Amidst live oaks in South Carolina, our 2002 Cottage of the Year offers ideas in seaside architecture, interior design, and salt-marsh landscaping.
Lacey N. Howard
1 of 7Photo: Brian Vanden Brink
In late afternoon, the community of Habersham in Beaufort, South Carolina, welcomes high tide. Water ripples where a few hours earlier there was only puddled marsh, and the sun casts a golden path on the choppy Broad River. Pelicans fish for dinner in tall grasses rising above the water's surface. and boats meander through narrow channels that define the river's junction with Habersham Creek.
Live oaks dripping in Spanish moss dominate the Lowcountry landscape. "We designed around the major trees to preserve the natural environment," says developer Bob turner. Roads curve around the sprawling giants.
2 of 7Photo: Brian Vanden Brink
Inside the front door, in place of a traditional foyer, a long pine dining table invites guests into the cottage. With two 18-inch leaves, the table stretches more than 8 feet, easily accommodating eight ladder-back armchairs. A low-hung chandelier brings intimate lighting to the table. If a party's in the works, the chairs can be pulled away and the table becomes a perfect buffet.
3 of 7Photo: Brian Vanden Brink
Natural Color and Light
In the great room, reclaimed heart-pine floors show off their natural color. Interior designer, Linda Woodrum, chose to paint the standard pine flooring throughout the rest of the home. She says, "When you have beautiful antique heart pine, contrast it with paint and it'll look even better."
A brightly striped, woven rug defines a traditional family room. Around a brick fireplace are sofas in soft yellow chenille and a pair of rattan armchairs separated by a skirted round table. A generous coffee table displays a shell collection.
The hardworking kitchen is equipped for a big family or lots of guests and the cottage's open floor plan allows hosts to participate in the party. "I love the way the kitchen is integrated into the living area," Linda says, noting the cook's ability to pass samples over the island.
Plump tomatoes ripen on a window ledge above the kitchen sink, with water views beyond. Open shelving brings an airy feel to the room. One wall displays a white pitcher collection, while cookbooks below are within easy reach. The cream-colored cupboards echo living room tones.
A black bed with posts resembling oversize chess pieces commands attention in the master bedroom. Luxurious linens, a quilted coverlet, and down-filled pillows and comforter soften the large frame.
Overhead, exposed beams add texture, while a whisper-quiet, 52-inch ceiling fan circulates incoming breezes. The bed's black-and-white theme carries over to other areas of the room with checked fabric—a soft throw, a chair cushion, and ribbon tabs topping window sheers. Beyond red double doors, a private porch awaits.
The master bath looks out to a lush courtyard. "Each component of the house has a spectacular view," says residential designer Eric Moser.
A deep window ledge framing three sides of the tub holds glass votives for mood lighting. Built-in cabinets, drawers, and twin walk-in closets provide more than enough storage.
7 of 7Photo: Brian Vanden Brink
Durable Yet Functional
A wide porch stretches across the cottage's face, welcoming passersby. "Part of a cottage community is sitting on the porch and chatting," Linda says. Durable composite decking in 3-inch tongue-and-groove planks gives all of the porches an old-fashioned feel. But this modern material won't rot, warp, or crack.
For more information about the products featured in this home, please see the November/December 2002 issue ofCoastal Livingmagazine.