When interior designer Cortney Bishop began working on a project located on Sullivan's Island off the coast of South Carolina, her objective was to create a true beach retreat meant for summer weekend getaways. "My goal was to create a space that was comfortable and cozy, relaxed yet cool," she tells MyDomaine.
Thanks to a few renovations, inspiration from the home's dreamy surroundings, and some unique décor finds, Bishop and her team were able to bring their vision to life and create a space fit for the family of five (which includes three teenage boys and two dogs) that calls the space home.
The four bedroom, five bathroom restored beach bungalow spans 2600 square feet and was originally built in 1936. Because of this, its original architecture led Bishop's design process and offered a great starting point for the more modern aspects of the finished home to build off of.
Ready to take a break from your day? Keep scrolling for a look inside this cozy southern beach house that combines traditional architecture with fresh design elements.
According to Bishop, durability was key for designing this relaxing home for a large family. "We selected furnishings that were stylish and cool, yet family-friendly," the designer explains. "We created a design rich in color and texture to reflect their laid-back way of living—instant layers and depth," she adds.
This style is on full display in the living room where a textured sectional topped with a variety of throw pillows offers a comfy place for the family to hang out surrounded by other coastal-inspired pieces.
A closer look at the living room details reveals rustic hardwood floors, beachy panel walls painted a crisp white shade of paint, and a colorful photograph of the sun setting over the ocean. "This is a true island getaway home," according to Bishop and the interiors prove it.
More textures and layers are prominent in this additional sitting area. "We had to think about fabrics that would hide wear," Bishop explains. With this in mind, the designer and her team went for textured, woven fabrics. "We call it 'a nubby'—fabrics that evoke warmth with either a small pattern or multiple colors of yarn. According to her, they're incredibly practical for young families and anyone with pets because of their ability to hide stains.
The kitchen continues the trend of layers and textures found throughout the beach house. It's what contributes to the home's casual, lived in vibe, which happens to be Bishops favorite thing about the space. "Even though everything is new to our client, it feels like they've lived there for a good while," she points out.
"Once we land on a foundation of furnishings, we start layering in art and one-of-a-kind finds," according to Bishop. "I'm a huge proponent of sprinkling in vintage into every project," she continues.
The dining room is a prime example of this. The A-frame architectural creates an initial visual interest while a bold, blue table, colorful Moroccan-inspired rug, and rustic chandelier make the space truly original.
Bishop looked to her surroundings and the home's existing architecture for inspiration throughout the design process for this project. "The home had great bones—original heart of pine floors, tongue groove wood walls, and higher ceilings with exposed beams," she explains.
"We cultured a design presentation that fit the bungalow vibe of the original home, but added in furnishings that offered layered warmth and coziness," Bishop shares. One look at this bedroom filled with textured throw blankets, pillows, and other details and it's clear she pulled off the desired comfy look.
The South Carolina beach home strays from the traditional all-white color palette so often found in coastal abodes. Instead, Bishop opted for a more natural approach dictated by what she saw through the home's windows.
"From the front porch, you can see views of the Atlantic Ocean and out back on the deck feels like you're immersed in a palmetto jungle," the designer notes. Taking this all in made the color scheme easy to develop, according to Bishop. "It's earthy, organic, rich, and true," she says.
Perhaps the dreamiest spot in the entire home is outside in the backyard where a plunge pool is surrounded by a white deck, wooden chairs, and lush greenery. From the interiors to the exteriors, it was important for Bishop and her team to "preserve the original charm of the home but also modernize it into real time," the designer explains.
She seems to have done just that, as the 83-year-old home feels equally fresh and lived in. As Bishop puts it, "the house started as a beautifully built cottage and by the end of the project, it felt like you were wrapped up in a really cozy blanket."