Leah and Gee Aldridge spent a decade planning and collecting for their custom beach house on Kiawah Island. The interiors are peppered with meaningful mementos, such as the painting by artist Eric Zener that the couple found in a Boston gallery and now hangs over the banquette.
The front entrance to the shingle-style abode is shaded by old-growth oaks.
The rear overlooks sand and shore.
A painting by Colombian-American artist America Martin presides over the hearth.
While traveling in Spain, Leah and Gee fell for this large-scale Jorge Gay portrait of fishermen at work.
The kitchen sets a luxe tone with its walls and waterfall island wrapped in Calacatta Gold Extra marble as well as brass-lined light fixtures by Avrett, while custom chairs outfitted with white vinyl and green leather add graphic punch.
The kitchen walls wrapped in Calacatta Gold Extra marble
Though the decor isn’t overwhelmingly “beachy,” there are nods to the coastal setting, like the piece of driftwood from Bali hung over a Bradley USA concrete console table and a capiz shell chandelier by Oly.
This columned porch provides both privacy and panoramic views. “The curved porches and their roofs shield the house from the neighbors, so you feel like you’re in the only house on the beach,” says architect Chris Rose. The outdoor furnishings, including a Restoration Hardware rope sectional, were selected to echo the classicism and Cape Cod influence of the architecture.
Custom cypress cabinetry by local firm ECR Joinery and an oval-shaped interior window distinguish the bar, which separates the kitchen and living room.
The driveway wends through a maritime forest of wind-swept oaks and under the guest cottage, which includes a kitchenette.
The guest cottage
In the main residence, a circular staircase rises three stories to the family’s private quarters.
In the master bedroom, walls covered in Farrow and Ball’s “Mole’s Breath” and drapes made with light grey Shumacher fabric ground the room’s blush accents. The lamps are from Circa Lighting.
The custom bookcase holds mementoes, such as the conch shells Leah’s skin-diving husband has been pulling up for her since their honeymoon.
The suite is outfitted with his-and-her baths; Leah’s includes a dressing table complete with a custom vanity stool.
“When you live at the beach, sometimes you want respite from the elements.” —Leah Aldridge
The bunk room’s cool comforts include the slate grey walls, shag Moroccan carpet, and pops of lime green.
Another guest room offers a soothing blue palette echoed in the upholstered headboard.