In search of a simpler life, a retired couple designed their Edisto Island home to pare down on belongings and immerse themselves in nature.
NATURAL CONNECTION: Steve and Heidi Newman chose a large marshfront lot on Edisto Island with proximity to the ocean for their new home, a property that would provide plenty of opportunity for viewing the abundance of birds. “The design concept was to always feel connected to the environment even if we had to be inside for whatever reason,” says Heidi. A plethora of picture windows allows for expansive views from every room, while a variety of outdoor living spaces invite the residents to soak up the scenery. A new dock gives them easy access to the marsh and nearby beach.
LINES OF SIGHT: Custom Henselstone German windows and glass doors open out from the main living space onto a spacious deck. In the elongated lounge area, low-slung contemporary European furniture with unobtrusive styling helps keep the focus on the outdoors.
Stainless steel dominates the kitchen for practical reasons (it’s durable and easy to clean) and for visual effect—the ceiling-high backsplash with metal subway tile is a striking modern statement.
ARTFUL LANDSCAPE: When given a choice of a blank wall or window, the Newmans choose the latter every time. “We actually gave away or sold a lot of our artwork because we simply don’t have much wall space,” says Heidi. “The view is the art.”
Tasked with creating the smallest house plausible, architect Myles Trudell opted to put the dining room outside, in a screened porch. While the surroundings take center stage in the adjacent living room, pops of visual interest are provided by natural textures, such as a spectacular walnut ceiling feature and three Tabwa nesting coffee tables from Ethnicraft, whose blackened teak tops are carved in geometric reliefs.
In each room, a wall-mounted birding box, complete with binoculars and a field guide (above), is conveniently located near a window for keeping tabs on their feathered neighbors.
CLEAN & RESTFUL: Simplicity reigns in the master bedroom, where a European platform bed and two oak nightstands are the only furnishings. Handmade Lithuanian bed linens and pillows, as well as a deep gray rug, add tonal interest, while two task lights provide just enough artificial light. “We chose not to have many overhead light fixtures,” explains Steve, “as there’s so much natural light in the house.”
The unique open-plan master bathroom features a dramatic tiled shower and two floating vanities, supported by a freestanding wall that separates it from the bedroom. Touch-enabled LED lighting is built into the mirrors.
The “observatory” features a bright blue sofa, the perfect spot to relax with a cup of coffee from the curvaceous oak bar with its ocean-inspired tile backsplash.
DECKED OUT: The spacious hardwood deck, built of dense and durable Garapa from Brazil, hosts an outdoor sitting room with furnishings from Four Hands and Cane-line of Denmark, as well as a small breakfast bar built into the galvanized steel and wood railings just outside the kitchen.
A newly built dock provides easy access to the marsh and extends toward the Atlantic Ocean.
One couple’s retirement dream come true