For the past 25 years, Southern Living magazine has built homes around the south, showcasing design ideas and room decor each year in their Idea House series.
With homes already constructed in Georgia, Texas and Tennessee, the national magazine picked a budding Bluffton location for its 2014 Idea House: Palmetto Bluff.
The home, built on Water Fowl Road near the banks of Palmetto Bluff's waterway trail, is featured in a spread in the August edition of Southern Living on newsstands now. Located in the River Road neighborhood, the 3,787-square-foot home has four bedrooms and a spacious kitchen. The two-story home has a large living room at its center that opens to a 49-foot by 12-foot porch.
Other Palmetto Bluff homes have been featured in magazines, but the 2014 Idea House was the first time Southern Living had stopped in the Bluffton development, according to Misty Chandler, Southern Living's marketing manager for homes and licensing.
Chandler said Palmetto Bluff was attractive for a variety of reasons, chiefly the development's natural beauty, conservation efforts, and proximity to Charleston and Savannah.
The house was designed in about four months by Pursley Dixon Architecture of Charlotte. Once designs were completed, the home was built from the ground up in six months and opened to the public in late June. Chris Dalzell's Shoreline Construction, a Ridgeland-based company that has built several other homes in Palmetto Bluff, constructed the home, Chandler said.
Rooms in the home were decorated by Atlanta-based interior designer Suzanne Kasler. Online, individual rooms can be viewed from an interactive floor plan, and a resource guide lists the fixtures and items in each room.
Although the home has signs of Lowcountry style all over it, the design team integrated other innovative elements into the Idea House, Chandler said. In the kitchen, a large marble island has a table on one end and a built-in stovetop on the other. A "clutter room" off the kitchen hides away the home's large pantry, a wine refrigerator, a sink and the dishwasher, among other items, Chandler said.
In the living room, built-in shelving where the television and fireplace are located can be hidden from view with a coiled fabric drape, and a nearby door to the first-floor master bedroom is covered in the same upholstery as the walls, hiding it from view, Chandler said.
Although the magazine won't be on sale much longer, visitors can tour the home through Dec. 14. Tours are available between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, according to a Palmetto Bluff news release.
Tickets to tour the home cost $15, and children 12 years old and younger can visit for free. All tour proceeds will be donated to Bluffton Self Help and the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton, each of which will station volunteers at the home on tour days.
Once the tours end in December, the house will be sold. Chandler said the buyer has the option to purchase the house with all the furnishings from the Idea House spread. If no buyer is found, the house will be dismantled and the furnishings returned.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.