Rendering of the 2018 Idea House
Naomi Leeman

The drop-dead gorgeous location, our talented design team, a colorful preview: it’s the sneak peek you’ve been waiting for.

By Taylor Eisenhauer

Each year, the Coastal Living Idea House blends the best in architecture, building, and decorating inspiration to embody the spirit of the coast in one dreamy package. For 2018, we’re raising the bar even higher. Here’s the scoop:

Habersham, South Carolina
Courtesy of Jessica Ashley

The Location

This year’s Idea House is in one of our 20 Best Places to Live: Habersham, South Carolina. Located just seven miles from Beaufort, South Carolina, this master-planned community has a New Urbanism-inspired design that still feels classic. The National Association of Home Builders even awarded Habersham the title of Best Neighborhood Design in America.

Both a Coastal Living community and a Southern Living-inspired community, Habersham exemplifies the authentic and mellow waterfront life native to the Lowcountry. Stroll through woodland and waterfront parks, shop at the Main Street Marketplace, or enjoy outdoor activities, like boating and fishing.

Splashy kitchen designed by Keenan for a Sullivan's Island beach house previously featured in Coastal Living
Photo: J. Savage Gibson; Design: Jenny Keenan; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

The Designer

Charleston, South Carolina-based designer Jenny Keenan brings her distinctive coastal-meets-modern vision to this year’s Idea House. With over a decade of experience in the Lowcountry, Keenan knows how to balance her clients’ taste and lifestyle with timeless design ideas that will always be relevant.

While the interiors complement the exterior’s classic lines, Keenan expands beyond the classic colors. “The mix of color, pattern, and texture we have in store is rich and playful,” she says. To temper the drama of layering pattern upon pattern and color upon color, Keenan also introduces organic elements, like wood, to keep the space feeling “casual and natural.”

Keenan adds the finishing touches to the design with her signature combination of creative lighting and original artwork.

Keenan is a member of Coastal Living Designer Network and has been featured in the past. See more of her work here and here.

First floor plan
Moser Design Group
Second floor plan
Moser Design Group

The Architecture

Moser Design Group, Inc., a residential design and New Urbanist planning firm based in Beaufort, South Carolina, capitalizes on the stunning views afforded by the cottage’s location on the banks of the Broad River. “Our goal was to create spaces filled with light offering the opportunity to throw the doors open, and enjoy the wonderful coastal environment,” says Eric Moser, president of Moser Design Group. He creates seamless transitions from interior to exterior, starting with a broad front porch that enters into a generous living space, which flows out to a large screened porch and a courtyard beyond.

A resident of Habersham himself, Moser specializes in making homes meant for the long haul, using sustainable materials and new configurations and technologies.

For the Idea House, Moser seeks to maintain the character of a small coastal cottage while working on a grander scale. “We designed a main cottage connecting to a library wing that extends to the master bedroom cottage,” he says. Moser also keeps the cottage feeling traditional with classic lines. But he adds a modern twist—a black-and-white exterior color palette.

Moser even makes sure to include a few surprises. Be on the look out for a hidden prep kitchen, a stair tower with a jaw-dropping view, and a range of wooden interiors.

WATCH: How to Design a Chic and Family-Friendly Dining Room

The Builder

Part of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program, Allen Patterson Residential built this year’s Idea House. Tracing its roots in the Beaufort, South Carolina, area back to the early 19th century, the Patterson family focuses on tradition and quality workmanship, while incorporating the latest in technology and tools. Southern Living recognized Patterson’s Midtown redevelopment neighborhood in downtown Beaufort as its 2013 Home Awards’ “Community Development of the Year.”

The Dates

Along with appearing in our September 2018 issue, the Idea House will open to the public on July 5 and remain open for tours through October 28. Stay tuned for information on hotels, restaurants, and other info to help plan your trip.

Our Partners

A special thank you to our sponsors: AZEK® Building Products, Belgard, Carolina Lanterns & Lighting, Circa Lighting, James Hardie BuildingProducts, Inc., LEE Industries, Lloyd Flanders®Marvin Windows and Doors, and VELUX Skylights.