Dream Digs - Looking out from the infinity pool to the atlantic beyond, the Leonards can’t help but pinch themselves. The couple, who met here nearly 30 years ago, have realized their dream—to return to the Lowcountry and live on the beach. Check out the family’s grand but decidedly “unfussy” Isle of Palms oceanfront home.
RIGHT AT HOME: Last summer, San Diego residents Tom and Amy Leonard—along with their three sons, as well as wheaten terriers Charlie and Oliver—made this oceanfront Isle of Palms house their second home. Fresh exterior paint and a total overhaul of the yard and hardscape perked up the property’s curb appeal. Relocating the driveway gave the home symmetry, while adding a pair of window boxes and painting the porch ceiling a pale blue upped its Lowcountry charm.
Tom and Amy Leonard—along with their three sons, Connor (left), Ryan (right), and Matt (not pictured), as well as wheaten terriers Charlie and Oliver
WELCOME IN: “It was a beautiful canvas to work with,” says interior designer Allison Elebash of the Leonard home, adding that its bones—including the foyer’s custom millwork and sweeping floating staircase—needed only cosmetic updates. She painted stair treads Farrow & Ball’s “Charleston Charm” and installed white oak floors throughout the house to hide sand and fur. An azure rug from Antiques of South Windermere, seafoam-painted table from Acquisitions Interiors, woven jugs from GDC Home, and Palecek “Coco Magnolia” sconces (fashioned from hand-cut coconut shells) ground the space in its coastal locale.
AWASH IN WHITE: In the foyer, a sideboard from Acquisitions Interiors mimics the wainscotting design. For subtle contrast and depth, Allison painted the walls Benjamin Moore’s “Swiss Coffee” and the trim “Simply White.” A mirror from Alexandra AD reflects the grand staircase.
OCEANSIDE OASIS: In the heart of the home, natural elements—like a wooden coffee table from Celadon, cane end tables from GDC Home, and a wool rug—mix with performance fabric-outfitted furnishings for an unfussy, beach-friendly vibe. A beach scene by Shannon Wood, pillows from Celadon, and the wet bar’s back wall—painted Benjamin Moore’s “Ocean Air”—underscore the sea-inspired palette.
GOOD VIBES: In the dining area, windows were replaced with French doors, flooding the space with natural light and making a more direct thoroughfare to the outdoor kitchen. A fun suite of fabrics—by Rebecca Atwood (cane-back chair seats), Charlotte Gaisford (slipcovered host chairs), and Kelly Wearstler (window seat pillow)—energize the space, which centers around a sweeping Restoration Hardware trestle table.
GATHER ROUND: The curved, two-tier kitchen island, original to the home, is a high-traffic area, for the boys especially. “I like to see them all lined up there just like when they were little,” says Amy, noting they had a similar island decades ago. Formerly a mix of white and dark wood, the kitchen cabinets now wear Farrow & Ball’s “Elephant’s Breath,” with a hint of pink. “It’s so beautiful when you get that sunset light coming in,” says Allison. Glass and brass pendants from Circa Lighting add further warmth to the space.
TOTALLY ZEN: Upholstered furnishings, grasscloth wallpaper, and a beachy palette make the primary bedroom a serene retreat. French doors lead out to a pergola-shaded private deck overlooking the ocean.
Tom’s office—located just off the bedroom—boasts panoramic views of the IOP shoreline.
SOAK IT IN: When reinforcing and resurfacing the back deck’s heated infinity pool, Tom and Amy took care to match its color as closely as possible to the hues of the ocean.
The porch dressed in chaise lounges and a dining set from Teak and Table, provides a shady spot where all generations of their extended families mingle—from the couple’s young nieces to their parents.
Tour the residence revamped by designer Allison Elebash