Under Starry Skies

How to create the ultimate backyard venue
Photos by Terah Wilson/Timeless Fotographie

Most people would have only seen a mess of trees, vines and shrubbery, but these homeowners had a vision. Wilmington residents Nancy and Ron Proper took full advantage of their outdoor space, creating a fun and friendly atmosphere where they now spend most of their time entertaining. Though the area behind their original backyard was once completely wooded, over the past few years they’ve cleared it for a fire pit, a homemade oyster table, a bar and a surround sound stereo and screen to play movies on spring evenings.

The Propers actively use this space, often making additions to what has become the most frequented part of their home.

“We have friends over every weekend,” said Ron Proper of Porter’s Neck. “Sometimes we even set up tents and camp out in front of the fire.”

They considered several factors in the process of creating this entertainment area.

You have to evolve with what you want. We also had to work around the weather and choose materials that would withstand the conditions in Wilmington. What you build with has to be adaptable to the elements,” Nancy Proper said.

This do-it-yourself project has grown into a rewarding aspect of the Proper’s home that they love to share with friends and family.