Ahead of the Curve - storied beach cottage charm at a Kiawah Island retreat inspired by summers spent on the New England coast.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: This grand Kiawah manse, nestled along the ocean at the far end of the barrier island, occupies a little over three acres of lush maritime forest.
The family house was built by Russ Cooper and designed by architects Wayne Windham and Stan Dixon as a vacation spot for a family of five from Charlotte, with an eye toward making it their permanent residence. The architecture evokes the couple’s time spent in New England, while capturing hints of the charm of the quintessential Southern beach cottage.
The light, bright interiors painted in “James White” by Farrow & Ball pull in hues from the picturesque view, including pops of green and blue and light-colored woods. A large sisal rug from Eve and Staron Studio anchors the space with comfortable furniture in pretty patterns and a green leather ottoman/coffee table by Nietert Antique Restoration.
Ocean Influence: The central living room opens to a large deck that tapers off to an infinity pool and the Atlantic beyond.
Tile Style: The kitchen cabinets and island, painted in a calming “Au Contraire” by C2 Paints, set off the white oak floors and butcher block countertop, providing a soft palette to showcase the stunning wall of terra-cotta tile from Waterworks. The blue “bangles” pattern of the Redbank decorative field tiles is topped by a handmade pewter hood, which complements the Grey Imperial marble countertops.
Cool Storage: The spacious butler’s pantry continues the aqua theme with a wall of shelving for the homeowner’s collection of vases.
An antique table from Parc Monceau in Atlanta is highlighted by a burnished brass light fixture from Urban Electric.
Eating In: A casual dining room with an antique table and chairs by Garden Variety Design occupies the same space as the kitchen, lending itself to elegant suppers in a relaxed atmosphere.
Get Cozy: The den’s warm palette and soft furnishings provide contrast with the rest of the open and bright downstairs living space. Walls painted in “Octagon Yellow” by Farrow & Ball set the tone, where an overstuffed sofa from TCS Designs in North Carolina and Lee Jofa swivel chairs surround an antique trunk from Parc Monceau and chunky brass lamps from Fritz Porter shine.
An Eve and Staron Studio rug ties the room together, incorporating the antique game table and chairs.
Sleeping bEauty: In the primary bedroom, decorative woodwork painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Light Blue 22” evokes the deep blue ocean beyond the picture frame window. Sheer drapes allow the sunlight to stream through and comfy club chairs from TCS Designs pair with an antique armoire and bed for a touch of relaxed luxury. An ottoman wrapped in Rogers & Goffigon fabric and a bench from Suzanne Rheinstein’s Hollyhock complete the look.
Soak It Up: The pale blue woodwork continues into the large primary bathroom suite, which is broken up into smaller spaces to create a more intimate feel. A dressing table from English Accent Antiques nestles at one end near a Keivan Woven Arts rug, complemented by Rose Tarlow drapes.
The Hydro Systems bathtub is encased in a large cubby, where a window allows for forest views and ample shelving ensures everything is in easy reach.
Personal Space: The additional bedrooms each have a distinct personality. The charming bunk room, which can sleep eight on its full beds, is a playful space, its shiplapped bunks, portholes, and pretty Brunschwig & Fils pillows creating a nautical vibe.
The blue room, washed in “Fresco” by C2 Paint, plays with patterns, ━ from the Ian Sanderson drapes through to the club chair.
An antique bed and Mecox stool tie in with an antique trunk and hat moulds hanging on the wall to create handsome quarters.
Bright Spot: This light-filled hallway connects the main residence to the guest house and also provides a pleasant place to sit and soak up the views. The painted white oak floor adds a whimsical touch.