"Each outdoor living area has a different character because of its location and amenities," says Joel. But all of the exterior spaces encourage homeowners to interact with the environment. "You might not go sit under a tree," says Joel, "but you would definitely sit out on the porch or patio and enjoy the view."
The side porch's wicker furnishings, arranged in two groupings, wear light charcoal cushions and gray-and-white striped pillows. "I love this whole palette; it's really soft and muted," says Linda. The designer aimed to kindle a sophisticated, understated mood. Silvery dried palmetto leaves sprout from a centerpiece. Gas lanterns flicker romantically at dusk. "It's my urban interpretation of a Southern porch," she says.
But because of the durable materials, adults will still feel comfortable with children romping around the room. The fabrics are rain resistant and pillow-fight proof. A retractable screen opens for a clear view, or closes to protect against insects. "This has the look of a bygone porch, but the ease of maintenance with modern products," says Linda. "People want the look, but not the worry."
With a backdrop of awe-inspiring oaks, the landscape architects chose plantings that would fit seamlessly into the environment. "The scale of the plants is low because the trees are so large and magnificent," says Shannon Lindsay of The Greenery, Inc. "We didn't want to compete with them."
lan Jackson adds, "We also used low plantings in the front to show off the building's attractive foundation." The effect is both welcoming and trim. Taller bushes grow behind the house for privacy, but many species appear all around the property. "We found plants that would grow in both shade and sun, to give consistency to the back and front yards," says Alan.
The landscapers selected varieties based on the area's high temperatures and specific soil quality. Azaleas and camellias flourish here. "You'll only see six or seven types of plants," says Alan. "In a small lot like this, if you use too many things it gets busy." But, he adds, "We included enough diversity so there'd be blooms and fragrances at alternating times of the year."
"The biggest challenges in our area are the building requirements," says Joel. Seaside homes must adhere to stringent hurricane codes. The design team used 2- by 6-inch exterior walls, impact-rated windows, and cellulose insulation to create an extremely solid home.
"In the event of a hurricane, I know this house wouldn't just blow away," says builder Richard Young of J.T. Turner Construction. The tie-down system's threaded rods start from the foundation, go through the walls, and attach to the roof. Richard's also sure the banks of glass won't shatter. "These windows go through a testing process where a cannon shoots 2-by-4s at them at 130 miles per hour," he says.
Other materials were chosen to emulate the Lowcountry aesthetic. "When you think of a beach house from the '30s and '40s, you think of exposed studs and boarding," says Joel. "This cottage is evocative of a much simpler style." Contemporary builders must use insulation, but the spare trimwork recalls that era. Both outside and in, the team used manufactured brick that has an older, hand-molded character. Smears of mortar add to the aged look. And with time, the exterior copper flashing will verdigris beautifully.
Metal roofs crown a number of homes in the village. Manufactured in a spectrum of colors, they create an interesting streetscape. "It helps the town look like it evolved over time, since people might prefer different styles through the years," Joel says. And the roofs have the added benefit of being durable and practically maintenance-free.
"Building in the coastal environment takes extra work," admits Richard. "But the results are bulletproof."
Coastal Living would like to extend our appreciation to Boral Brick, Farrow & Ball, West Fraser, Louis Sterling, McElroy Metal, NDI, Lynn Parrott, Phantom Screens, Samuel & Sons, Seasons South, and Vermilion. Your products and talents add a distinctive touch to our project.