The original Nags Head cottages date back to the mid-1800s. Many of the homes began as shacks and were built with wood and debris scavenged from leftover shipwrecks. The Outer Banks is nicknamed The Graveyard of the Atlantic, so there was no shortage of raw materials. Over the years the Old Nags Head look has come to be defined by pitched roofs, cypress shingles, sash hung windows, latticework, and angular wrap-around porches with lean-out benches. In 1977, Nags Head Beach Cottage Row was named to the National Register of Historic Places. While the architectural details and interior aesthetic of the Outer Banks is key to the area’s sense of place, you can customize your home with coastal style no matter where you live in the Tar Heel State.
Salvaged and Upcycled Materials
Okay, so chances are you’re not going to be able to customize your home with materials salvaged from a shipwreck (there’s just not that many shipwrecks these days), but thanks to its eco-friendliness and growing popularity, reclaimed wood can be found with a little research and legwork. Architectural salvage sites, demolition sites, and online dealers are popular places to find inventories of reclaimed and upcycled materials. For an authentic coastal design, you want wood that looks like it has weathered years of Mid-Atlantic nor’easters. Here’s a tip: the original Nags Head cottages favored local wood such as cedar, juniper, and pine.
It’s All About the Latticework
Built to accent the ocean breeze, latticework is a common exterior feature on many of the coastal cottages along the Outer Banks. But it’s a design concept that can be utilized indoors, too. From kitchen and living room cabinets to customized storage areas and home entertainment built-ins, latticework adds character and dimension to the room, giving it a focal point of interest. In addition, latticework can be used in kitchen nooks, entryways and sunrooms, as part of the wainscotting or as a design motif in wallpaper.
While originally designed to maximize cross breezes with windows and doors, a lean-out style bench is a stunning, craftsman-like touch to any interior. A bench can take on multiple tasks, such as serve as an accent piece, double as a peekaboo storage unit, or simply function as a way to squeeze in an extra guest at dinner.
If you’re ready to start customizing your home with coastal style, schedule a free consultation with Closet & Storage Concepts today. Our team of designers are here to answer any questions you might have.
Photo credit: © Ben Bryant