This dream kitchen was designed by Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer Duval Acker of Kitchens By Design. It features top-of-the-line Plain & Fancy custom cabinetry from Designer Kitchens & Baths which have been featured in several national magazine Idea Houses such as Southern Living and Coastal Living Idea Houses. The Plain & Fancy cabinetry have simple Shaker-style cabinet doors, which actually cost less than more ornate door styles. The soft close doors and drawers are simply incredible, preventing the user from slamming them when closing. Granite countertops cover the kitchen’s surfaces, providing a nice pop against the cabinet paint finish, which Rhoda Jones from Designer Kitchens & Baths describes as “smooth as a baby’s bottom.” As the kitchen features several wide expanses of granite, we were initially worried about seams; however, Lowcountry Stone Solutions managed to make them virtually invisible. To ensure the space’s appliances were both chic and functional, we chose American-made Dacor kitchen equipment—the work horse of the Idea House kitchen. The Dacor appliance package includes two convection wall ovens, a convection microwave, and a six burner range with a commercial-style vent that rises with a push of a button, then silently disappears under the countertop. The 48-inch built-in refrigerator is the epitome of luxury, and the 30-inch dishwasher is the largest in the industry allowing for 40 percent more loading capacity, yet only requires 6 more inches of space.
Dining Room/Great Room
Beach houses in the Charleston area aren’t the only place you’ll find beadboard. We were inspired by some of the older homes in neighboring Hampton Park Terrace, which often opted for beadboard ceilings because, at the time, plaster was more expensive and more difficult to install than wood. In the Idea House, the beadboard wood ceiling continues throughout the first floor into the great room. The fireplace surround in the great room is made of original Old English bricks salvaged from Lowndes Grove Plantation, just down the Ashley River from Lowndes Pointe. At the suggestion of interior designer Marian Chatfield, the mantel was painted to match the color of the kitchen island. A high impact surround sound home theater system with Blu-ray was installed in the great room by Audio Warehouse as part of brand new product launch from Sony called HomeShare HD. Audio Warehouse installed one of the very first Sony HomeShare HD systems in America inside the Idea House. While compact enough to be housed inside just one of the cabinets surrounding the fireplace, it delivers high definition video to any room, access to an iPod and satellite radio from any of the 10+ key pads throughout the Idea House, a whole-house intercom system, and a home theater system with Blu-ray that can be played in any room in the house. Most systems that deliver this kind of punch require a separate equipment closet for a rack of components and cost tens of thousands more than the compact, affordable Sony HomeShare HD.
We refer to this space as a “multi-purpose” room because it can be used as an office, a formal dining room, a casual family room, or even a bedroom for an aging parent. Increasing the functionality of the space, the pullout sofa allows another place for guests to sleep. To cut down on costs, we purchased plantation shutters only for windows facing the street rather than all windows in the entire house. The French doors leading into our “multi-purpose” room have opaque glass for privacy and express our pride of living in South Carolina with an etched glass design of our state tree—the Palmetto.
While it’s unusual to have anything but a sink and commode in a typical powder room, a tall shower was added here for use by guests sleeping in the front room, or in the event the front room were to become a fulltime bedroom.
Perhaps what’s most striking about the master bedroom is what you don’t see…mainly no dressers or chest of drawers which can fill a bedroom quickly and make it feel cluttered and small. We credit Architect Shelley Clark-Glidewell for designing the rooms in the Idea House proportionally large enough to create that feeling of spaciousness. The 9-foot tall ceilings on the second floor also add to the roomy feeling. The cool coastal blue Sherwin-Williams wall paint creates a relaxing aura and provides the perfect backdrop for the room’s many seaside inspired accents. A private balcony offers the homeowners a quiet place to reflect on the day, or come together to take advantage of the stunning sunset view over the river.
A couple sharing a master bath is the rule rather than the exception in most homes, but given the option most couples would prefer the privacy of their own bathroom. The Idea House master bathroom was designed with this in mind with a half-wall separating the space for both partners—essentially creating two separate spaces within the confines of a single master bathroom. But while the half-wall provides privacy for each, the two spaces work in harmony with each other. This side of the master bath is dominated by an enormous tiled shower with multiple shower heads and a frameless heavy glass shower door which the couple shares. A separate water closet allows both adults complete privacy as well.
On the other side of the wall is a matching Plain & Fancy vanity stained chocolate brown, with feet designed to make it resemble a piece of furniture. Wall-mount faucets were chosen in lieu of faucets on the countertops for a clean, uncluttered look and easy countertop wipe downs. This luxurious space is further enhanced with a top-of-the line MTI Solitude Air Ultra Tub from Mt. Pleasant Winnelson. Surrounding the tub are two matching cabinet towers for extra storage. A Casablanca ceiling fan from Premier Lighting Supply is positioned overhead for added comfort.
One of the rooms that garnered the most attention during the Idea House Open House Weekend was the second floor hall bath. Visitors “oohed and ahhed” at the unique oval shaped iridescent glass tiles on the floor from Buckhannon Brothers Tile Showroom. This bathroom was inspired by the colors of the sea, and many guests said the glass tile reminded them of a mermaid’s tail. Even the light fixture from Charleston Lighting & Interiors resembles waves in the ocean. The simple white subway tile is one of many products chosen in the Idea House that can be found in older homes located throughout the nearby Wagner Terrace neighborhood.
1st Girl's Bedroom
A little girl’s dream of being a princess is fulfilled in this whimsical and playful bedroom. From the canopy dressing room to the surfer-girl chalkboards, this perfectly accessorized, brightly colored room echoes with the laughter and high-pitched squeals of little girls as they have a slumber party on the lime green bunk bed.
2nd Girl's Bedroom
This second bedroom’s footprint is a carbon copy of the first, long and narrow but still roomier than the average child’s bedroom. This bedroom also doubles as a guest room with a queen size bed for additional sleeping capacity.
Guests climbing three flights of stairs to the third floor are truly rewarded when they lay eyes on the Map Room. Real nautical charts detailing the waters of the South Carolina coast were bought at a bargain price from Sea Island Habitat for Humanity ReStore (you never know what you’ll find!) and expertly wallpapered to the wall facing west by Alan Coopersmith and his son Jesse. The room exudes nautical characteristics such as boat cleat cabinet pulls, hanging pendants that resemble ship lights, and a tripod lamp modeled after the base of a telescope. Mirroring the wall of nautical charts is the floor mural of Charleston harbor and waterways painted by renowned artist and faux painter Gale Ray. The map mural is perfectly painted so that you can even see the same bend in the Ashley River out the windows as you see on the floor painting itself. Guests were blown away at how much effort had been put into the Map Room’s aesthetics and then amazed to discover the practicality of having a wall bed from Closets & Organization By Design.
Simple pine flooring from Carolina Flooring was chosen for the third floor to mimic the flooring that might be found in an older home’s attic. The idea here was to make the space on the third floor appear as if the attic had been finished later on, with floors stained a pickled white. Bay Pointe Hardwood Floors went to great lengths to achieve a worn look on the brand new floors by leaving mill marks on the boards and emphasizing the raised grain where the boards butt up against each other. The half bath down the hall from the playroom was not on the original plans, but was added after discovering additional space during construction. It saves those who might be partying on the rooftop deck above a trip downstairs to the second floor, and serves guests who might be spending the night in the Map Room. In keeping with the nature-oriented motif of the house, this tight space resembles an undersea scene with a school of fish swimming just above the river rock tile ocean floor.
Lower Back Porch
Outdoor living space at the Idea House was always a priority, but posed a challenge given that the footprint of the house consumed more than half of the 7000 square foot lot. Code prevented any permanent structure inside a 35-foot buffer zone at the back of the lot, and a swimming pool on the wish list also added to the lack of space. A solution was reached by positioning the house a foot off the front property line leaving plenty of space for a small (12 x 24 foot) swimming pool, and ample space for a lawn and landscaping. Natural plantings and trees at the back of the lot were kept as an additional buffer to help protect the marsh.
Landscape Designer Andrew Smith with Landsmith Residential Garden Design and Consultation drew a fantastic plan that specified all the plantings, sod, palm trees, and irrigation system. In the upper left corner of the lot, Andrew designed an interesting sculpture using leftover pilings that doubles as a seating area around a natural gas fire pit. Sodbusters provided zoysia turf grass and Aqua Scapes Landscape Services installed the plantings and an irrigation system. And throughout the perimeter of the Idea House Palmetto Mosquito Control strategically placed a series of inconspicuous misting nozzles connected to an automated misting system designed to keep mosquitoes and gnats at bay.
Code required the Idea House be elevated above the flood zone, and much of the area under the house was utilized for outdoor living space. This covered terrace is located underneath the back porch, providing ample space to entertain with an outdoor kitchen from William Smith Fireplaces and plenty of seating room.
With a 45-foot height restriction on the Idea House, we were ecstatic when Architect Shelley Clark-Glidewell told us she was able to accommodate one of our most important items on our wish list—a rooftop deck. The 20 x 20 foot oversized widow's walk is spacious enough for many to enjoy the Friday night fireworks display put on by the Charleston Riverdogs. The rooftop observation deck can be accessed by a wrought iron staircase off the playroom, and creates a spectacular outdoor living room with 360-degree views of the Ashley River, The Citadel, and tops of the Ravenel Bridge. Heavy teak furniture will withstand the elements, and sightlines are enhanced by the steel cabling handrail system.