The secret behind this Palmetto Bluff home’s comfortable elegance? Collaboration.
Photography courtesy of COURT ATKINS GROUP
WITH MORE THAN 100 Palmetto Bluff homes under Court Atkins Group’s collective belt, fresh inspiration is essential to ensure a dynamic design process and results wholly unique. So where does an acclaimed architect like William Court, partner at the multidisciplinary firm, find such illumination? In the relationships formed with each project, both professional and personal.
“The homes that wear the best and fit the best for the family are the ones that have a strong relationship between the architect, builder, interior designer and client,” says Court. “When you have an invested client who wants to let everyone do their best work, it is really special. This project was certainly like that.”
“The homes that wear the best and fit the best for the family are the ones that have a strong relationship between the architect, builder, interior designer and client.” — William Court
The project in question, a gleaming, white new build set against the hazy gray of Palmetto Bluff’s alluring marshes, is like something straight from Nancy Meyer’s playbook. Court’s genius shines atop the central mass, where a glass cupola sits. The feature distinguishes the home from its familiar farmhouse neighbors and draws eager eyes down to an inviting bank of mahogany French doors tucked underneath the porch’s metal roof, perched atop runs of Savannah gray brick and tabby.
To create interiors worthy of the perfectly proportioned façade, the homeowners sought out interior designer Kelly Caron, ASID (Kelly Caron Designs), who worked closely with Court and builder Ron Strimpfel (Reclamation by Design), for a year to design their dream home — one exemplifying lived-in luxury. With an easygoing, open floor plan on the drawing board, the design team collaborated to set each space apart, connecting public spaces with sun-flooded galleries grounded by antique, mixed species hardwoods from Ziel’s Antique Flooring and coffered ceilings delicately sculpted by Strimpfel, the latter to ensure that the homeowners didn’t “feel lost in a sea of sheetrock ceilings,” Caron says. The galleries, Court adds, “[have] become some of the most fun spaces in the home,” thanks to their ample natural light and sweeping views of the surrounding water.
This warm light seeps into the airy interior adorned with vertically hung nickel gap walls, a tailored mélange of transitional furnishings, vibrant artworks (including pieces by the homeowners’ daughter), and Kravet and Cowtan & Tout embroidered drapery panels, creating timeless cohesion without overt formality. “As you graduate into a new space, it’s not matchy-matchy with the space before. They each have their own feel,” Caron says.
In the kitchen, fitted joinery, centered on a monumental François & Co. range hood, designed by Caron, perfectly balances the living room fireplace, clad in the same polished Taj Mahal quartzite used for the kitchen countertops. A wall of glass upper cabinets maximizes natural light along one wall, creating a wet bar accessible from both the kitchen and adjoining dining room, where the wife’s antique table and sideboard feel right at home with new upholstered chairs and a polished nickel chandelier from Visual Comfort.
Befitting its cinematic setting, the home features many concealed “backstage” spaces. Jib doors on spring latches and piano hinges allow egress from the dining room to an intimate, fully equipped back kitchen, while across the main level, another hidden door connects the primary study and master suite, and a third, the wife’s office and laundry room. “When you have an open plan like this where everything is on display, you still need a back kitchen and pantry and places to store things,” says Court, who dreamed up the hidden workspaces with Caron and Strimpfel throughout the construction process. “It was a relief that we had cohesiveness to push ourselves and be creative,” says Caron of the team’s joint decisions that made the project a standout.
Besides creating a portfolio piece for all three creative teams, the home satisfied the owners’ every request. Ample private spaces, including a sumptuous master bedroom and ensuite brimming with Calacatta marble and a walk-in steam shower, two upstairs guest suites and a carriage house apartment above the garage, equal the public spaces in comfort and elegance. A vaulted screened porch, furnished with Summer Classics seating, flatscreen television and a handsome brick fireplace offer a breezy perch for the family year-round (it’s also Court’s favorite space, one he calls “drop-dead” gorgeous).
The group effort was generously recognized by the Hilton Head Area Homebuilders Association, winning multiple Lighthouse Awards for both Caron and Strimpfel. It was also a hit with the homeowners. “Right when they moved in, [one homeowner] said, ‘this is exactly what I wanted,’” Caron recalls. A dream team — and a dream home, too.
Year built: 2020 – 2021
Square footage: 6,192 square feet, including outdoor living areas
Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 powder baths
Time to complete: One year
Architects/planners: Court Atkins Group, William Court
Interior designer: Kelly Caron Designs, ASID
Contractor/builder: Reclamation by Design, Pat and Ron Strimpfel
Tile/flooring: Scott Ziel, Ziel’s Antique Flooring; Savannah Surfaces
Paint/wallpaper: Sherwin Williams, Thibaut in powder bath, and Phillip Jefferies in office
Kitchen design: Kelly Caron with Litchfield Cabinetry
Bath design: Kelly Caron with Litchfield Cabinetry
Custom kitchen hood: François & Co.
Cabinet hardware: Bird Hardware
Lighting design: Kelly Caron, Visual Comfort, Capital Electric
Landscape design: The Greenery
Electrician: Boni Electric
Plumber: Cregger Plumbing Fixtures
Furniture: Kelly Caron Designs, ASID
Appliances: Wolf, Subzero
Accessories: Kelly Caron Designs
Art: Homeowners’ own collection, including work by their daughter
All details supplied by interior designer