Using the color gray, natural accents and lots of texture are trends in building and interior designs this year, and the new Coastal Living style house in Palmetto Bluff showcases these trends to bring the look and feel of the outdoors inside.
Shells, stone and 150-year-old reclaimed beech wood floors are some of the details in the 3,200-square-foot idea house, which does double duty as a furnished model for the new River Road neighborhood and a fundraiser for two local non-profit groups. Volunteers from the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club and Bluffton Self Help will staff the house, with proceeds from the tours split by these organizations. The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom house recently was purchased by a couple who already owned a homesite in Palmetto Bluff. They will lease the house back to Palmetto Bluff for the home tours.
The house also shows off what local builders, designers and retailers can do -- quickly.
"We built and outfitted this house in five months," said Courtney Hampson, marketing manager for Palmetto Bluff.
Shoreline Construction and Development of Bluffton built the house. The outside echoes traditional Southern architecture, while the inside has open spaces that suit modern life.
Chris Dalzell, owner of Shoreline Construction, said the kitchen countertops are honed black marble. They have a soft, organic look reminiscent of stones found in a river bed.
Large bathrooms, built-in shelves, a high-end kitchen and a mud room are other features of the home, which marketing studies have shown upscale buyers want. The house is on a lakefront lot, and there's a private dock and large outdoor living area with a fireplace.
Much of the furniture -- inside and outdoors -- is from Coastal Living collection. Published by Time's Lifestyle Group, the Birmingham, Ala.-based magazine features decorating ideas, recipes and articles about travel and entertaining.
Local businesses provided the landscaping, appliances, lighting, art and much more to outfit the home. For example, Mainly Monogramming of Hilton Head Island personalized many of the towels, and the appliances came from Billy Wood Appliances. A preview party for the vendors and Palmetto Bluff members will be held Aug. 30, Hampson said.
J. Banks Design
Shelley Wilkins, interior designer with J. Banks, chose the color palette, accent pieces and accessories. Interesting details include a capiz shell umbrella stand in the front entryway, a bathroom mirror framed by sea sponges and a large forged metal chandelier with a simple design in the great room.
"The biggest mistake people make when picking lighting is going too small; scale is very important," Wilkins said.
Every room has a view of the lake. The house is decorated to emphasize a connection with water and nature.
If tourgoers fall in love with a dresser, lamp or something else in the house, "any piece you see can be purchased through J. Banks, except the fine art which is one of a kind," Wilkins said.
She expects the popularity of gray hues to continue because they're neutral, peaceful and look good with a lot of other colors.
Palmetto Bluff has extensive nature preserves, river access and walking trails, a village center, a Jack Nicklaus golf course, an elegant inn and spa managed by Auberge Resorts and residential neighborhoods. Inspired by Savannah and Charleston, Palmetto Bluff is on a vast expanse of pristine land bounded by the May, Cooper and New rivers.
The River Road neighborhood was launched in March.
There, buyers can purchase a new home, buy a homesite and build a custom home or use one of four pre-approved floorplans to build on their lot. Homesites in the neighborhood range in size from .4-acre to just less than an acre; lot prices range from $110,000 to $350,000.
The five homes completed or under construction in River Road range from 2,545-3,700 sq. feet and cost $615,000 to $895,000.
Palmetto Bluff expects to release another six home plans for the neighborhood this fall.