DESIGNING HOMES THAT EMBODY THE LOWCOUNTRY STYLE

Lowcountry style means different things to different people, from the traditional origins in the late 18th century (think Savannah) to the modern day that has incorporated traditional elements into 21st century splendor. 

Homes were built for comfort, practicality and for keeping the interior cool to provide an escape from the hot, humid southern weather. This included double-hung windows, porches to capture the afternoon breezes, transoms, pilings to raise the first floor to allow cooler air to circulate beneath the home and protect against high water tides, wraparound porches with awnings, and shutters for bringing the outside light and ventilation in. 

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN HOME-TECH TRENDS

If you can dream it, we can build it. 

It sounds like a marketing slogan. But when it comes to smart home technology, what once felt more like fictional thinking out of a movie is becoming both doable and affordable.

HOME-BASED LIFESTYLES INFLUENCING KITCHEN & BATH TRENDS 

Designs that accommodate the COVID-induced lifestyle of working and learning from home are the latest trends in kitchens and baths.

“Most of our customers are working from home or helping their families with remote learning,” said Andy Johnson, CEO of StoneWorks, in written responses to questions about kitchen and bath trends. “We’re seeing more kitchen designs with open layouts and plenty of countertop space. Customers also want a kitchen that’s easy to keep clean and take care of.”

HILTON HEAD HOME DAZZLES WITH ITS SWEEPING BEAUTY

It’s a majestic home with grand, sweeping views of Port Royal Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the golf course at Dolphin Head in Hilton Head Plantation.

“We’re tucked away in a corner with a horseshoe driveway,” said Brandon Schaffner, son of homeowners Walter and Linda.

CALLAWASSIE ISLAND HOME WITH A FRENCH TOUCH

Nancy Rapp is an enthusiastic home chef. She has French cuisine by her culinary side and an abundance of cookbooks for reference in her back “messy” space where she has a working kitchen for prepping and a desk. 

Julia Childs was her cooking mentor in the early 1970s – cookbooks and TV. Beef bourguignon is her favorite dish to cook on Callawassie Island, where she and her husband, Rob, live. She mixes her braised beef with gravy beef stock, red wine and cognac, carrots and onions. 

NEW TECHNOLOGIES OFFER MORE FOR THOSE LIVING THE LUXURIOUS LIFE

The only thing more relentless than the pace at which technology evolves is the pace at which it becomes commonplace. Take home automation, for example. The ability to control everything from your home’s security system to the temperature of your oven with your voice was once the stuff of science fiction.

Today, you can do all of that with a Google home mini. And they are literally giving those away with Spotify subscriptions, like a toy in a cereal box.

CLOSETS PLAY CRITICAL ROLE IN ORGANIZATION

Some might think that closets are an afterthought in a home’s interior design. It really shouldn’t be, and it really isn’t.

The function of closets at all price points in the market focuses on organization, accessibility and complimentary décor. Whether it’s a walk-in or a reach-in, closets perform a critical function that makes everyday life for Lowcountry residents easier.

INSPIRING AND BEAUTIFUL SPACES AT HOME

These days, we’re spending more time at home with work and play. If you find your home space lacking, local interior design groups have tips to refresh your environment and make it more efficient.

In a home office, the first thing to do is declutter. It’s OK to let things go. Kelly Caron Designs suggests removing faux greenery and random objects that can be itemized as clutter if you have built-ins.

Every talented interior designer is able to look at an empty space and envision how it will look when the work is completed. And then she works a little magic to turn that empty space into a well-designed reality.

Hannah Fulton Toney of J. Banks Design Group on Hilton Head Island was able to work just that type of magic on a new 5,500-square-foot, second-row ocean home in Sea Pines. Some of the bones were already in place — cabinets, tiling, light fixtures, kitchen finishes, shelving — but the home was far from complete. 

LOCAL BUSINESSES WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE A MIRACLE

On a picturesque lane in the upscale Windmill Harbour community on Hilton Head Island, the HGTV 2020 Dream Home has a story almost as remarkable as its sweeping vista.

The Lowcountry’s romance with the cable channel started with a few phone calls and included a brush with Hurricane Dorian in early September before concluding with accolades for “perhaps the best Dream Home yet.”