Beach House Tour: South Carolina River House

At the heart of every coastal house is an extraordinary setting. Here, along the South Carolina shoreline, a charming Lowcountry cottage compound is modeled after traditional outbuildings, drawing inspiration from its island setting. Fishermen on the Colleton River, in South Carolina, can barely make out the contours of the house through a screen of live oaks swathed in Spanish moss. What lies half-hidden in that tidal estuary is a low-slung compound of three cottages and a carriage house, joined by a covered breezeway running parallel to the river. Architectural designer James Strickland modeled his ideas after the scattering of barns, smokehouses, and sheds that accrues on plantation grounds. “It’s a tin-roof kind of place—nothing like the grand plantation house,” the homeowner says. “We wanted something that reflected Lowcountry traditions.” By Michael Cannell. Rather than a grand entry hall, the welcoming element here is a 113-foot-long, tongue-and-groove pine breezeway that leads to the main cottage and unites the four buildings. The Shaker-style front door is mahogany with paneled sidelights. The bright white painted railing and the dark shutters create a beautiful coastal contrast. Bright and airy coastal living room with slipcover white sofa and blue geometric print slipcover chairs face each other creating the prefect coastal conversation seating. A tall, metal-framed skylight pours light into the white on white classic coastal cottage kitchen. The island countertops are Carrara marble and East Hampton style wooden barstools sit just under for a lovely contrast of light and dark.  A nautical inspired ship cargo style light hangs over the dainty breakfast table with iron aqua painted chairs. Shiplap walls wrap this bunkhouse bedroom. A deep, screened-in sitting room offers access to the outdoors without the nuisance of bugs and helps keep the bedroom shaded and cool. The whitewashed flooring, colorful madras quilts and life ring pillows give the bunk room a whimsical nautical touch. Blue and white ticking coastal bedding paired with beautiful blue print draperies in this sunlit master bedroom creates a coastal resort design. A patio with a black-bottomed lap pool and hot tub at the heart of the compound, between the main house and guest accommodations. The flooring is Savannah Grey bricks, an antique variety with mortar handmade from ground oyster shells. Local bricks made from ground oyster shells strengthen the patio’s connection to its surroundings. 

Take a tour of this lovely South Carolina river house. Peek inside this South Carolina river house to see all the beautiful coastal design detials.


South Carolina River House  Photo: Peter Frank Edwards; Styling: Ginny Branch

The Team
Architectural designer: Historical Concepts
Interior designers: Shelley Wilkins and Joni Vanderslice of of J Banks Design
Builder: John Clements
Landscape architect: Donald Hooten


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