Home de­signed by Michelle Smith:


Traditional Home - - Contents - pho­tographed by Emily Jenk­ins Fol­low­ill.

it’s in­cred­i­ble what a fab­u­lous pair of shoes can set in mo­tion. When Jacque­line Bourg met Michelle Smith in the fourth grade, their life­long friend­ship be­gan with a sim­ple com­pli­ment. Jacque­line liked Michelle’s shoes—a pair of im­itable Bass bucks. (Both were ap­par­ently clas­si­cists from the start.)

While footwear may still be a con­ver­sa­tion starter, a Low Coun­trystyle house in Pal­metto Bluff, South Carolina, is most of­ten on topic.

Jacque­line called on Smith, now a New York City-based de­signer and one of our 2018 New Trads, when she and her hus­band were build­ing a fam­ily home—the cou­ple has two young boys—with At­lantabased ar­chi­tect Keith Sum­mer­our.

“I loved be­ing able to do this project with my best friend,” Jacque­line says. “We live so far from each other; this gave us an ex­cuse to spend so much time to­gether.”

Perched un­der tow­er­ing pines, the time­less yet con­tem­po­rized home sits on a bluff over­look­ing the May River. Its dormer win­dows, dou­ble-decker screen porches, and sweep­ing lawn al­most give the house an ap­pear­ance of smil­ing—greet­ing guests as though they too are long-lost grade-school friends.

In­side, warm hues, French an­tiques, ethe­real win­dow treat­ments, and re­claimed wood all seem as if the fil­tered sun­light shines es­pe­cially for them—lend­ing a ro­man­tic, dream­like air to each room.

In the liv­ing room, lightly tinted plas­ter, re­claimed beams, and wide-plank white oak floors act as the sub­dued back­drop for a fetch­ing mix of el­e­ments. A scal­loped rat­tan chan­de­lier and wo­ven con­sole add tex­ture and fem­i­nine al­lure while con­tem­po­rary pieces such as zigzag cock­tail tables and clean-lined so­fas im­bue a dash of mas­cu­line edgi­ness. Gilded-bronze Croco Seats by Claude Lalanne hold court be­neath vin­tage in­taglios.

Back-to-back so­fas di­vide the room into sep­a­rate spa­ces—one fac­ing the kitchen and meant for so­cial­iz­ing, the other ideal for cozy­ing in front of the fire­place or watch­ing tele­vi­sion. “Ev­ery time I visit, I think how prac­ti­cal the lay­out is,” Smith says. “The boys might be watch­ing car­toons on one sofa while Jacque­line and I are drink­ing wine on the other and her hus­band is cook­ing in the kitchen.”

With sim­i­larly strong fea­tures, the kitchen is the liv­ing room’s aes­thetic kin­dred spirit. Cus­tom cream-color cab­i­nets adorned with un­lac­quered-brass pulls meld ef­fort­lessly with the tinted plas­ter walls. Ce­ramic-and-an­tique-brass pen­dants il­lu­mi­nate a soap­stone­topped is­land and cus­tom oak farm ta­ble sur­rounded by wicker chairs with del­i­cate flo­ral cush­ions. Cala­catta mar­ble on the back­splash re­peats in a mar­ble-clad pantry punc­tu­ated by Jacque­line’s lu­mi­nes­cent col­lec­tion of jadeite dishes.

An equally en­chant­ing green swathes the walls of Jacque­line’s of­fice. Fresh and fem­i­nine, the room is a tran­quil re­treat in a male­dom­i­nated home. Ro­man­tic de­tails ban­ish testos­terone here. Re­claimed-oak floors are set in a chevron pat­tern, high­light­ing the planks’ contrasting tones. A vin­tage crys­tal chan­de­lier hangs

above a pati­nated ta­ble ar­ranged with cu­riosi­ties. A vel­vet 1950s Marco Zanuso chair paired with a ta­pes­try-clad ot­toman con­trasts a vin­tage fire­place man­tel.

“In a house filled with boys and an­i­mals, it’s an es­cape,” Jacque­line says, “and it cer­tainly makes bill-pay­ing feel a bit more glam­orous.”

Neither strictly mas­cu­line nor fem­i­nine, the din­ing room is a study in bal­ance—and his­tory. A weighty an­tique farm ta­ble har­mo­nizes with Louis XV-style chairs up­hol­stered in a bis­cuit-hue leather. The ta­ble—from a vine­yard tast­ing room in France—still wears the carved names of past din­ner guests as a ro­man­tic badge of honor. A French blue ar­moire lends el­e­gance to a ca­sual abaca rug, part of a gen­er­a­tional push and pull.

In this neck of the woods, how­ever, many an evening is whiled away out­doors rather than in. Dou­ble-decker screen porches con­nected by a stair­way are Jacque­line’s pre­ferred respite. Dubbed “his” and “hers”—although they’re more ac­tiv­ity-cen­tric than gen­der­spe­cific—one porch lends it­self to seafood boils and ta­ble ten­nis; the other plays to al­fresco lunches fea­tur­ing river views.

“Screen porches are the verge be­tween the out­side and the in­side,” ar­chi­tect Sum­mer­our says, “a mid­dle ground of wel­com­ing in­for­mal­ity.” Smith agrees—the de­sign at­ti­tude must be ut­terly invit­ing.

Be­fit­ting Mar­garet Mitchell as eas­ily as any mod­ern-day South­ern belle, “her” porch feels airy and slightly whim­si­cal. A ser­pen­tine wrought-iron arm­chair is up­hol­stered in a cyan hemp flo­ral that me­an­ders through­out the space—used for throw pil­lows on a per­fect-for-lazy-days sus­pended sofa and wicker rock­ing chairs. Cyan-painted floors and bold black-and-white striped pil­lows add bravado to the al­lur­ing space.

Bravado-free, ev­ery ma­te­rial in the gos­samer mas­ter bed­room lends it­self to ro­mance. A cham­pagne-hue vel­vet head­board be­decks a wal­nut-and-iron four-poster, ac­cent­ing its del­i­cate lines. Vo­lu­mi­nous bed linens with cro­cheted lace fringe pool atop a di­a­mond­pat­tern cus­tom rug. Silk cur­tains beau­tify an al­ready lus­cious view. “It’s so ethe­real,” Smith says. “Ev­ery ma­te­rial in­vites you to cozy up.”

In one of two ad­join­ing baths, a cus­tom wall­pa­per—a sepia-hue de­pic­tion of the home’s idyl­lic river view—cre­ates a lav­ish set­ting for a solid Car­rara mar­ble tub, a pol­ished ma­hogany van­ity, and a For­tuny-clad duchesse. All serve as in­ti­mate ex­am­ples of the care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion given by the cre­ative team, with their long­stand­ing his­tory, to ev­ery de­tail of this house on the hill.

“Part of what makes the house so invit­ing is the thought­ful­ness put into ev­ery inch of it,” Smith says. “It was a dream project.”

Ar­chi­tect: Keith Sum­mer­our

In­te­rior de­signer: Michelle Smith

Boys’ room Dark tole beds and a crisp ocher-and-gray pal­ette give the boys’ room a tai­lored yet cheer­ful feel. Mas­ter bed­room A four-poster from Rose Tar­low and a tufted an­tique chaise from Lo­bel Mod­ern an­chor this oth­er­wise ethe­real space. Mas­ter bath A cus­tom Gra­cie wall­cov­er­ing de­picts the home’s pic­turesque view.


Of­fice A mid­cen­tury Marco Zanuso chair up­hol­stered in cream vel­vet and a Louis XVI-style cane bergère prove that op­po­sites truly do at­tract.“Her” screen porch A sofa that dou­bles as a swing and pint-size wicker chairs from JANUS et Cie make for a fam­ily-friendly seat­ing area. Rat­tan chairs pull up to a Saari­nen ta­ble in the airy din­ing area. Pre­ced­ing pages Ar­chi­tect Keith Sum­mer­our de­signed the house to “em­brace the clas­si­cal tra­di­tions that Low Coun­try cot­tages tra­di­tion­ally only touch upon.” Jacque­line Bourg (left) and Michelle Smith on one of the screen porches.

Din­ing room Dreamy sheers from Casamance bal­ance the tex­tu­ral charm of the hand­wo­ven abaca rug from Pat­ter­son Flynn Martin.Kitchen A mostly monochro­matic cream kitchen with mar­ble ac­cents is a friendly foil for Jacque­line’s col­lec­tion of jadeite dishes.Ex­te­rior Sum­mer­our’s ap­proach­able touches in­clude a wel­com­ing front porch and dormer win­dows.

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