Hello! My name is Celia Becker, The OC Housewife Who Ran for the Hills, and I’m the voice behind the Lifestyle Blog called “After Orange County”. Sarah has kindly asked me to be her guest blogger today, and I am touched and honored to be here. Since Sarah’s beautiful homebase is in North Carolina, I thought it appropriate to share with you a wonderful place in North Carolina called River Dunes. This truly idyllic community is located just across the Palmetto Sound from the celebrated beaches of the Outer Banks.
It’s a place that was calling my name ever since I first discovered it 7 years ago in Coastal Living Magazine. Coastal Living built a magnificent design/idea home here, that sadly has since burned down. So, after dreaming about a visit to River Dunes for a long time, my husband and I finally made that dream a reality in August. River Dunes is a 1,300 acre master-planned community that is located in Oriental, North Carolina. It is a place known for its world-class sailing, power boating and fishing. At the heart of the community is Grace Harbor, which features a 400 slip inland basin marina with direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Driving into the community you know you have arrived when you are greeted by these two charming cottages that flank the entrance to River Dunes. The cottages are actually unoccupied facades, there simply to provide ambiance.
Our first stop was The River Dunes Harbor Club where we would check-in and get the keys to the charming cottage we would occupy for the next three days.
My husband felt right at home in the club’s rocking chairs that invite guests to relax and slow down in the shade of the covered porch.
But before moving into our cottage, we took a tour of the relaxed but refined atmosphere of the Harbor Club. As you enter the front door you find the warm and inviting game room.
A painted staircase is decorated with framed prints of the wide variety of fish that can be caught in the local waters of the Neuse River and nearby Intracoastal Waterway. Arriving at the top of the staircase is the lovely dining room with its imposing brick fireplace. I loved the slipcovered Parsons Chairs with nautically inspired tie-backs.
The color palette used in the design of the Harbor Club interiors beautifully compliments its harbor setting, bringing the outside right on in.
I fell in love with the weathered wood used in the cabinetry of the bar. And the buttery soft leather of the turquoise upholstered bar stool invites one to belly right on up to the ship-inspired bar and sit awhile.
Adjacent to the bar is an informal dining area in the conservatory-like enclosed porch with its wide-plank, rough-hune wooden flooring and charming rattan furniture.
Heading downstairs there is an inviting screened-in back porch with seating in front of a fireplace. There are a total of 7 fireplaces to be enjoyed around the grounds of the Harbor Club.
Stepping outside I found myself in one of the nicest and most inviting pool decks I’ve ever seen.
It features a mineral swimming pool, lined with charming cabanas that provide a respite from the summer sun. I loved every aspect of the design of these cabanas; from the red metal roofs, weathered red brick backdrop and complimentary red and white striped curtains, to the white siding and azure blue cushions on the weathered teak lounge chairs. It just doesn’t get much better than that!
Then there is the pool house which serves as a gathering place for visiting boaters and residents alike who enjoy many social gatherings and catered events here.
It contains a bar and outdoor kitchen that is crowned by a lovely open-beamed roofline, the perfect setting for the many oyster roasts that take place here.
There is also an adjacent bath house, fitness center and guest laundry facility. The Canoe Club features launching sites for the canoes and kayaks available to guests of River Dunes.
The community dock is an ideal location for a variety of activities from fly-fishing, to bird watching, to planaire painting.
A summer storm was moving in as I took these photos, with wind that toppled over some of the potted plants. Had rain not been in the forecast I would have liked to stay and enjoy this harborside oasis.
But we had lots more to see and our cottage was waiting!
So tomorrow, after you see what Sarah is up to on 702 Park Project, I hope you’ll come visit my blog too for lots more of River Dunes North Carolina. I’ll be taking you on a tour of the inside of the small but very sweet cottage we occupied during our stay, and I’ll tour you around the lovely village and neighborhoods of this very special community.
Thank you so much for visiting. It was very nice to meet you! And, many thanks to Sarah for asking me to join you all here.
All photos via After Orange County.