The Leamington homeowner didn’t really know what she wanted, but she knew she wanted it to be beautiful.
She and her husband bought their 4,600-square-foot second home three years ago because of its location, straddling a lagoon and the Arthur Hills Golf Course, and the interior layout. The only hitch was a black-and-gold and yellowish color motif.
“After the first couple of times going there, I said, ‘This is not my style’, I can’t live in somebody else’s house,” said the wealth management executive from New Jersey who asked that her name not be used. “So then one of my clients recommended Donna (Coudes, of Interiors by Donna Coudes), and we met and I really liked her style.”
For more than a year, the designer and homeowner completely redesigned the residence from bottom to top and created a “beautiful and livable” space that transformed the four-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home into a showpiece. The only remodeling done was in the stunning new kitchen.
“I think I knew it wasn’t me, and I wanted something more updated and more beautiful, but I didn’t know what I wanted,” she said. “Donna was talented enough to kind of explore what I really enjoyed by bringing such a variety of things, that it quickly became obvious to her the kind of style I liked.”
It was a match made in interior design heaven.
Overflowing with vigor and talent and amassing an extensive high-end portfolio, Coudes discussed, collaborated and partnered with her client to bring her undefined vision of “beautiful” to life. They texted, spoke on the phone, sent packages, sat on floors together examining fabrics and catalogs, and scheduled visits here and in New Jersey throughout the redesign process.
What started out initially as a two-room makeover (the family room and master bedroom) led to another room and then another and voila … virtually the entire home, which was built in 1995.
“It turned out to be a huge project for me,” said Coudes, who opened her own business on Hilton Head Island in 1991. “Even though she was traditional, she really liked to experiment with contemporary. It became a transitional, contemporary style.”
Replacing the old with the updated new started with the homeowner wanting something drastically different than the black, gold and “yellowy beigy” colors, old-fashioned rugs and fabrics, and most everything else that was passé in the home.
Coudes first showed her client about 25 fabrics and began to sense a building confidence in her, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon of inner aesthetic uncertainty.
“Fabrics are huge,” said Coudes, who is now doing a contemporary interior design in the same client’s New Jersey condo. “The first 15 seconds when you walk into a room is your impression forever. Fabric is my biggest punch. An important painting, rugs or fabrics are a great start.”
Color follows fabric on Coudes’ checklist.
“She loves blue, blue, blue and more blue,” Coudes said.
“I’ve always loved blue,” the homeowner said. “It may not be her favorite color, but she finds the most beautiful blues in the world.”
So with fabrics in blues and teals firmly entrenched in the designer’s blueprint of artistic action, they next targeted rugs that incorporated both elements.
Kathleen Mayers, president of KPM Flooring in Hilton Head, designed three custom area rugs for the living room, dining room and foyer. KPM also installed in-stock rugs in a handful of other rooms, as well as carpeting for the runner on the main stairway.
Mayers had existing furniture and new furniture to work with, so she pulled inspiration from fabrics from each and created “custom design and custom color specific to the design and décor of the home,” said Mayers, who founded KPM in 2007 and is also handling the flooring at the homeowner’s condo.
“Rugs are a work of art,” she added.
While Coudes and her client, who visits her Leamington home with her husband monthly and occasionally is joined by their two adult sons, completely redesigned the home’s interior, Gaal Custom Homes & Remodeling on the island went to work remodeling the kitchen.
A center island with stove takes center stage in the expansive kitchen. An immaculate three-sided raised breakfast counter with bar stools in teal leather for durability and beauty rings the outer space.
The designer selected Aphrodite graphite for the countertops, backsplash and breakfast bar that is “pure jewelry,” Coudes said. The dazzling iridescent deep teal and blue tone natural stone changes its hue depending on the lighting.
Advanced Kitchen Designs in Bluffton custom designed all of the cabinetry using maple wood, including the two-panel appliance cabinetry that conceals the refrigerator and freezer. Ferguson in Buffton supplied all of the stainless steel appliances.
Advanced Kitchen Designs design specialist Jenny Lauderdale used a Branchport brown stained finish on the kitchen perimeter, an English ivy painted finish on the island and a brushed satin finish on the cabinet hardware.
Here’s a sampling of the countless interior design touches, big and small, that Coudes infused into the home. She:
- Commissioned an Asheville artist to create a contemporary painting with waves of blue for the great room.
- Reupholstered a traditional chair with rolled arms in a contemporary fabric in the study.
- Installed new window treatments in two-tone colors in the living room.
- Purchased two chairs and an ottoman cocktail table for the upstairs sitting room at the top of the stairs and used grasscloth on the walls for texture.
- Placed new lamps and other decorative pieces of artwork throughout the home.
- Reframed family photos.
- Purchased a new chandelier for the dining room and reupholstered the chairs in a zebra pattern.
- Reupholstered a rattan sectional in the family room in orange. “I never would have had an orange couch in the den, but with the fish (four new paintings on wall) and the beautiful window that overlooks the palmettos and everything … the orange couch is perfect. I would never have had the courage to do that,” the homeowner said.
- Redid the master bathroom with new carpet, new wallpaper, new faucets and new lighting fixtures.
- Repainted the master bedroom and other guest rooms in teals and blues and replaced headboards and lamps.
- Installed a textured rock wallpaper in the powder room downstairs.
This luxurious home, tucked away inside the gated community, dazzles in its colors, fabrics, freshness, function and absolute attention to every delicate detail.
Gaal Custom Homes & Remodeling
Advanced Kitchen Designs