When we set out to find some ultra-hip bachelor pads around Charlotte, we had no idea of the kind of man caves we’d be exploring. We found three bachelor pads that are as different and personality-filled as their owners – each offering a glimpse into their owners’ lifestyles and exhibiting a smart and contemporary style of their own.
The three featured cribs - a Myers Park contemporary condo, a beach-style house on Lake Wylie and an uptown urban loft - have a surprising number of features in common: clean lines, open living space and an emphasis on entertaining. Add plenty of high-tech toys, artwork worthy of the most discerning galleries and to-die-for views, and you’ll find the equation for living stylishly and comfortably.
Myers Park ModernJames and Nik Fedele
Nestled off of Queens Road in the heart of Myers Park is a fashionable 10-unit condominium complex that is home to brothers James and Nik Fedele. The twins (36) are originally from Rochester, N.Y., and came to Charlotte 19 years ago to attend UNC Charlotte.
James is co-owner of the insanely popular Soul Gastrolounge on Central Avenue and Nik is the owner of Espada Bicylces in NoDa and president of the cloud service technology business, Refresh Technologies, Inc.
The guys acquired the three-bedroom property in 2009 and set out to create space that would match up well with two of their key passions: entertaining and collecting local art. Three years later, they have achieved success on both counts, though they are continually enhancing their living space. It’s perhaps best described as mid-century modern with an eclectic and energetic feel.
Walking in the front door the visitor is struck first by the dramatic 23-foot ceiling which showcases a multi-armed, Calder-like mobile/chandelier that floats some 10 feet from the floor and 13 feet from the ceiling. You’ll know immediately you are in a gallery-like space from the chandelier and also the boldness of the art-covered red walls.
Yes, red walls. Intensely red.
Christina Aguilera lipstick red.
“It is actually called ‘Heartthrob Red,’” says James, remembering their decision to make such a bold statement. “Everyone tried to talk us out of it, but we had a software application that allowed us to view the space in an array of different colors, and we knew this was going to work.”
The walls are complete with museum rail as the brothers are serious local art collectors and feature works by the likes of John Hairston and Arthur Brothers. The look creates a warm and inviting feel and has the added effect of making all the artwork pop. Overlooking the family room is a second-story loft and casual dining area. A series of giant rectangular west-facing windows allows the natural light to illuminate the entire living space.
The Fedeles entertain every week, and the home has a natural flow that begins upstairs in the compact yet efficient kitchen, into the loft/casual dining area, downstairs and then out onto the patio, with an indoor/outdoor fireplace, sharing the warm glass box with the family room.
“We’re out here all the time,” says Nik, walking out to the patio. “There are common fire pits out here in the courtyard and we can entertain virtually year-round.”
The guys are known as great cooks and wonderful hosts – theirs is an invitation you won’t want to turn down.
The Lake HouseBanks and Hunter Wilson Brothers Banks (31) and Hunter (29) Wilson are entrepreneurs who know how to switch to relax mode when their lengthy work weeks come to a close. Seeking the perfect pad in which to jump-start the weekend fun was a big part of Banks’ plan, and he found it in the four-bedroom lake house in 2009.
Banks is president and creative director of Studiobanks, a digital advertising agency. Hunter is executive director and owner of Carolina Nightlife, an online resource guide for nightlife and entertainment throughout the Carolinas. He has a condo in the University area where he spends the winter months, but from April to August, he’s hanging with big brother on the northeast corner of Lake Wylie. The house is perched right upon Brown’s Bay.
Tucked low and set back upon a winding lakeside road, Banks’ lake house could almost be missed if one were driving by too quickly. All that changes fast, however, as the home is visually striking upon entrance. One great room encompasses a comfortable dining area, family room, eat-in kitchen and a wall of windows leading out to the deck.
The space is decorated in soft whites and neutral tones and features a regulation billiards table off the entryway. A wooden pelican stands guard over the elongated fireplace, where a large flat-screen plasma TV faces the lean, sleek kitchen. White cabinetry is accented by cookies and cream granite counter tops flanking the appliances. A center island/breakfast bar is the place for a quick cup of coffee as the more serious beverages are most likely consumed outdoors overlooking the bay.
“We are always entertaining,” says Banks Wilson. “A really important feature of the house is that it’s spacious, open and inviting.” Even the formal dining area with its long rectangular table has a casual feel and is parked close to the wall of windows leading to the deck and watercraft below.
The lake house’s most prominent features are outside. A huge two-tier wraparound deck fronts the lake and overlooks the expansive dock where a pontoon boat and speed boat are moored. The ground floor sports a hot tub and the oversized backyard is the perfect place for cookouts and barbecues. “We love to take the boats out, love to wakeboard and just be on the water,” says Hunter, who pointed out the outdoor sound system that keeps the tunes going full bore all weekend.
If you’re at the lake house and aren’t enjoying yourself, there can only be one reason – it’s raining outside.
Fourth Ward Urban LoftJay Biles
A couple of years back, Fourth Ward resident Jay Biles was enjoying cocktails on the rooftop terrace of a building overlooking his current condominium home, 400 North Church Street.
“One of my friends knew how much I liked the building and that I was looking to move,” recalls Biles, 45. “They knew of someone with a seventh-floor condo that was moving, though it had not yet been listed. They gave my name to the owner who called me the next day, and before I knew it I was moving in – I already knew half the floor.”
Biles is senior vice president, human resources manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Originally from Athens, Ga., he moved to Charlotte 22 years ago. A Fourth Ward fan and former president of its “Friends of” neighborhood association, Biles says the feel of the neighborhood is inviting, welcoming and collegial – all major reasons he wanted to live where he does.
“When you get out and walk along Poplar, you feel like you’re in the suburbs,” says Biles. “You’d never know you were downtown.” Biles’ eight-block walk to work is also a huge plus from an exercise and commute-management standpoint.
It’s all about the view, however, which Biles says is his favorite feature of his home. Upon entering the condo, visitors are greeted with a westerly view of uptown Charlotte and beyond through an entire arched wall of windows that frames Biles’ main living/dining space off his kitchen. Like our other bachelors, Biles likes to entertain and has a generous designer kitchen with a breakfast bar allowing guests to oversee the cuisine de-la-maison.
A chic wall of framed mirrors lends spaciousness to the foyer, and art glass and handsome paintings fill Biles’ space. The contemporary look and feel was achieved with assistance from Ron Sperry Interior Design, a designer that Biles felt captured his style and essence in decorating his home.
Roscoe and Bailey, Biles’ brother and sister pugs, have run the roost and aren’t far behind as Biles tours his upstairs office. Open and situated in a loft above the kitchen and family room, Biles’ office is the last stop between him and his favorite room of the house, his 600-plus-square-foot rooftop terrace.
Complete with outdoor sofas, dining set and 180-degree views of the tree-canopied Fourth Ward and beyond, the terrace is an outdoor living room that sees plenty of action.
“It’s my favorite room in the house, and it’s not even in the house,” says Biles.
On a clear, Carolina blue day, one can certainly see why he feels that way.
As it turns out, being master of the house is a great gig, especially if you’re one of our featured single guys, each laying claim to spectacular space that fits their personalities and busy lives.