Charlotte Remodeler Creates Lakeside Oasis With Award-Winning Tuscan Styled Kitchen & Luxurious Outdoor Living Space

Posted on | October 6, 2015 | No Comments

Every homeowner has a unique story, leading to interesting twists and turns for builders as they work out their clients’ individual needs. Charlotte remodeler Eddie DeRhodes, of DeRhodes Construction, has a knack for finding the kinds of creative solutions that make his clients’ homes exceptional. One such example is this “lakeside oasis” project – with the renovation of its stunningly beautiful kitchen and statement-making main living area, as well as the luxurious outdoor living space addition – all of which required some “outside the box” thinking.

Images Courtesy of DeRhodes Construction Photography by Dustin Peck Photography ©

North Carolina Design chatted with Eddie about the project, which started as a simple kitchen renovation, and grew into something much more. “Their kitchen just wasn’t working for them,” Eddie recounts. “They wanted something with an earthy, Tuscan look to it. They have three adult children and love having family and friends over, so they wanted a better space for entertaining. Their idea was to blow out the side of the existing kitchen and expand it.”

As Eddie looked around the home, he came to some realizations. “It occurred to me that this was a lakeside oasis without a lake view,” he recalls. “Can you imagine? There was a room off the kitchen that faced the lake, but because the house was almost separated in two by a wall and a giant fireplace, you could hardly see it from the living area.”

“I also came to find out that the homeowners are avid dog lovers, and they foster rescue dogs in their home. They were using the room that faced the lake as a makeshift kennel for six of their dogs. Essentially, the dogs had the best view in the house all to themselves.”

After considering the situation, Eddie came to a brilliant conclusion. “I told the homeowners that there was plenty of space to create a great kitchen in the house as it is,” he affirms. “Why not instead blow out the wall and build a real kennel for the dogs?” The homeowners loved the idea, so Eddie set about building a comfy and spacious kennel, complete with a birthing room for pregnant rescue dogs and an adjacent fenced-in outdoor play area.

With the dogs’ “oasis” in the works, Eddie tackled the needs of the home’s human residents. “We took out walls and removed the fireplace, which opened up the space and also created a lake view,” he explains. “The former dog kennel became a breakfast area. We ran an invisible fence through the house so that the dogs would be limited to one area of the home.”

Eddie worked with an interior designer to give the kitchen an authentic Tuscan style. “We created a really warm and rustic Tuscan-inspired look that incorporated a lot of stone and antique reclaimed wood,” he notes. “The homeowners wanted to take a minimalist approach, so we balanced the natural elements with clean lines and minimal cabinetry.”

Much of the kitchen’s function revolved around entertaining. “We gave them lots of flat surfaces that could be used as servers for trays of food. We also created a space that flows through each seating area and right to the outside entertainment area.”

The outside entertainment area is a truly amazing oasis for the homeowners and their friends and family. “We gave them their dream outdoor space,” notes Eddie. “It has a pool, a hot tub, a pizza oven and a wood burning fireplace. There’s a swim-up bar and several great conversation areas, and the pool house features a full kitchen and a dining area. And it all has a great lake view.”

In 2014, Eddie’s incredible workmanship and clever ideas here earned him two Charlotte CotY Awards (CotY – Contractor of the Year) – one for the kitchen and also the outdoor living space. Despite this recognition, what makes Eddie the happiest about the project is his very satisfied clients. “They are thrilled,” he shares. “They now have a great view, a great kitchen and a great outdoor area. Plus their dogs have a private space of their own.” And as for entertaining? “I think they had about 100 guests over for Christmas after we finished the project.”

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