Dive In To This Whimsical Pool House In North Carolina


whimsical kitchen in a North Carolina pool house

Tabarka Studio’s Palio 2 tiles provided the jumping off point for this whimsical North Carolina pool house by MA Allen Interiors and Carter Skinner Residential Design. Eschewing upper cabinets for pattern-forward surface treatments, the space gains task lighting from wicker Arteriors sconces.

open-concept living room of a pool house

The open concept kitchen-living room is linked by complimentary wallpapers: Faye Bell’s Atoll (left) and Nobilis’ Ipanema (right).

pool house bathroom with gray and white terrazzo flooring and white walls

TileBar’s Terrazzo Italy Sacra Grigio carries through to the bathroom, where a mirror from Cooper Classics hangs above a double tap Kohler bucket sink.

This Chapel Hill, North Carolina, retreat designed by MA Allen with senior designer Margaret Richards balances poolside practicality with spunky, tropical-nodding style. Below, Allen dishes on the details that bring the look to life.

Happy Hour: Beneath the pass-through counter to the pool is a beverage center with Marvel drawer refrigerators, a True Residential ice machine and glassware storage. On the opposite wall, we hung custom scalloped shelves to store the client’s collection of tiki barware. This feature wall has incited her to keep collecting!

Tough Stuff: Flooring throughout is a very cool precast terrazzo tile that is easy to clean and slip-resistant for wet feet. All of the fabrics we used are indoor-outdoor and the counters are White Zen quartz from Cosmos Granite & Marble—a win for these clients who enjoy squeezing fresh juice for cocktails. Entertaining is much more relaxing in a bulletproof space.

Destination Design: We wanted this pool house to highlight what the homeowners love—which is a colorful, preppy Palm Beach look. This scheme wouldn’t necessarily work for a main house in North Carolina, but it was a lot of fun to create a Florida escape in the backyard. Now, they have a place that expresses their chosen design style. How great is that?