Comfort and relaxation are as much a part of this Palmetto Bluff home as fat oysters and barbecue are in the Lowcountry.
The award-winning residence on Wilson Row, just off the square, was the recipient of three 2012 Aurora Awards, a design competition of the Southeast Building Conference.
Architect Wayne Windham designed the three-story house as part of a six-unit development, offering buyers a couple of different plans to fit the small lots.
“The owner took the plan, wanted to make some changes and we were very involved with what he wanted to do in creating the nooks, the crannies, and the details,” Windham said. “We kind of tweaked the Lowcountry style of architecture and put a New Orleans twist on it in the exterior.
“On the original models, we designed open floor plans — open kitchen, living and dining spaces with as much light as we could get in,” he added.
A spacious veranda greets arrivals. A light and airy open space welcomes those entering through the antiqued robin’s egg blue front door.
Plantation Interiors’ Cris Taylor worked with the owners to create an ambience that pulls from several styles.
“They handed me this coffee table book on Swedish country design and we talked about how to incorporate their ideas into a Lowcountry setting,” said Taylor.
The result is a finished and homey comfort that needs only the presence of residents to make the atmosphere complete.
Builder Richard Best, of Richard Best Custom Homes, said working with the owner made the project a success from quality to historical perspective.
“The owner takes a lot of interest in architecture and interiors. There were a lot of areas — whether it be trim, floors, other things — he had some pretty specific ideas,” Best said. “It’s always good to have a homeowner that takes an active part in the plan when you build custom interiors. And it made the project more fun.”
A large country table designates the dining area. It is positioned between the entry and the kitchen, which is anchored by an expansive honed soapstone-topped island.
Lightport provided the stylish custom lighting, which provides illumination without being visually intrusive.
A fireplace flanked by bookcases and capped with a large-screen television gains the attention of those sitting in the living room.
Since only the furnishings delineate each area, the result is an obstruction-free space that allows for plenty of free-flowing traffic. This is especially true when double sliding doors are opened, offering access to the screened-in porch from both the living area and the kitchen. The room includes another fireplace, plenty of space for entertaining, and Bermuda shutters to allow privacy from neighbors while permitting the flow of Lowcountry breezes.
The walls throughout the home are adorned with the personal touches of the owner’s family, Taylor said. Marching up the stairs is a series of Lowcountry photographic scenes taken by the daughter while a number of the original paintings are the work of the wife. A series of antique fish prints line the wall above the sliding glass doors leading to the porch.
Windham said one of the fun things the owners wanted was on the third floor.
“We did a fabulous bunkroom that is suitable for both kids and grownups,” he said. “It’s got the feel of a train sleeper but with much more comfort.”
The oversized bunks, the crisp, white décor, and the view make it ideal as a place to give younger company their own space while also making it attractive for other guests.
The owner surprised his wife with a unique piece of furniture on the porch leading from the master bedroom on the second floor.
“She wanted a bed swing and when it was installed and they came to see the house, he was able to give her that,” Taylor said. The long porch overlooks the little street yet offers plenty of privacy for relaxing with a book or a daydream.
“With the size of this house, with the porches and various rooms, you could have a lot of people here and yet not feel crowded,” she said. “And I would attribute that to the architect and the designer with all of the unique spaces.”