Luxe Lowcountry living

Hampton Lake home offers elegant style without the formal feel

When interior designer Kelly Caron goes to work at her studio in the Calhoun Street Promenade in Old Town Bluffton, she is surrounded by her work — literally. Her office reflects her creative sensibilities, full of warm tones and Lowcountry charm. Picture 200-year-old reclaimed barn wood flooring, shiplap wood board on the walls, soft colors and lanterns.

That made her the designer of choice for Brenda Jeffcoat of Randy Jeffcoat Builders while working on a high-profile assignment at the rejuvenated Hampton Lake community. Jeffcoat Builders was constructing a $1 million Lakeview model home, with Court Atkins Group as the architect, and they wanted Caron use her interior design talent to give the home a true “Lowcountry vibe.”

“When we began the model home project with the Jeffcoats, we wanted to blend a traditional Lowcountry aesthetic with what we would classify as lakeside living,” said James Atkins, a partner in the Bluffton architectural firm that he and William Court founded in 2004. “It pulls some of the elements that are prevalent in the amenities of this particular home” — like materials textures, bracket detailing, the open-living floor plan and indoor-outdoor living spaces.

Caron got to work pulling together Lowcountry elements, consulting with Brenda Jeffcoat frequently.

“After we did a walk-through of the floor plan, there were some elements that spoke to me,” said Caron, whose firm won the overall 2016 LightHouse industry award for Best Interior Design. She was inspired, she said, by the floor-to-ceiling windows along the back wall and all the light they allowed into the home.

“We spec’d out very large, oversized windows with transoms to blur the line between the inside and outside and take in the long views of the lake,” Atkins said.

Caron took those plans into account when coming up with her plan for the home’s interior design.

 “I prefer symmetry and balance, so when I did the space plan for furniture, I wanted to make sure the scale of furnishings was appropriate with the openness of the house,” she said.

And she had plenty of room to work with — the kitchen and dining rooms boast ceilings of 16 1/2 feet, while the foyer and great room feature two-story, 23-foot-high ceilings.

“We wanted to treat the kitchen, which tends to be the heartbeat of the home, like the great room or dining room and give it some creative vaulted ceilings and make it feel light-filled with nice detail,” Atkins said.

And don’t underestimate how creative ceilings can be.

“Most clients would probably know us for our magnificent ceiling details,” said Rhett Jeffcoat, vice president of sales, marketing and estimating for the builder. “We were able to give some ‘wow’ factor to the kitchen with a front-to-back-of-house vaulted ceiling with beams, covered by tongue-and-groove pine and then added a whitewash over the boards to give a rustic elegant feel.”

“We incorporated some higher transom dormer windows so throughout the day the great room is filled with light,” Atkins said. “We tried to craft the right fit of space so it feels spacious. The home lives larger than it is with great natural light.”

Rhett Jeffcoat said Hampton Lake wanted phase three of the residential community to be entirely Lowcountry in style.

“We relished that opportunity to show the public what we were capable of in this design field,” he said of the home, which took seven months to build. “We wanted elegant Lowcountry without the formal feel.”      

“They wanted it to be Lowcountry, but we also wanted it to be inviting and comfortable and a place for entertaining because of the open floor plan,” Caron added.

Caron and her team, who spent four months on the home’s interior design, wanted to blend wood tones and painted tones.

“We were successful in the balance of colors and textures throughout the space,” Caron said. “I love the natural materials,” such as the 7 1/2-inch hand-scraped walnut wood with dark finish flooring.

The home, which Caron described as “Lowcountry transitional with some elements of traditional,” showcases some traditional furniture with modern hues and warm, tranquil colors throughout with not a hint of rustic decor. Cooler gray-blue tones and accents of teal-aqua blue are paired with “soft furnishings and soft colors in soft surroundings,” she said.

“It’s a ‘breath-of-fresh-air’ kind of coastal,” Caron added.

An 11-foot-long island with a Fantasy brown granite top stretches beneath two large finished black-iron lanterns in the light and airy kitchen. Custom inset cabinets and high-end appliances give way to the adjacent dining room, which oozes with elegance and opens to a screen porch with gas fireplace.


Elsewhere, shiplap wall board covers the powder room and entry foyer, 

where a large custom-made oyster shell mirror hangs, the mud room features a Savannah gray brick floor and custom built-ins, and a tiered chandelier hangs in the great room and shines above shiny silver mercury glass lamps and an antique coffee table purchased in Ohio Amish country.

“It’s luxe Lowcountry living,” Caron said. “We incorporated individual looks in each space and how they could complement each other, from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room.”

The 3,741-square-foot, two-story home, which won three LightHouse awards last year for Jeffcoat Builders, features three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms in the main residence and a bedroom and full bath in the bonus room above the garage.

“Our eye goes to the details and level of quality and expectation we have for every home we build,” Brenda Jeffcoat said.

The Jeffcoats gave Atkins an “open challenge,” he said. “We wanted to create an identifiable model that captures what Hampton Lake is all about, but also what the Lowcountry is and make it a signature home. … We created a model that sets Hampton Lake apart and the Jeffcoat team apart.”

“Brenda trusted us with the whole vision of what they were trying to go for, and we delivered,” Caron said. 



Builder: Randy Jeffcoat Builders
Architect: Court Atkins Group
Interior design: Kelly Caron Designs
Landscape: Sunshine Hardscape and Nursery
Cabinets: Peacock Cabinetry
Appliances: PLAY & Gourmet Appliances
Tile and carpet: Abbey Floor Fashions
Hardware: Bird Decorative Hardware
Windows and exterior doors: Pella Window & Door, LLC
Roofing: Howe Contracting, LLC
Drywall/painting: Benchmark Interiors, Inc.
Plumbing fixtures: Ferguson Enterprises
Lights and fans: Cregger Co.