Sec­ond Na­ture


Traditional Home - - Contents - For more in­for­ma­tion, see sources on page 102

A New York fam­ily ap­plies its dis­cern­ing style to a re­laxed va­ca­tion home on South Carolina’s Ki­awah Is­land.

Cer­tain things just can’t be taken from one house to an­other. Dif­fer­ences in light and land­scape de­mand that a new ad­dress have its own aes­thetic per­son­al­ity.

Such was the case for the Ki­awah Is­land, South Carolina, va­ca­tion home of Christina An­der­son, her hus­band, and their four chil­dren. Used as an es­cape from the big-city life of Manhattan, the ocean­front abode rev­els in the beauty of its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings. Perched 800 miles south of the struc­tured daily sched­ule that in­cludes school and work, the house aban­dons all for­mal­ity to usher in re­lax­ation and play.

But a change in lo­ca­tion didn’t leave be­hind Christina’s dis­cern­ing level of taste and re­fine­ment—or her keen at­ten­tion to de­tail. She clearly ar­tic­u­lates a style that her­alds the street vibe of New York and the craft of the Hud­son Val­ley. In the fam­ily va­ca­tion home, how­ever, she wanted to re­tain those el­e­ments within in­te­ri­ors that ex­ude the feel­ing of a serene oa­sis.

En­ter Cort­ney Bishop. The Charleston-based in­te­rior de­signer proved the per­fect vi­sion­ary for the An­der­son home. Af­ter all, she knew the house. She’d been around it for decades.

“My par­ents bought a house there, so I grew up on that street look­ing at that house,” Bishop, a 2014 New Trad hon­oree, says. “Back then, the house looked very dif­fer­ent.” To­day, it boasts the beauty of a struc­tural ren­o­va­tion for this fam­ily by ar­chi­tect Mark Maresca.

“He rec­om­mended me for the project to take the in­te­ri­ors the rest of the way, so they would be more youth­ful and mod­ern than what is tra­di­tion­ally seen on Ki­awah Is­land,” Bishop says.

Taken down to the studs by Maresca, the An­der­sons’ new res­i­dence, orig­i­nally built in the 1970s as a spec house, shared noth­ing in com­mon with its for­mer it­er­a­tion. Maresca’s ros­ter of al­ter­ations in­cluded chang­ing ev­ery win­dow and ev­ery room con­fig­u­ra­tion, re­work­ing the roof lines, elim­i­nat­ing un­us­able porches that mea­sured only 4 feet deep, and cre­at­ing a co­he­sive­ness be­tween the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior and with the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

“It’s not un­usual to have a house that be­comes old and dated over time,” Maresca says. “But what made no sense in this case is that the house didn’t take ad­van­tage of the gor­geous views. There

was no con­nec­tion to the ocean or the sur­round­ing trees. Now most of the rooms have at least two ex­po­sures to the out­doors. It’s no longer just about the house but the lo­ca­tion as well.”

Along with Christina’s so­phis­ti­cated taste came a so­phis­ti­cated pal­ette to give her the light and bright am­bi­ence she dreamed of. Clas­sic sen­si­bil­i­ties led her to avoid ask­ing for bold col­ors. In­stead, tonal vari­a­tion comes through tex­ture.

Maresca lay­ered in a warm, tac­tile vibe ar­chi­tec­turally with beamed ceil­ings, shiplap and beaded-board pan­el­ing, and mar­ble on bath­room walls.

Bishop took the cue and en­hanced it us­ing nat­u­ral tex­tiles, pat­terned rugs with nubby fin­ishes, leather, and fur­ni­ture in sculp­tural forms, some of which the An­der­sons brought from their New York home.

The pre­vail­ing light and airy mood begged for an el­e­ment to in­ject a visual jolt with­out dis­rupt­ing the flow be­tween rooms. The de­sign col­lab­o­ra­tive pulled from the edgi­ness of the New York City street scene, ush­er­ing black into the scheme.

Used to ac­cen­tu­ate and punc­tu­ate the lyri­cal stair rail, kitchen cab­i­netry, ceil­ings in the li­brary and bunk room, and rugs through­out the house, black serves as a graphic tool that gives the in­te­ri­ors at­ti­tude and a bit of hard­ness to con­trast the soft neu­trals. Most no­table in the kitchen, a black pat­tern on state­ment tile an­chors the room and co­or­di­nates with painted cab­i­netry.

“We were ex­cited about the bold pat­tern of the tile,” Bishop says. “We needed strength in color with­out go­ing to solid black. This kitchen isn’t huge, so the pat­tern gives it the back­bone to stand up against the larger rooms. The dark­ness of the floor, range, and cab­i­nets al­lows the cerused oak is­land to shine.”

Style wasn’t the only di­rec­tive that Christina brought to de­sign dis­cus­sions. Prac­ti­cal­ity and sense of fam­ily were high on her list, too. Case in point: the bunk room. Christina wanted the chil­dren to be to­gether. A suite that carves out space for a play­room and sleep­ing quar­ters en­sures the kids re­main con­nected.

“Christina knows that this is a spe­cial time in her chil­dren’s lives, and she wanted them to be to­gether,” Maresca says. “Bunk rooms should be tight and in­ti­mate. The kids can see and talk to each other, all while tak­ing in the view of the ocean.”

Porch Sit­u­ated to look out onto the pool, the cov­ered porch fea­tures fur­ni­ture that adds sub­tle pat­tern with cush­ions in sim­ple stripes. “The out­door spa­ces are a mix of places to en­joy the wa­ter and shaded ar­eas where they can be com­fort­able and take in the acres of grassy ar­eas and mar­itime for­est,” Maresca says. Liv­ing room An over­size sec­tional with stained wood feet is tai­lored in­stead of wear­ing a loose slip­cover. Ren­dered in wal­nut, a large cock­tail ta­ble speaks to the home’s ar­ti­sanal qual­i­ties.


Bishop stretched a tribal-theme run­ner across the length of the bunk room to lay a light­hearted path to the play­room, where a round ta­ble and shapely chairs guar­an­tee that the room is func­tional and good-look­ing, too.

Clearly, this beach house doesn’t sub­scribe to a con­ven­tional blue-and-white scheme with stripes and nov­elty pat­terns. It does, how­ever, meet the re­quire­ments for respite and de­liver a sense of peace and tran­quil­ity.

“When we de­signed the house, we wanted to avoid the con­ven­tions that have de­fined clas­sic beach house style—they of­ten felt stuffy and dated,” Christina says. “In­stead, we wanted to de­sign a home that felt bright and serene but also play­ful and wel­com­ing to our chil­dren and their friends.”

Ar­chi­tect: Mark Maresca In­te­rior de­signer: Cort­ney Bishop


Fam­ily room With ma­jes­tic ocean views as its prime ac­ces­sory, the fam­ily room is fur­nished with mid­cen­tury-in­spired bleached wood chairs from McGuire, a striped rug, a mélange of tex­tu­ral pil­lows, and a cutout cock­tail ta­ble that im­plies the room isn’t too se­ri­ous. Ex­te­rior Ar­chi­tect Mark Maresca reen­vi­sioned the 1970s home. Foyer An an­tique Moroc­can rug soft­ens the en­try, which boasts a re­laxed take on tra­di­tional style.A lamb sculp­ture by a Ger­man artist ex­tends a youth­ful tone.Pre­ced­ing pages Christina An­der­son with daugh­ters Piper and In­dia.

Bunk room suite Hand­wo­ven blan­kets from In­done­sia cover each bed with a hand-touched qual­ity. Lights cater to each child’s needs—with no need to dis­turb room­mates. The black ceil­ing adds to the in­ti­macy of the space, mak­ing the chil­dren feel co­cooned and com­fort­able. Black re­peats on the bath­room’s farm­house trough sink from Kohler. The play­room pro­vides a spot for Dy­lan, Piper, In­dia, and Kai to play games and store their toys.“I love the arches that Mark cre­ated,” Bishop says. “There’s some­thing spe­cial about be­ing able to dream in­side these spe­cial shapes.”

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