Island Life, English Style - Courtyard

Text by Elizabeth Raines Beeler
Interiors flow easily into the home's courtyard, where a lap pool and comfortable seating make the area a sanctuary. Simple, cast-stone columns and pilasters direct the eye to a porthole-style window that looks into the master suite's vestibule. Copper lanterns line the loggia's ceiling, providing ambience for entertaining after dark.

The presence of water refreshes and cools the courtyard on warm days. "The size of the pool complements the space," says Spencer Nash, landscape architect for Kiawah Development Partners. "It's just large enough to get in but not so small that it feels like a fountain." Three water features produce a soothing sound that mutes distractions and invites friends and family to relax. Teak furniture and large, mattresslike pillows, made to survive inclement weather, welcome lounging. Outdoor fabric and trims in sea-blue colors endure season after season, despite direct sun and afternoon showers.

Jackye mixed two styles of furniture to add variety and make the courtyard feel like a room. Straight-lined teak pieces contrast the loggia's curvilinear aluminum tables. A dining table hosts candlelit dinners serviced by a nearby outdoor kitchen.

Spencer chose mosaic glass tile for the pool. "I wanted to use something that would tie into the pool but would also throw a splash of color into the gardens," he says. Surrounding foliage reflects the house's style. "The textures of the grasses and the colors of the flowers are consistent with what you would see in Europe," Spencer says. "I wanted to hold true to landscape design during the Arts and Crafts era."

The raised brick planter beyond the pool provides a platform for landscaping and also scales down the high exterior wall. "I saw the brick as an opportunity to mix in a different material," explains Spencer. The darker color of the brick breaks the space up and coordinates the stucco tabby wall with poolside paving.