The cottage's front door opens onto a welcoming great room swathed in warm, earthy tones. "This place was historically a hunting camp," says interior designer Linda Woodrum, "and I wanted the house to have a natural, masculine feel."
Accessories reflect the home's embrace of the outdoors. Faux bois (fake wood) urns on burlap-covered pedestals flank the entry. Fanciful birds prepare to take flight from throw pillows. A woven sea-grass basket, endemic to the Lowcountry, rests on a coffee table with barley-twist legs.
Architectural elements contribute to the richly textured space. The walls' horizontal boards and simple molding give the room depth. "I love the detailing," says Linda. "We painted the ceilings because it shows off the fantastic trimwork." She adds, "Some people feel that painting the ceiling makes the room feel lower, but it's not true."
Linda also bends the rules by combining different wood finishes. "I believe you can mix all types of wood together," she says. "They have an inherent connection that always works." A tight-back, leather, West Indies-style sofa boasts ratcheted arms that fold down, turning the couch into an extra sleeper. Two heavily distressed ebony dressers and mirrors border the kitchen's center entrance. Dark-chocolate-stained antique heart-pine flooring extends throughout the house, allowing the rooms to melt into one another.
Distinctive artwork, including sepia photographs of farmland displayed in relief on acid-washed metal, adds a dash of personality. A South Carolina landscape by artist West Fraser hangs above the fireplace's antique heart-pine mantel. To unite all of the hues, Linda chose woven rugs with slashes of russet, sage, and pumpkin.
But, she says, "It's not just about the fabrics and furniture; it's about the environment you create."
"The kitchen holds little clues about how we tried to reinvent the past," says Linda. A soft gray color on the walls and ceiling mimics decades-old whitewashed limestone. Seeded-glass cabinetry, thick with bubbles, lends character. "This room could have been here 100 years ago, but we did add plumbing," Linda says, laughing.
Despite its old-world charm, the kitchen delivers modern conveniences. A stainless-steel refrigerator uses a multichannel airflow system to remove odor and excess humidity?a must in this seaside environment. The frost-free freezer is located at the bottom of the unit. A wine refrigerator stores up to 54 bottles. A 36-inch stove features high-performance burners and contoured controls.
Other appliances hide in an oversize island with a deep stainless sink and shelved storage under an African Iroko hardwood countertop. In the dining area, leather-covered seating with nail-head trim surrounds a trestle table. At the ends, two cushy wing chairs ensure the space will be used well past mealtime.
"An entryway should tell you about the entire house," says Linda. This side entrance evidences the warm color palette and strong symmetry that recur in each room. Sunflowers peer out of a salvaged smoke-charred chimney at the bottom of the staircase. Black spool lamps and a metal sculpture of pears rest on the credenza. "The pears on a pedestal are a little off balance," Linda says. "It lets visitors know that there are going to be some surprises in this home."
Two bold abstract paintings enliven the cream-colored master bedroom. "I love that everything in this room is so traditional, and then the modern art adds just a punch of color," says Linda. "The painting's browns and coppery golds relate well to the wicker and wood tones," she explains.