December 2022

Santa Finds Sanctuary

Santa descends millions of chimneys every year. Come explore what he found down this one!

Monty and Joani Newsome had long dreamed of the perfect outdoor space for entertaining that would feel cozy yet open. After surfing the internet for inspiration, they decided a pavilion would be ideal. They worked with contractor Pete Wigand of Blue Chip Building, to make it a reality. Pete partnered with Atlantic Barn and Timber to create the 800-square-foot structure.

Photos by Renee Sauer and Jessi Lynne Photography

“We have named it The Sanctuary because it looks like a church with the vaulted ceiling, post and beams.”

The soaring wooden ceiling is anchored by stack stone installed on the columns, outdoor kitchen and impressive fireplace by Pietrucci Masonry.

“The stone really makes it. Mason Anthony Pietrucci and his men did a beautiful job.”

The couple chose Shawnee Ledgestone paired with Rainbow Sandstone for the fireplace mantel and hearth.

“It was great to see all the options laid out in the showroom at Stone Garden. Emily was very helpful in assisting us with our choices.”

The six-month project was completed just in time for Christmas 2020.

Last weekend the couple entertained fourteen friends. A hired chef prepared delicious food, while Monty served as skilled bartender. One of the guests exclaimed: 

“I don’t know anywhere we could go in Wilmington and have this fantastic atmosphere and dinner.”  

Within the pavilion, there are plenty of individual places to relax. At one end, bluestone steps lead to an upper patio creating an intimate area for socializing or enjoying movie and TV events.

Bar seating gathers half a dozen guests around the well-equipped outdoor kitchen where they can be front and center to the mixologist and the chef. Slate flooring underfoot and black leather granite countertops were installed by Sellers Tile.

At the other end of the pavilion, lounge seating at the hearth invites conversation and a great view of the garden.

“Since our home is not on the ocean, we decided to bring the water to us.”

Prestige Pools installed an easy maintenance pool and spa in 2019 with a Tabby pool deck and hot tub coping.

“The hot tub spilling over into the pool is perfect. It looks beautiful from the kitchen window amongst the landscaping.”

An outdoor shower is positioned directly behind the fireplace, only steps from the pool and spa.

Monty and Joani absolutely love the design and wouldn’t change a thing. The comfortable, versatile outdoor space is custom-made for their needs.

“We’re Wilmingtonians who moved to Charlotte, then came back home to the prettiest place on earth. It’s great to be able to spend so much time outside.”

Whether it’s for quiet morning coffee, raucous sports afternoons, or sumptuous dinners, this certainly is a sanctuary for family and friends …. and Santa, too.

Thank you, Monty and Joani for allowing us a tour of this incredible retreat.