Wexford Plantation home offers different view from nearly every room
Relaxing and enjoying the sunlight and soothing salt air wrapped in the refreshing breezes of the Lowcountry is as natural as the beautiful surroundings themselves.
Paul and M.C. McEvoy of New York know all about appreciating nature’s splendor when they spend time at their newly built second residence in Wexford Plantation. Inside and out, the couple cherishes their unblemished view across the horizon from the elevated swimming pool/spa and deck to the swaying cord grass in the marsh to the flowing creek and the 18th hole of the Arnold Palmer signature golf course beyond.
“The physical beauty is one of the things I was highest on and the location of the lot to build something on,” said Paul, a real estate investment specialist in New York City and an avid golfer. “At the end of the day, we feel blessed to be able to build something very special and enjoy it even more.”
Gus Hetzel, executive vice president of sales at H2 Builders in Bluffton, knew fully well what was important to his clients.
“Regarding the design, we wanted to take advantage of those dramatic golf course to marsh views,” Hetzel said. “They’re right on the water so you can see Broad Creek; it was very important to get as much glass as we could in the back of the house and get all the main rooms on the rear.”
Virtually every room in the expansive two-story 6,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style home opens up to the great outdoors.
“It’s an irregularly shaped (half-acre) lot that flares out on both sides,” Paul said. “Pretty much every room has a different view. The wings are basically looking in two directions and the middle of the house is looking straight out over the water and the marsh. The visuals are all distinct.
“I have to give credit to the architect, Grady Woods, who was able to work with the irregular lot and configure it in such a way that it optimized the movement of the sun patterns and such,” he added.
One architectural decision made early on in the process was to elevate the swimming pool/spa and deck 11 feet above ground level for aesthetic appeal and homeowner convenience.
“One of the key things when we were trying to formulate things — and I give credit to Gus — is elevating the pool,” Paul said. “It’s very inviting and has kind of a natural flow from the house.”
“We are so glad we did that, because it’s so much more comfortable to be able to walk out the door and there’s your pool,” M.C. said. “Or wake up in the morning, walk out and swim your laps in the pool.” There’s no climbing or descending stairs from the first-floor living space to the outdoor oasis below, which is a common design in the Lowcountry.
For Hetzel, suggesting the idea and making it happen became a major “engineering feat” by Year Round Pool Co.
“It’s very complicated,” he said. “Any time you lift a pool and take it out, you have so much hydraulic pressure pushing on all those walls. There’s a ton of engineering steel and concrete and back slab underneath the pool that is probably 3 to 4 feet thick. It’s a support for a massive amount of weight. It would be a totally different house if that pool was sitting down at grade. It wouldn’t have had the same effect.”
For the finishing touches, a black powder-coated aluminum railing borders the 1,200-square-foot travertine stone deck and coping.
The flowing first floor of the four-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom residence features the kitchen, formal living room, dining room, master bedroom and bath, family room, breakfast room, outdoor kitchen nook, 429-square-foot screened porch, powder room, laundry and study, which has a four-step elevation drop.
Upstairs, guests will find a walk-in attic, three bedrooms, an exercise room with sauna, sitting room and media room with a coffee center, and bathrooms.
Overall, nine rooms in the home have direct views of the majestic backyard.
The open floor plan layout and integration of private and common space reflect the couple’s personal and social preferences.
“We designed it to our needs and our likes and lifestyle,” said M.C., who also handles affairs at the Palmetto Dunes condo the couple owns. “It was built to the way we live.”
And that means entertaining family (the couple has two adult children), friends and guests.
“We have a big family and a large group of friends who are active golfers,” Paul said. “The way the home sets up, it’s spacious enough to entertain comfortably and share it. We are social people, and we expect people to share space in different ways with us.”
Added his wife, “We designed the bedrooms so three other couples can come in and play golf with us. It’s very comfortable and private upstairs, and that’s what makes it special.”
The open floor plan downstairs allows easy access from the kitchen (with a mahogany island top and Wolf and Subzero high-end appliances), to the screened-in porch, pool and family room, where boxed beams anchor the pecky cypress coffered ceiling.
As friends and guest glide across the hickory flooring throughout the home, they will notice that each room sparkles with its own personality expressed in color, texture and furnishings.
“There’s so much use of colors in this house,” Hetzel said. “Just a wonderful use of colors and materials throughout. Every room you go into, there’s something new. M.C. likes colors.”
M.C. refers to the interior design theme as “Miami Beach cool.”
“I have chartreuse, I have coral, I have a calm blue, I have all different colors,” she said. “My designer was able to put all these together in such a beautiful way.”
She and Sharon Cleland of J Banks Design Group collaborated closely on all aspects of the interior design.
As if the interior and backyard setting weren’t impressive enough, Grady Woods Architects designed the sweeping Mediterranean-style exterior with a signature and authentic terra cotta tiled roof. A phoenix sylvestris palm tree sits center stage in the driveway and invites visitors up the curved cast stone front stairs to the front door.
“When somebody knocks on the door for the first time, they can look through the window and see a beautiful view (from front to back and beyond),” M.C. said. “You can see the pool and you can see the marsh, so that, I think, gets them from ‘hello.’”
Architect: Grady Woods
Windows, exterior doors, interior doors and hardware: Grayco
Stucco: Low Country Stucco and Stone
Structured wiring/security: Audio Video Experts
Gas, fireplace and garage doors: Building Specialties
Elevator: Advanced Lift Solutions
Pool: Year Round Pool Co.
Custom stairs: Staircrafters
Pavers: American Pavers
Exterior tile: Distinctive Granite
Tile, backsplash and carpet: Floor Fashions
Closet shelving: Low Country Shelving and Glass
Appliances: Billy Woods
Landscaping: Palmetto Coastal Landscaping
Hardwood flooring: Supplied by Floor Fashions