The only thing better than living on the water? Doing it in style. Which is why when we chose Daniel Island, South Carolina, as the site of this year’s Coastal Living showhouse, we wanted to make sure that the home we built there would feature oodles of bright ideas and plenty of inspiration. So we reached out to a veritable design dream team to get the job done: the architectural wizards at Our Town Plans, home builder Jamison Howard of Max Crosby Construction Co. Inc., and interior designer Ginger Brewton. They transformed a prime plot of land on the banks of the Wando River into a three-story plantation-style estate that expertly blends traditional architecture with modern, laid-back design and a colorful disposition. Here, we’ve asked our insiders to spill their tips and secrets for balancing form and function to help you introduce coastal charm into your own home.
Taking cues from the region’s distinctive style, Our Town Plans crafted a classic Lowcountry cottage with modern appeal. Sidelights and transoms around the front door reflect the trellis work on the porch and flood the entry with light.
In order to adhere to Daniel Island’s architectural specifications for new construction, the team equipped the home with a wide and welcoming front porch from AZEK—perfect for encouraging neighborhood mingling.
By opting for furniture with simple silhouettes, you can mix pieces with traditional and modern shapes for a living space with fresh appeal. Gold accents in the art by Thomas Swanston over the mantel bring some sparkle to the space.
The back porch is all about durability—from all-weather Sunbrella fabrics to water- and warp-resistant AZEK flooring. “I loved working with the tongue-and-groove fastening system,” says builder Jamison Howard.
Interior designer Ginger Brewton hung oversize pendants from Circa Lighting above the island to help delineate the kitchen within the home’s open floor plan. Swiveling barstools from Lee Industries make it easy to keep the conversation flowing between the kitchen and the adjoining living room.
Howard commissioned a local craftsman to build out a series of shelves and nooks in the back hallway, which leads out to the courtyard. “You can just throw things down when you walk in and keep on going,” he says. “It cuts down on mess and clutter.”
Get the look: The windows and doors are by Marvin.
To make the dining room feel like an extension of the attached screened porch, the team painted the ceiling a matching sky blue shade—Piazza blue by Sherwin-Williams—which is reflected beautifully in the crystal of the modern chandelier. A custom dining table takes its inspiration from the Wando river views just outside the windows with a steel sheet base meant to mimic the look of an oyster shell. The chairs surrounding it are dressed in easy-to-clean slipcovers crafted from Sunbrella fabric.
The beautiful suzani pattern on the sofa was the starting point for the lounge’s modern, Moroccan aesthetic. For additional interest, Brewton introduced an assortment of prints—quatrefoil pillows and zigzag shades—which reads as cool and not crazy due in part to the patterns’ vastly different scales.
Thanks to glass-front doors and painted cabinetry in a sophisticated blue hue, the bar area appears larger and more airy than its modest square footage would suggest. Two-tone barstools with navy backs help tie this functional spot to the adjoining lounge.
Get the look: The cabinets are painted Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams.
Color makes a big statement in the office, where Brewton added a surprise: bright, contemporary art against the heavily patterned, papered wall yields an unexpected, vibrant look. The subdued, lightly textured rug underfoot grounds the bevy of graphic prints.
Get the look: The wallpaper is from Meg Braff Designs. The chandelier and table lamp are from Circa Lighting. The chairs are by Lee Industries, and the desk is from Kistler Design Co. The windows are by Marvin.
Two-tone upholstery in emerald and forest hues on the chaise makes for a sweet spot to curl up with a book or an after-hours cocktail. “This was such a funky room, so the chair needed to be special,” says Brewton of the bold choice. “A solid fabric wasn’t going to cut it!”
The freestanding tub splits the master bath in half—with a vanity on each side—to ensure there’s plenty of room for cohabitating morning routines. The soft blue shade (Sherwin-Williams’s Mineral Deposit) on the vanities is a great fit for both feminine and masculine sensibilities.
An upholstered bench at the foot of the bed in the master suite is a pretty and practical spot for placing linens or sitting to put on shoes; plus, its pink hue is the ideal complement to the settee that defines the adjoining hallway for a seamless design.
Get the look: The walls are painted incredible White by Sherwin-Williams. The chandelier and lamps are from Circa Lighting. The curtains are made from Sunbrella fabric. The bed, bench, and ottoman are by Lee Industries, and the nightstands are from Tritter Feefer.
Brewton outfitted this delicate suite with a teenage girl in mind, capturing a traditionally feminine aesthetic with a dainty palette of soft greens and lavender. The hand-carved four-poster bed has an inherently romantic feel.
The team kept the interiors cohesive—despite the scale of the project—by repeating elements throughout. For example, in the girl’s bath, they utilized prints from the same Laura Ashley suite used in the bedroom and built in identical transoms to those on the home’s ground level.
Brewton upholstered a traditional headboard in a lively, graphic print for the boy’s room, a juxtaposition that brings a sense of fun and excitement to the small space. A simple, textured bedspread is the perfect finishing touch.
One of Howard’s favorite technical additions—a retractable shade crafted from all-weather Sunbrella fabric—rolls up to reveal 360-degree water views and down for privacy on the second-floor balcony, outfitted with furniture from Lloyd/Flanders.
Be a neutral party.
Because the upstairs balcony is connected to both the master suite and the girl’s bedroom, Brewton decided to keep the palette as neutral as possible. So as not to compete with the rooms’ different color schemes, she brought in just a touch of green, the one color repeated in both spaces.
The sunny yellow outdoor furniture was thoughtfully arranged around the super-size fire pit to create a patio that is comfortable for entertaining a large group or for more intimate sunset viewings. Pillows in durable outdoor fabric complete the cozy look.
Landscape architect Jeff Elliott opted for low-maintenance man-made concrete pavers from Belgard Hardscapes for the back patio. While the material looks and feels like natural stone, it’s been specially reinforced to stand up to even the most harsh coastal environs.
Our Town Plans paid special attention to the rear elevations of the home, constructing outdoor spaces on both levels as a nod to the porch-loving culture of the South and as a way to make sure the view of the house from the water is as lovely as it is from the street.
Get the look: The siding and trim are painted Sherwin-William’s Falling Star and Extra White, respectively.