Calming Retreat - A Kiawah Island Cottage gets a redesign and fresh new look—including this inviting primary suite—thanks to an enterprising interior designer’s desire for a Southern getaway. Tour the renovated Governor’s Drive house.
Live, Work, PLay: Kristin Peake and David Smith bought this Kiawah Island cottage in 2019 as both a retreat from their busy lives in Maryland and a Southern office for her interior design business. The project involved a complete renovation inside and out, including a new roof and front door; the addition of shutters and columns; and a gray, white, and charcoal exterior paint palette.
Inside, the entryway was reconfigured, adding a wall specifically designed to hang photographer Ben Ham’s marsh scene on one side and a TV on the other.
Shared Space: The open plan on the first floor uses the “rooms within a room” concept, sectioning the spacious area into three separate spaces through a combination of furniture and rugs. In the living room, the fireplace and television are the focal point, surrounded by custom furniture pieces sourced by Kristin. The couple refinished the existing custom cabinets and painted them in Benjamin Moore’s “Kendall Charcoal” to add a touch of drama.
A bar cart from Serena & Lily connects the living room with the adjoining dining area.
On the Bright Side: Originally hidden behind a central structural wall, the light, bright sitting room welcomes visitors into the home and provides a clear contrast from the den.
The couple added a wall to create a cozy space for watching television and enhanced it with a dramatic Phillip Jeffries silk raffia wallpaper in “Obsidian,” custom leather coffee table, and another large photograph by artist Ben Ham.
ROOMS TO GATHER: While neither consider themselves chefs, Kristin and David love to entertain, and this spacious galley kitchen overlooking a casual dining area creates an ideal flow for enjoying food and wine with friends. Three Visual Comfort “Henry Industrial Hanging Lights” from Circa Lighting and a commissioned art piece by local artist Chelsea Goer overlook the island with its a custom marine-finished walnut countertop.
Just beyond, the dining room hosts a large Restoration Hardware table surrounded by Serena & Lily woven arm and side chairs.
TEXTURE, PRINTS, PATTERNS: Upstairs, Kristin played with fabrics and patterns in the two guest bedrooms. (Above) A Phillip Jeffries textured wallpaper reflects the beauty of the maritime forest just outside the windows, and a bold blue screen print by English artist Emma Lawrenson, commissioned by Kristin, adds another organic element.
In the second guest room, the designer added panel modeling around a patterned wallpaper as a second headboard. The light gray of the paper is continued in the bedding and nightstand, which is topped by the Visual Comfort “Hudson Swing Arm” wall sconce in polished nickel from Circa Lighting.
His & Hers: Two vanities in the newly created en-suite bath for the primary bedroom continue the home’s black-and-white theme. Vendome sconces with white shades peek out from the black paneled walls and honed Carrara marble countertops on custom designed vanities are topped by nickel faucets from Water Street Brass.
The space serves as a satellite office and work showpiece, and a relaxing coastal retreat