The art­work is Light­house Face

Coastal Living - - CONTENTS -

by At­lanta artist Sally King Bene­dict

Cool, col­or­ful, and brim­ming with de­sign in­spi­ra­tion: this year’s IDEA HOUSE sits along the ro­man­tic, oak-canopied banks of HABER­SHAM, SOUTH CAROLINA, where in­te­rior de­signer JENNY KEENAN and ar­chi­tec­tural de­signer ERIC MOSER put a spir­ited spin on cen­turies-old tra­di­tions

THERE’S WIS­DOM IN THE WALLS and wood­work of old cot­tages, says ar­chi­tec­tural de­signer Eric Moser. “I tend to think that the sim­pler a struc­ture is, the more beau­ti­ful.”

So it’s lit­tle won­der that Moser drew in­spi­ra­tion for this year’s Idea House from the mod­est, his­toric cot­tages that have dot­ted the marshy South Carolina coast for cen­turies. “Even though our lives are much dif­fer­ent now, these older de­sign prin­ci­ples—ideas like us­ing front and rear porches to help cool a house nat­u­rally and leav­ing bare the raw beauty of nat­u­ral wood—re­main at the core of how we de­sign to­day,” he says.

But old doesn’t have to mean old­school. Both Moser and in­te­rior de­signer Jenny Keenan had plenty of mod­ern up­dates in mind. For in­stance, at 2,915 square feet, the marsh­front cot­tage in the com­mu­nity of Haber­sham (about eight miles west of down­town Beau­fort) is larger than the orig­i­nal bun­ga­lows. To give the ver­nac­u­lar style more breath­ing room, Moser de­signed the home as two small cot­tages with a sunny con­nect­ing hall. On the in­side, Keenan took a vi­brant ap­proach to color and art. “I wanted to show how you can take a tra­di­tional cot­tage and re­ally en­er­gize it for to­day, but still keep it warm and fa­mil­iar,” she says.

And be­hind ev­ery de­sign de­ci­sion were the views. The home’s nar­row lot slopes down to the banks of the marsh and over­looks the Broad River in the dis­tance. “More than half of Beau­fort County is marsh and es­tu­ar­ies,” says builder Allen Pat­ter­son, who grew up along the same shore­line. “That’s what is so spe­cial here. The tide go­ing in and out, the chang­ing col­ors, the unique ecosys­tem—we wanted to in­cor­po­rate these el­e­ments as much as we could.”

Here, more on how the ta­lented team mod­ern­ized this clas­sic cot­tage while main­tain­ing a deep con­nec­tion to its ar­chi­tec­tural roots and watery set­ting.

White lap sid­ing, a gabled me­tal roof, and a street-fac­ing porch are all hall­marks of tra­di­tional Lowcoun­try cot­tages. The French doors and dou­ble­hung win­dows are by Marvin, the porch deck­ing and rail­ings are by AZEK, and the sid­ing and trim are by James Hardie. The pavers are by Bel­gard. The light­ing is by Carolina Lanterns; the fur­ni­ture is by Lloyd Flan­ders.

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