Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, a beautiful, seemingly untouched natural preserve on 20,000 acres has become the ultimate vacation destination for a family with two young children. While they primarily live and work in New York City, they fell in love with the Lowcountry gem and decided to purchase property.
The inspiration for the vacation home came from the location, of course, but also designer Cortney Bishop's first impressions of the couple. “She’s elegant, smart and sophisticated,” she says. “They’re a very dynamic couple with high-stress jobs, so they wanted this house to be a reprieve and be serene even with two young kids.”
Bishop worked collaboratively with the clients and Pearce Scott Architects in choosing the exterior finishes and color palettes, something which helped the family feel confident that Bishop “would take them to the finish line,” she says.
In this home, the finishes are incredibly important. Unlacquered brass added a touch of warmth and old-world charm, while the metal front door and metal banquette window keep the home feeling more modern transitional than Southern traditional, which is the direction many of Palmetto Bluff homes lean. “Materials are just as important to us as furnishings,” remarks Bishop.
Checkerboard marble balances the entryway and front room, while shiplap, a traditional coastal material, was utilized throughout the interior for a softer, warmer appeal than plain sheetrock. Eight-inch horizontal shiplap comes off both architectural and modern. “It’s all about layering in this home, the materials and the balance throughout that makes it feel warm and cozy,” she adds.
Furthermore, Southern tobacco barns were an initial inspiration when it came to the vernacular, as well as an age-old building material, tabby, known as Lowcountry or coastal concrete, which is made from a mix of lime, same, water and crushed oyster shells. “We thought tabby would be a great addition for the chimney,” Bishop remarks.
“You see it on the base of many houses, but we wanted to pull the element a bit deeper.” The kitchen, awash in Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze, “a dark bronzy purple brown that’s a lovely grounding paint color,” is complemented by honed Calacatta Arabescato Vagli marble and The Urban Electric Co.’s Chiltern Double pendant.
The installation, which was completed over Fourth of July 2018, compliments the architecture and provides a soothing, tailored look for the family, that is equally luxe as it is child-friendly.
“They wanted to come in and feel like the house is turnkey,” she says. “They loved an earthy palette, elements of femininity, and tailored fabrics and furnishings.”
Some of Bishop’s favorite spaces include the grand dining room, which features a dramatic vaulted ceiling, walnut table from Jacob May Designs and Laura Kirar Maketto side tables.
The living room, a generous, comfortable space for the whole family has Kelly Wearstler for EJ Victor swivel chairs, an antique coffee table and Gillian Bryce snakeskin side table. Then there’s the entryway, one of the designer’s most enjoyable spaces to design featuring a gorgeous Moroccan rug, Lawson Fenning Griffin Console and art by Sabine Marcelis.
The couple’s master, a neutral, textured retreat, has an EJ Victor Hutton King Bed, Harwood House drapery and an antique 1940s burlwood side table.
Overall, the interiors are subdued, elevated and harmonious with the home’s Southern architecture and surroundings and will hopefully provide the family a place to relax for many years to come.