bathroom decorating ideas at the Southern Living Idea House with a green painted floor

that continues in the bath.

Coral and green bathroom

The bold use of colors and patterns in every room.

Bedroom decorated using the colors yellow and white

More reclaimed flooring and subtle, yet attention grabbing wallpaper in the yellow bedroom.

Yellow and white bedroom

Trimmed out horizontal panels on the bottom half of the wall keeps the wallpaper from overpowering the room.

Ways to you Grosgrain ribbon in interior decorating

In this bath, after the designer had it decorated she thought it needed a punch of color. I loved how she added it by gluing yellow grosgrain ribbon around the edges of the wallpaper using Welbond Univeral Adhesive.  Ribbon is so affordable and can be used to decorate a room in many ways.

Yellow and marble bath at the Southern Living Idea house

The wicker fixtures add a laid-back vintage beachy vibe. The bronze shower fixtures, sink faucet and towel bars are from Delta.

The Crofter bath at the Southern Living Idea House
Cassidy Two Handle Widespread with Cross Taps in Polished Nickel Faucet by Delta Faucets

The Crofter bathroom had another DIY that I think you will like.  With no where to place a CB2 mirror, the designer added rope around the mirror and hung it using an old pulley.

Closed Rolling door closet in hallway of the Southern Living Idea House 2017

One more other feature of the house that I thought was so smart was the fact that the architect designed the house so that the hallways were not wasted space. Behind these rolling doors…

Rolling door closet in hallway of the Southern Living Idea House 2017

… a large place for storage.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Southern Living Idea House though my eyes. This is only a partial tour.

To see more photos of the rest of the house and read more about the designer, builder and architect of the house, check out this article over at Southern or the August 2017 issue of Southern Living magazine.

If you have any questions about a certain piece of furniture, fabric, fixture or paint color used in the home, I do have a list of the resources. Just ask in a comment and I will do my best to get the info to you. Many of the pieces of furniture are vintage and owned by the interior designer.

Take a tour of the Southern Living Idea House 2017 to find decorating ideas and tips that you can use when decorating your home. Many great ideas you can DIY on a budget. Like the using ribbon trim on walls.

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  1. Where did you get the dining room chairs?

  2. Where are those dining chairs from?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Trisha – The dining chairs you like that were in the Southern Living Idea House 2017. Here is the only link I have left for them: West Elm sells a set that is similar – you can see them here:

  3. We toured this home and loved it! Do you know the color of the James Hardie siding and the metal roof? Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sandy – The color of the James Hardie siding is Light Mist. In a paint color palette, it is similar to Gray Screen from Sherwin Williams. All I know about the roof is that it is an Aluminum Standing Seam metal roof. You can contact the architect as he will be able to give you the color. His contact info: Eric Moser – or the builder –

      1. Thank you and thanks for the quick response. Do you know if there is a complete resource guide posted somewhere?

  4. What a beautiful place. I really love the orange bathroom wallpaper- can you provide more info? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kimberly – The wallpaper is from Suvi Wallcoverings. The color – Clementine.

  5. Hi! Do you have any idea who makes the area rug that was in the crofter? I’m desperate to find it! Thank you!

  6. Vicki Hulsey says:

    I am trying to get the colors of the walls in the Living Room of the Idea House, and the ceiling color
    Did they let you in on those details. I have to paint soon and these colors are my idea of light yet comfy.
    Also the colors of the Master Bedroom wall paper and paint.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vikki – Here are the names of the paint colors you asked for:

      Living Room Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Antique White SW6119
      Living Room Ceiling Color: Sherwin Williams Pearly White SW7009
      Master Bedroom Wallpaper: Cowtan and Tout, Seagrass (20232-12), Celeste Painted Palm Trees – custom work by local artist.

  7. What a great post, Diane! Very informative and great pics of the house. I toured the idea house there at BHI on the 24th Sept . My daughter got married at The Shoals Club on the 23rd so we just happened upon the Idea House the next day.
    We loved everything about this house! Love the floor plan and just the right amount of square footage. I can see why the builder is keeping this one for himself! :)
    Thanks again for your presentation and to include the Inn at BHI! I enjoyed it all! :)

  8. Laurie Perry says:

    Love the floor in the master bath! Any info on what it is made of, concrete or ceramic? Thanks in advance. Great post!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laurie – The floor in the master bath are cement tiles. They are called: Stone Mar Cement Tiles, Belle 3.

  9. Sue Bauman says:

    What an abundance of everything in this aspirational home.

  10. I so miss living in the SOUTH, and plan to retire there. Thank you for sharing. It was like a vacation for me heart.

  11. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Likewise, not a fan of all the bright wall paper – maybe in the bathroom – a smaller space – but I fear I’d quickly tire of that in the bedroom. One semi major decorating choice stood out for me – the wicker dining room chairs. They looked a bit spindly and uncomfortable (the rounded back with no cushion). My husband (6 ‘ 2″ – 270 lbs) would likely break it (eek), and if you happened to be a tiny person, you would have to sit on the edge of the chair. I noticed they also used them on the back porch seating area. Not my favorite chair. Agree that the GIANT piece of clear glass in that shower would be my undoing trying to keep it clean. Thanks for the photos – breathtaking seascapes and beautiful homes.

  12. Joanne B. says:

    How refreshing! Thanks for sharing both the inn and the SL Idea House! Personally I too prefer the decor of the inn and would have loved to see more of that decor actually! The idea house is beautiful but a little too colorful for me- didn’t like the wallpaper choices or that painted tile, but did absolutely LOVE those reclaimed pine floors and the classic bronze windows with white trim. Lots to try to bring into our homes with all the classic elements. LOVED the outdoor shower but agree it needs an outside entrance too. If you can ever add this feature to you home I whole heartedly recommend it! We have one for a vacation home we have in Rehoboth Beach DE and it is wonderful ! There is nothing like a hot shower in the cool night under the stars and pine trees! You’ll keep saying, “ok…I’m getting out in 5 minutes…” but it is so hard to actually turn off the H2O! That’s when it’s a luxury but after sweaty dirty yard work it is a necessity and a reward for your hard work! Highly recommend!

  13. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    What a great tour you gave us! I must say that I prefer the Inn over the house. I didn’t care for the wallpaper in the bedroom. I get tired of prints too quickly, so by the time I got settled, I would want it gone!

    The only print I have liked is your blue bathroom! That’s a real winner for me.

    And I don’t like those new fangled ceiling fans one tiny bit. I’m a Casablanca style gal. I can’t be the only one that thinks that fan is out of place. I’m I??

  14. Mary Ann Howat says:

    The house was beautiful but looks like a lot to take care of. I am always looking at low maintenance at 73 years old.

  15. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    You got so many great photos. I was struggling a tad bit with my camera that day and had to use my cellphone a lot. I really loved the ribbon idea too because I would have used paint. Such great inspiration everywhere in this beautiful home. I had so much fun and am glad that we got to experience it together.

  16. Why are there two showers? One inside and one out, especially if there is no way to access the outdoor one from outside.

    1. Sheryll & Critters. says:

      I am also wondering why no outside access to an outdoor shower??

  17. Norma Rolader says:

    Oh my so beautiful and thank you sharing with us God bless

  18. What a fun getaway for you! We went to Bald Head Island 5 years ago for our anniversary and stayed at the Bald Head Inn, too. Such a delightful and charming place to visit.

  19. Interestingly I like the 2 different countertops in the kitchen – the gold tone was unexpected but gorgeous.

  20. Catpainter says:

    I visited the website for the Show House from the Southern Living website a few days ago. But I have to say your photos were much better and really gave me a feel for the house. Good work! Love your observations, as well, especially the light fixture with photos at the Inn.

  21. Judy Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing your tour.
    I loved the wood flooring!!!! And the colorful details gave me inspiration.
    I always look forward to your new adventures, whether it is decorating or traveling.

    1. What color wood floor is that?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Bridget – The flooring in the Southern Living House is reclaimed barn wood. It was oiled to give it the rich dark color.

  22. Nancy Bowen says:

    What color & brand of white paint for the interior wood trim is used? Thx

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – The color white used for the trim on the first floor and second floor landing is Sherwin Williams Antique White. The upstairs bathroom trim is Sherwin Williams Creamy.

  23. Does anyone consider the cleaning required in the bath and kitchens when they design these houses? I guess anyone that can afford one of these houses would have a maid, but I don’t! I can’t imagine trying to keep those bathrooms clean and that kitchen stove area free of cooking oils, etc.

    Absolutely love the living room at The Inn and think it supersedes anything in the show house. Pinned that for my future!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – I agree with you that you would have to have a cleaning crew help to get in all those hard to reach places, especially keeping the shower glass clean :-) I love to see others visions in design and decoration, but the decor at the inn felt perfect for me. Cheery and comfy…my style.

  24. Romeogirl says:

    I love the architect having fun with you in the serving window. Couple of things stood out for a show-house. The dining room rug and the second floor pendant competing with the island lighting. We toured a house on Seabrook Island with the interior dark trim on the windows – they just make me a little sad. Glad they went with white interior trim upstairs. The rest of the house is gorgeous!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      The serving window was the best. I can just imagine the parties that could be held there. The architect and builder had fun showing us the house and were full of information. I like white trim too, it is classic and will stand the test of time. Black and bronze trim is very popular now and on trend so I assume that is why we are seeing it a lot.

  25. Is there a breezeway in your house, Diane? I don’t remember. It’s a very Southern thing, and really pleasant. That’s a beautiful house!! Really brings the outdoors and indoors together.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Helen – Sadly, no breezeway in my house. They are a nice architectural feature to have. My garage is attached to the house. I do have 7 sliding glass doors on the lake side of my house that when open I refer to them as my breezeways. :-)