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Spring Island, South Carolina

AT FIRST GLANCE, this waterfront compound is unassuming and inconspicuous, but a closer look reveals a home that draws drama not from its presence but from its surroundings. Despite the need for a generous amount of space, the clients were determined to preserve the charm of the native ecosystem and the views of its abundant wildlife across an ever-changing marsh. To sustain the serenity of the site and the sense of discovery experienced in the primordial-esque forest at the property’s edge, the design team let the natural beauty of the setting guide them, weaving together four distinct and humble structures to compose a harmonious home. The compound; a main dwelling, two guesthouses, and a carriage house; has no dominant façade or obvious front door. Instead, the home’s centerpiece is a long breezeway that frames a stunning view through mature trees to the river beyond. When approached by land, the meandering assemblage of buildings invites you to look right through it rather than at it. From the river, the buildings shy away under the canopy of Live Oaks and Spanish moss. This unity with the landscape continues inside, where nearly every room enjoys a view of the coastal setting.

Interior Design: J. Banks Design ~ Landscape Architecture: Hooten Land Design ~ Builder: Clements Construction of Frogmore ~ Photography: Richard Leo Johnson

Most striking about this dwelling is that
it does not strike you with its presence.

THE HEART OF THIS HOME IS ITS BREEZEWAY, an open air hallway paralleling the river between the main house and guest houses. Ascending on to the 110’ long breezeway, the entry comes into view. Welcoming you inside, the front door opens to reveal a living room awash in light but warmed by a ceiling of hand-hewn beams and trusses. Throughout the main dwelling, touches of reclaimed wood with a weathered patina sets a rustic-meets-refined tone. This eclectic use of materials provides a backdrop where traditional antiques and contemporary art are equally at home.

ILLUMINATED BY A LARGE METAL-FRAMED SKYLIGHT, vestiges of white paint give the kitchen ceiling a soft patina.
The dining room steps down to address the river and is wrapped with windows for expansive views of the water’s edge.

Materials gathered from old barns find a new home in the barn-style carriage house.

reclaimed wood is put to use in both functional and decorative elements of the design, including a rustic bureau, agrarian cupola, and rugged newel post.

A step down from the breezeway, a spa and lap pool overlook the Colleton River.

upper level balconies provide quiet places for enjoying the coastal panorama.