I find it hard to believe that I have been sharing my thoughts on interiors and design with readers for eight years. It's been fun.
About the time I began this column I also made the decision to purchase a place closer to work. One reason was the commute. While many days I enjoy the drive to and from Savannah and use it to catch up on news, listen to music and unwind, sometimes I have to work late or meet with clients. Other times I need to go in to the studio on the weekend. And, after almost 20 years of working on Hilton Head Island, I had grown a long list of friends and clients who I enjoyed spending time with outside of work.
Additionally, I was motivated by a desire to have access to amenities that were not available to me living in a 19th-century house in Savannah's historic district. Golf? Sure, why not? My father was an outstanding player. His swing was like a pendulum, he always hit is straight down the fairway. I thought, maybe I have some of his talent. Tennis? Well, I never miss "Breakfast at Wimbledon." Swimming? Certainly! Nature walks and potential encounters with wildlife of all sorts? Heck yeah!
I started on a search for the right place and boy did I look and look and look. God bless my real estate agent who patiently showed me gazillions of potential communities and possible places to call my (second) home. I saw lots of nice places, but just not the right place.
Then it happened. My agent introduced me to Moss Creek. Inside we viewed marvelous tidal vistas as we drove past verdant golf courses, a host of tennis courts and a wonderful pool overlooking the marina. My curiosity was very high as we headed to look at a condo -- a Salt Marsh Cottage.
We journeyed past the clubhouse into an enclave of cluster housing nestled so beautifully into the pine marsh that they seemed to have practically sprouted themselves on-site. Cubic in shape with pyramidal roofs and periscope-like skylights, I found them to have an architectural character that was distinctive and thoughtful. Opening the door to one that was for sale I was unprepared for the spacious feeling achieved by an interior arrangement that was as special as the exterior.
It was love at first sight.
Salt Marsh is a perfect combination of 20th-century modernism with a heavy dash of Lowcountry charm.
The two bedrooms in the condo, though not huge, have en suite bathrooms, ample closets and generous windows. A spiral staircase leads to a generous loft that can be an extra sleeping space, a study, or in my case, a place for an art studio.
The great room spans the width of my home and includes an efficient, perfectly laid out galley kitchen that opens to the dining area with its floor to ceiling boxed-bay window. The seating area has extra wide windows and sliding doors that lead to a generous deck. These walls are practically all glass and combine with the pyramidal vault to create a near-perfect interior space. Between the soaring ceiling and the almost invisible wall allowing uninterrupted views, this compact space feels anything but small.
I congratulate the architect of these cottages, Jakie Lee. They were brilliantly designed.
While not the same as my Savannah neighborhood, collectively these cottages retain so much of the original integrity. In this way, they are similar.
Have I done anything to it? Well, yeah, I am an interior designer. I have replaced most of the furnishings and painted (if you read my column you know I love color). I've removed some wallpaper but I have not changed a thing with the layout nor moved a single wall. There is no reason to do so.
Sadly, I still haven't found my father's golf swing, but I have enjoyed every minute spent in this gem of a cottage I found at Moss Creek. On Sunday April 12 we will celebrate their birthday and I invite you to attend.