Gail and John Laughlin invited architects Ken Pursley and Craig Dixon (pursleyarchitecture.com) over to talk about renovations inside their Charlotte house, but their best creation ended up being an outdoor pavilion (often called a “folly”) in the backyard. “Ken had the idea to view our outdoor space as a potential room,” says Gail. “Because we have a quirky, old house composed of small rooms, we were excited to get the space. This has become our favorite place to relax. It’s probably now the biggest ‘room’ of our house.”
The Laughlins’ existing yard first needed some updating to make it inviting. Once the back was leveled and a brick retaining wall put in place, Ken and Craig were able to incorporate the wall as an element in the folly. The Tudor roots of the main house inspired the look of the folly: a timbered structure with a steep roof and nestled-in windows. A mix of brick, stone, and wood adds visual interest.